FIRST DRIVE: 2020 BMW X7 xDrive40i M'sian review – paultan.org

Before the X7 was born, the X5 was BMW’s biggest SUV, so much so they called it The Boss. Well, it was certainly big back in the day, but today?

Still substantial, but not the most imposing SUV on the road these days perhaps. Never mind the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and Bentley Bentayga, but mass market SUVs have grown in size as well, chipping away at the X5’s size advantage. Customers were calling out for an even bigger, more luxurious SUV, one that’s beyond the X5’s brief. Enter the X7, the flagship of the X range billed as “The 7 Series of SUVs”. This beast is meant to fight the Mercedes-Benz GLS, Lexus LX and Range Rover, among other giants.

And big it is. The G07 X7 is 5,151 mm long, 2,000 mm wide and 1,805 mm tall, making it 229 mm longer and 60 mm taller than the latest G05 X5. The X7’s 3,105 mm wheelbase is a substantial 130 mm longer than the X5’s.

The X7 for Malaysia is in xDrive40i form, which means a 3.0 litre turbocharged inline-six with 340 PS and 450 Nm of torque paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and xDrive AWD. Surely a zero to 100 km/h sprint time of 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 245 km/h is impressive for a giant that tips the scales at over 2.3 tonnes.

Balancing that big body is a two-axle air suspension system that offers five different height settings over a range of 80 mm. The standard Executive Drive Pro package with active anti-roll stabilisation – a first for an X model – further aids comfort. It works together with the Dynamic Damper Control system, which is able to process data from the navigation system and front camera.

BMW Malaysia specified our X7 in Design Pure Excellence trim, so you’ll find generous applications of chrome on sharp exterior, complemented by 21-inch Y-spoke alloys, aluminium running boards and roof rails. Am I the only one to find that grille proportionate with the height of the X7’s front end and overall size?

The X7 is a three-row SUV, with an option of two individual middle row chairs. We’re not getting that, but two rows of benches that makes it a seven-seater. Goodies include Vernasca leather, Fineline Stripe wood trim, a dashboard covered in Sensatec synthetic leather, head-up display, ventilated front seats, five-zone climate control, electric blinds for the rear side windows and BMW’s illuminated Sky Lounge glass roof.

Also on are adaptive BMW Laserlight headlamps with high beam assist, LED fog lamps, BMW Display Key, anti-dazzle wing/rear view mirrors, Comfort Access with handsfree tailgate opening, soft-closing doors, BMW Connected Package Professional, BMW Live Cockpit Professional with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, and Parking Assistant Plus with Reversing Assist and an around-view monitor.

For infotainment, there’s the BMW Navigation system Professional with a 12.3-inch central touchscreen, wireless charging and gesture control. This is linked to a Harman Kardon surround sound system with 464 watts and 16 speakers, while the second row is served by two 10.2-inch touchscreens. Fully loaded.

Also full is the X7’s complement of safety systems. The Driving Assistant Professional package includes active cruise control, lane departure warning, lane change warning, lane keeping assistant with active side collision protection, steering and lane control assistant, lane change assistant, front collision warning with brake intervention, front and rear cross traffic warning, rear collision prevent and crossroads warning with city braking function.

The American-made BMW X7 xDrive40i is priced at RM861,847 on-the-road without insurance, with the 2020 sales tax exemption factored in (RM888,800 otherwise). Yes, it’s a cut above the X5 in size, features and luxury, but the X7 is also nearly double the price of the CKD locally-assembled RM440,745 X5 xDrive45e M Sport.

Check out the video review above for what we think. How about you, what do you think?

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