2019 BMW X7 – First Drive Review of BMW’s Big New SUV


MARK TAKAHASHI:
I’m driving through the American Southwest in the
biggest, newest thing from BMW. And by big, it really is–
it’s the all new 2019 X7. Do me a favor– hit
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reviews coming your way. The X7 is the latest and
the biggest SUV from BMW. It’s about nine inches
longer than the X5, and come standard with
three rows of seats. You can get it as either
as six or seven passenger. The seven passenger
is an option. Gives you a second row bench. Price prices start
right around $75,000 for the xDrive40i that has
a six cylinder– that’s turbo charged. Puts out 335 horsepower. You can upgrade
to the xDrive50i, but that’s going to
set you back $94,000. Has a turbo charged V8 that
puts out 456 horsepower. More importantly though,
let’s find out how it drives. [MUSIC PLAYING] All right. At the moment,
I’m driving the X7 with the turbo charged V8
that has 456 horsepower. We’re about to get on the
highway, so let’s floor it. It’s got plenty of power. I actually have to back off now
cause there’s a truck there, but it gets up speed
very confidently. The V8 sounds pretty decent too. We drove under a short
bridge a while back and had the windows down. It’s a good, burly V8 sound. I’m going to pass. It’s effortless. [MUSIC PLAYING] On the road, you feel
the height of the car. You also feel the weight. It feels substantial. The ride quality is super
smooth, exactly what you’d expect from a big, luxury SUV. Does come with adaptive
suspension as standard, so it all works together. The sport mode isn’t
actually all that sporty. You don’t field too much of
a difference from the shocks, but just enough. Odds are, if you’re looking
at a luxury SUV of this size, performance and handling
isn’t really that important. As far as the seats go,
they’re comfortable. They’re a little flat,
and they’re definitely geared more towards
comfort than sport seats that give you a lot
more lateral support. You’re going to
slide around a little if you’re taking some turns, but
really well done for comfort. Multi-contoured seats also
are standard on the xDrive50i, and optional on the
turbo charged 6. And according to
BMW, the difference is only half a second
in 0 to 60 time. For most people, I
think they’re going to be just fine with the 6, and
they’re pretty much equal when it comes to feature content. There were some things that are
standard on the eight cylinder that are optional on
the 6, but in the end, you’re really not going
to miss out on too much. I’m not too crazy about
the lane keep assist. I think it’s a little
too heavy handed. Literally, heavy handed. It took a lot of effort
to keep it going straight. The effort in the
wheel built up a lot, and it wasn’t all
that accurate either. Every now and then, I’d feel
a little bit of a swerve when the system gets confused. In the end, after about
30 minutes of driving, I went to the menu and
just turned it off. That’s generally a bad sign
because I like advanced safety features, but when
they’re not tuned well, it’s just aggravating, and
I end up not using them at all. Otherwise, the adaptive
cruise control is really good. It doesn’t give you this
big punch of acceleration when a car moves
out of your way, and it doesn’t jam on the brakes
when you come up on someone. It drives much like
a normal human would. Visibility out the front
is pretty good, not great. This roof pillar in the
front, it’s pretty thick, but it’s actually not
getting in the way too much, considering
its thickness. One thing I did
find a little odd, though, is the mirrors
seem a little small to me. I’m not getting a whole
lot of a big lateral view off to the left here. But at the same time,
I’m getting just enough to know a car’s coming up. The brakes feel good. They feel appropriate for a car
of this size and this class. It’s a soft pedal. It’s easy to modulate, it’s easy
to come to a nice smooth limo stop. Really not a lot
to report there, and the same goes
for the transmission. Smooth shifts. Not a lot to say. It’s not awkward at low
speeds, and the gear shifts are nice and quick,
especially when you want to go past someone. [MUSIC PLAYING] From the back, the X7 reminds
me a lot of the 7 series sedan, in a good way. This chrome strip
serves to break up some of the bulkiness of the design. And of course, there’s
a power lift gate. There’s also this
lower section here, which is great for tailgating. There’s not a whole lot of
cargo space behind the third row of seats, maybe enough for
two carry on luggage pieces, and that’s about it, if you
load it to the top of the deck. However, all you have to do
is hit a few buttons here, and it folds the third row flat. That opens you up to almost
49 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold down the second
row, and that bumps up to over 90 cubic feet. Compared to other
luxury SUV of this size, that’s about average. You do also get a height
adjustable load floor with this button right here. And, when you’re all ready
and done, hit one button and walk away. [MUSIC PLAYING] From the middle row of
seats, I’m pretty impressed. These seats are just as
comfortable at the front, but you get these nice
little sueded pillows that feel really good. Just enough adjustments. There’s no seat cushion
rake angle adjustment, but it feels about right. I’m getting plenty
of support, which means that the
seats aren’t mounted too low to the floor,
which they’ll typically do. Actually, they’re raised,
so I have a really good view out the front. It’s got to be at least
a few inches taller, ride height-wise
than the front seats. And that tends to
open it up, make it feel more spacious, rather
than being kind of confined and not seeing what’s up front. With this particular
test car, we have sun shades and a
massive panoramic sunroof, which is neat because it
has almost a polka dot pattern in it. It’s a little unusual,
but I like it. It’s just a little
something different. Quad zone automatic climate
control is standard, and we have it here. And you can get a fifth zone
for the third row as well. I also have the rear
entertainment system here. It’s a nice big touchpad. It’s almost the size of an
iPad, and you have plenty of entertainment options. And you can also keep tabs
of what the driver sees, navigation-wise. One thing I like
is these armrests give you really nice
place to set your elbows. And the middle ones,
the inboard ones, are adjustable and ratcheting
and slide forward and back. Takes a little while to
finally get that adjustment you want, but it feels
just about right. Materials quality
back here is as nice as the front,
which is pretty typical for a flagship
luxury vehicle. On other vehicles, they might
scrimp a little here and there and use more durable but
not as attractive materials. That’s not the case with the X7. Everything is as nice back
here as it is up front. I do hear a little more
road noise than I’d expect, but we are on some
rather coarse asphalt. There were some
moments where we were on some really smooth asphalt,
and it was as quiet as a crypt. So that’s kind of hit and miss. Accessing the third row takes
a little bit of patience. You hit one button,
and the second row slides rather slowly forward. But it is still rather
elegant and, well, doesn’t have all that clunkiness
that you’d find in some others. It’s really not too
much of an awkward stoop to get to your seat. And it’s just another button
touch to get it to fold back. All right. Now I’m in the third row,
the rearmost row of the X7. And the middle seat here is set
for me, with just maybe an inch or two of knee room in front. As far space back
here, well, obviously, third rows are
always better suited to smaller passengers
or children, but I do fit fairly well. My hair is brushing
the headliner. I’m 5 foot 10. My knees aren’t touching,
but they are really close, and I don’t have
that much foot room. Also, the seat
cushion is low, which is to be expected
from the third row. So there’s not a whole lot of
support for adults back here. But in a pinch, I’d
be totally fine. One thing that I’m
finding weird though is I’m in this right seat,
but the seat in front of me is just moved off a couple
inches to the right. So in order to keep from
bumping into the seat, I actually have to move my
knees a little off to the right. That’s a little awkward. Children probably wouldn’t
have to deal with that. What is good though, we are
equipped with this fifth zone for climate control with some
vents strategically placed. There is a USB-C charger
here and on the other side, and there’s two for
the middle row as well. One thing that I’m
finding notable back here is the
sensation of space. I realize by
touching and bumping into whatever is around me that
it’s not all that spacious. But, this extra sunroof
here, this window here, it opens it up and it
doesn’t feel claustrophobic. After logging a bunch
of miles on the X7, I came away
relatively impressed. Really, the only thing that
I’m not a fan of the steering. It’s just a little
bit too much effort, and that’s especially
true when you have some of the advanced
safety features activated. It compares very favorably
against the Audi Q7, as well as the Mercedes GLS. For more information on the
X7, as well as its competition, head on over to Edmunds.com. To see more videos like
this, hit Subscribe. [MUSIC PLAYING]