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2020 BMW X7 Review

The 2020 BMW X7 is the company’s largest, most luxurious and most accommodating SUV/crossover. All-new last year, the X7 is built at BMW‘s facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina and competes in the full-size premium category along with the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class and Lincoln Navigator.

Seating in standard form is for seven occupants over three rows. Choosing the optional pair of second-row captain’s chairs brings that down to six. The X7 is 203.3 inches long, 1.3 inches more than the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class. 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 spot, but the GLS beats it 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 iPhone’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. Say “Hey, BMW” to wake it up (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.

What’s New for 2020?

The 2020 X7 M50i variant joins the range. The xDrive 50i, now the midrange model, gains some standard equipment such as gesture control and soft-close doors. See the 2020 BMW X7 models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Roomy interior
  • Behaves like a smaller vehicle on the move
  • The V8 engines are superb
  • A V8 is also a useful asset in a fully laden X7

What We Don’t

  • Electrically assisted power steering lacks feel

How Much?

$74,895 to $100,595

Fuel Economy

All versions of the 2020 X7 have an 8-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive (known as xDrive in BMW’s dictionary) is standard throughout, as are active grille shutters for optimum thermal and aerodynamic efficiency, an automatic stop/start feature to save some fuel while idling and a “coasting” function.

The X7 xDrive40i employs a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 engine for 335 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates fuel consumption at 20 miles per gallon in the city, 25 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg combined.

The X7 xDrive50i has a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 generating 456 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Fuel consumption is 15 mpg city/21 mpg hwy/17 mpg combined.

The X7 M50i uses the same V8 engine as the xDrive50i but boosts it to 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. Despite the extra power, the EPA still puts consumption the same as the xDrive50i, which is 15 mpg city/21 mpg hwy/17 mpg combined.

Standard Features and Options

The 2020 BMW X7 full-size 3-row premium crossover/SUV comes in xDrive40i, xDrive50i and M50i forms.

The X7 xDrive40i ($74,895) has full LED adaptive headlamps with automatic high beams, 21-in alloy wheels, satin-finish aluminum roof rails, panoramic glass sunroof with powered shade, keyless entry/ignition, rain-sensing wipers, self-leveling/height-adjustable air suspension, heated side mirrors, self-dimming rearview mirror, selectable driving modes, quad-zone automatic climate control, heated/16-way power-adjustable front seats with driver’s-side memory settings, simulated leather upholstery, power-adjustable steering column, powered tailgate, dual configurable 12.3-in digital displays (one for driver information, the other for the infotainment system), front/rear parking sensors, Active Driving Assistant package (including forward collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert), wireless charging, voice control, navigation, Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, Bluetooth, six USB ports, 32 GB of multi-media storage, Wi-Fi, satellite radio and a 10-speaker/205-watt audio system.

As well as this comprehensive array of standard equipment, the X7 xDrive40i may also be ordered with real leather upholstery and several options bundles. A Premium Package includes gesture control, head-up display, remote start, soft-closing doors, powered rear side window shades and a 12-speaker/360-watt Harman Kardon surround-sound system.

The X7 xDrive50i ($93,595) comes with real leather upholstery and most of the Premium package, plus heated/20-way power-adjustable multi-contour front seats with memory settings for driver and passenger, self-parking feature, 360-degree camera system, drive recorder (in the event of a collision, the 20 seconds before the accident and the following 20 seconds are recorded and saved automatically) and a 16-speaker/464-watt Harman Kardon surround-sound system.

The new-for-2020 X7 M50i ($100,595) has an M Sport exhaust system/rear limited-slip differential/brakes/steering wheel and 22-in alloy wheels.

An Executive package augments the Premium package with handmade diamond-cut glass controls, Panoramic Sky Lounge LED Roof and heated/cooled cup holders.

The Driving Assistance Professional package brings active cruise control with stop/go, automatic lane changing, active lane keeping, side collision avoidance, forward cross-traffic alert, evasive steering assistance and an Extended Traffic Jam assistant.

A 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 not available in the xDrive40i, but standard in the M50i) and M Sport brakes.

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

Other options include 22-in alloy wheels with wider rears, self-parking package, off-road package, aluminum running boards, ventilated/massaging front seats, second-row captain’s chairs, leather-covered dashboard, rear seat entertainment system with dual high-resolution 10.2-in screens and a 20-speaker/1,500-watt Bowers & Wilkins audio system upgrade.

Accessed by a highly convenient split tailgate, the X7’s cargo space is 12.8 cu ft. with the third row in place. When folded down, it measures 48.6 cu ft. This expands to 90.4 cu ft. with the second row folded. For context, the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class runs to 16/49.4/93.8 cu ft.

Safety

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 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 mitigation 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 X7 M50i can sprint from standstill to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. The 6-cylinder version is no slouch at 5.8 seconds.

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 even links to the standard front-facing camera and navigation system to make the right shifts at the right time.

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. That’s the same weight as the GLS-Class.

Other Cars to Consider

2020 Audi Q7 — Not so roomy in the third row but comes with high style and high tech.

2020 Cadillac Escalade — Offers a long-wheelbase ESV version, can take eight occupants and is less expensive than the X7. Due for replacement.

2020 Lincoln Navigator — Huge and also offers a stretched model. Surprisingly pleasant and cheaper than the X7.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class — Has real luxury, real off-road abilities and lots of interior space.

Autotrader’s Advice

There’s a good chance that the X7 xDrive40i might be powerful enough. As long as there are no desired options for which this version is ineligible, then the decision is easier. Add the driver assistance features and consider the Dynamic Handling package as well. Find a BMW X7 for sale

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