The 2023 BMW X7 is the fifth edition of the manufacturer’s largest and most expensive sport utility vehicle. It’s a seven-passenger, three-row family hauler available in two trim levels. Both are luxurious, ideally showcasing the German carmaker at its best.
Announced in 2014 and unveiled in 2018, the public debut of the BMW X7 began in 2019 in the XDrive40i and M60i trims. The xDrive40i is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter, inline-six-cylinder engine with 375 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque.
The M60i has a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 rated at 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. Both engines feature an eight-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive and adaptive air suspension. It gives the BMW its soft, smooth ride, more reminiscent of a top-line BMW sedan.
A more detailed front end, a new dashboard configuration with a giant digital display, BMW’s top-line infotainment system and driver-assistance technology are also new.
As its top-line SUV, the German carmaker packs in an overload of standard equipment into the X7 xDrive40i. The smooth drive, city driving to highway speeds, is complemented by simulated leather upholstery (BMW’s sensation) to multi-contour heated front seats with multiple power adjustments. The steering wheel and armrests are also heatable and there’s a four-zone automatic climate control.
A power dual-section tailgate, panoramic sunroof, roof rails, remote start, a power dual-section tailgate, 14.9-inch infotainment screen, head-up display, wireless device charging and customizable ambient cabin lighting add to the BMW’s upscale collection of important functional equipment and convenient features. It all adds up to further define SUV luxury.
Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hotspot, satellite radio, a 10-speaker stereo and multiple USB ports are state-of-the-art. Available infotainment features include an infotainment gesture control, a dashcam, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound stereo and a 20-speaker Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound stereo.
BMW’s forte throughout its lineup is safety. The X7, with its status, has everything: forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning,
front and rear parking sensors and automatic high beams.
With its overall large presence, the X7 does four things small. The front grille is split into two small grilles, giving the BMW the appearance of having two nostrils.
The start-stop button and small shifter don’t fit the car. The start-stop button is oddly positioned, snug and tucked behind the steering wheel. The clear shift lever is likewise petite. With its see-through appearance, it’s hard to locate at first. But it is impressive in int smallness, easily shifting with finesse but never actually shifting.
BMW likely shrunk the shifter to offer a bigger area for cupholders. They’re hidden behind a handsome, wood-like sliding cover. But once revealed, the cupholders aren’t particularly impressive. And there’s not a lot of space for the phone charger, either.
Most important, the X7 only offers 12.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the upright rearmost seats. It’s the smallest area among luxury large SUVs competitors.
The ride persona of BMWs is often the carmaker’s most polarizing trait (other than the pricing structure). Enthusiasts praise the stiff rider, detractors are aghast.
What the X7 does best satisfies brand enthusiasts with its in-charge dynamics. But the SUV may also attract buyers new to BMW with its soft but simultaneously powerful way.
For BMW buyers, it’s a worthy price to pay and likely with little hesitation. For the potential new buyers the carmaker hopes to attract, the X7’s price, reaching toward six figures is a dealbreaker.
FACTS & FIGURES: 2023 BMW X7
Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 5.8 seconds
Fuel economy: 21 mpg, city; 25 mpg, hwy.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $77,850.
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.bmwusa.com.
Price As Tested: $95,745.00
Warranty: bumper to bumper, 4 years/50,000; Powertrain, 4 years/50,000 miles; Corrosion, 12 years/unlimited mileage; Roadside Assistance, 4 years/unlimited miles.3
Article Last Updated: January 16, 2023.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.