The X7 Is Truly The Vehicle Of Kings
Even before it had launched, the BMW X7 was already dividing attention. The kidney grill was, ah, a little challenging for some people to accept. Just the thought of such a colossal vehicle carrying the BMW roundel rubbed a lot of purists up the wrong way.
None of that matters, though, because it's here and it's nothing short of magnificent.
YouTube car guy Doug DeMuro managed to get his hands on one of the first X7s in North America, and gave it the once over. It's worth a watch, if only because seeing the X7 next to an actual adult human for scale is the only way to grasp just how vast it really is.
As full-size SUVs are supposed to be all about luxury, it's only fair that DeMuro didn't take a look at a base model X7. In this case, just the interior trim alone added an extra $5000 to the sticker price. For that you get leather wrapping seemingly every surface from dash to trunk, a full-length suede headliner and hand-woven piping on the quilted leather seats. It's kind of a big deal. As big as the vehicle itself, which can only reasonably be described as incredibly spacious when inside.
In case it's a touch too big for comfort, the X7 also comes with an adjustable suspension, letting you lower the whole vehicle when entering or exiting. That's a nice touch for anybody who enjoys the elevated driving position an SUV offers, but struggles with clambering up and down all the time.
That isn't where the convenience features end, though. Though BMWs traditionally focus more on the driving experience, the X7 SUV seems to have been built from the ground up with convenience in mind. That means electric motors to raise and lower the rear seats, instead of shifting them around by hand like a commoner. It means five individual climate zones covering all three rows, letting everybody adjust the temperature to their own taste. It even means fitted pillows on the headrests, in case normal headrests just aren't soft enough for you.
Because a lot of people who are interested in the comfort of a perfectly air-conditioned padded headrest aren't interested in having that comfort disturbed by the roar of the engine, the X7 comes with dual-pane windows as standard. The insulating effect of several layers of glass makes for an incredibly quiet ride, something driving enthusiasts may not appreciate but the lounging elite is sure to love.
If taking away the sound of driving isn't extreme enough for you, what about taking away the actions of driving, the hard slog of turning the steering wheel? Yup, the X7 has got you covered.
Two features jump out. The first is the obvious partial self-driving mode, which is effectively a necessity on any high-end vehicle in 2019. In the X7's case, the car is happy to take over at speeds under 40 mph, as long as you're still present and focused on the road; a camera in the instrument panel lets the car check you're still looking where you're going. As long as you follow the rules, though, and touch the steering wheel occasionally, the X7 should be able to tackle all typical city driving situations. BMW isn't exactly on top of its autonomous driving game at the moment, though, so your mileage may vary.
A slightly quirkier feature is the backup assistant. Obviously the X7 comes with a bevy of park assist cameras, including a full 3D view around your car, so there's plenty of help when you're backing up. But what if even that isn't enough? Well, pull nose-first into a parking spot, and backup assistant will be able to remember the exact path you took to get into the spot, and repeat the same process in reverse to get you back where you were. It's undeniably cool, it's at least slightly convenient, it's possibly not going to work if a few more cars have shown up since you parked, but it's still a good show-off feature the first time you take somebody out in your car.
The X7 isn't going to be for everybody. It's no M2, obviously. But if you're looking for the paragon of automotive luxury... well, it probably depends on whether or not you can wait for the even more OTT X8.