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BMW X7 2019 review: xDrive30d


After a large car? With all the trimmings? And a price to match? You've come to the right page!

The BMW X7 is huge, has all the extras you could hope for and a price to reflect that. It looks dreamy, even for a large car and is a peach to drive.

This is the X7 xDrive30d which costs $119,990, before optional extras, taking this example to a final price of $143,050. So, expect to pay around that price range if you want to pimp the basic model up.

It's in competition with cars like the Audi Q7, Range Rover and Mercedes GLS and I tested it for seven days with my family. Here's how it did.

How does it look?

Even though it's large, it still has all the signature BMW style: the classic grille, the elegant curves and premium finishes. It looks sophisticated, which can be a difficult feat to pull off on such an oversized vehicle, but BMW does it all with grace.

The interior is seriously luxurious. This particular model was finished in a cream and black two tone leather with stitching detail that's extended all the way to the doors so there is a completely immersive experience while you're sitting in the car.

  • The BMW X7 is huge, has all the extras you could hope for and a price to reflect that. (image: Dean McCartney) The BMW X7 is huge, has all the extras you could hope for and a price to reflect that. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • Even though it's large, it still has all the signature BMW style. (image: Dean McCartney) Even though it's large, it still has all the signature BMW style. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • It looks sophisticated, which can be a difficult feat to pull off on such an oversized vehicle, but BMW does it all with grace. (image: Dean McCartney) It looks sophisticated, which can be a difficult feat to pull off on such an oversized vehicle, but BMW does it all with grace. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • It has the classic grille, the elegant curves and premium finishes. (image: Dean McCartney) It has the classic grille, the elegant curves and premium finishes. (image: Dean McCartney)

It's quite nice to be cocooned in creamy leather, and the colours are customisable to your preferences. This is part of the 'BMW Individual Full Leather Trim' package and costs an extra $4500.

Then there is the 'BMW Design Pure Excellence' package, which costs an extra $15,000 and includes things like 22-inch alloy wheels, a sport steering wheel, satin finish aluminium roof-rails, front 'comfort' seats, metallic paint, harman / kardon 'Surround Sound' audio, and 'BMW Laserlight' laser headlights, among other things.

The seats are power adjustable with memory settings, which you'll make good use of if there are a few people who drive the car, and the second row is also power adjustable which is a great addition.

There is the 'BMW Design Pure Excellence' package, which costs an extra $15,000 and includes things like 22-inch alloy wheels. (image: Dean McCartney) There is the 'BMW Design Pure Excellence' package, which costs an extra $15,000 and includes things like 22-inch alloy wheels. (image: Dean McCartney)

In fact, all the seats are power operated so you won't have to physically push or pull anything on this car.

The leather steering wheel feels great under the hands and the whole centre console area is beautifully designed with matte silver touches, everything feels very high quality.

  • The leather steering wheel feels great under the hands and the whole centre console area is beautifully designed. (image: Dean McCartney) The leather steering wheel feels great under the hands and the whole centre console area is beautifully designed. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • The seats are power adjustable with memory settings, which you’ll make good use of if there are a few people who drive the car. (image: Dean McCartney) The seats are power adjustable with memory settings, which you’ll make good use of if there are a few people who drive the car. (image: Dean McCartney)

How does it drive?

It's a silky drive, especially for such a large car which do usually feel heavy in some way - taking off at the traffic lights can feel heavy with big cars but not in the X7.

There's a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder diesel engine so it has plenty of power to get up hills and cruise along highways.

The X7 only comes in diesel, but with the windows closed you wouldn't know it, it's very quiet.

There’s a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder diesel engine so it has plenty of power to get up hills and cruise along highways. (image: Dean McCartney) There’s a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder diesel engine so it has plenty of power to get up hills and cruise along highways. (image: Dean McCartney)

The steering turns super easily which makes it a pleasure to drive. 

The turning circle is large and I found I had to go back and forth to do U-turns I would normally get in one go, but as long as you leave enough room for parking, it's easy enough to get in with a reverse, forward and 360-degree camera.

The reverse camera tries to anticipate which view you'll need the most, though, and it didn't always get it right, changing angles right when I really needed the original angle, so I used the 360 camera when it got close.

How spacious is it?

There's so much room inside the X7, it's very comfortable with a lot of headroom, even with the panoramic sunroof that extends all the way down to the last row.

Taller family members had loads of leg and head space and all were comfortable in the front row.

The second row is also quite lounge-like, with about 20cm between my knees and the seat in front of me which means taller teenagers and adults will easily be able to fit without squishing up.

  • The second row is also quite lounge-like, with about 20cm between my knees and the seat in front of me. (image: Dean McCartney) The second row is also quite lounge-like, with about 20cm between my knees and the seat in front of me. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • The X7 has a lot of headroom, even with the panoramic sunroof that extends all the way down to the last row. (image: Dean McCartney) The X7 has a lot of headroom, even with the panoramic sunroof that extends all the way down to the last row. (image: Dean McCartney)

And even the third row has more space than usual for a seven-seater - they're never going to be described as ‘spacious' in that row, but this car felt larger and the sunroof above helped with the light, open feeling.

The boot is bigger than usual for a seven seater, too. With all seven seats in use it has 326L of space which is as much as a small SUV, so you'll be able to get in school bags and groceries, or even a large suitcase perched up on the side.

With the last row down, there is a huge 750L of space. Enough to fit a double pram with room to spare for extras, and would make a great car for a road trip.

How easy is it to use every day?

The power operation is advanced in the X7. It seems there's a button for everything. Open the boot with a button. Press a button to drop the bottom tray.

The back seats will go up and down with a button at the back and it even automatically moves the second row forward slightly, to make room for the seats to drop. The second row is power operated as is the front row. Don't lift a finger here.

  • The boot is bigger than usual for a seven seater. (image: Dean McCartney) The boot is bigger than usual for a seven seater. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • With the last row down, there is a huge 750L of space. Enough to fit a double pram with room to spare for extras. (image: Dean McCartney) With the last row down, there is a huge 750L of space. Enough to fit a double pram with room to spare for extras. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • There’s so much room inside the X7. (image: Dean McCartney) There’s so much room inside the X7. (image: Dean McCartney)

There are two cupholders in the front row, a spot to throw keys and a phone with a phone charger (if the phone is compatible), a large centre storage bin and bottle holders in each door.

The middle row gets two cupholders, pockets on the back of the front seats and it's own climate control.

The X7 is fitted with four-zone climate control as standard, and our example was optioned with five-zone air ($1800), so the back row has it's own separate controls, too, which is great because it will be hotter back there than elsewhere in the car. Rear passengers also get two cupholders.

How safe is it?

As far as advanced safety goes, you're covered with everything coming as standard, so things like auto emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings, front and rear cross traffic alert, and more.

There are eight airbags including side curtain airbags that cover all the way to the last row.

You'll get four ISOFIX points spread over the second and third row and five top tether points to fix children's car seats in safely.

What's the tech like?

BMW's own multimedia system works well, and there's Apple CarPlay (but no Android Auto) which is easier to use. There's a 12.3-inch touchscreen, voice control for the built in sat nav and gesture control which is meant to control things like the volume with a wave of your hand, but I'm not the only one who has trouble using it.

There are also 10 speakers and digital radio. The sound is good, so feel free to turn it up.

How much does it cost to own?

The BMW X7 xDrive30d comes in at $119,990. Extras on top of this included the BMW Individual Full Leather Trim package ($4500), the BMW Design Pure Excellence package ($15,000), the BMW display key ($550), the five-zone air conditioning ($1800), the fine wood trim in Ash ($800), and the heated/cooling front cupholders ($500), taking the total to $143,050, before on-road costs.

Fuel consumption is a claimed 7.3L/100km which is low for such a large car. It's covered by BMW's three year/unlimited km warranty which feels short compared to other car companies offering five and seven years.

If you’ve got a large family and you like beautiful cars, the BMW X7 should be high on your list. (image: Dean McCartney) If you’ve got a large family and you like beautiful cars, the BMW X7 should be high on your list. (image: Dean McCartney)


The Wrap

If you've got a large family and you like beautiful cars, the BMW X7 should be high on your list. It drives superbly and is one of the only seven-seaters to actually have enough room for everyone inside, along with a spacious boot. Plus it looks fabulous, you'll feel great driving this around.

I gave it a family rating of 8.2 out of 10, my kids gave it 8 - they appreciate a big car.

Likes

Interior design
Smooth engine
Spacious and large boot

Dislikes

Extras for extra $$$
Modest warranty
Gimmicky gesture control

Scores

Nedahl:

4.1

The Kids:

4

$119,900

Based on new car retail price

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