According to the folks at BMW, the X7 is the most successful BMW model in the company’s history in its class.
A deft combination of exclusivity, engaging dynamics, luxury, spaciousness and versatility, the BMX X7 is quite the formidable proposition. Now boasting more presence, improved dynamics and even more tech for 2023, BMW’s flagship has solidified its position at the top of the heap of large luxury vehicles.
Fresh off of a mid-cycle update, the 2023 BMW X7 xDrive40i ”SAV” (the company prefers the term sport activity vehicle to sport utility vehicle) has a bold new front-end treatment.
The interior’s furnishings have also been refreshed and the company’s latest infotainment system — iDrive8 — has been added as well. But wait, there’s more, the2023 BMW X7 xDrive40i also has a new engine and a new 8-speed transmission as well.
As if it weren’t already bold enough, that eye-catching new grille can also be had with illumination, which activates when one of the doors is opened. Satin aluminum trim is judiciously applied around the lower air intakes and split headlight units separate the daytime running lamps (DRLs) from the main lighting units. By the way, the DRLs also function as turn signals.
The revised rear lighting treatment is both slimmer and brighter, providing more visibility from smaller instruments. Look closely at the wraparound rear lights and you’ll note BMW lettering in the side markers.
What’s more, as if all of that isn’t enough, the X7 gets a set of 23-inch wheels — making it the first BMW model ever to be fitted with wheels of that size.
Taken as a whole, the look is one of purposeful elegance.
The architecture of the dash is accentuated by a sweeping curved display housing instrumentation and infotainment functions. An illuminated “X7” graphic resides on the passenger’s side of the dash. The adornment elicited mixed responses from those who shared time in the X7 with me though.
Some liked it; others thought it a bit over the top. I thought it was pretty cool — but hey, that’s just me. Tastefully executed bling has been known to captivate me on more than a few occasions.
Naturally, all of the materials are top shelf and the word “plush” barely scratches the surface of the nature of the X7’s interior fitments. Key comfort details include heated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, a power-adjustable steering wheel and ambient interior lighting.
Handsomely sculpted and sumptuously outfitted, the interior’s new look is at once high tech and substantive.
BMW’s new 8-speed automatic transmission delivers faster and crisper shifts, along with a launch control function. While the luxurious nature of the X7 didn’t inspire me to explore that latter capability, it is there for those who are so inclined.
Perhaps more useful is the new “Sprint” function, which downshifts the transmission to the lowest possible gear to provide instant passing performance. The Sprint mode also activates the electric motor, which resides between the engine and the transmission to ensure maximum acceleration.
Of course, all of this relies upon the 2023 BMW X7 xDrive40i’s new 375-horsepower, 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6, which is capable of bursts of up to 398 pound-feet of torque. Camshaft timing is electrically managed and the exhaust manifold is now integrated into the cylinder head.
While BMW quotes a 5.6-second zero to 60, I saw closer to five.
Safety and Technology
A technological tour de force, the updated X7’s infotainment system can be activated by the center console’s iDrive controller, voice control gesture control, or touching the screen. Antireflective glass ensures it’s visible, even in direct sunlight. The navigation system uses a live video feed, augmented with context-specific information to provide a realistic interpretation of the X7s surroundings.
The X7’s Intelligent Personal Assistant recognizes voice commands to accomplish tasks such as adjusting the air conditioning, opening a window, or operating the panoramic roof. A Wi-Fi hotspot is offered by subscription and BMW’s Digital Key option allows users to control vehicle functions using a smartphone app.
Exquisite smoothness, accompanied by silken acceleration, a refined exhaust note and surprising capability are among the hallmarks distinguishing the 2023 X7.
Air suspension and adaptive dampers endow the big Bimmer with both a comfortable ride and body-roll free cornering. Accurate steering with just the right amount of heft reassures drivers, while braking capability inspires supreme confidence. In other words, the X7 goes like a BMW should, despite its size.
However, the X7 sometimes overly complicates what should be simple tasks. For example, operating the climate control system is an infuriatingly byzantine undertaking. One must dig through menus just to activate the recirculate function.
Another thing about the HVAC system, those stylishly slim new vents look good, but they lack the bandwidth to deliver sufficient volumes of cooling air on hot days — without sounding like an approaching hurricane.
Still though, the X7 is comfortable, smooth and engaging to drive.
I like it.
2023 BMW X7 xDrive40i Specifications
|L: 203.6 inches/W: 78.7 inches/H: 72.2 inches/Wheelbase: 122.2 inches
|3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder; 8-speed automatic transmission
|22 mpg city/21 mpg highway/22 mpg combined
|375 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque
|Base price: $77,850; As tested: $95,745
Love it or hate it, the X7’s new face is distinctive. However, once you get past the superficial, there is a whole lot to appreciate behind that gargantuan grille. The new turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine gives me cause to wonder why anyone would feel the need to go with the twin turbo V-8 option.
After all, its ability to motivate the X7 is more than competent. Palatial barely begins to describe the interior treatment and there’s more than enough tech on hand to keep the biggest BMW well out in front of its competitors. From where I’m sitting, the 2023 BMW X7 is the best large luxury vehicle in its class.
2023 BMW X7 xDrive40i — Frequently Asked Questions
Is X7 just a bigger X5?
The BMW X7 is more focused on a luxury experience and is considerably larger than its X5 sibling.
Is the X7 the largest BMW?
The 2023 BMW X7 is the largest BMW available, with the most cargo space.
What is special about BMW X7?
The X7 is one of the best choices in the large luxury SUV category, especially if that third row of seats will be used more occasionally than regularly. Its car-like performance, ride and handling make it easy and even fun to drive.