The BMW is slightly bigger than the regular Range Rover, and has masses of interior space. It’s tall and airy up front, and so wide that the driver could almost feel like they’re in a different postcode to the front passenger. There’ll be no shoulder-rubbing going on here.
It offers plenty of room for those in the middle row to stretch out and, with no lack of head, leg or shoulder room, even three adults side by side will be relatively comfortable. There’s even dual-zone climate control for the middle row and heated seats for the outer passengers. The middle bench can be moved forwards and backwards electrically in a 60/40 configuration and can be folded in a 40/20/40 split.
In fact, The X7 upstages the Discovery and matches the Q7 and Mercedes GLS by offering a third seating row as standard; the Range Rover can’t match this at all, forcing you down a rung on the ladder to buy a Range Rover Sport with the seven-seat option. You can also opt for the X7 with a six-seat option. This more luxurious layout costs a little more, with two individual middle-row chairs that have arm rests and a huge range of electrical adjustability. Admittedly, the optional two-seat rear layout in the Range Rover is even more opulent with its armchair-like extendable leg rests.
With the BMW, it’s only really head room in the third row that could be a cause for concern; the mandatory sunroof cuts into the space, so it’s just a little cramped for tall adults. Leg room is generous, though, and there’s sufficient room under the middle-row seats for passengers’ feet. There’s even a couple of cupholders and USB ports back there, and you can pay extra to have a fifth zone of climate control, too.
Access to the third row is easy, thanks in part to wide rear doors that reveal a large gap to clamber through. There are an annoying number of control buttons, though, and the second and third row seats can only be moved and folded electronically, leading to inconvenience when occupants want to get in or out quickly. If you’re tempted by the six-seat layout, it’s worth noting that you can’t fold the middle row completely flat; it will only fold and slide forwards.
As for the boot, the X7 retains the smaller X5’s split-folding tailgate, whose lower section folds level with the load lip to serve as a handy perch when loading heavy or bulky objects or taking off muddy wellies. There’s space for a couple of suitcases even when the third-row seats are in place; in two-row mode there’s plenty more space than you’d need for the regular family shop, and the load area grows truly monstrous when both passenger rows are folded out of use. There are some handy underfloor storage compartments, too, although the parcel shelf only covers the load area fully in seven seat mode.