BMW X7 long term test: report 2

Can this luxury SUV prove that it's worth the impressive price tag that it wears or are you better off looking elsewhere? We're finding out...

New BMW X7 wading

The car BMW X7 xDrive40i M Sport Run by Dan Jones, reviewer

Why it’s here To see if this luxury SUV is really worth its impressive price tag or whether you’re better off with a cheaper seven-seater. 

Needs to Be versatile enough that it’s a comfortable, spacious and luxurious long distance commuter, but also practical enough to tow and carry lots of luggage or people. 

Miles covered 8278 Price £90,050 Target price £87,203 Price as tested £107,110 Official economy 29.1mpg Test economy 28.2mpg

10 August 2023 – The unbeaten track

From animals to cars, all things evolve over time, and arguably one of the most stark examples of that is how SUVs have changed. You see, while modern SUVs offer perks like a high driving position, they were originally designed to help soldiers traverse tricky terrain during the Second World War.

My BMW X7 is an especially good example of how things have changed – it really wasn’t designed for use off-road and doesn’t even have an off-road mode. Instead, it majors in being luxurious and comfortable, making it arguably the best thing I’ve used for my two and a bit hour long commute.

New BMW X7 off-roading

Regardless, it’s tall stature and four-wheel drive means that it shares the basics with proper off-roaders, so can it go off-road? I saw my opportunity to find out when we planned a recent test of off-roaders, pitching it against our similarly sized and equally luxurious Range Rover long termer.

That’s a pretty hard rival to beat when it comes to off-roading and, while the X7 didn’t embarrass itself, it did prove that it’s more suited to gravel trails than anything more challenging.

Indeed, thanks to its four-wheel drive system and the oomph from its 3.0-litre petrol engine, it managed to climb all the loose surface steep hills and make good progress from a standstill on a really steep incline. What’s more, its comparatively simple hill descent system took the fear out of coming down from steep, rutted hills.

BMW X7 LT ride height control switch

The more extreme obstacles were its undoing though, and its main problems were ground clearance and traction. The latter is probably fairly predictable, given its lack of off-road modes and locking differentials, but the height one surprised me.

You can set the air suspension into a higher mode but it only stays there up to 20mph and there’s little warning that it has lowered itself again. That’s far from ideal when off-roading and has the potential to make things pretty embarrassing if you take on some tall terrain without knowing you’re back in the low setting.

Even so, while it might not be the ultimate off-roader, it's nice to know that the X7 can easily cope with pretty anything the UK's random weather can throw at it in the real world. Plus, I think it looks pretty good coated in mud. 

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