BMW's flagship SUV has finally arrived.
BMW has come a long way from its first SUV, the X5, introduced back in 1999. Today, the German automaker has unveiled its flagship model and the first-ever X7 taking its SUV lineup to seven models.
BMW has been teasing the X7 for a while now and we've spotted test mules with very little camouflage. Now the X7 is making its official debut as a 2019 model, acting as the most expensive SUV in the BMW lineup. Like the X3, X4, X5, and X6, the X7 will be built in BMW's Spartanburg plant in South Carolina.
Right off the bat, the X7 looks similar to the smaller X5, which we reviewed earlier this year. BMW has given the X7 some distinctive styling cues to set it apart from its other SUVs, mainly using larger and more prominent design elements. In fact it looks like the X7 will take everything we loved about the X5 and serve it in a larger and more opulent package.
The kidney grille, for example, is the largest ever fitted to a BMW. Some people will like the large grille design, while others will suffer from terrifying Lexus nightmares. The X7 is certainly different from its X5 sibling, but the family resemblance is strong.
While it's easy to tell that the X7 is more spacious than the X5, the layouts are similar. In the first row, the two SUVs look very similar, which is a very good thing. The center console looks almost identical to the X5 and can be optioned with the glass shifter and iDrive controller, which was among our favorite features on the X5.
In the second row, the X7 features available captain's chairs with full-size seats, though a traditional bench is available if you'd rather have the middle seat. In either configuration, the second row can slide forward and backwards and can be folded electronically. All X7 models will be fitted with a third row, offering seating for up to seven people.
Storage space is 48.6 cubic feet with all seats up or 90.4 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded flat. The interior looks even airier thanks to a large panoramic Sky Lounge roof with an additional piece of glass over the third row.
Like the X5, the X7 will be available with two engines options. The xDrive40i uses a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six producing 335 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque going out to standard all-wheel-drive through an eight-speed automatic. 0-60 mph takes a modest 5.8 seconds. If you want more power, BMW will also sell the X7 in xDrive50i trim with a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 pumping out 456 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, good for a 0-60 mph time of 5.2 seconds.
The xDrive40i starts at $73,900 while the xDrive50i starts at $92,600. This puts the X7 in line with full-size SUV options like the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator.
The X7 is underpinned by double-wishbone front suspension and a five-link rear suspension with two-axel air suspension. The adaptive suspension can work in tandem with camera sensors to make adjustments based on changing road conditions and self-level automatically.
It may be expensive, but the X7 looks like it will be worth its asking price if you're in the market for an ultra-luxurious seven-seater. Buyers will be able to choose from six colors at launch including Alpine White, Carbon Black, Black Sapphire, Mineral White, Arctic Grey, and Vermont Bronze. Six more colors, including BMW Individual options, will be available in April 2019. These include Jet Black, Dark Graphite, Phytonic Blue, BMW Individual Ruby Black, BMW Individual Tanzanite Blue, BMW Individual Pyrite Brown, and BMW Individual Ametrin Red. Inside, these colors can be paired to Black SensaTec or a choice of nine Vernasca and Extended Merino Leathers.
Standard safety equipment includes extended traffic jam assist and lane keep assist, which uses a camera to monitor if the driver is paying attention and allows them to take their hands off the wheel at speeds up to 37 mph. On top of the standard equipment, the X7 will also offer options including remote engine start, 22-inch wheels, a tow hitch (rated at 7,500 lbs), five-zone automatic climate control, soft close doors, heated and cooled cupholders, and adaptive cruise control.
For the first time ever, buyers will be able to pre-order the X7 online starting in October, with the opulent SUV set to arrive in March 2019.