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2019 BMW X7 – First Drive Review of BMW’s Big New SUV

MARK TAKAHASHI: I’m driving through the American Southwest in the biggest, newest thing from BMW. And by big, it really is– it’s the all new 2019 X7. Do me a favor– hit Subscribe below. We have a lot more reviews coming your way. The X7 is the latest and the biggest SUV from BMW. It’s about nine inches longer than the X5, and come standard with three rows of seats. You can get it as either as six or seven passenger. The seven passenger is an option. Gives you a second row bench. Price prices start right around $75,000 for the xDrive40i that has a six cylinder– that’s turbo charged. Puts out 335 horsepower. You can upgrade to the xDrive50i, but that’s going to set you back $94,000. Has a turbo charged V8 that puts out 456 horsepower. More importantly though, let’s find out how it drives. [MUSIC PLAYING] All right. At the moment, I’m driving the X7 with the turbo charged V8 that has 456 horsepower. We’re about to get on the highway, so let’s floor it. It’s got plenty of power. I actually have to back off now cause there’s a truck there, but it gets up speed very confidently. The V8 sounds pretty decent too. We drove under a short bridge a while back and had the windows down. It’s a good, burly V8 sound. I’m going to pass. It’s effortless. [MUSIC PLAYING] On the road, you feel the height of the car. You also feel the weight. It feels substantial. The ride quality is super smooth, exactly what you’d expect from a big, luxury SUV. Does come with adaptive suspension as standard, so it all works together. The sport mode isn’t actually all that sporty. You don’t field too much of a difference from the shocks, but just enough. Odds are, if you’re looking at a luxury SUV of this size, performance and handling isn’t really that important. As far as the seats go, they’re comfortable. They’re a little flat, and they’re definitely geared more towards comfort than sport seats that give you a lot more lateral support. You’re going to slide around a little if you’re taking some turns, but really well done for comfort. Multi-contoured seats also are standard on the xDrive50i, and optional on the turbo charged 6. And according to BMW, the difference is only half a second in 0 to 60 time. For most people, I think they’re going to be just fine with the 6, and they’re pretty much equal when it comes to feature content. There were some things that are standard on the eight cylinder that are optional on the 6, but in the end, you’re really not going to miss out on too much. I’m not too crazy about the lane keep assist. I think it’s a little too heavy handed. Literally, heavy handed. It took a lot of effort to keep it going straight. The effort in the wheel built up a lot, and it wasn’t all that accurate either. Every now and then, I’d feel a little bit of a swerve when the system gets confused. In the end, after about 30 minutes of driving, I went to the menu and just turned it off. That’s generally a bad sign because I like advanced safety features, but when they’re not tuned well, it’s just aggravating, and I end up not using them at all. Otherwise, the adaptive cruise control is really good. It doesn’t give you this big punch of acceleration when a car moves out of your way, and it doesn’t jam on the brakes when you come up on someone. It drives much like a normal human would. Visibility out the front is pretty good, not great. This roof pillar in the front, it’s pretty thick, but it’s actually not getting in the way too much, considering its thickness. One thing I did find a little odd, though, is the mirrors seem a little small to me. I’m not getting a whole lot of a big lateral view off to the left here. But at the same time, I’m getting just enough to know a car’s coming up. The brakes feel good. They feel appropriate for a car of this size and this class. It’s a soft pedal. It’s easy to modulate, it’s easy to come to a nice smooth limo stop. Really not a lot to report there, and the same goes for the transmission. Smooth shifts. Not a lot to say. It’s not awkward at low speeds, and the gear shifts are nice and quick, especially when you want to go past someone. [MUSIC PLAYING] From the back, the X7 reminds me a lot of the 7 series sedan, in a good way. This chrome strip serves to break up some of the bulkiness of the design. And of course, there’s a power lift gate. There’s also this lower section here, which is great for tailgating. There’s not a whole lot of cargo space behind the third row of seats, maybe enough for two carry on luggage pieces, and that’s about it, if you load it to the top of the deck. However, all you have to do is hit a few buttons here, and it folds the third row flat. That opens you up to almost 49 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold down the second row, and that bumps up to over 90 cubic feet. Compared to other luxury SUV of this size, that’s about average. You do also get a height adjustable load floor with this button right here. And, when you’re all ready and done, hit one button and walk away. [MUSIC PLAYING] From the middle row of seats, I’m pretty impressed. These seats are just as comfortable at the front, but you get these nice little sueded pillows that feel really good. Just enough adjustments. There’s no seat cushion rake angle adjustment, but it feels about right. I’m getting plenty of support, which means that the seats aren’t mounted too low to the floor, which they’ll typically do. Actually, they’re raised, so I have a really good view out the front. It’s got to be at least a few inches taller, ride height-wise than the front seats. And that tends to open it up, make it feel more spacious, rather than being kind of confined and not seeing what’s up front. With this particular test car, we have sun shades and a massive panoramic sunroof, which is neat because it has almost a polka dot pattern in it. It’s a little unusual, but I like it. It’s just a little something different. Quad zone automatic climate control is standard, and we have it here. And you can get a fifth zone for the third row as well. I also have the rear entertainment system here. It’s a nice big touchpad. It’s almost the size of an iPad, and you have plenty of entertainment options. And you can also keep tabs of what the driver sees, navigation-wise. One thing I like is these armrests give you really nice place to set your elbows. And the middle ones, the inboard ones, are adjustable and ratcheting and slide forward and back. Takes a little while to finally get that adjustment you want, but it feels just about right. Materials quality back here is as nice as the front, which is pretty typical for a flagship luxury vehicle. On other vehicles, they might scrimp a little here and there and use more durable but not as attractive materials. That’s not the case with the X7. Everything is as nice back here as it is up front. I do hear a little more road noise than I’d expect, but we are on some rather coarse asphalt. There were some moments where we were on some really smooth asphalt, and it was as quiet as a crypt. So that’s kind of hit and miss. Accessing the third row takes a little bit of patience. You hit one button, and the second row slides rather slowly forward. But it is still rather elegant and, well, doesn’t have all that clunkiness that you’d find in some others. It’s really not too much of an awkward stoop to get to your seat. And it’s just another button touch to get it to fold back. All right. Now I’m in the third row, the rearmost row of the X7. And the middle seat here is set for me, with just maybe an inch or two of knee room in front. As far space back here, well, obviously, third rows are always better suited to smaller passengers or children, but I do fit fairly well. My hair is brushing the headliner. I’m 5 foot 10. My knees aren’t touching, but they are really close, and I don’t have that much foot room. Also, the seat cushion is low, which is to be expected from the third row. So there’s not a whole lot of support for adults back here. But in a pinch, I’d be totally fine. One thing that I’m finding weird though is I’m in this right seat, but the seat in front of me is just moved off a couple inches to the right. So in order to keep from bumping into the seat, I actually have to move my knees a little off to the right. That’s a little awkward. Children probably wouldn’t have to deal with that. What is good though, we are equipped with this fifth zone for climate control with some vents strategically placed. There is a USB-C charger here and on the other side, and there’s two for the middle row as well. One thing that I’m finding notable back here is the sensation of space. I realize by touching and bumping into whatever is around me that it’s not all that spacious. But, this extra sunroof here, this window here, it opens it up and it doesn’t feel claustrophobic. After logging a bunch of miles on the X7, I came away relatively impressed. Really, the only thing that I’m not a fan of the steering. It’s just a little bit too much effort, and that’s especially true when you have some of the advanced safety features activated. It compares very favorably against the Audi Q7, as well as the Mercedes GLS. For more information on the X7, as well as its competition, head on over to Edmunds.com. To see more videos like this, hit Subscribe. [MUSIC PLAYING]


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