When it comes to moving an affluent family, there’s no better BMW than the X7, the brand’s luxurious three-row SUV.
While its cargo area and rearmost seats aren’t as spacious as rivals such as the Jeep Grand Wagoneer and Mercedes-Benz GLS-class, the Bimmer boasts better driving manners as well as an impressive selection of engines. They range from a 375-hp turbo-six to a 523-hp twin-turbo V-8, with the latter making 630 horses on the highest-class, max-performance Alpina XB7. All models have all-wheel drive and an adaptive air suspension that promotes a pillow-like ride. The 2023 X7’s interior is serene, but it’s also packed with upscale materials and modern tech such as the dash’s giant curved glass display. Those features, combined with the X7’s towing capability and an array of standard active-safety tech, make the biggest BMW one of the best.
What’s New for 2023?
The 2023 X7 receives a mid-cycle refresh that includes a more expressive front end and a new dashboard design with a huge digital display and BMW‘s latest infotainment system. The largest BMW SUV also has more standard features and new driver-assistance technology. For the first time, BMW will offer a set of 23-inch rims, too. The X7 also benefits from updated powertrains. The xDrive40i’s turbocharged six-cylinder now makes 375 horsepower (up 40) and up to 398 pound-feet of torque (up 67). The V-8 model’s name changes from M50i to M60i, and its new twin-turbo 4.4-liter and 48-volt hybrid system are claimed to form a more efficient duo. The ragen-topping Alpina XB7 has an even more powerful setup than the M60i that makes 630 horsepower–18 more than before.
Even with our fondness for the twin-turbo V-8’s horsepower and noteworthy performance, we’d recommend the X7 xDrive40i. It has desirable standard features that include four-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, power-adjustable front seats with memory settings, heated front seats, a power tailgate, and more. We’d also add one of the Vernasca leather upholstery choices and the Premium package that includes a head-up display, gesture controls, and soft-close doors.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The entry-level X7 xDrive40i is powered by a 375-hp turbocharged inline-six-cylinder, and the M60i has a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 that makes 523 horses. The Alpina XB7 has a specially tuned version of that V-8, which develops 630 horsepower. All three engines pair with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. Every X7 rides on an air suspension with adaptive dampers, and the chassis can be further enhanced with the available rear-axle steering and active anti-roll bars that reduce body motions. Both features are standard on the M60i, which has a sportier suspension setup by default. The smallest wheels on the X7 measure 21 inches in diameter, but BMW now also offers 23-inchers for the first time.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The 2023 X7 is most efficient when it’s equipped with the standard inline-six. That xDrive40i model received EPA ratings of 21 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. Going with the V-8–powered M60i model will mean hitting the pump more often, as that model is rated for 16 mpg city and 21 mpg highway. Once we have the opportunity to test the new X7 on the 75-mph highway fuel economy route that is part of our extensive testing regimen, we can evaluate the SUV’s real-world mpg. For more information about the X7’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, the X7’s dashboard is dominated by a massive digital display that’s slightly curved. The panel boasts a 12.3-inch gauge cluster for the driver and a 14.9-inch touchscreen that the infotainment system operates through. Plenty of luxury features can be found inside as well, including heated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, a power-adjustable steering wheel, and ambient interior lighting. However, we were irritated by how slowly the power-operated, second-row captain’s chair moved when trying to let people in and out of the third row. Likewise, the way-back seats aren’t especially roomy for adults during prolonged drives. Still, no one will complain about the X7’s ample interior cubby storage. While we only managed to fit three carry-on suitcases behind the third row, we fit 33 total with all the back seats stowed.