If you want to seat seven in comfort, a Land Rover Discovery will do the job for less money. Likewise, if you’re not desperate for the X7’s size but you like the rest of the package, you may well be better off with the cheaper X5, which is still an excellent car. However, if we were looking for a great blend of luxury and versatility, we’d be torn between the X7 and more expensive Range Rover, with the seven-seat Mercedes GLS providing an alternative at a price close to the BMW. Or, for a lot less money but an even more refined ride, there’s the seven-seat Audi Q7.
As for equipment, there’s a simple choice of two trim levels. Every X7 is positively loaded with kit; air suspension, iDrive infotainment, four-zone climate control, heated front and rear seats and a 10-speaker sound system are all standard. As ever, though, there’s an M Sport model that adds sporty cosmetic touches and upgraded brakes, with the most powerful M50d adding a limited-slip differential on the rear axle to increase cornering traction.
Our advice is to stick with the entry-level trim – simply named X7 – but consider adding some of the optional extras for a little extra extravagance; you can opt for heated and cooled cupholders, massage seats and TV screens for the middle row, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
The X7’s fuel economy and CO2 emissions are a close match for key rivals – the 3.0-litre 30d diesel produces 177g/km CO2, while the equivalent diesel engines in the Q7 or Range Rover emit 177g/km and 199g/km respectively. All are in the top BIK company-car tax group, unsurprisingly. Those private drivers with an eye on keeping running costs low will want to go for the xDrive30d for the best fuel economy, though – it officially returns 33.6mpg. That compares to 33.2mpg for the Q7 50TDI.
The X7 is too new to have proven its reliability, but BMW finished in 16th place out of 31 manufacturers in the 2018 What Car? Reliability Survey, ranking above Mercedes and Land Rover. When it comes to safety, the X7 has yet to be tested by Euro NCAP but should prove to be a very safe car, thanks to kit such as automatic emergency braking (AEB) and lane-departure warning being fitted as standard. It’s worth adding the optional Driving Assistant Professional pack, though, because it includes lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control.