BMW X7 is simply huge
Munich’s biggest and brashest is also one of its best – if you can afford it
Go big or go home is the mantra of the BMW X7.
The largest and most luxurious car that BMW makes, this gargantuan SUV is unapologetic in its identity. You certainly won’t blend in, then, but you will be cruising inside a plush paradise.
Allowing you to cruise is an engine range mainly comprising 3.0-litre petrol and diesel straight sixes.
Initially, there were 30d, 40i and quad-turbocharged M50d variants with 261bhp, 335bhp and 394bhp. The diesels were replaced a few years after the X7’s 2019 release by the 40d with 335bhp. Meanwhile, the M50i took over from the M50d as the most powerful X7.
It has considerably more poke than its diesel predecessor, what with its 4.4-litre V8 putting out a hefty 523bhp. This affords a 0-60mph time of 4.7sec (it does weigh in at 2480kg, after all).
The M50i didn’t get the mild hybridisation that the 40i and 40d received in 2021 (not that it would turn into a Toyota Prius if it did) and so drinks like there’s no tomorrow, averaging 22.1mpg officially. That’s the price of performance right there.
On the other hand, the diesels are fairly efficient (for such a luxobarge of an SUV). The 40d averages 36.2mpg, while the 30d that came before achieves 33.6mpg.
It’s worth noting the recent 2022 facelift, too, although few of those cars have hit the used market.
Besides styling changes, the engine range has been revised, giving the 40i and 40d added power. The M50i has also been succeeded by the M60i, which retains the 4.4-litre V8 but now with that 48V mild-hybrid system.
You should know which engine you want by now, so what about the trim level? Fortunately, there are only a few you need to ponder, and those are the base trim, M Sport and full M, which adds a limited-slip differential on the rear axle to increase cornering traction.
Every X7 has air suspension, four-zone climate control and heated seats both front and rear.
Although the X7 feels its size (it’s more than 16 feet long and six feet wide) on the road, you can get all-wheel steering if you find an example fitted with the Executive Drive Pro option package. This will especially help in town centres, although the X7 feels most at home when out on the open road.
The standard air suspension does a fine job of soaking up whatever the road throws at it, and it even gives the sumptuous Audi Q7 a run for its money on the motorway. Overall, then, the X7 is pleasant and relaxing to drive.
This is aided by an interior that you will never want to leave. Every surface you look at or touch exudes quality and craftsmanship, lending the cabin a truly upmarket ambience.
Infotainment is something of an X7 speciality, thanks to BMW’s excellent iDrive system. It can be operated through an extremely responsive 12.3in touchscreen, the intuitive rotary dial controller or even a voice-control system.
At the time of its release, the X7 began at £72,155. Second-hand prices now start from around £61,000 and rise to £68,000 for the M50d and £80,000 for the M50i. Nearly new 40i and 40d examples can surpass £80,000 and even go beyond £90,000.
Need to know
The X7 matches the Audi Q7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS in getting a third row of seating as standard, and it’s seriously roomy – far more so than that of the Q7 or the Land Rover Discovery. Even two six-footers will fit comfortably enough.
Boot space is 326 litres with seven seats, 750 litres with the third row folded and 2120 litres with the second row also flat.
In What Car?’s latest Reliability Survey, BMW ranked 13th out of 30 brands with a strong 94.7% rating.
Feeling deflated: This recall cites the possibility of both the driver-side and passenger-side head airbags having been twisted during installation, meaning the airbags will need to be checked and if necessary reworked. Contact a BMW dealer if you believe your X7 is involved in this recall.
A screw loose: A total of 388 examples are said to have had their battery cables on the 48V starter-generator not secured properly during production. Visit a dealer and a BMW technician will check the screw connection of the 48V positive/negative battery cables on the starter-generator and resolve the issue if necessary.
30d: The most affordable diesel won’t drain your wallet at the pumps (like the petrols can) and it has enough punch to satisfy. In fact, 0-60mph takes a respectable 7.0sec and it will go on to a top speed of 147mph.
M Sport: Virtually all used examples are in this trim, although that’s no bad thing. All X7s are generously equipped, M Sport adding sporty touches and upgraded brakes. You can get it with any engine bar the M50d and M50i.
M50i: Why not double down on the X7’s mantra and get it with the biggest, most powerful engine? Just be aware that you will need deep pockets to buy and run one of these V8 monsters.