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BMW Launches Stellar First Ever X7

By Arv Voss, August 17th, 2019

BMW enters the full-size SUV arena with two models of their first ever X7. Both X7s provide three rows of seating for up to seven passengers to travel in total comfort.

-- OVERVIEW

The two versions are the X7 xDrive40i powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six-cylinder and the X7 xDrive50i with a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8. Both engines are coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission gearing power to all four wheels via BMW's xDrive four-wheel-drive system.

The BMW xDrive50i's sporty V-8 cranks out 456 horsepower along with 479 lb.-ft. of torque, and clicks off a 0-to-60-mph time of 5.2 seconds. Both X7s are tow rated up to 7,500 pounds with the optional trailer hitch.

The X7 50i xDrive rides on a full air suspension capable of lowering the vehicle for ease of loading passengers and cargo. Dynamic dampers allow dialing in either a softer or firmer ride.

The X7 may be ordered with a system tying the air suspension into forward-looking cameras that monitor the road ahead to adjust suspension parameters to prepare for impending road imperfections. The system pairs with a package that includes active rear-wheel steering and brakes tuned by BMW's M division. For V-8-powered models, the package also adds a sport rear differential. An off-road package is also available.

-- MY TEST X7

My BMW X7 xDrive test vehicle was the 50i V-8 with a base price set at $92,600. In terms of its exterior design, the BMW X7 does little to step outside the SUV norm, which is just fine for BMW's first foray into the realm of three-row SUVs. The styling is clean and simple, leading off with a bold enlarged twin grille dominating the nose along with large lower and side air intakes. The front and rear overhangs are abbreviated and somewhat blunt on both ends. In profile, a demonstrative rising character line defines the shoulder line and rides just above a cove effect between the pronounced wheel wells.

The interior is where the all-new X7 really shines where it counts most. It may well be rated as the plushest of the plush. Dash touchscreens and digital displays reside where gauges might otherwise be placed. BMW groups controls in metallic-framed horizontal trim bands for a futuristic look that adds an elegant touch to the cockpit. Further enhancing the upscale ambience of the interior is the crystal-like iDrive controller and shift levers, open-pore gray wood, and a leather-topped dash.

-- PERFORMANCE

The X7 50i is powered by a delightful engine that emits a deep V-8 rumble when prodded with spirit. The automatic transmission delivers clean quick shifts, both up and down. The all-wheel-drive system's sport differential uses an electric motor to vary power across the rear axle, adding more traction while it also assists in piloting a tighter line through challenging "twisties."

An available off-road package features specific off-road drive modes (for snow, gravel, mud, etc.), and provides up to a maximum of 8.7 inches of ground clearance.

-- COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE

Infotainment and connectivity are paramount in the X7. Housing the infotainment features is a pair of 12.3-inch screens. One appears in the instrument cluster and is configurable, handling basic info, while the other is a touchscreen for actual infotainment. BMW includes navigation and Apple CarPlay as standard, with the latter requiring an $80 per year subscription after the first year. The X7's infotainment system will respond to voice commands following a "Hey BMW" prompt -- or any other name it's programmed to understand.

V-8-powered X7s feature massaging and cooled front seats with quilted, perforated leather, and a surround-view camera system, as well as a Bowers & Wilkins premium 20-speaker audio system. The second-row Captain's chairs even come with headrest pillows. A power-split tailgate raises the top three-quarters and drops the lower quarter panel -- ideal for tailgate affairs.

All X7s come with a host of the latest in technology and safety equipment features, and the X7 can even self-park in either parallel or perpendicular spaces. The 2019 BMW X7 xDrive 50i SAV is one super fine vehicle that many would rank above a top-level Range Rover in terms of luxuriousness and sumptuous elegance.

Specifications

Base price $92,600 (as tested: $120,945)
Curb weight 5,617 lbs.
Displacement 4.4-liter
Engine type 32-valve TwinTurbo V-8 w/DI
Epa mileage rating 15 mpg city, 21 mpg highway
Fuel capacity 21.9 gal.
Horsepower (net) 456 at 5250-6000 rpm
Overall length 203.3 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 479 at 1500-4750 rpm
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Vehicle type 7-passenger full-size AWD SUV
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