BMW watched from afar as Mercedes-Benz rolled thousands of GL (now GLS) units off its assembly lines since 2006 before deciding to pull the trigger on its largest SUV yet, the 2020 BMW X7.
Now, the Munich-based automaker can say it has a competitor for everything Mercedes-Benz offers, and at the same time has a product to now take on the Range Rover, Cadillac Escalade, Infiniti QX80, and Lincoln Navigator.
Like it or not BMW purists, the full-size luxury SUV segment is big business and BMW had to get on board. Luckily, they did it their way and the end result won’t disappoint BMW fans. The new 2020 X7 behaves and handles like a BMW should. Maybe not a 90s BMW, but still.
There are three versions of the X7 available starting with the model I tested for a week, the BMW X7 xDrive40i. It gets its power from a 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-six with 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. It gets to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds and is paired to an 8-speed automatic gearbox that handles anything you throw at it.
Next is the BMW X7 xDrive50i which is powered by a twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 with 456 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Back in May, BMW introduced the X7 M50i which completes the current lineup with the same 4.4-litre V8 pumped up to 523 horsepower.
Here’s the thing about BMW X vehicles with the twin-turbo V8. They are incredibly fast. The X5 xDrive50i, for example, could take a run at a few exotics. Everyone we’ve had the chance to sample one here at MI, we told you that you didn’t need all that power and that the inline-six was just fine. Secretly, however, we would get the V8 every time.
The price difference between the X7 xDrive40i and xDrive50i is roughly $20,000 which is considerable, but on the other hand this is a vehicle that starts at $92,000. If you have that much, you probably have $112,000 and although we haven’t spent much time with the X7 xDrive50i, we know it’s worth every penny performance-wise.
Back to the X7 xDrive40i, it features three rows of seats and will accommodate 7 passengers. The first two rows are very spacious and when they say that the X7 is the 7 Series of BMW Sport Activity Vehicles, they aren’t kidding. At least in terms of space.
Towing capacity is rated at 7,500 pounds and there’s between 362 litres and 2,210 litres of cargo space in the back.
Why You Should Buy a 2020 BMW X7
- It’s by far the most fun to drive three-row, full-size luxury SUV in its segment. It feels big like a Range Rover or Cadillac Escalade feels big, but it doesn’t drive big. Once you get going, you feel like you’re in a 5 Series.
- The interior is simply gorgeous. It’s not any different from an 8 Series or a new 7 Series, but that’s just fine because BMW has done a great job of upgrading its premium vehicles inside.
- The BMW X7 xDrive40i is faster than a lot of cars on the road and gives the driver ample confidence. The xDrive50i gets you and your 6 passengers to 100 km/h in just over 5.0 seconds. Enough said.
- With the rear seat folded flat, we were able to fit two paintings, a TV, a stroller, and a couple of boxes in the X7. It’s quite spacious back there.
- The third row is actually usable even for teens and adults.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 2020 BMW X7
- There’s not a lot of space in the cargo area when you have all three seats up, less than in most full-size luxury SUVs anyway.
- The BMW X7 is comfortable, sure, but it’s not on the level of the Range Rover or Lincoln Navigator. Because the X7 is designed to be sportier than most full-size SUVs, there is a slight compromise when it comes to refinement and comfort.
- We said earlier that the interior was pretty spectacular, and it is. However, it shares the same design as just about every other new BMW including the redesigned BMW X5. Some may want a bit more exclusivity in their premium SUV.
If you need a luxury SUV for your family but want something that’s fun to drive, the 2020 BMW X7 is it. It may not have the comfort of a Range Rover or the interior space of some of its American rivals, but it’s still versatile and a lot more dynamic on the road.