2023 Mighty BMW X7

BMW's biggest SUV does all things well. It is a luxurious three-row family hauler with the soul of a sports sedan. We take it around tight corners and down the road.
Float like a Butterfly, Sting like a Bee
The first thing you notice when walking up to the newly redesigned BMW X7 is that it is really big. The car measures 203.6 inches in length and is 78.7 inches wide. There's plenty of room for the whole family inside with three rows of seating and cargo space for 33 suitcases with the back seats stowed. But this is a BMW that is bred to perform, and this magnificent SUV doesn't disappoint. With a zero to 60 mph time under 4 seconds in the Alpina XB7 variant and perfectly tuned suspension, this ultimate driving machine would be our pick for the most awe-inspiring way to get your family where you need to go.
All trim levels include all-wheel drive and a velvety smooth ride thanks to an excellent adaptive air suspension system. The interior is lush and very quiet, with the kind of high-quality materials and superb driver assist tech that you'd expect from BMW. The 2023 refresh includes more standard features, bigger grill kidneys up front, 21- or up to 23-inch wheels, upgraded engines, a 48-volt hybrid system, and a dazzling curved infotainment screen offering more advanced driver assist features than ever.
Under the Hood
When it comes to engines and performance, you have some choices to make. The entry-level X7 xDrive40i comes with a turbocharged inline-six cylinder engine and 48-volt hybrid system that delivers 375 horsepower. A more meaty M60i version brings you a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine that pushes 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. There's even a top-of-the-line Alpina XB7 that utilizes special tuning to squeeze 630 horses out of the V8 for a blistering zero to 60 mph time of just 3.8 seconds! That is one seriously quick big SUV! And the M60i is no slouch either, getting you and the kids up to 60 mph in a pulse-quickening 4.6 seconds. All versions of the X7 offers a silky smooth 8-speed automatic transmission for cloud-like shifting.
Speaking of smooth, every trim level floats on air suspension with adaptive dampers, and there's available active anti-roll bars and rear-axle steering to reduce motion and tighten cornering. All of which is standard on the M60i. As for fuel efficiency, as you might expect, the xDrive40i with its inline-six gets the best EPA ratings, managing 21 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. The M60i with its hearty V8 sucks up more fuel with an EPA rated 16 mpg city and 21 mpg highway.
Inside the Cabin
Hear that? No, I didn't hear anything either. That's because the X7 is so amazingly quiet inside. Pure paradise. Sink into the rich premium leather and feast your eyes on the 12.3-inch gauge cluster before you. Just to the right you'll explore the sweeping 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen with its many high-tech marvels. The M-style steering wheel is perfect… and heated, as are the front seats. A glance skyward will reward your gaze with a stunning panoramic sunroof. The X7 cocoons you in comfort. A luxury package even offers massaging seats.
There's ample room for your entire family and even the dog in this richly appointed cruiser. Powered second row captain chairs make getting to the third row easy and there's plenty of interior storage too. The curved glass panel on the dash is home to BMW's iDrive 8.5 infotainment system featuring every bell and whistle controlled by both the 14.9-inch touchscreen and a large rotary knob at the center console. BMW's Digital Key lets you stay updated on your car's status, start it remotely and heat or cool the cabin using a handy smartphone app. You can also upgrade to a powerful 16-speaker Harman/Kardon stereo to put you right in the orchestra pit.
The very latest safety and driver assist goodies include forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-departure warning all as standard.
On the Road
Here we have a mammoth-sized SUV that is both serene and savage. You'll find the handling and road feel to be surprisingly light and nimble for such as big SUV. The steering is precise and perfectly weighted. You'll be astounded at how tight it can handle a round-about. The eight-speed tranny's tork converter keeps shifts quiet and ultra-smooth.
Being that this is a BMW, you'd expect it to handle well and have excellent driving dynamics and the big X7 does not disappoint. The standard air suspension has been recalibrated on this refreshed Beemer and in Sport Mode, everything is a lot sharper and quicker. You get an exemplary ride, even if you choose the 23-inch wheels.
Now let's talk performance. We had the chance to try both the inline-six with the mild hybrid system and the V8 version of the X7. First, let me say, if you are partial to the better gas mileage and lower cost of the entry level version, you will not be disappointed. It is still 100 percent BMW and the inline-six offers a 40 horsepower bump over last year's model. A total of 375 horses will take you from zero to 60 miles per hour in 5.6 seconds and for most commuters or moms taking the kids to soccer practice, that's plenty of go power. On the other hand, if price is no object, the V8-powered M60i offers thrills you never thought you could experience in such a massive car. The thing is, it doesn't feel massive when you're behind the wheel. It is nimble, sharp handling, and very quick indeed.
Last Words
BMW's biggest vehicle is also at the top of the heap when compared to high luxury rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz GLS, the Cadillac Escalade, the Lincoln Navigator, or the Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Nothing can beat the amazing tech and pure driving thrills found in the new X7.
Comparing starting prices, the BMW comes in with a starting MSRP of $78,845, while the Mercedes GLS starts at $85,000, the Caddy starts at $82,690, the Lincoln comes in at $79,330, and the Jeep begins at $87,995. The base X7 is a lot of car for the money, though higher trim levels do get spendy. The V8-powered M60i starts at $104,095, and the high end Alpina XB7 will set you back $145,995.