BMW X7 long term test: report 5

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...

BMW X7 fully loaded

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 11,710 Price £90,050 Target price £87,203 Price as tested £107,110 Official economy 29.1mpg Test economy 26.9mpg

4 October 2023 – Tour de France

Two weeks; two countries; 2500 miles. Those stats could apply to the annual Tour de France cycle race, but they’re actually from my BMW X7’s own tour of France, when colleague Will Nightingale borrowed it for an epic holiday.

The initial destination was a small town near Nice, a near-900-mile drive from London. Such a long journey, spread over two days, is hardly a barrel of laughs – but Will commented that there isn’t another car on the planet he’d have rather used, and I’d probably agree.

BMW X7 parked in France

The X7’s plush ride, quiet cruising manners and fabulous driving position are all attributes I’ve already raved about. However, Will also said he was a big fan of the massaging front seats and Bowers & Wilkins sound system. I got both of these things as part of my car’s £17,500 Ultimate Pack, but they’re also included with some of the cheaper option packs.

Will’s wife, two daughters and parents made the journey by plane, partly because of timings but also because, despite the X7’s seven seats and vast footprint, there isn’t an enormous amount of boot space left when you put bums on all of its seats. Indeed, fitting holiday luggage and seven people into any seven-seat SUV is tight, although the X7 gives you more space than an Audi Q7 or Volvo XC90.

BMW X7 third row seats

With all the luggage transferred to the holiday home, Will took full advantage of the interior space, putting his daughters (two and five) in the third row, installing their child seats using the standard Isofix mounts. Meanwhile, his mum and dad sat in the middle row – saving them from having to rent their own car.

The original plan was to stay in France for two weeks – the second of those with friends in the Dordogne region. However, a wedding invitation meant doing this back to back wasn’t possible, so at the end of week one Will, his wife and daughters drove to Bordeaux (another 500 miles) and got a flight back to the UK.

BMW X7 boot full

Flying back a few days later, the family were welcomed by temperatures pushing 40deg C. That’s not ideal when you have two young kids, but luckily all three rows have their own air-con controls in my X7. Granted, the third-row aircon zone is optional (again, part of the Ultimate Pack on my car, but also available as part of the Comfort Plus Pack), but it’s yet another thing that makes the X7 a brilliant family car.

Were there any complaints? Only one: fuel economy. Will averaged around 27mpg and said for that reason he’d personally choose the xDrive40d diesel X7. Not only is it more economical than my petrol xDrive40i, but it’s also slightly cheaper to buy and almost as quick.

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