Yes, it’s all that.
And, it’s a surprisingly well-priced luxury car. After all, there’s luxury and then … there’s luxury. True luxury anticipates what you want and need; it’s intuitive and provides what you want or need before you even know you want or need it.
On that first point, the brand new, never before seen BMW X7 is all that. They’ve thought of things I never dreamed of in a luxury car. Small details, like a pillow for rear seat passengers made from Alcantara suede. It’s soft and exactly what a cushion should be; I thought it might push my head too far forward like so many overdone bolster pillows in five-star hotels, but no. It was just perfect. And the Alcantara suede? Also perfect, as Alcantara always is.
But on that second point, a good luxury brand knows what you want or need before you do: BMW was later to the game than I’d have liked with this full-sized 3-row SUV. I wanted this car years ago. And I would have bought it rather than the M5, which was fun but silly powerful and not as accommodating. We only drove on date night and short excursions. We needed that third row and cargo space, so most of our driving was done in a Toyota (and no slight there… I love my Toyota). But if I’d had the choice between the M5 and the X7, guess which I’d have chosen? At least it’s here now.
Intuitive Details Set This Car Apart
That second point again, and the thing about a great luxury brand: it’s defined by details that pamper and accommodate you. Here are just some of the pampering details in the BMW X7 that defines the luxury in this car:
- It’s a three row, 6 or 7 passenger SUV with plenty of room for all passengers, lots of head room and no compromises in space. I sat in the third row and it is ample; my drive partner Andrew, who is a tallish 6 feet or so, was comfortable, too
- Panoramic sun roof with a panel above each row, including the third row
- All seats are electric, including the second row seats, which can move forward or back with standard controls on the lower side of the seat; the driver can move the center row seats with a button too
- Third row seats can be folded up or down with the touch of a button and won’t fold if there’s something on the seat, like a toddler or a backpack (yay!)
- A clamshell lift gate — the top half lifts up, the bottom half opens flat. This means you can open the gate and your errant gallon of milk won’t roll out; and when the bottom is opened, it provides a great place to sit, extra space to lay out a picnic, wrap a gift or change a baby’s diaper. Such a great use of the liftgate!
- An ample 46 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row and 90 cubic feet with the second and third row folded down
- Center row and third row seats have a heated seat option
- Four USB-C ports in the center row and one standard USB port in the front
- Premium leather upholstery and Alcantara suede head liner (ceiling cover) and panel covers throughout
- The Swarovski gear shifter and accents; it’s like a bit of extra jewelry for your hand. It gleams in the day and glows at night as the indicators underneath light up
- Head up display
- The camera system reads the lanes and road signs and keeps you in your lane in a semi-autonomous drive mode. The X7 crawled easily through rush our traffic, stopping, starting and accelerating when traffic allowed and let me relax despite the frustration of afternoon traffic
- A camera mounted just above the driver’s information cluster monitors the health and attention of the driver
- BMW voice activated controls; just say “BMW” and the system comes to life to serve you
- A wireless charge pad in the front cubby charges a phone wirelessly
- Heated and cooled cup holders
- Front seats have “articulating seat backs” that let you adjust just the upper part of the seat — perfect to accommodate your pony tail
- Display key fob—this is so cool: swipe left or right to select the control you want such as remote start, climate control, lock or unlock and more
- Ambient lighting with your choice of colors; the light package even lights up the panoramic sunroof!
- Back up assistant: THIS is fantastic: the system remembers your path and backs you up exactly on the path you took. We drove down a rocky ledge to the perfect photo spot and the X7 backtracked perfectly. No more worries about backing out of a tight driveway, and with the surround view camera, you have complete confidence you won’t dent your baby
- Emergency assist: if you have an emergency while driving, pull the parking brake and the car will put on the flashers, slow to a stop and call emergency response.
The MSport Package: Performance You Expect from BMW
While the 40i is just fine, with a 335 horsepower turbo six-cylinder engine that is ample for all road conditions and passenger loads, the 50i ups the performance game with 456 horsepower twin turbo 8 cylinder engine. This makes passing slow trucks or merging onto the highway suddenly quite fun. Put it in sport mode and pop through the gears with the paddle shifters and it’s even more fun. Or, run it in eco mode (like I did) and you still have the solid feel of confidence on the highway and in traffic.
A Surprisingly Good Deal in a Luxury SUV
Yes, I just said that, even though the model we test drove came in at about $112,000. Consider this: The full price 740i all wheel drive sedan has a starting price of $83,650 while the X740i, with AWD standard, has a starting price of $73,900. The 750i sedan starts at $99,950 while the X750i starts at $92,600.
Admittedly, adding on all the packages and luxuries can drive up the price; the model we test drove, the X7 50i MSport ($96,150) had options including the panoramic sun roof with LED lighting, Swarovski crystal gear shifter ($650) key fob with a display screen ($300) Bowers & Wilkins premium sound system ($3,400), cold weather package ($1,200); the total price came to about $112,000. The 750i xDrive comparably equipped is about $129,000.
Fittingly Outfitted for BMW’s Top of the Line
With the popularity of SUVs these days, we wouldn’t be surprised if the X7 skimped on features and luxuries; buyers who want BMW’s largest SUV would probably still place an order. And with the popularity of large SUVs we also wouldn’t be surprised if the price tag of the X7 surpassed that of the 7 series sedan.
That the company delivered its best on both counts is telling of how it feels about its promise to its customers: to be the ultimate driving, and riding and pampering, machine.
Disclosure: I was BMW’s guest for this test drive; travel and accommodations were provided. All opinions are my own.