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Reviews2023 BMW X7 Review: Family-Style Battle Tank

2023 BMW X7 Review: Family-Style Battle Tank

Fun to drive and fuel efficient too.


  • The 2023 BMW X7 starts at $78,845 in the United States at $110,890 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included.

  • Muscular and relatively frugal powertrains, sumptuously well finished cabin, supreme on-road comfort.

  • Fussy on-screen climate controls, slow-moving power-adjustable rear seats, M60i variant ain’t a bargain.


The 2023 BMW X7 is part of the German brand’s family of crossover vehicles that rounds up about 10 models. It serves up the longest list of standard and available features, and is the most luxurious of the bunch.

It’s also the biggest BMW utility vehicle, and although its size is imposing, it’s not as gigantic as the American brands’ full-size SUVs with which it competes, such as the Cadillac Escalade, the Grand Wagoneer and the Lincoln Navigator. The X7 must also confront the Range Rover, the Mercedes-Benz GLS, the Infiniti QX80 and the Lexus LX. It’s like a sumo wrestler royal rumble cage match.

2023 BMW X7

For this battle of the biggest, the 2023 BMW X7 sharpened its moves and got an updated suit. First of all, its bodywork was revised to accentuate its sporty character, adopting the automaker’s new visual signature by ditching the quad headlight setup for a slim strip of DRLs, opting for projectors mounted lower in the front fascia. We’ll let you be the judge if this stylistic departure represents an evolution of the brand’s traditional design, but this new two-tier lighting layout isn’t unique in the industry. Many other car companies have embraced it, including General Motors and Hyundai, just to name two.

BMW kept its signature kidney grille, though, which hasn’t grown in size with the crossover’s refresh, and which can be illuminated as an available option. Designers also reworked the lower portion of the front end as well as the taillights and the slim chrome strip that connect them together. There are also new alloy wheels with sizes ranging from 21 to 23 inches, along with new paint colours.

Under the hood, the 2023 BMW X7 gets revised powertrains that now include a mild hybrid system aiming to reduce fuel consumption and refine the automatic stop/start system. The X7 xDrive40i still offers a turbocharged 3.0L inline-six, which now develops 375 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. That’s 40 more ponies compared to last year’s model. City/highway/combined ratings now stand at 21/25/22 mpg or 11.3/9.5/10.5 L/100 km, an improvement of about 1 mpg or 0.6 L/100 km. During our winter test, we managed 22.6 mpg or 10.4 L/100 km.

If the X7 xDrive40i’s output is insufficient, and we honestly don’t see why it should be, the X7 M60i relies on a twin-turbo 4.4L V8 engine generating 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. These numbers are unchanged compared to the 2022 model year, but BMW decided nonetheless to change the name of this trim level from M50i to M60i. This variant’s city/highway/combined ratings are nothing to write home about at 16/21/18 mpg or 14.3/11.1/12.9 L/100 km, but at least it’s an improvement over the outgoing M50i’s combined figure of 17 mpg or 13.8 L/100 km.

For both of these powertrains, an eight-speed automatic transmission feeds all four wheels via the X7’s xDrive all-wheel drivetrain.

The BMW Alpina XB7 that is arriving for the 2024 model year relies on a twin-turbo 4.4L V8 engine, also with mild hybrid assist, boasts 630 horsepower and 490 pound-feet of torque. This even more lavish and exclusive X7 variant can blast from 0 to 60 mph in four seconds.

As before, the 2023 BMW X7 xDrive40i rival the less potent configurations of the competition listed above, while the M60i lines up against the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 and its 603-hp twin-turbo V8 and the Range Rover P530 and its 523-hp supercharged V8. The Alpina XB7 has to deal with the Cadillac Escalade-V, stuffed with a 682-hp supercharged V8 engine.

2023 BMW X7

The X7’s cabin also gets refreshed for 2023, the most significant change being the arrival of the curved display panel on the dashboard. It houses both the 12.3-inch digital driver instrument cluster and the 14.9-inch infotainment system touchscreen, along with BMW’s latest iDrive 8 interface. It brings new functionalities as well as a revised control layout.

However, the automaker decided to eliminate almost all the physical climate control buttons, relegating them exclusively to the touchscreen. It’s not what we would call a progressive change, as the system becomes more difficult to use with less tactile controls, especially while driving. Only the front and rear defrost buttons are left on the center stack. In addition, the dashboard air vents are adjustable, but their dinky little joysticks feel low-rent, and out of place in a vehicle of this price.

2023 BMW X7

Otherwise, fit and finish is excellent, with quality materials everywhere. We get a choice of eleven interior colors and eight accenting options, including seven wood and one carbon fibre trims. The equipment list rounds up available features such as head-up display with augmented reality, heated and cooled cupholders, active parking assist with a memory feature (very handy for squeezing in and out of tight garages), soft-close doors, an Alcantara headliner, glass-trimmed switchgear, heated seats in all three rows, ventilated and massaging front seats, heated armrests, an air freshener system with fragrance diffusion, a Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system, a power panoramic sunroof, and much more. Four-zone climate control is standard, while a five-zone system is optional.

The 2023 BMW X7 can seat up to seven people, or up to six if we choose the individual second-row seats instead of the three-occupant bench. Our X7 was equipped with the bench that features power sliding and tilting functions, to facilitate third-row seat access. However, our patience is put to the test as it moves very slowly in its tracks.

The X7 xDrive40i starts at $78,845 in the U.S. and at $110,890 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included, while the M60i is priced from $104,095 or $131,480. Only the Infiniti QX80 has a lower base price in the U.S. and Canada, while the Cadillac Escalade also undercuts the BMW in Canada. The Grand Wagoneer, Lincoln Navigator, Mercedes-Benz GLS and Lexus LX 600 are all in the same price, while the Range Rover is the costliest of the bunch, lining up better with the X7 M60i’s MSRP.

In the world of full-size luxury utility vehicles, the 2023 BMW X7 is the most fuel-efficient, alongside the diesel-powered Escalade. The X7 also offers solid handling, supreme road comfort and good performance, no matter which engine we choose, all in a family-friendly package. It’s a compelling choice in a segment where buyers are more about emotional purchase criteria than rational ones, but the BMW ticks a lot of boxes. As we said before, we’ll let you decide on the 2023 model’s refreshed design.

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