The BMW X7 is a seven-seat SUV with attitude. It’s big, bold and aggressive in its styling and powered by a choice of punchy petrol or diesel engines. With well-equipped trim levels to choose from, it is the ideal flagship model from the Bavarian car maker.
The goodPractical, spacious SUV that's fun to drive
The badQuite aggressive in its styling
BMW X7 xDrive 40d M Sport (2021)
BMW’s latest flagship model – the mighty X7 – is a seven-seater SUV with quite an attitude. It very big on style, performance and space.
Buyers can choose from a range of punchy diesel or petrol engines, most of which have mild hybrid technology and there are three trim levels – the standard X7, M Sport and M50d/M50i.
We opted for the X7 40d M Sport version with xDrive which is BMW’s intelligent all-wheel drive system. This model was powered by a straight-six 3.0-litre diesel engine delivering 340hp and 700Nm of torque. It could power its way to 62mph from a standing start in just 6.1 seconds and maxed out at 152mph. Pretty impressive for a vehicle that weighs in at just over 2.5 tonnes.
The starting price for our test car was £80,210 although a number of optional extras saw the final cost climb to £91,570. And, according to official WLTP figures, the vehicle can deliver a combined 35.3-36.2mpg with carbon emissions from 204g/km.
The X7 looks bold and aggressive in its styling when approached from any angle. It features BMW’s new huge front grille, a long bonnet, tinted windows, large bumpers, an M Sport exhaust system, roof rails, a panoramic sunroof and 22-inch black alloys.
Moving inside, the interior is classy and upmarket with premium leather upholstery, soft-touch surfaces and a wealth of technology to explore. There is a 12.3-inch infotainment screen with sharp graphics and on-board features can be accessed via the traditional BMW iDrive dial.
Alternatively, you can summon up the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant system by saying’ Hey BMW’ and then asking your questions. This can be used to alter the climate control settings, programme in a navigation destination or selecting favourite radio stations etc.
Creature comforts include full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a high-end Harman Kardon sound system, sat nav and even two TV screens with headsets for passengers in the second row.
The bright, spacious cabin offers bundles of room and, unlike many rival seven-seaters, two adults can actually fit comfortably in the back of the X7. The seats in rows two and three are power operated to offer easier access and when not in use the duo of rear seats fold flat to the boot floor.
So, the X7 certainly looks the business, is packed with kit and covers all the practicality bases. But how does it handle when put to the test? The answer is rather well.
The diesel engine delivers ample power and the car powers its way through the eight-speed auto gearbox with steering wheel paddles for added driver fun. Drive modes called Sport, Comfort, Eco Pro and Adaptive alter the car’s reactions and it’s a vehicle that cruises with ease at 70mph on motorways.
There is a downside though, because the X7 is a big old beast stretching more than five metres in length and exactly two metres across. While this is good news for occupants who benefit from the extra space, it does feel over-sized on narrow country lanes. But thankfully, there are all manner of sensors and cameras, plus an automatic parking system to help in busier town centres and the good all-round driver visibility is another big plus point.
The highly effective air suspension system does a great job of smoothing out most bumps and dips along the way and the steering feels perfectly weighted too with ample driver feedback.
Storage options are impressive with 326 litres of space when all seven seats are in use, increasing to 750 litres with the rear seats dropped flat and finally 2,120 litres with just the front seats upright.
In addition, there are numerous storage compartments scattered throughout the cabin and the passengers in rows two and three get their own cup holders which is a nice touch. The boot is accessed via a split-tailgate which is useful to sit on when removing muddy boots and it is power operated too which is handy if approaching the car laden down with shopping.
So, when you factor in the comprehensive list of safety kit that is fitted as standard to the X7, it really is the complete package for any active family that needs space for a five-a-side footie team, plus a sub and even a coach.