BMW's new SUV, the three-row X7, is big in every sense of the word: its physical footprint is large, its kidney grilles are imposing, and its price can easily climb into six-figure territory. So we figure that the best way to spec out this new luxury SUV is to go big or go home, right?
After driving a few examples of the X7, both in six-cylinder 40i and V-8 50i forms, we came to a consensus on the best version of this big-ass Bimmer. Our well-equipped build sure ain't cheap; nor is it fully loaded, because we figured some options were best left on the table.
MODEL WE'D PICK:
- X7 xDrive50i (base price: $93,595)
We found the 40i model, powered by a 335-hp turbocharged inline-six, to be adequately powerful, but given the X7's sheer size and presence, the V-8 seems like a more natural choice. With its 456 horsepower, the bragging rights alone that accompany this engine seem well worth the $18,700 upcharge it commands. If you want a more subdued BMW SUV, take a look at the X5. The X7 xDrive50i is also appealing because it comes standard with several active-safety features that are optional on the 40i, namely adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist.
OPTIONS WE'D CHOOSE:
- M Sport package ($3550)
- Cold Weather package ($1200)
- Luxury Seating package ($1200)
- Premium package ($1550)
- Glass Controls ($650)
- Leather dashboard ($1200)
- Coffee Extended Merino leather ($1000)
- Panoramic Sky Lounge LED Roof ($750)
- BMW Individual wood trim ($1080)
- 22-inch bi-color wheels ($1,300)
We did not shy away from the X7's many options, as a vehicle this sumptuous deserves a full complement of creature comforts. The M Sport package was the biggest-ticket item we chose, and that decision was based mostly on aesthetics, as we think its less chrome-heavy look is the way to go (other M Sport goodies such as a throatier exhaust are just a bonus). The bluish Carbon Black Metallic exterior paint pairs well with the $1000 brown leather, and 22-inch rims fill out the wheel wells better than the standard 21-inchers.
The combination of the Cold Weather and Luxury Seating packages bring all sorts of heating and massaging to the front chairs, while the Premium package adds niceties such as remote start and soft-close doors. Extra-cost options such as wood trim, glass controls, a leather-covered dashboard, and a panoramic sunroof class up the seven-seat cabin even further. We left off the costly Off-Road and Dynamic Handling packages, because they strike us as a bit antithetical to this people hauler's mission.
We end up with a $107,075 BMW X7, which sounds appropriate for a sport-ute this large and luxurious. Its chief rival, Mercedes-Benz's V-8–powered GLS550, is also well into the six-figure range when nicely equipped, but we hear there's a new GLS on the horizon, so things are bound to heat up in the German three-row luxobarge SUV segment soon.
('You Might Also Like',)