The X7 blends the luxury BMW is known for with full-size three-row SUV capacity. Introduced for the 2019 model year, the X7 is BMW's biggest vehicle. As you would expect from an SUV of this size, the X7 is the most spacious vehicle the automaker offers. As you'd expect from a BMW, it's comfortable, packed with technology, and quite nice to drive for a three-row luxury SUV.
After two years on the market we're still getting used to the X7's grille, but we're impressed as ever with this vehicle's overall execution.
That purpose is to coddle three rows of passengers in comfort, which it does exceptionally. Each of the three rows is spacious, with many standard or optional features enhancing the experience in any seat. However, third-row access can be a challenge because of how long it takes for the second-row seats to fold forward. Choosing the available second-row captain's chairs makes things easier. Cargo space with all the seats upright is somewhat small, but folding the rear rows expands it considerably.
Technology is a strong suit, but we haven't found the iDrive infotainment system's gesture controls to be useful or reliable. Otherwise, the X7's tech aids its driver well.
The X7 provides good comfort for passengers in any seat, and it's an enjoyable experience for whoever's behind the wheel. Although its styling is controversial, the X7 functions decently as a full-size three-row luxury SUV.
Every X7 is equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission and BMW's xDrive AWD system.
The X7 xDrive40i uses a turbocharged 3.0-liter I-6 engine, which for 2021 gains a 48-volt mild-hybrid electrical system. Output measures 335 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque. In MotorTrend testing, a 2019 X7 accelerated to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds. EPA-rated fuel economy measures 19/24 mpg city/highway.
A twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 is fitted in the X7 M50i. It produces 523 hp and 553 lb-ft, which should enable 0-60 times of about 4.5 seconds. Fuel economy is rated by the EPA at 15/21 mpg. The xDrive50i, which used a less-powerful version of this engine, is no longer available.
New for 2021 is the Alpina XB7, which is also powered by a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8. However, it's tuned to produce 612 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. BMW claims the XB7 will launch to 60 mph in just 4.0 seconds; EPA-rated fuel economy is 15/21 mpg.
Whereas BMW M models are tuned for agility and acceleration, Alpina vehicles are built more for unflappable high-speed composure. The Alpina XB7 is created for autobahn blitzes with three rows of passengers.
The XB7 is Alpina's first SUV, and has exclusive features not available on any other X7. Among those are its aerodynamic body kit, available 23-inch wheels, and 15.5-inch Brembo front brakes. Big brakes are needed to counter the XB7's 612 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque.
An estimated 4.0-second 0-60 time and top speed above 155 mph means the XB7 is speedy. It should be luxurious like any other X7, too. Features include premium leather, a crystal gear knob, a panoramic sunroof, and 16-speaker audio system. And, with USB ports and climate zones for each of the three power-operated rows, passengers will be comfortable as they blaze down the road.
The X7's extensive standard active safety and driver-assist features include automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams and windshield wipers, as well as front and rear parking sensors. Adaptive cruise control with lane keep assist and front cross-traffic alert are included on all but the xDrive40i model.
Every X7 has power-folding third-row seats. Lowering those expands cargo capacity to 48.6 cubic feet. The second-row seats are power-folding as well, and when folded, they increase maximum cargo capacity to 90.4 cubic feet.
Front-row headroom measures 41.9 inches in the X7, which compares to 42.3 inches in the standard-wheelbase Cadillac Escalade. Second-row headroom is 39.9 inches in the X7, an inch better than the Escalade's 38.9 inches. Third-row headroom lists at 37.0 inches in the BMW, less than 38.2 inches in the Cadillac.
Front-row legroom is 39.8 inches in the X7, much less than the Escalade's 44.5 inches. Second-row legroom is also less in the BMW, which has 37.6 inches to the Cadillac's 41.7 inches. Third-row legroom is snug in both; the X7 has 33.3 inches while the Escalade has 34.9 inches.
The X7 offers two standard 12.3-inch displays, one for the gauge cluster and one for the infotainment touchscreen. For 2021, Android Auto is new, joining Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth connectivity, built-in navigation, and a 32 GB hard drive as standard equipment. The infotainment system can function with touch, gesture, or voice controls. Each row of seats features two USB ports.
A 360-degree camera system and head-up display are available on I-6 variants and standard on V-8 models. Wi-Fi hotspot compatibility and a rear-seat entertainment package are available on all models. A 10-speaker audio system is standard, while 16- and 20-speaker setups are optional.
As we were reminded during a long road trip in the X7 M50i, there's nothing quite like the addictive power and satisfying rumble of a V-8 engine. But in a vehicle like this, do you need it? It's an especially pertinent question when the X7 xDrive40i is so good.
Even though that model is fitted with a turbocharged I-6, it surprised us with its quickness—acceleration to 60 mph took only 5.4 seconds. Even when not going for timed sprints, this engine easily got the big X7 up to speed. Its fuel economy and driving range are appreciably better than the V-8, too.
In terms of luxury and features, X7 models are about equal regardless of what's under the hood. Although the M50i includes a few extras (like a head-up display or 360 degree-view camera system), those can be chosen as options on the xDrive40i. Even with a few added goodies, an X7 xDrive40i can undercut the price of a base M50i.
As enthusiasts, we understand the appeal of a V-8. However, we also consider the facts and figures. That's why we think the X7 xDrive40i—with some options—is the one to get. It seems to be the better choice for how the X7 will most often be used. If maximum performance remains a must, go all-out and choose the Alpina XB7.
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|$1000||BMW announces Lease/APR Credit on select models for eligible College Graduates.||12-31-2020|