The 2019 BMW X7 is many things. Small is not one of them.
BMW’s Sports Activity Vehicle offers two engines and an endless list of optional features.
The new X7 will be the fifth model produced at BMW’s Plant Spartanburg in South Carolina.
“Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee. Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! And since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!”
Yeah, I cribbed that one, and yeah, the new 2019 BMW X7 is b-i-g big. Do we really need this Ahab? Our roads will be better because of this? What do you think?
Get the harpoon.
Bigger Is Best
Yup, it’s big. How big? 17 feet long, six and a half feet wide, and standing a tick under six feet tall. Surprisingly, the weight is “only” 5,600 lbs. I say only because I was expecting something that looks like a vanadium steel ingot on wheels to tip the scales in the five-digit range. So yeah, coming in at 2.25 Miatas is a victory.
Do we need this? Of course we do. We are, after all, Americans. We like ’em big and roomy, built like and sized like a Sherman tank with the survivability to match. And boy, does the 2019 BMW X7 deliver on that.
Three rows of seats for the passengers in the back (i.e. The Kids) offer up acres of roominess. Expansive surfaces abound, large trim pieces are everywhere, and other surfaces are framed with electroplated accents, including the instrument panel and center console. You got this much canvas to play with, might as well paint on all of it Jackson.
The center console is where everything lives. Literally everything: iDrive Controller, gear selector, climate settings, Driving Experience Control switches, and the settings for the air suspension and optional off-road modes. There’s enough room in that console alone to nail a golden Guinea with space left over.
Okay, you ask, so this panzer of a family truck is nice inside, but it’s a BMW, what about power? Becalm yourselves, for the X7 comes with a choice of two engines: A 4.4-liter V8, found in the X7 xDrive50i, and a high-revving 3.0-liter inline six-banger, found in the X7 xDrive40i.
Both gasoline mills feature TwinPower Turbo technology, High Precision Injection, VALVETRONIC fully variable valve timing, and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing. Each system is exclusive to BMW.
The V8 cranks out 479 lb-ft. of torque and 456 horsepower, good enough for a zero to 60 mph time of 5.2 seconds. The sixer has 335 horsepower and 330 lb-ft. of torque on tap, adding up to a zero to 60 mph of 5.8 seconds. Yeah, you won’t be out dragging a new Corvette with this guy, but those are pretty good times for something this size.
Both BMW X7 engines come mated to an improved version of the company’s eight-speed Steptronic transmission. The transmission has wider ratios and new electronics to increase overall efficiency.
The xDrive all-wheel drive system is rear-biased for those “occasions when the driver adopts a more sporting style of driving,” which is pretty funny to contemplate. There is an optional, electronically-controlled rear M Sport diff if you really want to get “sporty.”
Somehow, and for some reason, BMW has thrown an electric motor into this optional rear differential. It allows as much as 1,106 lb-ft. of drive torque to be redirected from wheels with less grip to the ones with more.
I’m sure it works like the business, but heaven help your bank account if it comes apart.
The 2019 BMW X7 comes standard with Dynamic Damper Control with two-axle air suspension. Other options in the chassis department include the Dynamic Handling Package, Integral Active Steering, and M Sport Brakes.
The available Active Comfort Drive with road preview works with the air suspension and an active roll-stabilization system. Along with camera sensors that preview the road ahead, the system proactively makes suspension adjustments.
Otherwise, the list of optional tech, connectivity, and safety equipment reads like a 550 page treatise on the ins and outs of whale oil production. But, get this: BMW says the Panorama Sky Lounge LED Roof generates a “very special and exclusive aura when darkness falls, with LED light spreading evenly across the glass surfaces to illuminate more than 15,000 graphic patterns and generate a display reminiscent of a starlit sky.”
I bet this will be real popular in Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, and anywhere else where pot is legal. And there’s a Harman Kardon system that would make Owsley Stanley blush.
The megillah that is the 2019 BMW X7 is an air of Teutonic prerogative and condescension. That means they’ll probably sell by the boat-load, even with pricing starting at $74,895 for the X7 xDrive40i. By comparison, the X7 xDrive50i begins at $93,595.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. His forthcoming new book The Future In Front of Me, The Past Behind Me will be available soon. Follow his work on Twitter:@TonyBorroz