BMW Goes Bigger Than Ever with Three-row 2020 X7
New X7 flagship SUV offers turbocharged I6 and V8 power plants and semi-autonomous driving features.
Times of crisis reveal character. In the automotive world, times of opportunity reveal holes in an automaker’s lineup. The boom in the popularity of family haulers in recent years has made it clear to certain manufacturers which gaps they need to fill in their portfolios. Lexus now offers a two-row version of the LX 570 and a three-row model of the RX. BMW has made the X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, and X6 for buyers looking for space and utility in a variety of shapes and sizes. Now it’s finally making a full-size three-row SUV (Sports Activity Vehicle in BMW speak): the 2020 X7.
MotorWeek‘s Greg Carloss recently experienced BMW’s newest flagship people carrier for the first time on a road trip from Tallahassee, Florida to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It’s available in two configurations. Carloss says, “The standard setup includes second-row bench seating, which maximizes passenger capacity at seven people – two in the front, three in the second row, and two in the third row.” The optional layout replaces the middle bench with two captain’s chairs.
The power sliding middle seats enable relatively easy access to the rearmost seats. Carloss has a decent amount of legroom back there, but the standard glass roof cuts into available headroom. However, Carloss adds, “Anyone six feet and under should be just fine.”
The entry-level X7 xDrive40i comes standard with a single-turbo I6 that produces 335 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque. A twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 with 456 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque gets the X7 xDrive50i down the road. Both models feature BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system and an eight-speed automatic transmission that incorporates information from the GPS system and cameras to read the road ahead and shift accordingly.
To make commuting and long trips easier, the X7 is available with advanced hands-free driving technologies, which BMW calls Active Driving Assisted Professional and Extended Traffic Jam Assistant. They’re optional on the base model and standard on the top-level X7. According to Carloss, “The system is capable of changing lanes at highway speeds and taking over in traffic jam situations under 38 mph without requiring the driver’s hands on the wheel. However, the driver must be looking forward and paying attention.”
Look for the X7 in BMW dealerships this month. The entry-level model has a base price of $73,900; the V8-powered X7 has a starting price of $92,600.