SEVENTH HEAVEN? (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
BMW's X7 will perfectly suit luxury SUV buyers wanting to 'go large', thinks Jonathan Crouch
Ten Second Reviewword count: 65
BMW's X7 classily meets the needs of wealthy buyers wanting a super-luxury large SUV and needing to seat up to seven adults. It's essentially a super-sized X5, but it makes far more of a pavement statement and inside, feels very high-end indeed. If you don't much care what the neighbours think - or perhaps even if you do - then you'd probably quite like one.
Backgroundword count: 92
Not every new car these days is designed with a specific eye on European buyers. Take this one, the BMW X7, an enormous luxury seven-seat SUV primarily aimed at customers in America, the Middle East, China and various Asian markets. But BMW thinks better-heeled buyers with larger families here might like one too. You can specify a third seating row on the brand's smaller X5 but the extra pews are for kids only. Here, seven adults can fit more comfortably in a car that BMW hopes will make a really big statement.
Driving Experienceword count: 214
The brand wants you to think of this as a 7 Series that could go off road, rather than a larger X5. But it does share most with that SUV, including all its engines - there are three. Diesel-haters will want the minority-interest xDrive40i variant with its 335hp in-line six cylinder petrol unit but most will select the 261hp xDrive30d with its six cylinder diesel. Another six cylinder diesel is found in the flagship M50d, this one with no fewer than four turbochargers boosting output to 394hp. All units use the same familiar 8-speed ZF auto gearbox and, as you'd expect at this level of the market, feature full air suspension. Tellingly, the 'Off Road Package' that provides a locking differential and extra driving modes is only optional. The driver can adjust the body's ground clearance for off-road driving by pushing a button in the cockpit to raise it in two stages up to 40mm above the standard setting. Tarmac is of course this SUV's preferred habitat where it rides with suppleness in 'Comfort' mode and handles with actually quite a lot of verve if you set the 'Drive Performance Controller' to 'Sport'. The commanding driving position helps and it's necessary because otherwise, this car's sheer bulk might easily feel intimidating on narrower roads.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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