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Sizeably designed and feature-filled, yet pleasingly easy and comfortable to drive, the new BMW X7 delivers everything you could possibly want.

25 Sep 2019



In the world of tech, there is something known as 'feature creep'. Per Wikipedia, it is the 'excessive ongoing expansion or addition of new features in a product, especially in computer software, videogames and consumer and business electronics. These extra features go beyond the basic function of the product and can result in software bloat and over-complication, rather than simple design.'

You could make the case that modern cars face the same issue. These days, cars are more than simple tools with which you get around. Packed with the latest technology, whether it's self-driving technology, voice-controlled features, massage seats, cars these days are so incredibly capable.

The all new X7 is BMW's new flagship SUV model

And, that's not even mentioning the raft of safety systems and driving technologies at work. Just take a look at any press releases and the sheer number of features available in any modern car can be slightly overwhelming.

So, what happens when a manufacturer takes everything it has in its arsenal and puts it onto one car? Well, you get something like this - the brand new BMW X7

In the spirit of bigger is better, the X7 can be had with 22-inch rims, such as on this Launch Edition model

Upsize

It's pretty huge, eh? The X7 is the new flagship BMW SUV model, sitting atop the lineup with six (six!!) smaller SUVs beneath it.

There's no denying the sheer size of the thing - 5,151mm long, 2,000mm wide and 1,805mm tall, and with a 3,105mm wheelbase, the X7 is as full-sized as they come. Coupled with the massive front grille, the X7 cuts an imposing figure on the road. It's not immediately pretty, but over time the X7 becomes more pleasant on the eye (even the grille looks less outrageously big as it initially seems).  

Two adults can sit comfortably in the third row

The sheer size of the X7 means there's plenty of space inside. You can have the car in either six or seven-seater configuration (seven is standard), and you can be rest assured that it will comfortably fit seven adults.

Various seating configrations can be adjusted with one-touch buttons placed strategically throughout the cabin. There are two especially useful buttons accessed via the boot (max passengers and max cargo), which either fold down and flip up all five rear seats.

You can configure the car's seating arrangement using one touch buttons accessible via the boot

Inside, the level of technology is pretty outrageous. You get an infotainment system with more menus than you'll ever explore, a ton of configuration options on just about everything in the cabin, buttons to adjust everything from the massage intensity to the incline of the rear seats, literally everything.

But, the impressiveness of the technology isn't in just the 'big' things, but in the little details too. For example, when you place your hand on the different seat adjustment buttons, a menu pops up on the screen showing you exactly which part of the seat those buttons adjust.

With all five seats folded flat, you have a monstrous 2,120 litres of cargo space

Additionally, luxury is in the details. This Launch Edition model comes with roughly $30,000 worth of additional equipment compared to the standard Design Pure Excellence variant. Beyond the glass detailing and fancy Sky Lounge panoramic glass roof (standard on this Launch Edition variant but optionally available otherwise), little details like cooled and heated cup holders and soft close function for the doors elevate the sense of luxury and quality in the X7.

We found one detail particularly pleasing - the windows open and close surprisingly quietly, and you can't really hear the whirring of the motors at work. Details…

Upright

Having read all that, you must imagine that the X7 is quite overwhelming and intimidating to drive. Except it's not, once you get over the initial 'woah' moment.

Wireless Apple CarPlay makes connecting your iPhone a simple, fuss-free affair

Yes, there are more features than I can possible name in this story, and there's no denying the car's imposing size, but on the road, it is shockingly easy to pilot.

With its prompt and powerful drivetrain, tidy handling, light and responsive steering and well-damped ride, the X7 is honestly not much harder to pilot than an X3. It never feels lethargic, heavy or bogged down. 

While you do sit very high up (dominating just about every non-commercial vehicle on the road), out on the open road, it never really feels quite as big as it really is (until you look in the rear view mirror and realise, man that rear window is a looong way away).

The cup holders can keep your morning coffee warm, as well as your evening can of Coke cold

In tighter spaces like carparks, you do have to be a little more deliberate and careful, but the X7 never feels overwhelming.

It also handles much better in corners than a car this size has any business to. There's body roll, no doubt, but even at decent cornering speed the car is always stable, predictable and assured. At the same time the ride is extremely comfortable. Yes, it is not as planted as a sedan, and there's some inevitable vertical travel because of its immense size and weight, but overall the car behaves in a manner that's completely beyond reproach. 

With 335bhp and 450Nm of torque on tap from the responsive 3.0-litre engine, the X7 is much more fleet-footed than a 2+ tonne car ought to be

Upgrade

I'm struggling to conclusively evaluate the X7. On one hand, this car goes against everything I like about cars. It's too big, too complicated, too expensive, too disconnected and just not that 'interesting'. And yet, if you really parse it down, the X7 has precious few actual flaws. It's a completely capable, usable and good modern car.

It's big, but not too big that driving it is scary or difficult (at 1,805mm tall it'll manage to enter all but a handful of Singapore carparks). It's complicated, but the technology (especially the ones you regularly use) is sleek, accessible and works how you want it to. It's expensive, but as the new flagship model, of course it is. It's disconnected, but it's a tech laden seven-seater SUV, so that's quite understandable. It's not very interesting, but again, it's a big SUV.

Out on the road, the X7 drives a lot smaller than its visual size would suggest

This is BMW's everything car. I mean, they have literally chucked everything they have into this car short of an M engine (and that's surely to come, right?). 

Yes, I may be fundamentally uncomfortable with the more-is-more concept. But, I cannot deny that the three days driving the X7 have been so damn comfortable, and I have nothing objectively bad to say about it.

The X7 is a highly-capable and complete SUV that's hard to find fault with

Feature creep has ruined many a promising video game. But with the X7, BMW has somehow done it right. It's packed full of features, but it doesn't feel bloated or unnecessarily over-complicated. It's the full BMW SUV experience delivering everything you could possibly ask for.
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Car Information

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BMW X7 xDrive40i Pure Excellence 7-Seater (A)
Rate it

Price

: $452,888

Engine Type

:

6-cylinder in-line TwinPower Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

2998cc

Horsepower

:

250kW (335 bhp)

Torque

:

450 Nm / 5200 rpm

Transmission

:

8-speed (A) Steptronic

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

6.1sec

Top Speed

:

-

Fuel consumption

:

unknown

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video  bmw  bmw x7  x7  x7 launch edition  bmw suv  x7 drive40i  x7 suv