BMW wants to create a car that satisfies everyone. This, however, won’t be accomplished by building one car that is perfectly suited for the masses, but by engineering an entire lineup of niche vehicles designed to fit every lifestyle and personality. Enter the brand’s first-ever X7, a three-row monster SUV — or, as BMW puts it, a Sports Activity Vehicle. It truly marks a new chapter for BMW; while the company was once known for delivering “The Ultimate Driving Machine,” the BMW X7 is more “The Ultimate Kid-Hauling Machine.”
Based on BMW’s Cluster Architecture Platform, or CLAR, the X7 is related to nearly the entirety of BMW’s vast lineup, including the brand’s SUVs, and the 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8 Series sedans. But because the X7 is meant to be the baller of the BMW SUVs, the X7 gets dual-axle air suspension that not only allows to selectable ride height and better ride comfort but also the ability to self-level when the road roughens. The X7 also comes standard with Dynamic Damper Control, which gives the driver the ability to pretend or at least help cover up, the BMW’s heft and roll when the roads get squiggly. It’s no M3, though its engines will help the illusion.
Two methods of propulsion are available: a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder providing 335 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque, or a twin-turbocharged V-8 delivering 456 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque that propels the heavy SUV to 60 mph in a satisfactory 5.2 seconds. A quick shifting eight-speed automatic transmission helps the X7 when you need to get out of the school pickup line speedily and beat Debbie’s mom, Gina, to the stop sign.
And though your kids likely don’t care about smoking Gina, they will care about the X7’s comfort. Inside, the X7 is all about luxury and ease the day’s stresses, especially in the rear. Optional captain’s chairs reduce the number of people you can fit in the X7 by one but give the first two rear passengers much more comfort and seclusion. To get to the third-row seats only takes the push of a button, making it easier to get people in the rear. Customers can also order the X7 with a full panoramic roof panel that gives the interior an even more spacious feel.
As with every other BMW, the X7 will come with an arm’s length list of optional extras to be added to the SUV’s starting price of $73,900 for the six-cylinder model. But like other BMW models, you’ll also have access to a suite of safety technology, including all the passive automated systems like Adaptive Cruise Control, as well as BMW’s awesome laser headlights. However, those systems are optional and will cost exact, and if you want the twin-turbocharged V8 X7, you’ll have to plop down a mouth-drying $92.600. And though I’m not sure that BMW’s current course of action is the right one, the X7 will likely sell like hotcakes. Maybe though it’s time to change the slogan?