BMW Ireland kindly offered us the opportunity to spend a week with the glorious BMW X7, which has now had a mild facelift. This full-size luxury SUV caters to those who are no doubt seeking a combination of opulence, performance, and practicality. As BMW’s flagship SUV, the X7 represents the pinnacle of the brand’s SUV lineup and no doubt has become the main rival to the Range Rover. First things first, lets look at the styling. The X7 makes a bold statement with its sheer size and showcases BMW’s signature kidney grills, flanked by sleek LED headlights that look somewhat futuristic. The optional M Sport Pro package enhances the SUV’s sporty appeal with different bumpers, skirts, large 22-inch black wheels, blue M Sport Callipers and privacy glass to the rear. BMW have been somewhat criticised of late for their styling but we think the X7’s design reflects BMW’s attention to detail and works particularly well.
Opening the driver’s door, you are greeted with a sumptuous and upscale cabin that oozes luxury and sophistication. Every aspect of the interior, from the premium materials used to the impeccable craftsmanship on trimming around the seats, dash and doorcards. The spacious cabin can comfortably accommodate seven passengers in its standard configuration, with the option to select captain’s chairs for the second row, reducing seating capacity to six. Regardless of the seating arrangement, passengers in all three rows are treated to generous legroom and headroom, creating an airy and comfortable atmosphere. Optional features like heated and ventilated seats, massaging functions, and luxurious Nappa leather upholstery add an extra layer of luxury!
Sitting into the drivers seat is like a first class lounge. Everything is within easy reach and the central infotainment display is a slick high-resolution screen controlled through BMW’s iDrive system which has been heavily updated. It supports gesture controls and responds quickly to touch inputs, making it super user-friendly. The digital instrument cluster provides essential driving information and can be customised to suit individual preferences. Passengers can enjoy optional features like rear-seat entertainment systems with touchscreen displays, wireless smartphone charging, or just listen to the premium sound system. As expected the X7 has seamless smartphone integration with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The BMW X7 offers a range of powertrains to cater to different preferences and driving needs. The entry-level models come with a robust inline-six-cylinder 3.0 petrol engine, delivering smooth power and ample performance. For those seeking more pulling power, there is the 3.0 diesel, which we had on test or the V8 engine which is a 4.4 litre twin-turbo petrol with over 500hp! All engines will move the X7 with ease, so it really just comes down to your personal preference and the price you are happy to pay. Our diesel test vehicle had ample power with 350hp and felt more agile than expected on winding Wicklow roads. The standard air suspension with adaptive dampers offers a smooth drive, soaking up bumps and imperfections in the road with ease. Drivers also have the ability to adjust the ride height for varying road conditions at the flick of a button!
As we know, BMW places a strong emphasis on safety, and the X7 comes loaded with an array of advanced safety features and driver-assistance systems. These include adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and rear cross-traffic alert. The X7’s robust construction and safety technologies contribute to its strong performance in crash tests, providing peace of mind for both drivers and passengers.
Pricing was naturally going to on the high side with entry into an X7 kicking off around €155,000. Our Xdrive40d test vehicle with the optional extras added was €176,000 on the road. Playing with the configurator on BMW’s online portal allowed us to spec a V8 version north of €215,000 which is certainly in a different league. It is also worth pointing out BMW offer various finance packages, which you can discuss with your local dealer.
After spending a week with the new X7 we can honestly say it offers a blend of elegance and practicality that make it a very easy SUV to live with. In typical BMW fashion, the impressive performance, opulent interior, cutting-edge technology, and emphasis on safety combine to create a compelling package in the luxury SUV segment. On paper we challenged what the need for the X7 over the X5 would be, but having spent time with both, there really is no comparison. It offers exceptional practicality for families and those who require more cargo space. Our advice is, if you are in the market for a spacious, powerful, and luxurious SUV, the BMW X7 stands as a prominent contender worthy of test drive at the very least!