To some, the all-new X7 is a transgression against the stuff BMW once stood for, considering its lightweight and streamlined sedans and coupes. This three-row SUV weighs nearly 5,400 pounds and is permeated with high-tech driver assists that one could certainly enjoy a spirited drive without. But as Mark McGwire once put it: “I’m not here to talk about the past.” While BMW is deep in the SUV age, now it’s playing hardball with its biggest vehicle yet.
If you have the coin—and passengers with a taste for the finer things—the X7 is just your speed: It’s a high-luxe people-hauler with lively handling more akin to the brand’s 7-series sedan. This mammoth machine moves with a sense of urgency: You can opt for a bellowing 4.4-liter V8, but even our tester’s turbocharged 3-liter inline-6 showed a pickup that belied the big Bavarian’s size. Its eight-speed transmission always seems to predict the correct gear—even on hilly roads where some automatics have trouble—thanks to data collected from its nav system, cameras, and the radar sensor. And the handling mitigates body roll, so when you miss a turn, you’ll be surprised how nimble the X7 feels pulling a sharp uey.
Oh yeah, while you’re doing that, mind the swearing: The X7’s insulation makes everything audible to passengers. Though they might zone out, pampered by the leather seats, panoramic roof, and crystal controls. This swank beast may be far removed from BMW’s pint-size perfection of yore, but that ain’t a bad thing.
- MSRP: from $73,900
- Horsepower: 335
- 0–60 in 5.8 sec.
- Torque: 330 lb-ft
- Top Speed: 130 mph
- Max Cargo: 90.4 cu. ft.
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