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2019 BMW X7 Review

The 2019 BMW X7 is an all-new model — a full-size, 3-row luxury SUV. Seating is for seven occupants, unless the pair of second-row captain’s chairs are ordered, which brings accommodation down to six. This is the freshest and largest creation from BMW’s X series of vehicles, and the most prestigious.

It’s 203.3 inches in length. That’s 1.3 inches longer than the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, one of the X7’s closest competitors. Among the many fine attributes of the GLS is its adult-sized third-row seating. The X7 comes close with 33.3 inches of legroom in that row, but the GLS remains undefeated with 35 inches.

Just as the GLS offers features from its S-Class flagship sedan stablemate, the new X7 enjoys a similar synergy with the fabulous 7 Series luxury car. Specifically, the optional Panorama Sky Lounge LED Roof, with hundreds of dots of light overhead and across the glass surfaces simulating a starry night.

The X7 also employs a digital personal assistant, like Siri with iPhone or Alexa with Amazon. Say "Hey, BMW" to wake up the DPA (so to speak) and then give a spoken command like "Take me home," which will activate the navigation system. It will also recognize and continue to learn other phrases and habits. Saying "Hey, BMW, I’m cold" will prompt the assistant to raise the temperature of the climate control.

The X7 is being built at BMW’s facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

What’s New for 2019?

Everything. The 2019 X7 is a completely new model from BMW. See the 2019 BMW X7 models for sale near you

What We Like

Feels big on the inside, but behaves like a smaller vehicle on the move; V8 engine is a driver’s joy but also a useful asset in a fully laden X7.

What We Don’t

The usual gripe that the electrically assisted power steering feels somewhat numb.

How Much?

$74,895-$93,595

Fuel Economy

The X7 xDrive40i employs a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 engine for 335 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque.

The X7 xDrive50i has a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 generating 456 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque.

Both vehicles use an 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive (known as xDrive in BMW’s dictionary) is standard. At the time of compiling this review, there were no fuel consumption figures from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nor any estimates from BMW. But both engines have an automatic stop/start feature and a "coasting" function, in the quest for optimum efficiency.

Standard Features & Options

The 2019 BMW X7 full-size 3-row premium crossover/SUV comes as either an xDrive40i or xDrive50i version. The latter has the bigger engine and extra standard equipment.

The X7 xDrive40i ($74,895) comes with full LED adaptive headlamps with automatic high beams, 21-in alloy wheels, a 3-panel panoramic glass sunroof with powered shades, self-leveling/height-adjustable air suspension, selectable driving modes, simulated leather upholstery, dual configurable 12.3-in digital displays (one for driver information, the other for the infotainment system), parking sensors front and rear, wireless charging, voice control, navigation, Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, Bluetooth, six USB ports, Wi-Fi and a 10-speaker/205-watt audio system.

The X7 xDrive50i ($93,595) adds real leather upholstery, a self-parking system, a 360-degree camera system, a head-up display, a Driving Assistant Professional package (including partial autonomy, automatic lane changing, active cruise control with stop/go, and evasive steering assistance; optional in the xDrive40i) and a Harman Kardon surround-sound system.

A Premium Package includes remote start, soft-close doors, gesture control, a head-up display, powered rear sunshades and the Harman Kardon audio setup.

The Dynamic Handling package includes Active Comfort Drive (which uses front-facing cameras to read the road and adjust the suspension to suit; it also works to make cornering more effective), rear-wheel steering, M Sport rear limited-slip differential (this item is only available in the xDrive50i) and M Sport brakes.

A Cold Weather package includes heated front and second-row seats, heated front armrests, a heated steering wheel, heated/cooled cup holders and 5-zone automatic climate control.

Other options include 22-in alloy wheels with wider rears, ventilated/massaging front seats, leather-covered dashboard, a rear-seat entertainment system with dual high-resolution 10.2-in screens and a 20-speaker/1,500-watt Bowers & Wilkins audio system upgrade.

The xDrive50i is also eligible for the Panoramic Sky Lounge LED Roof and BMW Laserlight headlamps.

Accessed by a highly convenient split lift gate, the X7’s cargo space with the third row folded down (BMW hasn’t given a luggage area figure when they’re in place) measures 48.6 cu ft. This expands to 90.4 cu ft. with the second row folded. For context, the GLS-Class runs to 16/49.4/93.8 cu ft.

Safety

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have put the X7 through any crash-testing procedures yet. But as well as the mandatory safety equipment — such as anti-lock disc brakes, airbags and traction/stability control systems — the new X7 comes standard with lane-departure warning, rear-collision warning, forward-collision warning with pedestrian and cyclist detection and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

Behind the Wheel

Not that owners of 7-seater crossovers are usually the types to indulge in stoplight drag races, but the fact that the V8-powered X7 can sprint from 0-to-60 mph in 5.8 seconds while the 6-cylinder version is only 0.4 of a second slower illustrates how energetic the smaller engine can be.

The air suspension does a great job of providing a comfortable ride while still keeping the effects of weight transference (like body lean, brake dive and acceleration squat) under complete control. But we’d recommend the Dynamic Handling package with its rear-wheel steering for greater agility.

In normal conditions, the AWD system is biased toward the rear for a somewhat sporty feel and better fuel consumption. Yet it’s also intelligent and fast-acting, able to send power to whichever wheels have the most grip at the time. The transmission is even linked to the active cruise control’s radar (optional in the xDrive40i) to make the ideal shifts at the ideal moment.

As with every other BMW cabin, the X7’s interior exhibits excellent ergonomics and high-quality materials. The huge sunroof adds an open, airy feel. The inside is also noticeably quiet, thanks to dual-pane glass as standard.

The rear side doors are larger than those up front, contributing to dignified entries and exits as well as easy access to the third seating row. The second-row seats, meanwhile, slide forward and back through 5.7 inches of travel.

Maximum towing capacity is 7,500 pounds with either engine. That’s the same weight as the GLS-Class.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Audi Q7 — Not so roomy in the third row, but comes with high style and high tech.

2019 Cadillac Escalade — Offers a long-wheelbase ESV version, can ferry eight occupants and is less expensive than the X7.

2019 Lincoln Navigator — Huge, also offers a stretched model. Surprisingly pleasant. And cheaper than the X7.

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class — Has real luxury, real off-road abilities and lots of interior space.

Autotrader’s Advice

Test drive the X7 xDrive40i first, because its 6-cylinder engine is still smooth and vigorous, and might well be powerful enough. Get as many driver-assistance features as possible, but the Dynamic Handling package also has several attractive assets. Find a BMW X7 for sale

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