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Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
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BMW takes its X off-roader line-up into Range Rover territory

BMW X7 SUV (19 on) - rated 4 out of 5
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PROS

  • Comfort, refinement and quality
  • Versatile six- or seven-seat interior
  • Relatively frugal, powerful engines
  • Handles well considering size/weight
  • Best-in-class infotainment system

CONS

  • Challenging exterior design
  • Accessing third-row seats tricky
  • It weighs over 2.3 tonnes
  • Small boot when seven seats up

PROS

  • Comfort, refinement and quality
  • Versatile six- or seven-seat interior
  • Relatively frugal, powerful engines
  • Handles well considering size/weight
  • Best-in-class infotainment system

CONS

  • Challenging exterior design
  • Accessing third-row seats tricky
  • It weighs over 2.3 tonnes
  • Small boot when seven seats up

Verdict

The BMW X7 is BMW’s largest ever SUV, and competes directly with the Mercedes-Benz GLS and Range Rover. At 5151mm long it sits between the two in length, and splits them in weight too, with even the lightest X7 weighing over 2.3 tonnes. This is a very large car, then, but the payback is three rows of seating as standard and exceptional space.

What exactly is the BMW X7?

What it’s not is a stretched version of the latest BMW X5, which is now in its fourth-generation and shares many styling cues with the X7 in its latest form.  Instead, the X7 is underpinned by unique architecture designed to ensure it’s as luxuriously accommodating as possible. Think upon it more of a high-rise 7 Series Saloon, than an elongated X5. Like the X5, as well as the X3, X4 and X6, the X7 will be built at BMW’s South Carolina plant, with production commencing in December 2018.

Now that the X-badged range of BMWs stretches all the way from the X1 to X7, the newcomer at the pinnacle of the range has to shout about its presence, hence the enormous interpretation of the twin-kidney grille up front. The gaps between the vanes are large enough to slide your hand into.

Viewed in profile, the X7’s vastness – and upright stance – is as imposing as it is self-evident. This is an enormous car reflecting the status of those who’ll buy it. It’s also large enough to make an X5 look daintily compact.

Which engines will power the BMW X7?

Three engines are available in the X7 – a new six-cylinder petrol badged xDrive40i, and a pair of six-cylinder diesels badged xDrive30d and M50d M Performance. All of the powerplants are turbocharged and all X7s are fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission and xDrive four-wheel drive as standard.

Diesel BMW X7s

The xDrive30d is expected to be the bestseller in the UK, powered by a 3.0-litre engine producing 265hp, 620Nm of torque and capable of sprinting from 0-62mph in 7.0 seconds. BMW claims 43.5mpg and 171g/km of CO2.

Extra performance from a diesel is provided by the M50d, with 400hp, 760Nm of torque and a 0-62mph time of just 5.4 seconds, while still being capable of returning up to 40.4mpg while emitting 185g/km of CO2. 

Petrol BMW X7s

The new xDrive40i petrol engine puts out 340hp, 450Nm of torque and will sprint from 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds, but with a claimed 32.5mpg and 198g/km, it won’t be cheap to run. Later in 2019, the range will be expanded to include the xDrive50i, propelled by a 4.4-litre petrol-slurping V8.

How practical is the BMW X7?

That upright bodywork liberates a considerable amount of interior space, but it’s unlikely you’ll feel inclined to risk damaging the high-quality interior by turning it into a makeshift van.

The boot area is spacious, well-trimmed and peppered with electrically powered conveniences. The tailgate is horizontally split – both sections operate electrically – while the lower portion can be used as a seat, able to hold a combined weight of 150kg.

All the seats in the second and third rows can be lowered and raised at the touch of a button for convenience. There’s also a small parcel shelf behind the third row which can be stored under the boot floor when it’s not required.

BMW X7 SUV boot

Should you need to load some heavy cargo into the boot, you can also lower the car by 40mm to help slide it in thanks to standard-fit air suspension.

As you would expect, the boot volume is limited (326 litres) when all seven seats are upright with enough space for a couple of squashy overnight bags, but with all rear seats folded, total capacity is a cavernous 2,120 litres.

If you’d like to use your X7 for towing, then there’s further good news: factory-fitted tow bars will be available and all versions can haul up to 3.5 tonnes where trailers are fitted with brakes.

The Parkers VerdictShould you buy a BMW X7?

The BMW X7 polarises opinion on account of its sheer mass and bluff, glitzy front end, but there’s actually a lot to enjoy once you’re onboard and there’s no doubt its mix of luxury, versatility and dynamic ability is unmatched by anything else in this segment at comparable money.

We’ll be among the first to drive the full production version of this large, luxury crossover, so check the Parkers site for further details of the BMW X7 SUV as they’re announced