by Aiden Eksteen
There aren't many automakers that are proficient or established enough to concoct a premium executive SUV that persuasively combines authoritative yet refined performance, a plush ride quality, high-end luxury, and palpable practicality. So, when you climb behind the steering wheel of the 2021 BMW X7, know that you're about to experience something truly special. Under the hood of the xDrive40i is a 335-horsepower 3.0-liter turbo-6 unit that provides more than enough impetus for the full-size luxury SUV. Even so, BMW always aims to go above-and-beyond to exceed expectations; the X7-line boasts an M50i version locked and loaded with a 523-hp V8 and an extensive arrangement of M-Performance apparatus. The X7 SUV's enthralling and able drive dynamics are met with surprisingly adept off-roading potential and a utilitarian 7,500-pound towing capacity. Those qualities, along with the X7's commodious, opulent, and featureful interior, have it measure up compellingly alongside other premium 5-door three-row SUVs such as the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, Lincoln Navigator, and Cadillac Escalade.
The new first-gen BMW X7 has received numerous updates for 2021. Perhaps the biggest change is the trimming of the lineup, which sees the xDrive50i dropped, and the addition of a 48-volt mild-hybrid system to the base powertrain. Standard equipment across the range has been improved: Android Auto, SiriusXM with 360L, and remote engine start are now inclusive, along with heated seats, armrests, and steering wheel. Vermont Bronze has been deleted from the exterior color palette, along with a handful of interior options. The Cold Weather Package, Executive Package, Premium Package, and Luxury Seating Package have all been reduced in price to make up for some features becoming standard this year, while the Off-Road Package on the xDrive40i has been removed. A special Dark Shadow Edition is available on 75 units, with unique exterior styling options as well as even more standard equipment than the M50i upon which it is based.
See trim levels and configurations:
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
What the 2021 BMW X7 does best is prove that a large sport-utility vehicle can be fun to drive, adept, and luxurious despite its size and heft and without having to compromise on passenger comfort and general practicality. It's clearly a phenomenal car, but not many will be willing or able to pay the 2021 BMW X7 SUV's price. $74,900 is really steep, but we believe BMW has bestowed the 2021 X7 with power, tech, fun, and comfort, to be worth the money.
Both the xDrive40i and M50i bear the qualities we've spoken about in this review, but the M50i is simply in a league of its own with its mighty, characterful V8 mill and finely tuned performance underpinnings. It's a blast to drive and highly capable, delivering a 4.5-second 0 to 60 mph sprint time, expert handling, and a remarkably tranquil ride. It's a truly unique driving experience that you'd never expect from such a large and hefty vehicle. When properly equipped, the X7 will expand its already impressive repertoire with some off-roading abilities and a decent towing rating.
Both of the X7 cruisers are stylish and contemporary, outside and in, and both are extensively outfitted with creature comforts, conveniences, and safety features. There's plenty of room for the first two rows of seats, while those in the third row may start to complain if the drive takes too long. All-in-all, the X7's jack-of-all-trades qualities makes it very compelling, but it also means competitors such as the GLS-Class best it in some aspects, like pure luxury. Nevertheless, there are very few SUVs as desirable as the X7 in the USA.
With just how phenomenal the M50i X7 is, it's the model we have to recommend. Yes, $100,000 is a lot of money, but if you've got $75,000 to drop on a luxury vehicle, we're sure the extra $25,000 the M50i demands is of little concern to you. Its V8 engine may have more power than you'll ever actually be able to use, but the punch it delivers will put a smile on your face each and every time you hit the accelerator. Yes, it'll do you no favors in terms of fuel economy, but opt in the available M-Performance exhaust and you'll be able to drown out any and all of your worries with the glorious V8 soundtrack. There aren't many packages to review for the 2021 BMW X7 M50i, but the Dynamic Handling Package adds Integral Active Steering and Active Comfort Drive.
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