Battle of the off-road-ready luxury mega-boxes

Big SUVs are as popular as ever, with buyers flocking to dealers to get the very latest in tall-riding, high-end utility vehicles. The latest from BMW is the X7, which sits above the X5 in terms of size and passenger capacity, arriving as a brand-new model line for the Bavarians. By contrast, the Land Rover Range Rover is well-established as the go-to model for a combination of functionality and luxury, like a penthouse suite on wheels that you can drive through a mud puddle. Both are mighty impressive, but how do they compare? To find out, we took an in-depth look at both, including a rundown on the exterior styling, interior design, features, drivetrain, performance, technology, and price. Read on for all the important info you need to know!

Exterior

left right
Let’s kick things off a breakdown on exterior sizing.

From the off, the X7 is bigger overall compared to the Range Rover, which will make it more difficult to maneuver in tight parking spots or crowded city environments. That said, the long-wheelbase Range Rover is roughly the same size as the standard X7, which makes it a wash when comparing trims at the top of the line.

Check out our table on the full exterior dimensions below.

2019 BMW X7 Exterior Dimensions
Overall Length 203.3 inches
Overall Width 78.7 inches
Overall Height 71.1 inches
Wheelbase 122.2 inches
2019 Land Rover Range Rover Exterior Dimensions Standard Wheelbase Long Wheelbase
Overall Length 196.6 inches 204.7 inches
Overall Width 78 inches 78 inches
Overall Height 72 inches 74 inches
Wheelbase 115 inches 122 inches

Front

left right
Right off the bat, the X7 looks to be one of the biggest and boldest offerings from BMW yet.

The SUV’s aesthetic carries the Bavarian’s latest design language, and includes a tall, upright fascia punctuated by the largest kidney grille ever designed for a BMW model. The grille is sandwiched by a pair slim headlight housings, which come with Adaptive LED lighting elements as standard. Buyers also also get the optional Laserlight upgrade with the Executive Package.

Moving onto the Land Rover Range Rover, we find a highly rounded front end, completed with clamshell hood and blinged-out grille.

It’s also worth mentioning that the overall drag coefficient was reduced to 0.34. While Land Rover has updated the front-end aesthetic over the years, the basic shape still remains recognizable as a Range Rover model. Like the X7, the Range Rover uses drawn-back headlight housings fitted with LED lighting elements, with customers offered multiple options for headlight features, including an optional Auto High Beam Assist.

Side

left right
Viewed from the sides, the BMW X7 keeps up appearances with plus-sized 21-inch alloy wheels, which come as standard equipment.

Buyers can also option into even-bigger 22-inch wheels. Above the rollers are extended side windows for extra interior light, while the rear doors are lengthened compared to the front doors to help ease ingress and egress to the three-row cabin space.

By contrast, the Land Rover Range Rover is a bit more streamlined compared to the muscular Bimmer.

For example, it offers an attractive floating roof design and straight belt line. Satin body-colored and Atlas accents add a splash of character, while alloy wheels take up a spot in the corners.

Rear

left right
Viewed from the rear, the BMW X7 appears to be quite boxy, with a flat, rectangular hatch and copious horizontal lines.

Above the squared-off tailpipes and broad faux under-body protection plate, there’s a set of thin LED taillights, which come connected by a single chrome element strip as a nod to the BMW 7 Series sedan.

Meanwhile, the Land Rover Range Rover uses slightly larger taillight housings.

Overall, we’d classify the rear hatch design as a bit more sultry compared to the straightforward shape of the Bimmer, making it the more attractive option between the two. Lower in the bumper is a set of integrated exhaust pipes, just as you’d expect in this segment.

Interior

left right

BMW X7

One of the biggest selling points for the 2019 BMW X7 is the amount of space you get, with a full three rows for seating and spots for up to 7 passengers.

Buyers can also opt into second-row captain’s chair sitting, which drops seating capacity to 6 but provides more space per passenger for those in the second row.

What’s more, the second-row chairs are offered with the same amount of adjustment as the front seats, offering enhanced accessibility to the third-row bench. Specifically, users can slide the seats forward and backward by 5.7 inches with the included electric functionality, or simply fold them down if more cargo room is needed. The third row is also electrically adjustable.

Additional inputs are made via the iDrive Controller located on the center console. The X7 also includes a new gear selector design, while electroplated accents add a dash of luxury to the center console and instrument panel.

Interior upholstery choices include a variety of leather and SensaTec material options, plus a slew of two-tone color schemes. Up top is an Alcantara cover for the headliner.

2019 BMW X7
- image 800493
Optional bits include a leather dash, glass control covers, and ventilation with a massage system for the front seats.

Four-zone climate control is standard, but a five-zone system is offered with the Cold Weather Package, which also tosses in a heated seat function front and back with heated armrests and a heated steering wheel.

A three-panel electronically controlled panoramic glass sunroof comes as standard. There’s also sliding headliner shades. Those sitting in the rear won’t feel left out thanks to the many standard amenities, which include a rear sunroof, integrated armrests, and cup holders.

Without adjusting any of the seats, the X7 offers as much as 48.6 cubic feet of cargo room. Fold the second and third rows down, and that figure expands to 90.4 cubic feet. The X7 will also lower its air suspension system for easier loading and unloading, and there’s a two-section split tailgate with an electric open-and-close feature to complement this.

Land Rover Range Rover

2019 Land Rover Range Rover P400e Interior
- image 737750
47 inches legroom
that is 7 inches more than the previous generation!
The Range Rover also offers third-row seating, but as an available option, rather than as a standard feature.

However, if you go for the Rear Executive Class option, you’ll get tons of comfort in back, with the second-row seats tilting as much as 40 degrees, offering an impressive 1,206 mm (47.5 inches) of legroom in the long wheelbase model.

Essentially, Land Rover offers the Range Rover in configurations that cater directly to rear-seated passengers. There’s also a power-deployable center console in the rear, even though it can still fit three individuals on the bench. Additional controls are mounted on the rear door panels for various passenger comfort features.

Speaking of comfort, the Range Rover comes decked out in full leather upholstery, with 16-way electronically-adjustable front seats as standard. Extra outlay will net you optional 20-way adjustable front seats covered in Oxford Leather, plus extending leg cushions, adjustable bolsters, and a cooling and massage function in the mid-trims. Step up to the higher trims and you’ll get 24-way adjustable seats with Semi-Aniline Leather, plus climate controls and an optional Hot Stone massage function. Rounding our the luxury stuff is 6-mm thick glass for an extra quiet cabin, plus heated armrests front and back and three-zone ambient lighting.

In addition to the power recline function, the rear seats will also electrically fold flat for expanded cargo room, a feature that’s controllable via the front infotainment screen if desired. A split tailgate helps here as well, as does the 60/40 split for the rear bench. Finally, the vehicle height can be lowered by 50 mm (2 inches) for easier loading/unloading and passenger enter/exit.

Technology

left right

BMW X7

There primary infotainment hub in the BMW X7 is found in the center console, where a 12.3-inch touchscreen display provides user inputs for the many tech features onboard.

There’s also a 12.3-instrument cluster. Drivers will enjoy the BMW Live Cockpit Professional system, which provides extra connectivity and assistant-like features as needed. Voice control comes as standard, while the options list offers up extras like remote engine start and Gesture Control.

Upgrade to the xDrive 50i, and you’ll have access to standard driver assist tech like Parking Assistant Plus, a Heads-up Display, and Extended traffic Jam Assistant, the latter of which will manage the tedium of stop-and-go traffic for you. There’s a huge variety of additionally advanced driving assists on offer as well, including Active Driving Assistant with Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Collision Warning, Frontal Collision Warning, and Pedestrian Warning.

The standard audio system is a 10-speaker setup with 205 watts of power. Buyers can upgrade to a new Harman Kardon system if desired, which ups the speaker count 20, while padding sound output to 1,500 watts. If keeping those seated in the rear occupied is a high priority, go for the optional Rear-seat Entertainment Professional package, which adds in two 10.2-inch HD screens to the seat backs, and also includes a DVD player, HDMI input, and two headphone jacks. Finally, there are six USB ports for added infotainment support, as well as a Digital Key feature that enables multiple systems to be controlled via your smartphone.

Land Rover Range Rover

When it comes to infotainment control in the Range Rover, users will enjoy operation of the high-definition Touch Pro Duo infotainment screen.

This offers a 10-inch measurement in the diameter, plus a smartphone-esque control scheme. The Range Rover also comes with voice control support for several other features.

Behind the wheel is a 12-inch Interactive Driver Display, which is essentially a high-res TFT LCD screen, while a heads-up display with a full-color projection measuring in at 10 inches puts critical info right onto the windscreen. If you like it more old school, complementary infotainment controls are placed on the steering wheel.

One of the most chic features in the Range Rover is the cooler compartment located in the center console, which passengers can use to chill their favorite beverages while on the move.

The Range Rover also includes an air ionization system dubbed the Nanoe, which uses water particles to help cleanse the air of viruses, odor, allergens, and more. The included gesture control system can be used to open and close the roof sun blind, or alternatively, the blinds will close automatically after all the passengers have exited the vehicle, keeping the cabin cool during the summer months.

Driver assists are plentiful as well, and include stuff like Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Sign Recognition, Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, and more. Extra features are available with optional packages.

When it comes to the tunes, the Range Rover comes with a selection of unique Meridian sound systems, with the range-topper putting out 1,700 watts through 29 speakers. Further entertainment is offered with the 10-inch touchscreens mounted in the front seat backs, providing entertainment for those seated on the rear bench. USB chargers are placed under the slidable cup holders in the center console, while an HDMI connection and 12-volt plugs round it out. 4G Wi-Fi is offered for up to eight devices.

Buyers can also opt into the Activity Key wristband, which provides easy access to the SUV with a waterproof, temperature-resistant, wearable key, which Land Rover frames as ideal for folks who like to exercise, but don’t wanna carry a large key fob in their pocket. Finally, the cabin seat position, massage function, climate control system, and seat temperature are all controllable via a smartphone app if desired, somewhat similar to the Bimmer.

Drivetrain Choices

BMW X7

2019 BMW X7
- image 753597
BMW offers the X7 in a duo of model trim levels, including the xDrive 40i and the xDrive 50i.

Both come equipped with a turbocharged gas engine. The range starts with the 40i, which gets a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder, while at the top is the 50i, which gets new 4.4-liter V-8. An Automatic Start Stop function is standard to keep mpg figures in check.

Both engines mate to an eight-speed automatic transmission, which integrates with the onboard nav system and driver assist features to more accurately execute the shifts needed, based on what it reads up ahead. For example, the transmission will anticipate a downshift when approaching a hill, effectively using engine braking to slow the vehicle and stay within the posted speed limit. There’s also integration with the suspension system for greater ride comfort.

Both trims send their respective power to the ground by way of BMW’s xDrive AWD system, which can alternatively run as a full RWD system when extra traction isn’t needed, enhancing overall fuel efficiency. Customers are also offered the optional M Sport differential via the Dynamic Handling Package or Off-Road Package, which comes with a locking function for greater traction on less-than-optimal surfaces.

Land Rover Range Rover

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Sport P400e High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 736056
he Range Rover stands out as one of the few luxury SUVs out there with an optional plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Go for this one, and you’ll be able to plug into electron sources with the included 7-kW charger, which will put the pack back to full in about seven-and-a-half hours from a standard 120-volt outlet. Even faster charge times are achieved with an AC wall box, and users can specify when they want to charge their vehicle using a smartphone app, which helps lower costs by only charging during off-peak hours. The PHEV Range Rover routes through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The rest of the Range Rover line includes a diesel 3.0-liter V-6, a diesel 4.4-liter V-8, and a pair of gas-powered supercharged 5.0-liter V-8’s in two levels of trim. Finally, the base trim gets the same 2.0-liter four as the hybrid, but without the electric bits.

Performance

BMW X7

2019 BMW X7 Exterior
- image 800448

The entry-level BMW X7 is equipped with a 3.0-liter six-cylinder, which doles out as much as 335 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. Put your foot down, and you’ll go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds.

Alternatively, you can upgrade to the V-8 model, which makes as much as 456 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, dropping the 0-to-60 mph time down to 5.2 seconds.

Both engine packages are electronically limited to a top speed of 130 mph, and if you see yourself hauling stuff, there’s an optional tow hitch.

Keeping it shiny side up is a double-wishbone suspension in front and a five-link suspension setup in the rear. Standard spec includes a two-axle air damper setup. To make the most of it, BMW is throwing in something Standard Dynamic Damper Control to make it all work, offering up full electronic control, multiple settings, a self-leveling function, and full integration with multiple onboard systems for enhanced performance and comfort.

Unsurprisingly, there’s also a full-fledged off-road mode, which takes full advantage of the X7’s 8.7 inches of ground clearance. The driver can make direct adjustments as needed, plus there’s specs like 23.1 degrees for the approach angle and 20.5 degrees for the departure angle. Speed-dependent Integral Active Steering is also on tap, effectively turning the rear wheels for crisper handling performance, no matter the surface.

Land Rover Range Rover

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Sport P400e High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 736061
Let’s start with the optional plug-in hybrid model, which offers as much as 51 km (31.7 miles) of all-electric driving with the battery topped.

The rest of the spec includes a 300-horsepower four-cylinder, which does its thing with a 105-kW electric motor, plus a 13.1-kWh lithium-ion battery, putting total output around 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque. Full-time AWD puts it to the ground. Properly motivated, the PHEV can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds and max out with a top speed of 137 mph.

Moving on, we have a diesel 3.0-liter V-6, which makes 275 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque, followed by a diesel 4.4-liter V-8 making 339 horsepower and 546 pound-feet of torque. If you prefer gas-burners, there’s a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 that makes either 525 horsepower and 460 pound-feet, or 565 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, depending on the trim level picked. Go for the base trim, and you’ll get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 300 horsepower, with a top speed of 137 mph. For comparison, the V-8 can hit 60 mph in about 5 seconds flat.

Part of the package includes aluminum-intensive construction for the suspension, with fully independent double wishbones in front and a multi-link suspension in the rear. Complementing the lightweight suspension bits is an all-aluminum body structure, which effectively reduces overall weight by a substantial 39 percent.

On the handling front, the Range Rover gets something called the Dynamic Response system, which offers independent control over the axles, plus advanced roll control. Further equipment bits include an Active Rear Locking Differential and Adaptive Dampers, plus a variable-ratio speed-sensitive Electric Power Assisted Steering setup.

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 737766
39% less body weight
Of course, one of the Range Rover’s primary draws is how it handles the rough stuff, offering drivers multiple drive modes to handle just about anything you can throw at it.

These include Comfort settings, Dynamic for more fun, and off-roading modes like Grass, Gravel, Snow, Mud/Ruts, Sand, and Rock Crawl. There’s also Eco mode, if you’re into that kinda thing.

There’s a whole gamut of ancillary systems to further maximize grip in less-than-ideal conditions, including a Low Traction Launch System, All-Terrain Progress Control, Hill Descent Control, and more. If you’re interested in crossing a river, the Range Rover comes with a wading depth rated at 900 mm (35 inches).

It’s also worth noting that the hybrid P400e model was specially tuned to deliver even greater off-roading capability, with unique adjustments made to take advantage of the prodigious torque created by the onboard electric motor.

What’s more, the Range Rover’s ride height will rise when placed in the appropriate off-roading mode, with up to 75 mm (3 inches) of extra height for “extreme landscapes,” as needed.

The system will also raise or lower for adjustments to the towing height as well, a feature complemented by the included Advanced Tow Assist system, which helps to more accurately control the “trajectory” of the trailer when reversing.

Finally, if you’re leaving the trail behind and heading back onto the freeway, the suspension will self-lower when traveling over 65 mph, making for a more stable ride at speed.

Pricing

2019 BMW X7 Exterior
- image 800436

The 2019 BMW X7 starts at $73,900 for the xDrive 40i, then jumps to $92,600 for the xDrive 50i. It’s also worth mentioning that for the first time ever, BMW is offering the option to pre-order the model online. Interested buyers are encouraged to go to BMWUSA.com to reserve their spot in line, after which they will receive a follow-up call from their dealer of choice to finalize options and colors. Deliveries commence March of 2019.

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Exterior
- image 737737

As for the 2019 Land Rover Range Rover, buyers have a much wider variety of models to choose from, starting with the Range Rover Evoque, which starts at $41,800. Then there’s the Range Rover Velar for $49,600, followed by the Range Rover Sport for $66,750. The standard Range Rover is $88,860, while the Plug-In Hybrid starts at $78,300.

Final Thoughts

2019 BMW X7 Exterior
- image 800437
While similar in several respects, the 2019 BMW X7 and 2019 Land Rover Range Rover seem to differ in their underlying philosophies.

For example, if you’ve got a growing family and need oodles of space and features to keep the little ones on track and in line, the X7 is the one you’re gonna need. The standard three rows, the copious storage compartments, the large cargo room figures - it all seems like the perfect fit for the school drop-off line or soccer team run.

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Exterior
- image 737733

Then we have the Range Rover, which seems to focus more on luxury and opulence than outright practicality. Granted, the Range Rover is still the better pick if you’re seriously considering the off-roading aspect of these large SUV’s, as Land Rover has a proven history in the rough stuff.

And that’s not to say the Bimmer can’t tackle the occasional trail, or that the Range Rover can’t pull kid duty. Both are well-suited to those ends, but when it comes to specializations, that’s where they lie.

So then - which would you prefer?

Further Reading

2019 BMW X7 Exterior
- image 800426

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW X7.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover P400e Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 737721
2-liter engine and 13.1 kWh battery

Read our full review on the 2019 Land Rover Range Rover P400e.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Sport P400e High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 736058

Read our full review on the 2019 Land Rover Range Rover Sport P400e.

2018 Land Rover Range Rover
- image 738491
A well-deserved update

Read our full review on the 2018 Land Rover Range Rover.

2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
- image 685193

Read our full review on the 2018 Land rover Range Rover Sport.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: