BMW’s Largest SUV Rounds Out Their Sport Utility Lineup
The 2019 BMW X7 is the newest model in the brand’s SUV portfolio (though BMW prefers “SAV,” for “sports activity vehicle”). Demand is growing for 3-row SUVs and crossovers, and BMW is eager for a piece of that market. By the end of this article, potential buyers will have an idea if the X7 is worth waiting for.
The 2019 X7 joins the lineup as BMW’s largest SUV, notched above the X5. Where the X5 has a small, optional third row, the X7’s third row is larger and comes standard.
The X7 is launching with two trim levels and two distinct powertrains, following BMW’s typical model hierarchy.
Price and Trims
The 2019 BMW X7 will launch with two trim levels, each with its own powertrain. The X7 xDrive40i starts at $73,900, and the xDrive50i starts at $92,600.
Both of those models can be ordered with a Luxury or M Sport package. The Luxury package is standard; the M Sport package costs a few thousand more. Numerous other packages are available, including a Premium package and an Off-Road package.
A fully loaded X7 can top $110,000.
Inside, the X7 is designed to emphasize its spaciousness. Large windows and a panoramic glass roof with three panels let tons of light into the cabin. The second row of seating can be swapped out for captain’s chairs, which reduces seating capacity to six but opens up more space.
The cockpit features a clean, expansive design with lots of flowing lines and upscale trim materials, and the main controls are arranged neatly in the center console for easy access.
Standard features in the X7 include synthetic leather upholstery, power seat adjustment for all three rows, and a tri-panel panoramic glass sunroof with electric shades for each panel.
The infotainment system features Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and a pair of 12.3-inch displays controlled by touch screen, voice controls, and a touch pad.
Options include a choice of leather upholstery combinations, a leather dashboard, an Alcantara headliner, front and rear heated seats, a heated steering wheel, heated front armrests, ventilated and massaging seats, remote start, heated and cooled cup holders, a head-up display, a premium Harman Kardon audio system, and the Panorama Sky Lounge LED Roof, which embeds light in the panoramic glass sunroof and gives you a choice of colors.
The X7’s cargo area has an impressive capacity of 48.6 cubic feet, which opens up to a total of 90.4 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded down. The seats can be controlled from the rear doors and from the cargo area for extra convenience. The standard split tailgate features power open and close for easier loading and unloading.
Each of the X7’s trim levels gets its own powertrain. The base xDrive40i comes powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine rated for 335 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. The xDrive50i model gets a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine good for 456 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Both feature an updated version of BMW’s eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission and xDrive all-wheel drive system.
The BMW X7 xDrive40i is the more efficient of the two models, with EPA fuel economy ratings of 20 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined. Upgrading to the xDrive50i requires a considerable sacrifice in efficiency, with ratings of 15 mpg city, 21 mpg highway, and 17 mpg combined.
New technology features help the X7 maximize efficiency, including a redesigned automatic start-stop feature that works more smoothly than before. The start-stop system and the transmission pair with the vehicle’s camera and radar network to ensure the vehicle is running as efficiently as possible; they can anticipate changes in conditions to prevent abrupt shifts. When the all-wheel drive system is not needed, torque is shifted to the rear wheels – another power-saving move.
Both X7 models come standard with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system, though the system has been updated with the ability to split torque between the front and rear wheels based on driving conditions. When all-wheel drive is not needed, all power is sent to the rear wheels to improve efficiency. For more control over the torque split, buyers can add the optional M Sport differential.
The X7’s standard air suspension system comes with sport and comfort settings and enables the driver to adjust ride height based on road conditions or for convenience (such as loading or unloading the rear cargo area). The available Dynamic Handling Package adds even more options for customization, including the Active Comfort Drive system, which scans the road ahead and adjusts settings accordingly. There’s also a speed-dependent active steering system and an M Sport brake upgrade.
The BMW X7 gets a wide array of standard active safety technology. A rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear collision warning, frontal collision warning with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert, driver alertness monitoring, speed limit information, and the Park Distance Control parking sensor system are all included in every X7. The speed limit information system is integrated with the adaptive cruise control system to automatically adjust the cruise control to match the speed limit.
The X7 offers even more advanced systems, as well. Buyers of the xDrive50i model also get a head-up display, active lane keep assist, Extended Traffic Jam Assistant for cruise control assistance in stop-and-go traffic, and the advanced Parking Assistant Plus system with top, panorama, and 3D camera views. Buyers can add the Driving Assistant Professional package, which includes the all-new Emergency Stop Assistant, designed to guide the vehicle to safety during a medical emergency. When this feature is activated by the driver, the vehicle assesses the situation and finds a safe place to stop, turns on the hazard lights, and uses the onboard telematics system to call for emergency services.
Production and Availability
The BMW X7 is the first of the brand’s vehicles to be available for online preorders. Preordering began in October, shortly after the X7 was announced, and delivery is expected to begin in March of 2019.
The X7 is built in the United States at BMW’s Spartanburg, South Carolina plant.