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BMW reveals 2019 X7 SUV. Image by BMW.

BMW reveals 2019 X7 SUV
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What's the news?

This is our first look at BMW's all-new, seven-seat SUV flagship, called the X7.

Hang on - haven't you already driven this thing?

Well, yes, but that was in heavily-disguised, prototype form earlier this year. This is the finished article.

Right-o. Want to tell me what the flip is going on with the X7's kidney grilles?

Umm... yes. They're, er... they're large, aren't they?

Large?! That's underselling it somewhat...

Maybe, but you're going to have to get used to them - BMW's Vision iNext concept has already demonstrated that whopping kidneys are here to stay for the foreseeable. But the rest of the X7's not too bad, considering it's 5,151mm long... with 3,105mm of that taken up by wheelbase. The back's pretty neat and inoffensive, the sides don't look too heavy and slab-like, and it will sit upon 20- to 22-inch alloys, so there's little chance of it being visually under-wheeled. It even incorporates the Hofmeister kink in its D-pillar, while the slim headlights up front will be LEDs as standard and optionally upgradable to LaserLights.

I take it, as it's so big outside, that the cabin is capacious?

It is indeed. The latest X5 remains available in a '5+2' configuration but, if you get the X7 in seven-seat trim (there's a 'six captain's chairs' option), then with a full complement of humans onboard there's still a 326-litre boot available at the back - that's like a C-segment hatchback's cargo area. Chuck out passengers six and seven and fold their pews away and the boot space rises to 750 litres, while if you fancy driving your X7 around with only the front two seats in place, you have a cavernous 2,120 litres at your disposal.

So this is basically a 4x4 BMW van?

Har-har. No, it's a luxury limo on stilts. Acoustic glass wraps the front of the cabin to isolate occupants from noise outside, while as standard the X7 will come with the beautiful twin 12.3-inch TFT screens of BMW Live Cockpit Professional. The head-up display for the driver is version 3.0, with a bigger field showing more information, while ambient lighting and air packages should ensure a serene atmosphere for however many people are travelling in the BMW SUV. There can be a 'Crafted Clarity' glass gear lever and heated/cooled cupholders in the front and don't worry if you're in row three of the X7, because you're still treated to luxuries - climate control, for instance, is plumbed back there, with the controls for your own zone of temperature and so on mounted in the BMW's roof lining. Options will include a full-length panoramic roof incorporating ambient LED lighting and a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound system with an ear-popping 1,500-watt output, channelled through 20 speakers in glorious 3D audio.

Presumably, some monster engines move all this stuff about?

Yes, it's familiar BMW TwinPower Turbo power, leading to four launch models - but you might as well forget about the 462hp 4.4 V8 xDrive50i, as that X7 is not destined for Europe. One petrol engine is, though, which is the 3.0-litre, straight-six xDrive40i, which turns in 340hp and 450Nm. It is complemented by a single-turbo xDrive30d, which is also a 3.0-litre six-pot, delivering 265hp/620Nm. That, though, is overshadowed by the M50d, which is also a 3.0 six... but with FOUR turbos. Power is 400hp, torque is 760Nm, performance is remarkable: 0-62mph takes 5.4 seconds and the top speed is 155mph, numbers that are somewhat put into context by the M50d's 2.5-tonne kerb weight. All X7s are xDrive and fitted with an eight-speed Steptronic auto transmission, while twin-axle air suspension, Integral Active Steering, electric anti-roll stabilisers and bespoke xDrive and gearbox settings are part of the BMW's spec sheet. For those who like to get their SUVs' tyres dirty, then you'll be pleased to know an off-road specific differential lock will be bundled into an option pack for this kind of rough stuff.

Have you got any eco-stats?

Yes, these numbers heading your way are NEDC correlated from BMW's WLTP ratified testing, and we'll only quote the best figures for each model (bigger alloys and M Sport-spec will negatively affect these, y'see), but - ignoring the xDrive50i - you've got the greenest, which is the xDrive30d, which achieves bests of 43.5mpg and 171g/km CO2; then it's the M50d, not too far behind the 30d with 40.4mpg and 185g/km; and finally, the xDrive40i rocks in with 32.5mpg and 198g/km. To put a little more meat on the bones of the X7's hierarchy, we've already touched upon the M50d, but the 30d will run 0-62mph in 7.0 seconds exactly, with a top speed of 141mph, while the 40i justifies its relative thirstiness with a 6.1-second 0-62mph sprint and a 152mph top speed.

Any prices for all this?

BMW UK has confirmed that pricing will start at £72,155 on-the-road for the X7 xDrive30d.

Matt Robinson - 16 Oct 2018

2019 BMW X7. Image by BMW.2019 BMW X7. Image by BMW.2019 BMW X7. Image by BMW.2019 BMW X7. Image by BMW.2019 BMW X7. Image by BMW.

2019 BMW X7. Image by BMW.2019 BMW X7. Image by BMW.2019 BMW X7. Image by BMW.2019 BMW X7. Image by BMW.2019 BMW X7. Image by BMW.    - BMW road tests
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