Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Should-you-buy Should you buy a 2023 BMW X7?

Should you buy a 2023 BMW X7?

We look at reasons you might want to consider buying a 2023 BMW X7 and a few reasons why you might want to look for a different three-row luxury SUV.


 

The 2023 BMW X7 arrives this year with a long list of improvements while also preserving what has made the largest BMW SUV so appealing to families looking for a luxurious, performance-oriented three-row SUV for those weekend family trips or hockey tournaments. BMW has proven time and time again that the dynamic personality of its sedans and coupes translates into a larger SUV format.

The BMW X3 launched the compact luxury SUV segment, while the BMW X5 immediately stood out when it was introduced because of its handling and agility. The BMW X7 was introduced in 2019 and is no different. The X7 proved that even with three rows of seats, a BMW can still be sporty and fun to drive.

The 2023 BMW X7 isn’t a new generation. Still, BMW engineers significantly refreshed the large SUV with a unique redesign of the front end, new and somewhat controversial headlights, and new wheel options including 23-inch behemoths.

An updated powertrain lineup delivers more horsepower and torque and a new interior design with an improved infotainment system. As far as midcycle refreshes go, the one applied to the X7 is considerable and distinguishing the 2023 model from previous X7 models isn’t difficult.

We had the opportunity to sample the 2023 BMW X7 xDrive40i riding on 23-inch wheels during the week when we got our first snowstorm here in Montreal, allowing us to see how the large X7 behaves on slippery roads with paper-thin summer tires. We also had the chance to test the new three-row BMW SUV on dry roads and confirmed that this is still the liveliest luxury three-row SUV you can buy. We’ll get to that in a second, but first, a look under the hood. 

The entry-level X7 still features a turbocharged inline-six-cylinder powertrain that now delivers 375 hp and 398 pound-feet of torque. This increases the numbers by 40 hp and 67 pound-feet compared to the 2022 model and makes the X7 significantly more potent than a base GLS from Mercedes-Benz or a base Audi Q7.

From there, buyers can upgrade to the new M60i trim, which replaces the outgoing M50i trim with a new twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 engine paired with a 48-volt hybrid system. This engine delivers 523 hp and 553 pound-feet of torque, pushing you to 100 km/h in under 5.0 seconds.

If that’s not enough for you, we recommend therapy to try and understand why you are so hard to please. If it all checks out, you can opt for the upcoming 2023 XB7 Alpina, which will feature the same improvements as the other X7 models while also providing 630 hp from the massive V8.

Aside from the redesigned dashboard and centre console, the X7 remains almost identical inside to the 2022 model. There isn’t more space or cargo capacity in this 2023 X7, but versatility was never an issue for BMWs full-size SUV. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you will want to consider a 2023 BMW X7 if you are in the market for a premium, family-hauling SUV and a few reasons why you might want to go in another direction.

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Why should you buy a 2023 BMW X7?

The new BMW X7 remains one of the most fun-to-drive and dynamic three-row premium SUVs on the market while also retaining its surprising comfort. It is still quite spacious, and the new infotainment system is easy to use. The X7 still stands out with its impressive towing capability and our week with the new model proved that winter will never be a problem.

Still the sportiest three-row luxury SUV on the market

Most buyers looking for a vehicle in this segment are more concerned about comfort, refinement, and interior space. Still, if you have recently received the surprising news that you are expecting triplets, the 2023 BMW X7 will give you the space you need without forcing you into a boring vehicle. Quite the contrary. The X7 handles like a BMW with sharp steering that provides a ton of feedback and cornering abilities that quickly make you forget how much space you have behind you.

Moreover, the entry-level inline-six turbocharged powertrain provides more than enough power in any situation, from coming out of a corner to merging on the highway to surprising Honda Civic Si drivers at red lights. What makes this engine particularly impressive is how quickly it reacts. Accelerations are linear and immediate, and the power delivery is buttery-smooth across the entire rev range.

Comfortable, even on 23-inch wheels

BMW X7 buyers can choose from a long list of available exterior options and packages and different 21-inch and 22-inch wheel options. And then there are the new 23-inch wheels that make a bold statement visually but, more importantly, do not compromise comfort. The BMW X7 may have an edge to it in terms of performance; the suspension can also easily handle potholes and is quite impressive as a refined daily driver. If you’re wondering, it is significantly more refined on the road than a BMW X5, and you can tell where your money went when cruising down the highway.

Space for the whole family

The BMW X7 isn’t the most spacious in its class, but on its own it is a welcoming three-row SUV for both passengers and luggage. There is a total of 2,560 L of cargo space behind the first row, more than 500 L more than an X5.

You also get 1,376 L behind the second row, which gives you 400 extra litres compared to the X5. The only element you will want to check is the space behind the third row, which is far from what you will find in other premium three-row SUVs. If you’re planning to use the third row often and transport cargo when all those three rows are occupied, the X7 might be tight.

The same can be said for the third row, which does provide decent headroom, but legroom is short. Still, we put interior space in the reasons you would want to buy an X7, mainly because of the available second-row space.

A forward-facing child seat will fit perfectly in the second row without forcing the passenger upfront to move the seat forward to avoid those pesky little kicks on long highway drives. Once you get rid of those child seats, teenagers and adults can fit comfortably in the back. Spending long hours on the road with the family in an X7 is always enjoyable.

User-friendly infotainment system

The 2023 BMW X7 features a new dashboard design that we have seen on other BMW models introduced recently, like the BMW iX or BMW 7 Series. The top portion consists of a large 14.9-inch centre display touchscreen that blends with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. The rest of the layout is clean, with a handful of dials below the screens. Most of the action is found between the front seats, where again, you get a clean and pure design with everything intelligently laid out. 

The X7 has a very classy interior and the new infotainment system, despite its multiple functions, is quite easy to use. Moreover, the graphics look great. You get a wide range of features, including heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, multiple-zone climate controls, and one of the best 360-degree camera systems on any vehicle anywhere.

Going through the available features on the X7 is too long, but it has everything one expects in this type of vehicle, including advanced semi-autonomous driving capability. If you are frustrated with the complexity of the infotainment system in your current vehicle, the X7 will provide an upgrade while also feeling very luxurious inside.

Great towing capacity

The 2023 BMW X7 can tow up to 7,500 pounds. You will find quite a few sport utility vehicles in this segment that can tow more, but given the performance focus of the X7, we still feel that this is a plus.


 

Why you shouldn’t buy a 2023 BMW X7

Although we discussed space previously, we have to reiterate that the X7 is less spacious than some other options offered at the same price in this segment.

Moreover, the X7 has received considerable changes, but the 2023 model is also significantly more expensive than the 2022 model, which you will likely see on your dealer’s lot. The engine lineup could also use a refresh.

Not as spacious as some of its rivals

The BMW X7 doesn’t have the interior space of some of its direct competitors. The Mercedes-Benz GLS, for example, offers more second-row and third-row legroom while offering more headroom.

The same goes for a Cadillac Escalade, Grand Wagoneer, or new Range Rover. And while the X7 does offer more cargo space than a GLS, it cannot compare with a new Range Rover, Escalade, Grand Wagoneer, or Navigator. If space is your number one priority, you will find better options elsewhere.

Not all that different from a 2022 model but a lot more expensive

This point will be moot in the next few months, but right now many BMW dealerships still have 2022 BMW X7 models on their lot.

Although the 2023 model does get interesting upgrades, you will also notice that the price difference between a 2023 X7 and a 2022 model is significant, particularly when leasing. Given that the 2023 and 2022 models have the same characteristics in terms of comfort and space, the added performance and features of the refreshed version come with a steep premium. You might want to put off your purchase for a few months.

Engine lineup could use an upgrade

Performance-wise there is nothing negative to say about the 2023 X7’s engine lineup. However, fuel economy isn’t one of the BMW three-row SUV’s strong suits, and although this segment has yet to see many electrification options, we feel that a plug-in hybrid powertrain or hybrid powertrain could have gone a long way in making the X7 even more appealing.

This is more of a recommendation than anything else for BMW. Ultimately the X7 isn’t more or less efficient than similar models.

2022 Grand Wagoneer Review: Big Daddy of Luxury


 

Conclusion

The BMW X7 has always been a favourite of ours in the premium three-row SUV segment, and the improvements made in 2023 make a good vehicle even better. We want a bit more space compared to the competition, but there are still plenty of reasons to buy a 2023 BMW X7 as your next luxury pseudo-minivan.

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Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur was studying to be a CPA when he decided to drop everything and launch a car website in 2012. Don't ask. The journey has been an interesting one, but today he has co-founded and manages 8 websites including EcoloAuto.com and MotorIllustrated.com as General Manager of NetMedia360. He also sits on the board of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. Send me an email

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