• Love It or Leave It - The 2019 BMW X7

The arrival of the BMW X7 marks a historic moment for the German firm. It’s the company’s largest SUV yet and rounds out a crossover lineup that includes no fewer than seven vehicles, from the X1 to X7. It also enables BMW to compete in the very exclusive full-size luxury market, where only Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, and Lincoln have had access until now.

Placed above the X5 in the lineup, the X7 is more than just a bloated midsize SUV. It sports a unique design on the outside, and it’s equipped with the best technology BMW has to offer right now. On the other hand, it’s identical to the X5 inside the cabin. Find out what we love and hate about it below.

Continue reading for the full story.


Love It or Leave It - The 2019 BMW X7 Exterior
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The new X7 is the largest BMW ever built. In many ways, and despite the fact that I’m no fan of SUVs, this is really cool. It was about time that a new company stepped in to take on the Cadillac Escalade and the Lincoln Navigator in the U.S., and BMW seems ready to play with the big boys. Sure, Mercedes-Benz is already in this with the GLS, but the German SUV needs a thorough makeover to stand a chance.

What I like most about the X7 is that it's surprisingly different when compared to the X5.

Given BMW’s recent strategy, I was expecting a bloated X5, but the big hauler boasts just enough unique features to stand out beyond its size. The massive grille and the slim headlamps give the front end an imposing look that even Escalade owners will find uncomfortable, while the boxy profile and rear end place the SUV in a category of its own. The seven-seat layout and the impressive amount of technology will probably make SUV fans take BMW dealerships by storm.

Love It or Leave It - The 2019 BMW X7 Exterior
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There are some things I don’t like though. For starters, the interior was transplanted from the X5. It’s not similar, it’s virtually identical. And this isn’t something I want to see in a big, luxurious SUV that costs in excess of $70,000. I know that BMW, much like any carmaker out there, is looking to cut costs by sharing features and tech between its cars, but a flagship luxury vehicle deserves a unique interior.

Second, I think BMW should have squeezed a bit more luggage room out of that boxy rear end.

The Escalade already offers more, while the new-generation Mercedes-Benz GLS will definitely grow bigger in terms of trunk space.

Third, a behemoth like this needs a hybrid drivetrain. Sure, BMW will probably add one in the future, but it would have been really interesting for the X7 to make its debut with a hybrid model too. It’s the 21st century, and big SUVs need to gulp less fuel and emit less carbon dioxide.


Love It or Leave It - The 2019 BMW X7 Exterior
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BMW has stood idly by the last decade or so as rivals have sold large seven-seater luxury SUVs, like Mercedes and its GLS or Cadillac with its Escalade. But now it has finally decided to join the party with the X7, a very dramatic new presence in the segment and one that will definitely shake it up.

It did a very good job of making it quite bold and obvious in order to compete with rivals which also major in these two characteristics - I mean it has to take on the symbol of being a successful rapper (the Escalade) so it does need to be a bit brash.

The design and styling are the big talking point here, and BMW has actually given the X7 its own unique look that really doesn’t stray far from the concept that previewed it - it is certainly impressive to behold, and it looks nothing like any of the smaller high riders in the manufacturer’s range.

Being perceived as big, luxurious and opulent are key to its success, I think, and with that simply gigantic grille flanked by the comparably thin headlights, it will be hard to pass by unnoticed in one of these. BMW has managed to make something that looks different to any vehicle it’s ever built before, yet when you see one, it’s instantly recognizable as a BMW.

It is a bit slab-sided and squared off, compared to more muscular looking BMW high-riders, but I think its rear end design is actually cleaner, more distinctive, and overall more successful than that of the equally new X5. But its boxy outer appearance translates into what should be a very cavernous interior.

2019 BMW X7
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Space inside the X7 shouldn’t be an issue and even the third row of seats look comfortable and spacious enough for adults. They even get outer arm rests, separate third-row climate control, vents for the air-con, as well as speakers and dedicated lights - traveling back there really shouldn’t be an issue as these seats have all the amenities that the car can offer.

Don’t forget BMW owns Rolls-Royce, and this is one of BMW’s flagship models, one that’s designed to be more comfortable than sporty, so some of that feeling of utmost luxury has certainly trickled down into the X7’s formula. The X7 shown in the first batch of press photos really looks super luxurious and expensive, helped by the blue and very light colored two-tone leather finish.

Driving one of these X7s will certainly be an interesting experience - just as I found in my drive of the plug-in hybrid 2-Series Active Tourer, just at the other end of the scales.

It’s clearly geared for supreme comfort to the detriment of sportiness, but this is still a BMW, and some of the company’s sporting pedigree will certainly have been retained.

The automaker will offer what it calls the Dynamic Handling Package which changes the suspension and brakes and adds active rear-wheel steering and a grip-enhancing M Sport differential at the back.

BMW’s first press blurbs for the X7 also say it has off-road capability and buyers will even be able to specify optional off-road modes too, if they opt for a vehicle with adjustable height air suspension. An off-road package which adds the same M Sport differential mentioned above, but not just to reduce understeer and make corner exit more efficient, but also help give it improved traction on poor road surfaces.

Love It or Leave It - The 2019 BMW X7 Exterior
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One nice touch for vehicles equipped with the optional off-road pack is that they are going to get unique graphics for the digital gauge cluster and control display. I’d personally really like to see one of these with some off-road modifications - there might actually be a rendering idea in there somewhere...

I think BMW certainly made the right decision to have a vehicle in this segment, if only from a business standpoint as SUV popularity is still rising and there aren’t that many vehicles in the X7’s size category.

Once an X7 is featured in a famous rapper’s music video, or it is mentioned in a famous rapper’s song purely for bragging rights, then and only then will it receive validation for its existence. It certainly has the looks, the luxury and the badge to achieve that fairly easily.


Love It or Leave It - The 2019 BMW X7 Exterior
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For some reason, I was expecting the X7 to look like the X5 itself; just a size bigger with a few tweaks here and there. But the Bavarians seem to have worked hard on the X7.

When viewed upfront, the X7 is as intimidating as it can get, and a part of it, actually most of it, is because of the kidney grille, which I hated on the iNEXT concept.

Surprisingly, it looks quite nice on the X7. However, the chrome treatment is a little too much for my liking. The X7 would have looked a lot better if the chrome was used only in the grille. But what can we say to an SUV that’s wearing an ‘I don’t care’ smirk?

It’s good to see BMW work on making the X7 much more spacious than the X5. BMW also played it smart by offering a six-seat option, where the last row gets captain seats. It makes more sense, as you would not want last row occupants to be treated like outcasts. Had the rear been shaped properly, the X7 would be even more spacious. The view from the driver’s seat is the highlight for me. That cockpit could mesmerise you every time you step in. Things like a meaty steering wheel with thumb contours and physical knobs for basic operations like the A/C, amplify the ‘feel-good’ factor in the long run. Even on the tech-front, BMW has school’d the competition.

Love It or Leave It - The 2019 BMW X7 Exterior
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However, the drivetrains have left me wanting for more.

The top-spec engine gets you just 456 ponies?

For a beast so gigantic, I would expect the figure to be somewhere in the ballpark of 600 horses; Hoping to see it in the X7 M trim with a hybrid powertrain. Other than that, it’s safe to say that the X7 will give the Mercedes-Benz GLS and the Lincoln Navigator a run for their money.


Love It or Leave It - The 2019 BMW X7 Exterior
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Trying to encompass the whole ideology behind the large luxury SUVs, BMW revealed an enormous SUV called the X7. While it does represent their entry into the segment the Bavarian company has never visited before, it also introduces us to numerous novelties never seen before on a BMW, or anywhere else for that matter.

Personally, I find the BMW X7 a rather well-executed large SUV.

BMW did well in all the right places focusing on breaking ground wherever it could. This is important when launching a new product - to offer something no one else has offered before. So, new buyers can enjoy things like the biggest grille ever offered on a BMW, standard air suspension with advanced leveling options, Reversing assistant unlike any offered anywhere else as well as luxuries such as powered seats throughout the cabin (all six or seven of them). It is a luxurious cruiser for sure.

One starting at more than $70,000. That is a lot! That money gives you an X7 with a mandatory xDrive and a 3.0-liter six-cylinder. Honestly, don’t even bother with that one. You are looking at the X7 - the biggest and most luxurious BMW SUV ever. Go all in with the 4.4-liter eight-cylinder. This one goes for big bucks - starting at $90,000+. Tick all the amazing options on the options list, and you have yourself a $110,000+ BMW SUV. Now, that’s really expensive. Just like the X7 looks.

I think the sheer look of the thing is perfect. Not alluring as some may like, of course, but smart touches like the thin headlights, massive grille, and fine BMW signature design cues throughout make it quite imposing, even dominant on the roads. Taking into account that its competition is the GLS, the Escalade and such, an imposing character like this is only necessary.

Love It or Leave It - The 2019 BMW X7 Exterior
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As this is an article about what to love and what to hate about the X7, I’ll try to be blunter with you. Like, all the way blunt.

Love it:

  • Luxurious
  • Loaded with gizmos never seen before
  • Massive and probably enormous inside
  • You can have two captain chairs in the second row
  • An astounding sound system with 20 speakers (I am a sucker for a nice sound system ever since I had an awful sound system in my own car)
  • Looks imposing, luxurious, expensive, dominant, and like a capitalist dream

Hate it:

  • It is EXPENSIVE (this may even be a good thing, it depends on how you look at it)
  • The rear end could be a bit nicer and more BMWish
  • Even with the Off-Road package, I find it lacking proper off-road character (although it would probably do off-road a lot)
  • It is a massive BMW SUV with seven usable seats. I need some time to digest that first.


Love It or Leave It - The 2019 BMW X7 Exterior
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Right from the word go, it’s pretty obvious the BMW X7 is gonna be a real moneymaker for the Bavarians.

The huge dimensions, the in-your-face styling, the huge cabin space, and seven-seater capacity - it ticks all the right boxes for the segment, and with BMW’s branding to back it, buyers everywhere are sure to flock to dealers to grab one.

There’s a lot to like about this thing, that much is for sure. But when it comes to nitpicking, my problems with the X7 are no different than just about any other luxury SUV on the market - that is, I feel like the emphasis on off-roading prowess is completely and totally unnecessary.

That’s not to say I don’t get it. I understand the appeal - buyers want to feel like they can go anywhere and do anything in their big SUV, even if the only place they’re going is the school drop-off line and the only thing they’re doing is picking the kids up from soccer practice. It’s not about the reality, it’s about the idea. The latter is far more important than the former.

Love It or Leave It - The 2019 BMW X7 Exterior
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Another issue is the price.

With a starting MSRP around $75,000, the X7 is anything but cheap.

And really, I agree with Ciprian when he writes that there’s a bit too much carryover from other models. I want to see the X7 offer something entirely unique, preferably some sort of novel technology that takes full advantage of the seven-seater layout. How about a four-person gaming system to keep the kids entertained? Or how about a full luxury spec for oodles of space and four swiveling captain’s chairs for socializing? I’m just riffing here, but you get my point - I want something that makes the X7 different from the rest of the line, beyond the size that is.

But again, I doubt any of this will hurt sales. Hopefully, Bimmer will at least bring some interesting updates with the next-gen model.

Further reading

Love It or Leave It - The 2019 BMW X7 Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 BMW X7.

2017 BMW Concept X7 iPerformance
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Read our full review on the 2017 BMW Concept X7 iPerformance.

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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