BMW X7 long-term test review

The BMW X7 is one of the largest and most luxurious SUVs you can buy, but does owning a car with such overtly American proportions really make sense in the UK? We’re living with one to find out...

LT BMW X7 header

The car BMW X7 xDrive30d M Sport | Run by Neil Winn, senior reviewer

Why it’s here The X7 defeated the fantastic Bentley Bentayga to take the top price point for luxury SUVs at the 2020 What Car? Awards. However, we still expect it to justify its sizeable list price by proving to be immensely comfortable, practical and effortless to run on a day-to-day basis. 

Needs to Function as a mobile office, be able to carry an entire family and their luggage for hundreds of miles in utter comfort and be practical enough to everyday use.

Mileage 5286 List price £72,630 Target Price £72,370 Price as tested £93,185 Test economy 30.7mpg Official economy 30.9mpg

18 September 2020 – Details, details...

The great thing about running a large diesel-powered luxury SUV is that it's perfectly suited to covering huge distances on a single tank of fuel. So, my X7 proved to be perfect for a recent trip to Suffolk, with one tank of diesel covering the entire trip at an average of 30.9mpg, slightly more than Will managed on his holidays.

2020 BMW X7 long term Sprocket

In fact, the biggest problem I had was that its boot was too spacious. How is this possible? Well, with our faithful old hound Sprocket belted into the rear (naturally with a blanket and bed to prevent claw and dribble from meeting leather), and the majority of our luggage packed into a vast cubby under the boot floor, I was worried, too, that our birds’ cage might be prone to sliding around when driving.

I needn’t have worried, because the carpet is ridiculously thick, preventing Sid and Nancy’s house going for a tour of the boot, while the supple ride from the air suspension meant the only noises heard from them was the odd happy chirrup. And despite warm weather, we were able to ensure all animals on board had vents aimed at them to ensure nobody cooked on the way. We could even change the temperature settings for the second and third rows up front, very handy.

2020 BMW X7 long term birds in the boot

Now, without wishing to sound spoilt, I do wish the heating, cooling and massaging functions of the front seat were more powerful; Mercedes seats are better at toasting, chilling or kneading your back.

In fact, I wish the seats were more like the cupholders. That’s because they have switchable cooling and heating elements that are surprisingly potent. Long after I’d grabbed a Costa and my wife a soft drink, my coffee was still delightfully warm while the Coke was perfectly chilled even when left in their poorly insulated original containers.

BMW X7 LT with moody sky

With us nearing our destination, there was just one more worry – manoeuvrability. Thankfully my X7 has optional £1195 rear-wheel steering. At low speeds the back wheels turn in the opposite direction to the fronts, greatly reducing the turning circle and making urban motoring surprisingly stress-free. That leaves me with only one complaint; those thick carpets are a nightmare to get dog hair out of.

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