Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2

The Parkers VerdictShould you buy a BMW X7 SUV?

Yes, with provisos. If you don’t need seven seats, then the Range Rover just edges the X7 in terms of opulence and prestige, but for fit and finish, more cutting edge technology and a sportier driving experience, the BMW shade’s Land Rover’s icon. Of its German-badged rivals, we’d take the X7 over the Audi Q7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS without hesitation – it’s simply more polished and, providing you can live with its looks, more desirable.

But there’s the rub. 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.

So which X7 to go for? Unless you’ve an irrational need for a degree of performance that will make very little difference on Britain’s roads, the only version you need to consider for now is the xDrive 30d. Driven sensibly, you should still see north of 30mpg.

Trim-wise it has to be M Sport. It’s the most popular choice by far, so it will make it even easier to sell your X7 on when the time comes, but aesthetically, the sportier bodykit, larger, two-tone 21-inch alloy wheels and the lack of chrome-look detailing for the exterior conspire to reduce the BMW’s visual bulk. This can be improved further by opting for a strong, dark metallic paint, pairing it with an as pale-as-you-dare hue for the leather upholstery.

As was ever thus with BMW, there’s an enormously comprehensive list of extra-cost options, but despite that we’d keep our choices to a minimum. Audiophiles will appreciate the acoustic clarity of the 1,508-Watt, 20-speaker Bowers and Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System, while the Sky Lounge Panoramic Glass Roof allows the interior to be flooded with natural light during the day and elements that match the chosen colour for the ambient lighting at night. Additionally, there’s a welcome pane above the third-row seats.

If you tend to drive a lot at night, the Laserlight headlamps are worthy of serious consideration, too. Not that the standard LED lights are poor at all, but the jump to Laserlights is similar to the one 25 years or so ago from standard halogen to xenon headlamps.

One major option we’d leave alone is the switch to a six-seater configuration. There’s no doubting that pair of fully electrically adjustable captain’s chairs are very comfortable and great for relaxing on a longer journey, but they do limit the interior’s flexibility – if you’re choosing an X7 for family use rather than for ferrying about captains of industry, stick with the still-very-comfy three-seater bench.

Further reading

>> X7 too large? Read our comprehensive BMW X5 review

>> BMW not exclusive enough? Discover more about Bentley’s Bentayga

>> Zero-emission alternative: could the electric Tesla Model X be the SUV for you?

2019 dark blue BMW X7 M Sport rear three-quarter