Luxury SUVs are nothing if not excellent road trip vehicles. The plush ride, quiet cabin, copious amenities, and plentiful space make for the best way to cover distance when confined to land. BMW’s X7 should be a natural winner on this front, and we tested out its cred on a recent adventure. How’d it do?
The X7 is simply excellent on the road. Even on winter tires, it’s quiet, smooth, and easy to cover miles in. It does a remarkable job of isolating out any unwanted noise while the generous greenhouse allows for a view of the surrounding landscape and simultaneously prevents claustrophobia on those long stretches of highway.
Behind the wheel, the X7 is an easy place to spend time. It’s easier to pilot and far more composed than a GMC Yukon and happier at speed than a Kia Carnival. The 3.0-liter TwinPower turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine happily uses its 375 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque is imperceptible unless you want to hear it sing. Paired to the 8-speed automatic gearbox, the X7 cruises at low RPMs on the highway. It feels totally under-stressed.
Hybrid, but you wouldn’t know it
And around town, the 48V mild hybrid system helps keep MPG decent. It’s a near-seamless pairing that helped us manage nearly 24 MPG over our loan. That’s respectable economy considering the X7’s 5,417 pound curb weight plus that of the people and cargo that were on board. Even loaded down, the straight-six makes passing a breeze. Around town it’s a decent engine but it shines at freeway speed.
We’re not fans of a few aspects of the X7, one of which is the front end design. The split headlight look is polarizing and not necessarily in a good way. Frankly, the pre-facelift X7 was better looking. On the inside, BMW’s Gesture Control is still finicky. Pointing to sights along a road trip exposes its limitations, with the radio station and/or volume changing when it shouldn’t. We also don’t like BMW’s decision to move the HVAC controls to the touch screen, where they’re less intuitive and cause for distracted driving.
Checks all the boxes
Quibbles aside, the X7 is very nicely outfitted. Back seat and even third row passengers are treated to their own sunroofs. Out back, the split tailgate is a treat in a world in which the Range Rover and Land Cruiser both ditched their split rear doors. The stereo isn’t great, but it more than gets the job done. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto work flawlessly, and there’s plenty of room inside for the whole family. Speaking of family, the X7 has a bunch of safety tech geared towards both keeping everyone safe and making the trip laid back when using things like adaptive cruise control, which works decently on open stretches of road.
Luxury SUVs don’t come cheap and the vehicle seen here is no exception. As per the provided window sticker, the X7 xDrive40i has a base price of $77,850 (now $81,900 as per BMW’s website). This test unit had a bunch of options: Dynamic Handling Package ($3,300), Driving Assistance Pro Package ($1,700), M Sport Package ($2,900) with upgraded wheels ($1,300), M Sport Professional Package ($1,300), Parking Assistance Package ($900), Premium Package ($1,850), and Climate Comfort Package ($1,800). The final test price with destination rings in at $93,745. And that’s for the base-trim X7. Yowza.
Not a performance BMW, but still a good one
It might not do “Ultimate Driving Machine” things the way other BMWs do, but the X7 is a very good SUV. It’s competent at everything it should be and short of a few technological bothers is executed to a very high degree. With excellent ride quality, effortless power, and fantastic seats, the X7 has the makings for a great cruiser and delivers on this promise. Should your life entail road trips of any sort, it’s hard to go wrong with the X7. It works beautifully in every other road-going SUV task as well, and will be sure to put smiles on families’ faces even if its own face isn’t the most attractive.
Leave a Reply