BMW X7 long term test

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 long termer

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 13,056 Price £90,050 Target price £87,203 Price as tested £107,110 Official economy 29.1mpg Test economy 31.7mpg Private price now £65,714 Dealer price now £65,043 Running costs (excl. depreciation) fuel (£590.34)

26 October 2023 – Season's end

At the end of every October, as the weather gets colder and inevitably wetter, the wakeboarding season comes to an end for another year. The boat we use for towing gets winterised and covered, the boards packed away in the attic and our wetsuits hidden at the bottom of the wardrobe until April – it’s all a bit sad, really.

BMW X7 goodbye

This year, it’s hitting twice as hard because, as lake season comes to its end, so does my time with my brilliant BMW X7. The thing is, where I can think of multiple wakeboarding weekend woes from this season, finding negatives about the X7 is a much harder task. Indeed, throughout the last few months, it has proven itself as a multi-talented ally regardless of what me and my colleagues have thrown at it, whether that be crossing entire countries or simply negotiating the M40 during my lengthy commute. 

Throughout every task that we’ve thrown at it, one of its standout strengths has been practicality. Now, given the sheer size of the X7, you’d expect as much, but even compared with its equally sized peers, including the Range Rover, its packaging gives you more space to play with. This was demonstrated particularly well when Will borrowed the car for his recent two week holiday in France, where all seven seats were regularly filled. In Will’s own words ‘there’s nothing I’d have rather done the trip in’. 

I, too, can contest for the X7’s ability to swallow vast amounts of people or luggage, especially at the moment as we fill it to the rafters with skiing gear that needs transferring from the lake to our house. In previous years, we’ve needed multiple cars, a van and multiple trips – this year the X7’s 2120-litre boot (with the rear seats down) effectively meant we had two vans, removing the need for any other cars or repeat trips. 

BMW X7 loading boot

When you’re using the X7 for this task, however, you wish that there was a need for repeat trips. You see, it’s supremely comfortable, with its air suspension ensuring the ride is calm and controlled, even when the car is full to the brim. On top of that, the steering is brilliantly-weighted, and the engine smooth as it delivers the power and you ride a wave of torque. 

Arguably the only demerit is that the X7’s petrol engine is rather thirsty, only managing around 27.7mpg unless you’re consistently driving a long way in Eco mode. Most people would be better off with the diesel version, especially if you regularly travel over long distances 

Before my X7’s delivery, my biggest worry was that it’d be too big to actually drive anywhere – in fact, I was worried it’d be parked in the multi-storey car park across from the office and I’d just have to leave it there forever. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The high driving position gives you a great view of what's in front of you and where your corners are, while the wealth of parking aids help you place it. We’d definitely equip the optional four-wheel steering, too, because it’s a total game changer, shortening my car's turning circle and making the X7 feel more like the smaller BMW X5

Dan Jones test driving BMW X7

Speaking of options, in my first report I wrote about how the X7 was a lesson in excess and I stand by it – I still don’t think anyone needs heated and cooled cupholders or seats that can heat, ventilate and massage you. I wouldn’t have spec’d it any other way, though, because spoiling you is something that the X7 is exceptionally good at. It exudes a sense of opulence and you look forward to long drives punctuated by traffic jams, instead of loathing them, because you want to drive it. 

In fact, with the exception of the touch-sensitive climate controls, there’s nothing I’d change if I was to live with the X7 again. Sure, the exterior is polarising, but there’s nothing else that you’d ever complain about if you owned one. 

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