BMW X7 facelift review: New face, new heart

    The X7 gets a new face, a revamped interior, more equipment and a new diesel engine.

    Published on Oct 29, 2023 08:00:00 AM


    Make : BMW
    Model : X7
    We Like
    • Strong road presence
    • Performance and refinement
    • Space and packaging
    We Don't Like
    • No bench seat for middle row
    • Touchscreen controls

    BMW’s flagship SUV, the X7, has received a rather comprehensive update. A new face along with other exterior tweaks, a modern look inside and a set of new engines for our market, since the X7 is now available in xDrive40i and xDrive40d guises. We had the diesel on test to see what it’s like.  

    BMW X7 facelift exterior

    The X7 follows the i7 and 7 Series when it comes to its design language. It has LED DRLs up top and LED headlamps on the bumpers - a trend half the auto industry is currently on to. The massive kidney grille remains massive and since this is the M Sport version, the air intake gets a sporty design. 

    Massive kidney grille remains massive.

    On the whole, it remains a large SUV measuring over five metres and with a wheelbase of over three metres in length. Road presence is something it definitely has and the 21-inch wheels only add to that. The M Sport kit also gets M badges and blacked-out window surrounds. At the rear, the LED tail-lamps are sleek, there is a thick chrome strip connecting them, and the car gets chrome exhaust tips. Functionally, it still has the split opening tailgate.

    BMW X7 facelift interior

    On the inside, the major change is seen on the dashboard, which is now dominated by a 14.9-inch touchscreen. Gone are the buttons and almost all physical controls, including HVAC, which are now in the iDrive system. This means if you so much as want to change the fan speed, you or the chauffeur have to take your eyes off the road and toggle through the screen.

    Dashboard is dominated by a 14.9-inch touchscreen.

    Then the iDrive system itself is quite complicated, especially when seen against Merc’s MBUX, which is a lot more straightforward and easy to use. There are some interesting goodies in the iDrive system though. You can use the high-quality 360-degree camera as a dashcam, for all angles of the car. The cameras will record the full video of your journey, provided you have a high-capacity USB drive plugged in for storage. The cameras are crisp and have almost no latency issues. 

    HVAC controls are now in the iDrive system

    Next is the navigation with an AR function that will guide you via turn-by-turn updates using arrows and pointers overlaid on the video feed. Also new is the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that is heavy on information and can be customisable for various styles. On the centre console, there are a host of buttons for ride height control, drive modes and the large crystal gear shifter is now just a small wedge that has reduced the drama in the cabin. Extending the equipment list on this new X7 is ADAS. You get autonomous braking, lane keep assist and lane mitigation warning, but it misses out on adaptive cruise control.

    Third row gets a small sunroof as well.

    Coming to quality and build, that is top-notch. Almost every touchpoint has soft-padded materials and the interior is extremely well-built. The seats, albeit missing a massage function, are superbly comfortable and get plenty of adjustment possibilities. 

    Individual chairs are comfy, space is exceptional.

    In the rear, the X7 gets captain seats, although a bench seat version is on its way. The individual chairs are comfy, space is exceptional and you get electric sunshades and vents in the rear. Entertainment screens aren’t standard fit, but there are provisions for an iPad with type C ports. That said, there is no ventilation for the rear seats, or massage functions, which is a miss. What’s also a miss is the unavailability of a control panel at the rear, which means if you are seated at the back, you will have to order the chauffeur for any change to the media, ambient lighting or to know any other information. You do get controls for the HVAC thanks to a dual-zone climate control at the rear. 

    X7 still has the split opening tailgate.

    Families that will make use of the third row won’t be disappointed. The middle row opens up access to the third row with just a tug on the seat shoulder release, and once inside, there is a good amount of room for even older kids. There is also an individual climate control for the third row and a small sunroof as well, so you don’t feel cramped or hemmed in. Furthermore, the flexibility of the middle row allows for comfortable seating in the back. Boot space has remained unchanged and with three rows up, and it can still take soft bags or a medium-sized cabin bag. 

    BMW X7 facelift engine and gearbox

    Powering the updated X7 in its xDrive40d guise is a new 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel engine with 340hp and 700Nm. It might be 60hp less than the older xDrive50d, but at no point does it feel lacking in performance. A 0-100kph time of just 5.9 seconds is proof that there is plenty of poke should you need it. The 8-speed torque converter automatic is smooth as ever and the paddle shifters add more engagement too. What further helps are the drive modes that significantly alter the performance and it is surprising how responsive the X7 is in Sports mode. 

    New 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel engine makes 340hp and 700Nm.

    The strong pull and meaty mid-range is enough to prove this engine’s mettle, but what’s even better is that all that performance does not come at the cost of refinement. Apart from a slight thrum at low rpms, you’d never be able to tell this is a diesel. The refinement levels are excellent and cabin insulation with the double-glazed glass is shockingly good. 

    BMW X7 facelift ride and handling

    There’s no masking the fact that this is an SUV because even with the seat at its lowest setting, you are seated way higher than in any other BMW. And in corners, you will feel its weight and bulk, but compare that to other mega-sized SUVs and you could even call it agile. Body control is very good and the steering, although light, is very consistent. 

    Although light, steering is very consistent. 

    At low speed, there is a firmness in the ride, but the faster you drive the X7, the more composed it feels. Highways are its territory and that’s where the diesel engine also shines. Extending the equipment list on this new X7 is ADAS. You get autonomous braking, lane keep assist, lane mitigation warning, but it misses out on adaptive cruise control. 

    BMW X7 facelift price, verdict, rivals

    With the facelift, BMW has given the X7 a massive shot in the arm that buyers will appreciate. As with most BMWs today, the aesthetics will split opinion, but the creamy smooth diesel engine, excellent space on offer and a long features list make the X7 a solid buy for those who have large families and enjoy road trips. 

    Luxurious, practical and feature-rich, but also fun to drive.

    At Rs 1.24 crore, it locks horns with the Mercedes-Benz GLS, but then it really ups its BMW-ness, meaning this luxurious, practical and feature-rich SUV is also fun to drive.

    Also see:

    BMW X7 facelift video review

    Tech Specs

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