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US-built uber-SUV arrives in the UK with its V8 sights trained on the Range Rover

The latest vision of high-riding, big-car luxury to come out of Munich, Bavaria, is the focus of this road test: the near-5.2m-long, near-six-foot-tall, 2.48-tonne BMW X7.

Introduced in the UK in spring 2019, the X7 has escaped the scrutiny of a full road test until now. However, this full-sized SUV’s first 18 months on sale here have been eventful. Certain engine derivatives within its showroom range have already been removed and replaced, more or less directly depending on which one in particular you’re looking at.

In no world can this M-badged X7 be classified as subtle but, in something of a role reversal, those who want even more visual clout – and power – should try Alpina’s XB7.

The car was introduced with three choices of motive power, two of which were diesel-fuelled but neither of which is available any longer. So instead of a range comprising 30d, 40i and M50d derivatives, as it was originally laid out by BMW UK, the firm now offers an X7 xDrive40i and a 40d, both of which develop 335bhp.

At what is for now the very top of the X7 range, meanwhile, where once there was the remarkable quad-turbo diesel M50d, there is now this – the X7 xDrive M50i – which becomes one of the most powerful seven-seat passenger cars money can buy, even though it burns petrol and not diesel like its immediate predecessor.

Even the M50i won’t be the upper limit for the X7. A full-fat X7 M, an M division version, is expected soon to battle more directly with the likes of the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63. For now, though, we’ll have to make do with the lower-order M Performance version, with its 523bhp twin-turbocharged V8 and piffling 4.7sec 0-62mph acceleration claim.

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Could that ever be enough X7 for the modern, aspiring BMW family man or woman? Stand by to find out.

The BMW X7 line-up at a glance

Petrol and diesel six-cylinders represent the entry-level engine offerings for the X7. The pricier M50d model, now in its last throes, uses the same basic powerplant as the xDrive40d but with four turbochargers instead of one. The V8-engined M50i crowns the range.

The trims are fairly simple, with all model variants treated to a rich level of standard specification. There’s the base X7, followed by M Sport variants and the two M50i and M50d M Performance models.

Price £92,975 Power 523bhp Torque 553lb ft 0-60mph 4.8sec 30-70mph in fourth 5.5sec Fuel economy 19.0mpg CO2 emissions 293g/km 70-0mph 45.2m


BMW X7 First drives