When you take your first look at the new BMW X7, the first thing you’ll notice is the whopping grille staring right back at you. And you’re right to have noticed it - this is BMW’s largest-ever signature grille. Yet while it may not appeal to some, you’ll begin to understand why it’s necessary on a machine this big: the X7 sits at 5151mm long (229mm longer than the X5), 2000mm wide (4mm narrower than X5) and 1805mm high (60mm higher than X5).
But here’s the thing, those extra dimensions actually serve a purpose, from expansive leg and head room in all three rows to solid boot space (even with the rear seats up). And the power loaded into the car certainly makes up for the weight.
Here’s everything you need to know
Engine and driving
If you're going to fork out over $170,000 for a seven-seat SUV, you're going to want it to perform well, too. And by hell does it.
For a 2.5 tonne beast the 3.0-litre quad-turbocharged diesel engine produces 294kW of power and 760Nm of torque (pushing peak torque out from 2000rpm), able to push this seven-seater from 0–100km/h in just 5.4 seconds.
Driving in comfort mode will make you feel like you’re floating through clouds thanks to X7’s standard air suspension, and switching to sport mode will see the car eat up the road with little to no effort. We will say, though, while going a little faster around sharp corners there is quite a bit off body roll which can be a strange feeling.
The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and constant all-wheel drive, sending torque through 275mm-wide tyres at the front on 22-inch alloy wheels and 315mm-wide tyres at the rear on 22-inch wheels.
Interior and styling
There is something polarising about a brown leather interior (in this case, Tartufo merino), but in my opinion it is a seriously luxe choice. Dark enough to avoid marks and light enough to not get too hot in the sun, the X7’s Merino leather package extends to virtually all visible surfaces, including the dashboard and door touchpoints.
Other standout features are the beautifully crafted crystal gearshifter, and the 12.3-inch infotainment screen that also includes touchscreen functionality and gesture control.
On the screen itself Apple CarPlay and the whole iDrive experience are both included, supported by a head-up display that's projected ahead of the bonnet (a must in my opinion), and reverse assistant which can trace your last driving manoeuvre to help you get out of that tight gap that you managed to enter. (Not to mention a bird's eye 360-degree camera, too.)
Other quirks inside the car include the (optional but absolutely insane) $7900 Bowers and Wilkins 20-speaker sound system, heated and cooled cup holders, extremely long sunroof, and custom coloured lighting options.
Where to drive it?
Anywhere. From giving it a hit around highway corners, to ferrying (a lot of) shopping and ambling through the city.
One thing we’d change
There is a slight lag on the electric windows which is something you’ll probably notice straight away.
Starting from around $85,900 (plus on-road costs) for the BMW X7 xDrive30d and around $118,000 (plus on-road costs) X7 M50d.