By Khulekani Dumisa
Recently we attended the launch of the all new BMW X7. At 5,151 millimetres in length, 2,000 millimetres wide and 1,805 millimetres tall, and with a wheelbase of 3,105 millimetres, the X7 is the largest BMW SUV ever and this is fitting for the leader of the BMW SUV range. The X7 is also the first BMW to be offered with 7 seating configuration as standard.
Exterior – the grille in the room
A lot has been said about the X7’s kidney grille. For the record, it is the largest kidney grille ever designed for a BMW vehicle. Whether you are a fan or not, it is hard to deny that those large kidney grilles together with the slim twin headlights extending up to the grille give the X7 an identity of its own and distinguishes it from the pack of BMW SUVs, and this is something that will appeal to an X7 owner. These owners won’t like to be driving the SUV that sits at the pinnacle of the BMW SUV line up only to have their pride and joy mistaken for one of the other SUVs in the line-up. To actually entrench the status of the X7, the vehicle comes as standard with LED headlights, while BMW Laserlight with Adaptive LED Headlights can be specified as an option.
At the back, the slim LED rear lights provide a clear segmentation of the rear and when viewed from the side, the large windows and long, dynamically flowing roofline of the new BMW X7 hint at size of the X7 and the spacious nature harboured within the X7.
The new BMW X7 is fitted as standard with 21-inch light-alloy wheels and 22-inch can be ordered as an optional extra.
To ensure that the X7 caters to the taste of different owners, the vehicle is available in two equipment lines – Design Pure Excellence and M Sport package. Owners get to select exclusive BMW Individual options. The Design Pure Excellence equipment line features grille bars in Aluminium matt and an array of accents in high-gloss chrome, plus 21-inch light-alloy wheels in Y-spoke design. The M Sport is identifiable with extra-large air intakes, 21-inch light-alloy wheels in M twin-spoke design and a distinctive look for the front apron, rear apron and side skirts. Owners wanting more appeal to their cars have BMW Individual paint finish Sunstone metallic and 22-inch BMW Individual light-alloy wheels to opt for as optional extras.
Interior – standard 7 seats
Luxury interior now features standard three rows of seats (offering space for seven people in total). The full-size seats are capable of accommodating adult passengers over longer journeys. The second row includes three seats as standard in a conventional rear seat bench configuration. Alternatively, two individual seats can be specified for the middle row as an option. These are comfort seats and offer the same functionality as the seats for the driver and front passenger when it comes to seating position adjustment. The individual seats for the second row also feature integrated armrests and comfort cushions. The gap between the individual seats also provides an access route to the third row. The seats in the second row can also be tilted forward fully to make getting in and out as easy as possible for third-row passengers. The second-row seats can be returned to their upright position at the touch of a button. The second-row seats can also be adjusted using a control panel integrated into the driver’s door. The new BMW X7 features a two-section split tailgate, both elements of which have electric opening and closing as standard. If the optional Comfort Access is specified, the tailgate opens and closes automatically and hands-free.
When all six/seven seats are in use, the new BMW X7 offers 326 litres of load capacity. This increases to a maximum 2,120 litres when the backrests of the seats in the second and third rows are folded down.
The standard Vernasca leather trim and optional BMW Individual extended Merino leather trim are both available in six colour variants. The sports seats for the driver and front passenger are heated and can be ordered with a ventilation function as an option. The seats in the second and third rows are also heated, while the front row can be specified with optional multifunction seats with massage function.
Some interior shots of the @BMW_SA X7 that seats up to 7. Quality all round as can be expected. You opt for two individual seats making the X7 a 6 seater. We found adults could seat in the last/third row. You’ll obviously lose boot space… #BMWX7inSA pic.twitter.com/UP5FTXlEh7
— Khulekani on Wheels (@khuleonwheels) May 29, 2019
The BMW X7 comes as standard with a sports leather steering wheel and standard-fitted BMW Live Cockpit Professional includes a Control Display and a fully-digital instrument cluster – each with a screen diagonal of 12.3 inches. The M Sport package also includes an M Sport steering wheel, a BMW Individual headliner in anthracite-coloured Alcantara, M-specific detailing for the pedals, driver’s footrest and seat piping, plus exclusive interior trim strips.
The X7 comes standard with a ten speakers hi-fi system but a Harman Kardon surround sound system (standard in the X7 M50d) with 16 speakers provides can be ordered as option. If that doesn’t cut it, the optional Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System with 20 speakers and 1,500-watt amplifier can be fitted.
The standard electrically-operated panoramic glass roof teams up with large-surface windows to help give the interior of the new BMW X7 a light and airy feel. In addition to its front and central glass elements, the panoramic roof also features an additional section to the rear.
All the engines available for the new BMW X7 are paired with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission. According to BMW, the most recent incarnation of this transmission boasts a wider gear ratio spread and new control electronics. Also enhancing the drive of the X7 is the electronically controlled BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive which links up with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) to provide the basis for effortless, sure-footed handling, whatever the road and weather conditions. This was put to the test on a dirt road on launch and proved invaluable in delivering a capable performance under those circumstances.
The new BMW X7 M50d comes as standard with the M Sport differential, 21-inch M light-alloy wheels and a model-specific chassis set-up. Ride comfort in the new BMW X7 is further enhanced by its two-axle air suspension with automatic self-levelling, which is also included as standard. When SPORT driving mode is engaged or the car’s speed exceeds 138 km/h, the ride height is automatically lowered by 20 millimetres.
The new @BMW_SA X7 M50d in M Sport Package with 294kW/760 Nm from a quad-turbo 3.0ltr 6-cylinder engine. Power comes at you like you won’t believe and the engine has a nice grunt. Drove on a bit of gravel. Your prized possession is okay there but keep it on tar. #BMWX7inSA pic.twitter.com/R53nJMdIdS
— Khulekani on Wheels (@khuleonwheels) May 29, 2019
The driver is also able to adjust the body’s ground clearance – for off-road driving, for example – by pushing a button in the cockpit to raise it in two stages to a maximum 40 millimetres above the standard setting. Another button in the luggage compartment activates a loading mode that lowers the car by 40 millimetres.
Integral Active Steering is available as an option for the new BMW X7. By turning the rear wheels in either the same or the opposite direction as the front ones, depending on the road speed, the vehicle lends itself to more nimble cornering, effortless lane changes and darting through city traffic. Integral Active Steering therefore makes light work of maneuvering into and out of tight parking spots, while also increasing stability when overtaking at motorway speeds.
For supremely assured yet also dynamic handling abilities, there is the Executive Drive Pro option, which adds active roll stabilisation.
The BMW X7 comes as standard with Cruise Control with braking function, as well as the Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, which also now alerts the driver when a cyclist is detected. The optional Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function is capable of braking the car to a halt then setting it back on its way automatically.
The standard Driving Assist Professional includes the Steering and lane control assist as well as the Lane Keeping Assist with active side collision protection.
The new BMW X7 is also equipped as standard with Park Distance Control (PDC) including sensors at both the front and rear of the vehicle. Perhaps standing out is the Parking Assist (also standard) which is capable of automatically selecting and maneuvering into spaces parallel to the road.
The new @BMW_SA X7 is available in two trims, Design Pure Excellence and this M Sport Package. Note the front and rear bumpers & side sills in specific aerodynamic design on M Sport Package. pic.twitter.com/cpGpLuker4
— Khulekani on Wheels (@khuleonwheels) May 29, 2019
The Reversing Assist forms part of the standard Parking Assist and offers the highly convenient facility of automated reversing in confined spaces or situations where the driver does not have a clear view, such as multi-storey car parks or entrances to courtyards. To do this, it stores the steering movements for any section the car just drove forward along at a speed of no more than 36 km/h. The system is initiated by pressing a button when the vehicle is stationary and the gear selector is in the “P” position. The system is then able to reverse the vehicle for distances of up to 50 metres by steering it along exactly the same line it took when moving forward; all the driver has to do is operate the accelerator and brake pedals and monitor the surrounding area. The car can be backed up in this way at speeds of up to 9 km/h. The steering movements made during the vehicle’s last forward manoeuvre are stored by the system and retained, even for longer periods.
Standard specification for the new BMW X7 includes the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, an intelligent, digital helper that responds to the prompt “Hey BMW”.
Engine line up
The line-up of engines available at launch comprise a pair of six-cylinder in-line diesels to power the BMW X7 xDrive30d and BMW X7 M50d M Performance model.
View this post on Instagram
Today we welcome the @bmwsouthafrica X7 on South African soil. We’ll be driving the two diesels today: the xDrive 30d with 195 kW/620 Nm from a 3.0-litre inline 6 cylinder engine (consuming 7.0 L/100) and the M50d with 294 kW/760 Nm from a quad-turbo 3.0-litre inline 6-cylinder (sipping 7.3l/100km). Both engines are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission and employ four wheel drive (xDrive). #bmwx7inSA #bmwX7 #bmw #X7 #luxury #premium #class #elegance #style #sheerdrivingpleasure #city #jozi #durban #capetown #pe #polokwane #nelspruit
BMW X7 xDrive30d is powered by a six-cylinder in-line diesel engine that makes 195 kW / 620 Nm and allows the car to go from 0 – 100 km/h in 7.0 seconds. Top speed is 227 km/h with claimed combined fuel consumption at 6.8 – 6.5 l/100 km. The more powerful BMW X7 M50d also runs the six-cylinder in-line diesel engine but kicks out 294 kW / 760 Nm. The 0 – 100 km/h sprint is a respectable 5.4 seconds with top speed being 250 km/h and the combined fuel consumption at 7.4 – 7.0 l/100 km.
A petrol X7 M50i will join the range at a later stage. The fuel guzzler will be powered by a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine and push out 331 kW and 650 Nm.
The flashing SUV will be priced as follows:
- X7 30d R1,562,849
- X7 M50d R1,862,308
- X7 M50i R1,871,542.
Leave a comment