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bmw x7 isn t about to lose the grille wars

BMW X7 isn’t about to lose the grille wars

The first large SUV from Munich is here with grilles that can be seen from space

Dinesh Appavu Photo

Dinesh Appavu

15 Jul 2019

It’s all about SUVs these days. Buyers can’t get enough of them, carmakers can’t stop designing enough of them and that’s just how it is unfortunately. BMW hasn’t been short on the body style but its portfolio did brandish a glaring absence in the largest segment; something its competitors have been milking for years. That’s been rectified now.

Enter the ginarmous BMW X7; the marque’s first full three-row SUV that’s made the skip over to our shores in a sole X7 xDrive40i Pure Excellence trim. It’s about time too as Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volvo and Lexus have all been plying the segment for years with the GLS-Class, Q7, XC90 and LX570 respectively.

Under the hood is the familiar petrol 3.0-litre straight six turbo with direct injection. It’ll make 340hp and 450Nm of torque. Equally familiar is the eight-speed auto driving all four wheels.

Although the three rows of seats are a given, you can order the X7 here as a six or seven-seater. The seven-seater is priced at RM888,800 onwards though BMW Group Malaysia hasn’t released the pricing for the six-seater though it shouldn’t differ much they confirmed. Nonetheless, the X7 won’t be in local showrooms until September this year.

BMW aims for the X7 to be a higher-riding version of the 7 Series limo but if you’re wondering why the pricing is vastly lower for the sedan, you have local-assembly to thank for that. The X7 comes from Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Of course, the X7 is kitted out to the nines with the suaver Pure Excellence trim bringing BMW Laserlight headlights, 21-inch light alloy wheels 753 Design wheels and soft-closing doors to the mix. Ride is handled by two-axle air suspension and Executive Drive Pro chassis control (active anti-roll bar).

Luxuries in the cabin comprise fine-wood trim with electroplated accent trims, BMW Live Cockpit Pro in a 12.3-inch instrument panel, Crafted Clarity handmade diamond-cut interior trim, heads-up display, Hey BMW voice command for the infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Gesture Control. A 16-speaker Harman Kardon Surround Sound system completes the infotainment.

Second-row occupants will have access to two touch-screen displays as well as electric roller blinds for the windows and a panoramic roof with LED lighting. Five-zone climate control keeps the two front rows split with the last row being the fifth zone.

The usual array of electronic driving aids such as Parking Assistant Plus with hands-free parallel parking, 360-degree camera, reversing assistant with hands-free reversing out of tight spots, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with steering assist, front collision warning with brake intervention, Emergency Stop Assistant, Evasion Aid, and Crossroads warning with city braking function helps keep this luxobarge on the straight and narrow.

Now a little pet peeve picked up during the launch is access to the third row. Unlike more SUVs, the X7’s second row doesn’t quite fold forward or tumble, instead it only tilts forward. That means it could get a little tricky for ingress and egress but hey, that’s why we buy practical machines like the Japanese.

TAGS: bmw SUV x7