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2022 BMW X7 gets major update with new engines, tech, bold new look to take on Audi Q8 and Mercedes-Benz GLS - arrives in Australia later this year

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BMW's large X7 SUV gets the nip and tuck treatment.
BMW's large X7 SUV gets the nip and tuck treatment.

BMW has revealed its first major update for its behemoth X7, with the large SUV receiving a box-fresh front end redesign, new engine options, wholesale changes to the multimedia suite – including a futuristic curved display – and the first application of BMW’s 48-volt architecture in Australia.

Set to go on sale in Australia in the fourth quarter of this year the facelifted X7 will initially be available in xDrive40d and M60i xDrive grades, with the former offering a grunty 259kW/700Nm 3.0-litre diesel inline six and the latter featuring a powerful 390kW/750Nm 4.4-litre V8. Both will benefit from a 48-volt electrical system, which has been available in other markets but will debut in Australia on the updated X7, enabling a mild-hybrid capability and, in the case of the X7 xDrive40d, allowing an extra 20Nm of peak torque when needed. 

Air suspension for both front and rear axles will be standard-issue on both models, and the X7 M60i xDrive will also ship with rear-wheel steering, an M Sport differential for the rear wheels, and ‘Executive Drive’ with active roll stabilization to help give it a more agile character.

But the changes will be the most noticeable will be that front end. The bifurcation of the X7’s headlamps reduces the units to a mailbox-like slit on the top for the DRLs and indicators, with a slightly more rectangular bottom aperture for the main and high beams. 

Meanwhile the X7’s massive kidney grille appears to be largely similar to the current model, however the M60i will gain an illuminated grille to add an extra visual highlight at night. The xDrive40d can also be had with the illuminated grille, but at additional cost. 

Elsewhere, the differences between pre- and post-update X7s will be less obvious. The taillights feature more intricate inner details for their LED light tubes, and the chrome bar that connects them will be enclosed within a glass cover. The M Sport package also cops some revisions as part of the update , while gigantic 23-inch alloy wheels will also become available as a factory-fit – the X7 being the first BMW model to be available with wheels that large. 'Sparkling Copper Grey' metallic paint joins the palette, and M Marina Bay Blue metallic is offered exclusively on the X7 M60i. 

On the inside, occupants likely won’t recognize the furniture – at least not up front. The X7’s dashboard is reorganized around a new curved 12.3-inch multimedia display that’s conjoined with the driver’s 14.9-inch instrument panel, and now runs on BMW’s latest multimedia operating system that brings new graphics, menu interfaces and a slicker user experience via the latest iDrive controls. Adjacent to the iDrive wheel is another change: a low-profile transmission selector module that helps declutter the centre console. 

Standard equipment will now include a panoramic glass sunroof, quad-zone climate control, heated front seats and a wireless phone charging tray, with options including an even larger LED-illuminated glass roof, Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system, ventilated massage seats and heated rear seats. 

Safety equipment upgrades encompass an autonomous emergency braking system that can now recognize cyclists, pedestrians and oncoming vehicles when turning off a road, and an exit warning system which tells road-side passenger when vehicles are approaching from the rear, to prevent doors being opened into moving traffic. 

Trailer Assist is a new feature for the X7 as well, and helps drivers make correct steering inputs when, say, reversing their yacht’s trailer down a boat ramp, and Parking Assistant Professional, which will be a standard feature on all Australia-bound X7s, will be capable of autonomously reversing the cars for 200 metres in tricky parking situations – or particularly long and narrow driveways.

Precise local launch timing and pricing has yet to be announced for the 2023 BMW X7 M60i xDrive and X7 xDrive40d, but expect it to go on sale sometime between the start of October and the end of 2022.

Tony O'Kane
Contributing Journalist
Don't let the glasses fool you: Tony is terrible at maths, which is why he didn't get into engineering at uni and instead decided to glue words together for a living.  Words about cars, specifically. After cutting his teeth doing online motoring news and reviews, Tony moved over to Australia's most respected car mag Wheels to cut his teeth into even sharper points in the realm of print journalism.  His mouth may be a dentist's worst nightmare as a result, but with a decade and a half of experience in writing about cars Tony has the knowledge to cut through the specs and spin and deliver you, the reader, the unvarnished truth about the cars you're interested in.
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