Go Big or Go Home: 2019 BMW X7 SUV

The 2019 BMW X7’s waterfall grille is both striking and a bit sinister.
This model now tops the marque’s SUV range.

The 2019 BMW X7 is an all-new model, the latest sport utility vehicle from this German luxury brand. It is also the largest SUV this manufacturer has ever offered, a proper three-row model with room for seven. The X7 leads in features, comfort, and quality. its engine choices are robust, but fully loaded models will cost you as much as $120,000.

2019 BMW X7 Overview

BMW markets the 2019 X7 in two configurations: xDrive40i and xDrive50i. Both models are all-wheel drive and come with inline-six and V8 engines, respectively.

You’ll build your X7 based on the corresponding trim. An xDrive40i Luxury begins at $73,900, while an xDrive40i M Sport starts out at $78,250. The xDrive50i Luxury begins at $92,600, while an xDrive50i M Sport starts out at $96,150. Consider both the canvas you’ll utilize with when you begin your build. The first choice is essentially the standard trim. The second choice adds M elements, including a sport rear differential, improved grip tires, and design embellishments.

Once you choose your canvas, BMW takes you through an entire design regimen, including color, wheels, upholstery, interior trims, packages, and individual options. Take note that some of the upgrades are included with the corresponding M Sport canvas. Other upgrades, including black extended merino leather seats ($2,450) require a second upgrade to multi-contour seats ($750).



Adding any of the available packages simply customizes your build and drives up the price. And amazingly so, especially if you are not careful.

For example, choose the xDrive40i Luxury and you’ll find the following packages: Cold Weather Package ($1,200), Dynamic Handling Package ($3,850), Driving Assistance Professional Package ($1,700), Luxury Seating Package ($1,600), Off-Road Package ($1,650), Parking Assistance Package ($700), and a Premium Package ($3,000). The last package brings in a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. A further upgrade within the package is the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System ($3,400), a 1,500-watt system with 20 speakers.

We won’t go into individual package features as space doesn’t permit. But we’ll mention some of the upgrades as we look at various features moving forward.

A Matter of Style

Much has been written about the X7’s front fascia, in particular, its oversized twin-kidney grille. At first glance, they seem larger than what this vehicle should feature, therefore the focus on the front end becomes the conversation.

Yes, the grille is big, but it isn’t as overwhelming as it seems, at least not in person. After a week of driving the X7, I concluded the grille is only slightly larger than what I prefer — at 90-percent scale, the look might be better. I realize talking about grille size won’t end the debate, but perhaps it will ease the concern some have for the look.

Among the standout exterior features of the X7 are its long hood, proportionally lengthy profile and large greenhouse. It is as large as a model in this segment comes and with its high roofline, elegant character lines, rounded corners, and beautiful lighting elements. Happily, BMW didn’t stray from the success it enjoys with its other SUVs — it is simply a pleasant upgrade from the X5.



Inside, the cabin simply dazzles. Everywhere you look there are beautiful materials present — exquisite leathers, real wood, and metal trim. If plastic is present, I didn’t see it. Or it is so well disguised that it is virtually indistinguishable from the other materials.

Most of us applaud BMW for finally giving us an SUV with three rows. The throne-like front seats are without comparison, but the second- and third-row seats are also quite good. We were impressed by the pillow padded headrests of the available second-row captain’s chairs (which replaces the standard bench seat), and was an unexpected bonus. What’s especially interesting about third-row access here, is that once you activate the power feature in the second-row seat, the first-row seat also moves forward. As such, access to the third row is easy as the seats move forward and out of the way.

As for the third row, we found the 50-50 split fold-down bench seat comfortable, with sufficient padding and support. Adults may not clamor to get back there, but there is enough room for two six-footers. We think families will be naturally drawn to this SUV. The larger space will certainly be welcomed by those who prize the room.

The dashboard brings in the “wow” factor to this model. Besides being beautifully crafted with visible stitching and gentle layering, the almost seamless connection between the instrument panel and the center display is fetching. Lots of chrome surround and connecting wood trim impart elegance and sophistication. The quilted leather seats in my test model dressed in Tartufo Extended Merino Leather were all-day comfortable and exquisitely designed. Further, the front seats added ventilation and massaging to the standard heat controls.





Safety and Technology

We won’t see crash test ratings for a while yet as the X7 is too new. However, we expect the top ratings garnered by the X5 to apply here.

In any case, BMW equips the X7 with LED headlights, parking sensors, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitors. You can also opt for such extras as night vision, automatic emergency braking, lane-change assist, a surround-view camera system, and a head-up display.

On the tech front, BMW offers a 10-speaker audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, and a one-year Apple CarPlay trial. Once the Apple trial ends, you’ll pay $80 annually to extend it. You’ll also find USB ports.

All models come with dual 12.3-inch screens. The one set within the instrument cluster is configurable and supplies driving data. The second one is a touchscreen display for the infotainment system. The system is also voice-activated, something we inadvertently discovered when I spoke to a passenger about the vehicle, saying “a BMW…” as it interpreted my speech as “Hey, BMW,” which is one way to activate it.



You’ll also find available gesture control, which allows you to accept incoming calls, reject calls, adjust volume, and activate the surround view system. There are five easy gestures to learn, each with the ability to decipher your intentions in front of a detection field above the center console.

As mentioned, you can upgrade to either a 12-speaker Harman Kardon or a 20-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system. Our test model had the Bowers arrangement along with the rear seat entertainment system.

On the Road

BMW offers robust power or even stronger power yet with its two engine choices. The automaker says the 0-60 mph time with the 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine is 5.8 seconds and just 5.2 seconds with the 4.4-liter V8. The standard engine utilizes a twin-scroll turbocharger, while the V8 has a pair of turbochargers. Both engines work with an 8-speed automatic transmission to send power to the wheels.

My test xDrive50i had the V8 and although it was quite powerful, it seemed isolated from the SUV. Credit BMW for placing an emphasis on quiet as well as ride comfort, although if you want to utilize the power shifters or switch to sport mode, you can. The standard two-axle air suspension system is amazing as it automatically self-levels. It also electronically adjusts, which is ideal for improved access and egress.



Models equipped with the available locking differential effectively split torque evenly between the axles. The design also helps the X7 pull out of corners with ease. You won’t think for a moment that you’re driving a sports car, but you’ll sense the SUV is more planted too. Steering is direct and handling imbues confidence.

There wasn’t one nanosecond where this big SUV felt any loss of power. Although most of our trips involved no more than two people aboard, we believe this SUV would have no trouble with a full payload and a trailer to take you there. Its pulling power isn’t anywhere near the top echelon pickup trucks, but it matches what similar SUVs provide.

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It is funny how some people get exercised about BMW pricing, especially the high cost of packages and other add-ons. But these individuals usually aren’t in the market for a luxury model. I’m not either as my personal affordability doesn’t allow such. That said, I simply don’t find it difficult to recommend a model based on what I would choose if such a vehicle was within my budget.

The standard xDrive40i should satisfy the majority of shoppers. But if performance and range-topping luxury are your things, then seriously consider the xDrive50i. My sample build here started with the M Sport and adds Cold Weather, Driving Assisting Professional, and the Premium Package. If towing is a priority, then upgrading to the 7,500-pound hitch adds $550. And if long trips are in your future, then the Rear Seat Entertainment Professional group ($2,200) is important.

At this price point, you’re paying $87,895 for a well-equipped 2019 X7, which is within range of a Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, although costlier than the Audi Q7, Land Rover Discovery, and the Volvo XC90. Yes, you can pay upwards of $120,000 to acquire one, putting this handsome and highly capable model within Range Rover territory.


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2019 BMW X7 Specifications


Sticker price from $73,900 (plus a $995 destination fee)

Price as tested: $117,945

Seats 7

Engine No. 1: 3.0-liter turbo gas I6

335 horsepower @ 5,500 – 6,500 RPM

330 foot-pounds of torque @ 1,500 – 5,200 RPM

8-speed automatic transmission

Engine No. 2: 4.4-liter turbo gas V8

456 horsepower @ 5,250 – 6,000 RPM

479 foot-pounds of torque @ 1,500 – 4,750 RPM

8-speed automatic transmission

Wheelbase: 122.2 inches

Length: 203.3 inches

Width: 78.7 inches

Height: 71.1 inches

Passenger volume: NR

Storage volume: 48.6/90.4 cubic feet

Maximum towing capacity: 5,950 or 7,500 pounds, depending on the hitch

EPA: 20/25/22 (xDrive40i); 15/21/17 (xDrive50i) city/highway/combined mpg

Premium gasoline

Fuel tank: 21.9 gallons

Curb weight: From 5,370 to 5,617 pounds

IIHS safety rating: Pending

Limited vehicle warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles

Powertrain warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles

Corrosion warranty: 12 years/unlimited miles

Vehicle assembly: Spartanburg, South Carolina




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Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan has maintained his love for cars ever since his father taught him kicking tires can be one way to uncover a problem with a vehicle’s suspension system. He since moved on to learn a few things about coefficient of drag, G-forces, toe-heel shifting, and how to work the crazy infotainment system in some random weekly driver. Matt is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association and is a contributor to various print and online media sources.