Today I am here to tell you about another all-new SUV to hit the roads, BMW’s imposing X7. Love that huge kidney grille or not, one thing is for sure, you won’t mistake this new X model as anything other than a BMW.
Built in the land of “everything is bigger and better” at BMW Plant Spartanburg in the US, the grille is not the only huge thing about this X7, this a proper full-size, seven-seater SUV. The X7 comes in at just over 5m long, 2m wide and 1.8m high, and this expansive exterior translates into an equally expansive interior.
The seven seats I mentioned, which can also be ordered in a “2+2+2 six-seat” configuration if you so desire, can almost be configured whichever way you want at a push of a button. So, your X7 can be a premium people mover or a flashy goods transporter.
When all the seats are in the up position or being used, you get a decent 326 litres of load space, drop the second and third row seats and this shoots up to a huge 2 120 litres of space. Now, before you think loading the X7 might be a little taxing, the standard air suspension lowers the car at a touch of a button in the boot, along with the two-section split tailgate, both of which have electric opening and closing.
The feeling of wide-open space is further enhanced by a standard three-part panoramic glass roof that lightens up the interior. In addition to its front and central glass section, the panoramic roof features an additional section to the rear and this means those in the back-row seats are also able to enjoy the open sky.
Of course, you get BMW’s full suite of Connected Driver services, which can be operated from the rear seats for that absolute back seat driver experience, along with the well-known BMW Live Cockpit Professional, which includes a control display and a digital instrument cluster – each running on a 12.3-inch screen.
So how does the X7 perform on the road? Well, with powerful 195kW/620Nm 30d and 294kW/760Nm 50d turbodiesel derivatives available now and an equally powerful 390kW/750Nm 50i coming in October, gett ing this large X7 up and going is a non-issue.
I drove the stonking M50d first and if you have the extra R300 000 to spend over the R1.5-million base asking price for the xDrive30d, this would be my pick. But the 30d is equally good and will do the same job, minus that extra status an M performance model badge brings to the party.
You also get the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system along with a newly developed and precisely tuned chassis technology, and this translates into a full-size SUV that handles better than you can imagine.
And if you really want to go off-road , you can because there is an Off -Road package available only for the X7 xDrive30d. This package features rugged under-guard elements, its own special graphics in the instrument cluster and control display, as well as an extra button on the centre console for selecting four driving modes.
With xSnow, xSand, xGravel and xRocks modes at your disposal, you can activate the ideal settings for the vehicle’s ride height, the xDrive system, accelerator response, transmission control and the DSC system’s corrective inputs in preparation for the surface in question.
There was a gravel road section on the launch drive and I can be honest, there was no need to touch a switch, the X7 handled the dirt with ease . The Design Pure Excellence equipment line, the M Sport package and exclusive BMW Individual options offer scope for you to tailor the standard specification of your X7 to your personal style.