• American’s Like it Big and That’s Why the 2019 BMW X7 Was Designed Specifically for the U.S.

This is the first full-size SUV from BMW or, rather, an SAV as the Germans put it

The BMW X7 is the single largest car ever built by BMW. It made its North-American debut at this year’s L.A. Auto Show and, thanks to those oversized kidney grilles, there’s no way you’re going to miss one on the road. That’s also because of the fact that it’s bigger than a bus - figuratively speaking, of course. Why did BMW create this Jumbo-SUV? Well, because they had the American customer in mind all along.

In its top spec, the full-size X7 is powered by a 4.4-liter, twin-turbocharged, V-8 that’s capable of 458 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, enough to send the 5,617 pounds behemoth from 0 to 62 mph in 5.2 seconds. But beyond the performance figures, this car was designed to be an ultra-luxurious hauler meant for the people that, up until now, were buying Mercedes’ GLS-Class or the Cadillac Escalade.

The European roads are too small for the X7 because it was conceived for the American ones

American's Like it Big and That's Why the 2019 BMW X7 Was Designed Specifically for the U.S. Exterior
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BMW’s customers complained that the new-generation BMW X5 is a bit of a handful in Europe’s bustling cities, that it’s hard to find a parking spot for such land yachts. BMW nodded, looked across the Atlantic to the American coast and promptly designed a bigger truck: the X7.

It's 203.3 inches long, 78.7 inches wide, and 71.1 inches tall.

That makes it 1.3 inches longer than the Mercedes GLS-Class and, with a wheelbase of 122.2 inches, it’s as roomy as the longer Lincoln Navigator. Indeed, BMW claims that each of the X7’s seats - of which there are 7 - can fit an adult comfortably.

2019 BMW X7 exterior dimensions

X7 xDr40i X7 xDr50i
Length inches 203.3 203.3
Width inches 78.7 78.7
Height inches 71.1 71.1
Width including mirrors inches 87.3 87.3
Wheelbase inches 122.2 122.2
Ground clearance inches 8.7 8.7
Turning radius feet 21.4 21.4
Approach angle front degrees 23.1 23.1
Departure angle rear degrees 20.5 20.5
Ramp angle degrees 17.1 17.1

“This car is designed for the U.S. market, and you can see that in terms of size, you can see it also in terms of seating configuration," said Ralph Mahler, the BMW U.S. product planning and strategy manager to AutoGuide.

Talking about the seat configuration, you can get the X7 with six seats, or three rows of two seats each, and, if you decide to fold the two back rows, you'll end up with 74.86 cubic-feet of cargo space.

While that’s a lot, it’s still less than the 93.8 cubic-feet of room you’ll find in the GLS-Class once you fold all of the back seats.

2019 BMW X7
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2019 BMW X7 interior dimensions

X7 xDr40i X7 xDr50i
Shoulder width front inches 60.0 60.0
Shoulder room 2nd row inches 58.1 58.1
Shoulder room 3rd row Inches 47.9 47.9
Legroom front inches 39.8 39.8
Legroom 2nd row inches 37.6 37.6
Legroom 3rd row inches 33.3 33.3
Headroom front inches 41.9 41.9
Headroom 2nd row inches 39.9 39.9
Headroom 3rd row inches 36.6 36.6
Trunk volume (SAE) ft³ 48.6 – 90.4 48.6 – 90.4

Still, it’s not all about room, even in the case of this truck that was created for the American market. Being a BMW, a brand built around the idea of creating ’driver’s cars’, the X7 also goes around like a small car, or at least that’s what Mahler claims. "I can only tell you because you are not able to drive it… [but] you don’t feel the weight of the car, it is a true BMW as a luxury SAV,” he said. The X7 is an SAV, or a Sport Activity Vehicle, because, as BMW puts it, it has great towing capabilities and is the perfect companion if you want to go kayaking or if you want to take your bikes with you.

American's Like it Big and That's Why the 2019 BMW X7 Was Designed Specifically for the U.S. Exterior
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The basic X7 xDrive40i powered by a turbocharged inline-six brings to the table only 335 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque.

That's why American customers will probably seek the xDrive50i with its 4.4-liter, twin-turbocharged, V-8 that delivers 123 extra horsepower and 149 more pound-feet of torque.

Yes, it does have a steeper MSRP of $92,600 - $18,700 more than the base model - but you need a lot of power if you’re driving around the car with the biggest kidney grilles ever. Lincoln sold a little over 10,000 units of the Navigator last year, so expect BMW to target such numbers once the X7 hits the showrooms nationwide next year.

Further Reading

American's Like it Big and That's Why the 2019 BMW X7 Was Designed Specifically for the U.S. Exterior
- image 800425

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW X7.

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class High Resolution Exterior
- image 654045

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS.

The New Lincoln Navigator is Here, and You're Going to Want One High Resolution Exterior
- image 712890

Read our full review on the 2018 Lincoln Navigator.

Source: Autoguide

Michael Fira
Michael Fira
Associate Editor and Motorsport Expert - fira@topspeed.com
Mihai Fira started out writing about long-distance racing like the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the years went by, his area of interest grew wider and wider and he ever branched beyond the usual confines of an automotive writer. However, his heart is still close to anything car-related and he's most at home retelling the story of some long-since-forgotten moment from the history of auto racing. He'll also take time to explain why the cars of the '60s and '70s are more fascinating than anything on the road today.  Read full bio
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