Home / Reviews / First Drive / BMW X7 First Drive Review – Much More Than a Facelift


We drove the BMW X7, which has received a substantial facelift, in the United States of America. Here is how the drive went off.

Story: Aspi Bhathena
Photography: BMW

When it was launched in 2019, the BMW X7 set a benchmark in the luxury SUV segment. The first drive was held from Las Vegas to Los Angeles via the Death Valley and I still remember how I could throw the big SUV round corners on the Canyon roads.

Fast forward to 2022 and I am back in Palm Spring, USA, for a drive in the facelift X7. However, there is more to this SUV than a mere facelift.

The front end has been given a makeover within the new design style of luxury BMW models. Elements such as signature BMW twin headlamps and kidney grille appear in the interpreted form. The split headlamp units and the new-look kidney grille combine with the large front apron and they exude a powerful presence. The new BMW iconic glow kidney grille with discreet cascade lighting adds to the road presence of this SUV.

The standard adaptive matrix LED headlights are divided into two modules. The LED light strips positioned high up in the SUV’s front end include daytime driving lights, sidelights, and turn indicators. High beam and low beam headlights are located lower down in a separate module embedded deep in the front apron. The BMW selective beam non-dazzling high-beam and the fog-lamps are integrated into the headlamps. The new LED rear tail-lights with three-dimensional sculpting have an extremely slim design. The glass-covered chrome bar connects the left and the right tail-lamps.

The 20-inch alloys wheels with all these changes add to the imposing stance of the already imposing X7.

A lot has changed in the interior of this SUV, starting with the integration of BMW system 8 and new-generation iDrive and curved display: 12.3-inch for information and 14.9-inch for control display housed together behind a glass surface that curves towards the driver. The re-designed instrument panel with fine wood interior trim strip, slender air-vents, and backlit ambient lighting looks amazing at night.

The Merino leather seats are well upholstered with excellent bolstering, making them extremely comfortable where one can spend hours in the big SUV without getting tired. With its three rows of seating, seven people can be comfortably seated in the X7 and all the three rows can be electrically operated. Completing the luxurious interior is the panoramic sunroof with atmospheric lighting. All in all, the interior is well-appointed as you would expect of BMW.

The driving aids include the BMW live cockpit professional, head-up display, BMW maps cloud-based navigation system with augmented view in the control display, and BMW intelligent personal assistant with extended capabilities, with smartphone integration using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Moreover, a personal eSIM designed for 5G mobile technology can be used in this SUV. There is personalized user experience with BMW ID and BMW app, BMW digital key plus with ultra-wideband technology offering enhanced security, and remote software upgrades for importing new and improved vehicle functions.

The new X7 comes with three engine options, two petrol and one diesel, and all three have a 48-volt mild hybrid system. The SUV I drove in Palm Springs was the 40i straight six-cylinder petrol engine with a 48-volt mild hybrid and an eight-speed steptronic automatic transmission. The three-litre six-cylinder has been worked on and now power has increased to 380 hp from 340 hp and the torque has gone up by 70 Nm from 450 Nm to 520 Nm. The electric motor works as a starter and adds 12 hp of power and 20 Nm of torque at the bottom end of the rev-range.

The power is put down on the road via an eight-speed automatic steptronic gearbox and the BMW all-wheel X drive with power predominantly delivered via the rear wheels.

The front multilink suspension has adaptive two-axle air suspension with electronically controlled dampers with active steering and executive drive pro with active roll stabilization. The rear suspension set-up is multilink air suspension.

The driving routes were around Palm Springs in California and they had a mix of motorway and single-lane back roads. The minute you get into the SUV and start driving, it wraps around you and you don’t feel its size. There is instant response to throttle input thanks to the electric motor and the straight six motor keeps building performance effortlessly. In fact, one needs to keep an eye on the speedometer so as not to exceed the 70-mph (112 km/h) speed limit on the highway.

The X7 cruises effortlessly on the motorway and once you get on to the single-lane mountain roads, the fun begins as you throw the big SUV around corners like a sports car. It is amazing how an SUV weighing nearly 2.5 tonnes can handle the twists and turns so effortlessly.

The X7 has the quietest cabin. It isolates you from the outside world and noise. The SUV has a very good ride quality and, at the same time, it is fun to drive because there is hardly any body-roll.

The X7 was the best luxury SUV to start with and the BMW engineers have now taken it a couple of notches higher.

Need to Know – BMW X7 xDrive40i

Price: Rs 1.22 crore (ex-showroom)
Engine: 2,998 cc, in-line six, turbo-petrol, 48-volt mild-hybrid
Max Power: 380 hp @ 5,200-6,250 rpm
Max Torque: 520 Nm @ 1,850-5,000 rpm
Electric Motor: 9.0-kW ISG (12 hp, 200 Nm)
Battery: 20-Ah, 48-volt
Peak Output: 380 hp, 540 Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed, automatic, all-wheel drive
Weight: 2,415 kg


About the author: Vaibhav Kashyap



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