Exterior: If the X5 was what introduced luxury SUVs from BMW’s stable, the X7 is hereto take things one step further. This is BMW’s answer to the Mercedes-Benz GLS. Much like the GLS, the X7 which is 5.1 meters in length, 2 meters in width, and 1.8 meters in height, the dimensions say it is a mammoth SUV and calls for major attention. The higher bonnet line and longer rear overhang give it a serious road presence. What looks nice are the 21-inch rims which also come as 22 inches optional. What does look out of place is the grille which tends to be too massive. What will be appreciated are the slim headlights and slender tail lamps.
Interior: Ingress and egress are not particularly easy, that is despite the large doors and the facility to drop down the suspension by 40 mm via the display key. It is also a log wait to bring forward the fully electric mid-row seats and take them out of the way. The third row of seats is a welcoming place to be in – especially in comparison to the X5. The large windows and the third-row moon roof allow a lot of light to get aiding for better visibility. The five-zone climate control system means one can adjust the temperature at the very back too. Cargo space is adequate, with all seats up you still get a decent boot space of 326 liters. Buttons in the boot allow you to reconfigure the seats for maximum boot space.
The car comes in six or seven-seat configuration, in the six-seat configuration you get two captain seats in the middle row. The seats offer great comfort and the recline function helps you angle the seat at your preferred seating position. Unlike the 7-series you can’t operate the front seat from the back but despite that in a normal setup there is ample legroom on offer. The dual-pane panoramic sunroof calls for enough airiness in the cabin and the electric blinds for the side windows are part of the package. What is disappointing however is that the X7 misses out on seat ventilation and massage function on the rear seats, which is something available as an optional extra on the front seats.
The dash does feel familiar, it does remind you of the X5 and it looks very new age, the overall ambiance top-notch matching that of the 7 series. The X7 gets the latest iDrive system, voice assistant, and the digital dials that sport the speedometer and tachometer. Other features include – laser headlights (they have a 600m high beam range!), soft-close doors, five-zone climate control, heated/cooled front cupholders, and rear-seat entertainment system with two 10.2-inch screens. Of the other features of interest, there is six-color ambient lighting that extends to the sunroof.
Drive: On offer are the 40i which comes powered with a 340 hp 3.0 liter straight six, and the 30d whose 265 hp 3.0 diesel powers the SUV from 0-100 km/h in 7 seconds. The X7 shares the same underpinnings of the X5. The car is equipped with BMW’s clever all-wheel drive and it has air suspension with damper control too. There is also the M50d, which shares the straight-six diesel engine but comes equipped with four turbochargers. There are two low pressure and two high-pressure turbochargers. The M50d produces – 400 hp and 760 Nm of torque. There is a sports differential at the rear which allows you to make most of the power in bends. The X7 is quick on the throttle and creates a loud grunt with the sound coming from the exhaust. The M50d feels like a free-revving motor and it is happy to rev past 5000 rpm. The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic, and the transmission is happy to downshift at high revs via the paddle shifters or gear levers. The M50d clocks a 0-100 km/h in 5.4 seconds, that is pretty impressive for a car that weighs 2460 kg. Handling is impressive too, it might not feel as nimble as a smaller SUV but in comparison to a GLS, it is happy to shift lanes and turn around sharp corners. On twisty roads, it will remind you that you are driving a plus-sized SUV but the brakes help in commanding and taming the X7 with the utmost ease. In the town, the size of the X7 tends to go overboard but the cameras onboard should help you find a safe parking slot. You could also leave the parking to the electronics completely. Another key feature is the Adaptive Drive mode which chooses the ideal drive mode depending on the condition. Put it in comfort mode and the setup is ideal for the town if you are up for some spirited driving engage in Sport or Sport + mode. The suspension can be raised by 40 mm raising it to 260 mm which should make it apt for off-road driving.
Should you have one: The flagship model for BMW offers a lot more over the X5, while it may not be a model that will bring a lot of crowd at the showrooms, this clearly suffices the fact that if you are a lover of the BMW brand, the X7 is the go-to vehicle if you are looking for a full-sized SUV. With prices topping up at Rs. 1.8 crores it will rival against the Merc GLS and the Range Rover. The X7 30d is going to be the entry-level SUV priced around a crore.