2019 BMW X7: First Drive — Cars.com


the ever rising popularity of SUVs meant
that it was a matter of when not if BMW would release its own 3-row crossover
and the good news is it’s finally here the 2019 BMW x7 arrives and dealerships
this month and we had a chance to test it out to see if it has big-time luxury
and big-time performance to match this big-time price BMW offers two different
versions of the x7 the xdrive 40i which I’m in now and the xdrive50i which I
had a chance to test yesterday now the big difference between the two comes
under the hood the xDrive 40 i has a turbocharged three litre straight-six
that makes 335 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque compare that to the
xdrive 50 i comes with a larger twin turbocharged 4.4 liter v8 and that makes
456 horsepower at 479 pounds of torque so a big difference in power between the
two engines in addition the extra xdrive 50i that I tested yesterday also came with
the dynamic handling package and that includes m-sport brakes and m sport
rear differential and an active steering system and then none of those things are
present here on the xDrive 40i that I’m testing today so I’ve actually brought
the xdrive40i to the same roads that we tested the 50 yesterday to see how it
drives without those systems and with a smaller engine starting with the xdrive
50 i the dynamic handling package also adds something called active comfort
road preview and what that does is it uses forward-facing camera sensors as
BMW calls them to actually scan the road ahead of the vehicle so it can detect
relative perfections bumps and it can also tell when the road is about the
curve and it preloads the suspension so it basically has the x7 gliding over all
these different imperfections in the road it helps the suspension to feel
more stable in turns and that’s kind of the big difference you get with that
with and without that package and with the xdrive 40i without that package it
still rides pretty well but it doesn’t quite have that same kind of luxurious
comfort that you get gliding down the road that I did in the xDrive 50 i the
xDrive 50 guys engine I was also a great fit for that vehicle the x7 isn’t small
the xdrive 50i checks in at just over 5600 pounds but there’s enough power to
get it moving easily I think that what’s important when you’re driving a luxury
vehicle is that it feels like the powertrain is never really working too
hard and that’s definitely true in the xdrive 50i have plenty of power for any
situation whether it be getting on an on-ramp for passing or even for having
fun the engines were the transmission is very responsive and
you get to the power very easily now though the extra 50 I does outpace the
extra 40 I it doesn’t mean that the xdrive40i drives badly in fact I think
that it’s also pretty good the good news is the xdrive40 is also available with
the dynamic handling package so you could get a base model with that same
sort of active ride comfort feature that helps it feel about luxurious but even
in base form and I by no means does the xDrive 40 I Drive badly I think is
actually right it rides pretty well for a vehicle especially one that comes with
these large wheels that this one is riding on and though it does have less
powers music you get a little bit less like you know head snapping acceleration
it still has plenty of enough power for it to feel luxurious and I think that’s
the most important thing when you’re evaluating a vehicle like this does it
still feel like a luxury vehicle even in base form and at least from a driving
perspective the x7 it definitely does whether you choose the X Drive40i
the X Drive 50i well the x7 does a good job with its
driving experience well I think that vehicle really excels is on the inside
now both vehicles that I tested sticker it at over $100,000 and thankfully they
have interiors to match looking around the inside of this X Drive40i
comes with one of their two-tone color schemes which looks especially handsome
with this kind of cream leather and navy blue motif that it has going on it looks
the part of a true luxury vehicle one thing that I also appreciate about the
x7 materials quality it doesn’t dip as you move back a lot of larger vehicles
they’re kind of like planes and that the front is really nice it’s got leather
then as you kind of move back you know things get a little bit more cramped the
materials aren’t quite as good and the next thing you know you’re sitting in
the middle seat next to the bathroom knots on the x7 all three rows of
accommodations very good fit and finish very good materials no drop off from the
front to the back and this throne particular has a few features that I
really like as someone who used to be relegated at the road duty as a kid now
I think about a third row the first thing that I think about is access so
the X 7 has really long rear doors and what that does is it makes a wide
opening it actually allows you to climb to the back seat fairly easily there are
handles on each of these captains chairs which allow you to take the seats and
push them forward it makes it easy for you to climb in the back now once you do
get back there there’s actually plenty of legroom and Headroom even for longer
trips this is truly a third row that you can fit adults in and they won’t be
uncomfortable but BMW has also paid attention
– where to place the vents in the third row so a lot of times those events are
actually kind of low in the vehicle and they end up aimed at your stomach but
the ones in the BMW are kind of like what you find in a minivan they’re up
high and what that does is it helps to circulate air better and it makes a
cabin feel lighter also helping the cabin feel lighter there’s an extra pane
of glass all the way in the back here so there’s not just a panoramic sunroof
that covers the first two rows the third row also gives its own moon roof and it
has a powered shade so you just hit a button it opens up the cabin even more
and then the third row doesn’t feel stifling like it does in many other
vehicles BMW also put a lot of work into making the seating area the x7 very
flexible there are no less than three points at which you can actually move
all the seats around and in the cargo area in particular there’s a panel on
the side and allows you to do max passenger room or max cargo room with a
touch of one button and each of these seats here also have individual controls
so let’s say you want to move this seat up from the back or this seat up you can
do that all from one panel back there there’s also when you climb in switches
on the doors right here and they allow you to also move seats forward and back
as you see fit the driver also has the capability to do so it’s a little bit
complicated to figure out but once you do you’re able to even move the
passengers front seat up if you want to make more room for a second row
passengers now the second row also has 5.7 inches of forward and back travel
which means it should be easy for passengers to negotiate a legroom
there’s one of those comfortable vehicles I’ve been in that if you have
to carry more than five adults around no one’s really gonna complain with what
seat they get on the interior the x7 only a couple things to watch out for
the first is that even though all three rows are powered they do take a bit of
time to move see my find yourself in that back panel in the cargo area
depressing the mass cargo button and then waiting twenty or thirty seconds
while the seats kind of move around and getting into the right position but then
again it does beat the alternative of climbing all over the car and pulling
different levers and latches to get the cargo area set up the way you want the
other thing to watch out for is if you do choose captains chairs in the second
row they don’t fold down it with a bench it actually folds all the way flat makes
a nice large cargo area but these captains chairs these kind of tilt and
slide forward a little bit so you’re gonna lose out on some cargo carrying
capability now the x7 also comes with a long list of both standard and optional
safety features in this model in particular that I’m sitting in comes
with all of them including BMWs extended traffic-jam assist system now this
system we first saw in the 2019 x5 to work at lower speeds on highways so
it works up to 37 miles an hour and what it does is it basically will drive the
car for you at lower speeds and it uses a camera buried here in the gauge
cluster to watch your face so it watches your eyes and your nose to make sure
that you’re not looking elsewhere looking at your phone or doing things
like that and as long as you’re paying attention to the road you don’t actually
really need to grab onto the string we like you do with many other safety
systems so it’ll work up to speeds of 37 miles an hour actually got on 405
traffic here in LA on purpose to test this out and I noted that the system
does work pretty well as advertised at lower speeds where the BMW kind of has
some issues I think is that higher season this is something that we noticed
in the x5 as well and that is a belaying centering system kind of does ping you
from side to side fairly often so it doesn’t actually just start kind of
sending you in the lane you can feel the car kind of wiggling back and forth a
little bit it’s not too bad it still does work well to keep you in the lane
but you know the front of the car does feel a little busy while that system is
turned on the BMW x7 is pretty much everything that you’d want out of a
large luxury SUV it has a luxury great interior to match its luxury price tag a
spacious cabin with room for adult passengers across all three rows and on
top of that one of my favorite third rows in any vehicle anywhere it’s also
got two engines that provide plenty of power and a comfortable quiet ride that
I really appreciate it over longer trips I think the x7 is not only the biggest
SUV that BMW makes it’s also its best the 2019 x7 is on sale now