BMW has the enviable reputation for designing appealing vehicles that are both strong and powerful. Toss in luxury and comfort, and one might deduce that BMW typically offers the complete package.
One of the most recognizable brands in the world, BMW waited longer (1999) than other luxury brands to delve into SUV production. But once it did, the results were significant.
The German automaker fills the gaps with all sizes of SUVs. Its largest entry is the X7, an SUV that was introduced in 2019 and last year had its biggest sales year (30,705), an increase of more than 7,000 from 2021.
The 2023 BMW X7 arrived with a modest refresh that includes a more dramatic front end, a new dashboard design, and BMW’s latest infotainment system. What hasn’t changed is it offers three rows of seating and can transport up to seven passengers, has a boatload of technology and safety features, and gives shoppers a choice of three powerful engines and three diverse trim models (xDrive40i, M60i, Alpina XB7).
The xDrive40i was test driven here for a week. Starting at approximately $77,900, the xDrive40i would be our choice among the three trim models. Of course, if money is not an issue, going with one of the other two versions of the X7 won’t be disappointing. Note the high end Alpina XB7 has a monstrous price tag of around $150,000.
High performance is always part of the equation when considering a BMW. We loved how the xDrive40i delivered in any driving situation with its power on demand. The engine has been upgraded and is now a turbocharged 3.3-liter, six-cylinder that generates 375 horsepower (up 40) and 383 pound-feet of torque (up 67). It goes 0-60 in 5.8 seconds, but feels even faster.
If that’s not enough, than the M60i is a logical choice. It’s a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter, V8 that delivers 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, and goes 0-60 in 4.5 seconds. The high-performance Alpina XB7 is a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter, V8 with 630 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. It zips along, going 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and has a top speed of 180 mph.
All three models offer standard all-wheel drive and an adaptive air suspension system that promotes a smooth ride. The X7 weighs between 5,417 and 5,986 pounds and when properly equipped, can tow up to 7,500 pounds.
AT A GLANCE –2023 BMW X-7
- Performance: turbocharged 3.0-liter, six-cylinder, 375 horsepower; twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter, V8, 523 horsepower; twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter, V8, 630 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 21-25 mpg; 16-21 mpg; 15-21 mpg
- Price estimate: $77,900 to $103,200
- Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain: 4 years/50,000 miles; roadside assistance: 4 years/unlimited; corrosion: 12 years/unlimited
Even though it’s a large SUV, the X7 doesn’t come off as a lumbering family hauler that’s truck based. It’s reasonably athletic, offers some sportiness, and can take on corners well with its responsive steering that is also a plus in tight parking lots.
Safety is another major plus of the X7. Standard driver-assistance safety features include forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, traffic-sign recognition, automatic high-beam headlights, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
The interior has an element of class, thanks in part to the abundance of wood and leather. The interior luxury features include heated front seats, power-adjustable steering wheel, panoramic sunroof, and ambient interior lighting.
The X7 has a dramatic dashboard that’s slightly curved and includes a 12.3-inch gauge cluster directly in front of the driver and a 14.9-inch touchscreen that can be a challenge to master since there are no convenient buttons.
Front and back seating is comfortable and spacious for even 6-footers. While not confining, the third row is adequate for adults on short drives, yet not the place to be during longer rides. The cargo area measures 12.8 cubic feet behind the third row, expands to 48.6 cubes behind the second row, and serves as a good hauler when both rows are down, resulting in 90.4 cubic feet.
The slight redesign this year gives large luxury SUV shoppers a reason to take a good look at the 2023 BMW X7. It delivers comfort, performance and has an appealing interior.
Weidel on Wheels is featured regularly on www.tahoeskiworld.com. Auto writer Jeffrey Weidel can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.