You will have probably formed your own opinion about the way the new BMW X7 looks by now.
It’s possible you will have also heard how some of those larger-than-life design cues (you know what I’m referring to) have been introduced to appeal to customers not just in the US but also China and the Middle East. Following this simple logical progression further, you might also have come to the conclusion that motorists in those particular markets lack taste somewhat. But, you know, horses for courses and all that.
Anyway, the X7 is the newest member of BMW’s line-up of luxury cars. The firm will tell you to think of it as a 7 Series that can go off road, as opposed to an X5 that has grown quite a bit larger (at 5.2m long, 1.8m tall and 2.0m wide, it’s now the largest car BMW has ever built).
Nevertheless, its relationship to its smaller SUV sibling remains a fairly close one: it sits on the same modular Cluster Architecture (CLAR) platform, uses a similar eight-speed automatic transmission, is available with BMW’s Off-Road package, comes with full air suspension as standard and shares the same line-up of 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. Unlike the X5, however, it comes with seven seats as standard.
While the X7 will be offered elsewhere with a mighty V8 engine, in Britain the 394bhp, 560lb ft, quad-turbocharged (yes, four) M50d represents the top of the range. There’s also a 335bhp 40i petrol, while the 30d - which is expected to account for some 60% of the X7’s UK sales mix - develops 261bhp at 4000rpm and 457lb ft between 2000 and 2500rpm.
M Sport trim adds features such as 21in alloy wheels and a sportier bodykit to an already impressive roster of standard equipment that includes Merino leather upholstery, four-zone climate control, a 12.3in infotainment system and heated seats in all three rows. All up, our X7 xDrive30d M Sport test car starts at £72,630.
One benefit of driving the X7 is that from behind the wheel, you don’t actually have to look at it. But to write off this flagship BMW purely because its design is challenging would be a touch unfair.
How does the X7 perform on the road?
In all honesty, there’s really very little about the manner in which the X7 conducts itself on the road that’s likely to upset you. But then there's little about its dynamic character that will really get your blood pumping, either – which is unsurprising, given the fact it weighs nearly 2.4 tonnes and is the size of an average bungalow.