The X7 is not a BMW for which enthusiasts readily fall but, having subjected the top-billing X7 M50i to the Autocar road test, we don’t imagine owners will care.

BMW’s decision to enter this corner of the market will seem questionable to European drivers who travel along roads far smaller than those found in the US and the Middle East, but the execution of this Range Rover rival is difficult to fault, at least on the road. Its long-distance manners are impeccable, its cabin is spacious and comfortable, the handling inspires surprising confidence and, equipped with a subdued but powerful cross-plane V8 engine, overall the car is an unexpectedly likeable companion.

Stunningly large and enviably refined but too excessive for many

However, this BMW lacks the ultimate off-road credibility and cabin ambience of its British counterpart, and unless you desperately need the additional seats, an X5 equipped with six cylinders is sweeter to drive, cheaper to run, easier on the eye and very nearly as cultured on the move. In the UK, the X7 therefore feels like the answer to a question very few are asking, but since when have 500bhp-plus SUVs ever been about straightforward logic? Expect to see plenty.

What Car? New car buyer marketplace - BMW X7