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Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2

BMW successfully takes its X off-roader line-up into Range Rover territory

BMW X7 SUV (19 on) - rated 4.2 out of 5
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PROS

  • Comfort, refinement and quality
  • Versatile six- or seven-seat interior
  • Powerful and refined engines
  • Handles well for its large size

CONS

  • Challenging exterior design
  • Accessing third-row seats tricky
  • Large dimensions may be daunting
  • Small boot when seven seats up

PROS

  • Comfort, refinement and quality
  • Versatile six- or seven-seat interior
  • Powerful and refined engines
  • Handles well for its large size

CONS

  • Challenging exterior design
  • Accessing third-row seats tricky
  • Large dimensions may be daunting
  • 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 5,151mm 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 BMW X5, which is now in its fourth-generation and shares many styling cues with the X7.  Instead, the X7 is underpinned by unique parts 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 X3X4 and X6, the X7 is built at BMW’s South Carolina plant.

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.

BMW X7 SUV engines

Three engines are available in the X7 – a 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.

The xDrive30d is expected to be the bestseller in the UK by some margin, 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 – at least on paper. 

The 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. The range will be expanded to include the xDrive50i, propelled by a 4.4-litre petrol-slurping V8.

All engines are a good fit in the X7 – with an urgent nature to all of them (especially the M50d). However, it may not be worth paying the extra cash or monthly payments for this model as – while certainly sounds the part and is rapid in a straight line – the 30d and 40i are both more than adequate with impressive performance in their own right.

It’s also worth pointing out just how agile the X7 feels for such a vast car. When fitted with optional four-wheel steering, it turns far keener into corners and manages to tuck itself around tight bends and roundabouts far easier than you’d expect. And while it’s wide, it’s actually quite easy to quickly get used to the size of it without feeling intimidating.

BMW X7 trim levels and specifications

Available in three forms, the X7 comes in standard X7, M Sport and M Performance (just for the M50d version). M Sport is the important car for the UK as it’s consistently a bestseller across BMW’s line-up, but as you’d expect with a car with a cash price starting at more than £70,000, it comes loaded with kit.

There’s leather everywhere with what BMW describes as its finest materials, an intuitive infotainment system, plenty of safety gear and useful kit such as cameras all-round and fully-electric seats with memory function. However, you can still boost the kit count by choosing from several options packs, such as an entertainment package for the rear seats, and the option of having the car as a six-seater with more luxurious chairs, as opposed to the standard 2-3-2 layout.

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. Quality is impressive, the vast array of technology available is easy to operate, there’s plenty of room and it doesn’t feel too intimidating on the road. Plus, there isn’t a bad engine available. There’s no doubt its mix of luxury, versatility and dynamic ability is unmatched by anything else in this segment at comparable money, but can it tempt you out of that Range Rover?

Read on for the full Parkers review of the BMW X7 SUV