The BMW X7 comes with one of two engines. The xDrive40i is powered by a 3.0L inline 6-cylinder engine fed by a turbocharger, sending power to all-four wheels via an 8-speed automatic. BMW claims the X7 xDrive40i makes 335 horsepower, which is enough get the vehicle to 60 miles per hour in just 5.8 seconds, so despite not having overwhelming amounts of horsepower on paper, the xDrive40i is pretty quick. For those wanting more power, the xDrive50i is powered by a 4.4L twin-turbocharged V8 making 456 horsepower while the M50i is tuned for 523 horsepower.
Regardless of which engine is ordered, the X7 comes in two basic flavors dubbed Luxury and M Sport. From the outside, the two trim levels couldn't be more different, the Luxury features plenty of exterior brushed aluminum around the windows and the lower door sills, while the M sport features more aggressive wheels, blacked out aluminum and bigger grill openings in the front fascia.
Regardless of trim level, the X7 is generous with its standard features, which include 21-inch wheels, adaptive LED headlights and LED fog lights. Inside, the X7 comes standard with 16-way power front seats, a 10-speaker sound system with HD radio and SiriusXM satellite radio, a leather wrapped multifunction steering wheel, BMW ConnectedDrive services, dynamic cruise control, a panoramic moonroof featuring a 2-piece glass panel, 4-zone automatic climate control, rain sensing wipers, a power tailgate, park distance control, BMW's extended ambient lighting system and three stage heated front seats. Additional features exclusive to the M50i include LED adaptive headlights that are equipped with BMW Laser light, 4 wheel painted calipers, and an M Sport electro-mechanical limited slip differential.
Options are plentiful on the X7 and include a variety of 21 and 22-inch wheel designs, a variety of Vernasca Leather and merino leather upholstered interiors, five different types of wood trimmed dashboards and of course several packages.
A Dynamic Handling Package will up the sport quotient on the X7 with integrated active steering, M Sport brakes, and a suspension system that will use cameras to view the road ahead and preemptively adjust suspension stiffness on the fly for improved handling. An Off-Road Package adds better differentials, several off-road driving modes and underbody armor. A Driver Assistance Professional Package on the other hand, offers piece of mind behind the wheel with Active Driving Assistant Pro and Traffic Jam Assistance as well as Lane Keeping Assist, Cross Traffic Alert and Side Collision Avoidance.
The BMW X7 is still quite fresh on the market, only hitting dealers about 18 months ago, but it filled such an obvious void in the company's lineup it feels like it's been here forever. Sophisticated, slightly posh and undeniably stately, the X7 is a superb SUV. It's also, if I'm being honest, the only machine where BMW's increasingly swollen kidney grille works without question.
The X7 is also reasonably quick, able to get its 5,661-pound bulk to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds in. You'd think that would be plenty enough for anybody, but for those lucky few who always need more -- and who have the means -- there's Alpina.
Meet the Alpina XB7, a big, three-row SUV that adds a certain layer of excess to BMW's somewhat understated machine. Much of that starts with what's under the hood, with the X7's 4.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 getting a little more attention than it typically does at the factory. Power goes from the 523 horsepower in the M50i up to a whopping 612 in the XB7, while torque hops from 553 pound-feet to 590. That oomph is balanced by additional airflow in the form of extra radiators and an enlarged transmission cooler, with the bulk of the heat venting via a new sport exhaust.
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