First Drives Years

With the small truck and SUV segment continuing to dominate in Canada, BMW made the timely decision to enter the highly lucrative segment with their largest SUV ever. The 2019 BMW X7 earns its place as an executive fleet choice but not just because of its family-friendly size and show stopping looks. The X7 builds on  its smaller siblings comfort, handling, safety and technology, making this sport utility vehicle a leader in its class. 

At 5151 mm in length, 2,000 mm wide and 1,805 mm tall and with a wheelbase of 3,105 mm, the X7  means business. The 2019 BMW X7 gives drivers a choice of two updated gasoline engines. The first, BMW X7 xDrive50i has an updated 4.4-litre V8 engine that produces a max of 462hp reaching 100km/h in 5.4 seconds.  The X7 xDrive40i offers a 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine that delivers 340hp, adding 0.7 seconds to its larger siblings acceleration time. Both variants use an eight-speed Steptronic transmission and BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive. The BMW TwinPower Turbo technology in both gasoline engines features turbocharging, High Precision Injection, VALVETRONIC fully variable valve timing and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing. CAF drove the X7 xDrive40i and got an impressive combined fuel economy of 9.0L/100km, not too shabby for a seven seater with a V6 engine. 

The X7 checks the box as a seven passenger vehicle. A feature many drivers (as fleet managers know all too well) like to demand. The three row seating with optional second-row Captain’s chairs offer a more exclusive seating arrangement for six. Picking straws for who sits in the back isn’t necessary with X7. Third-row passengers receive cupholders, armrests, their own sunroof and controls for the rear sliding shade. Seat positions and backrest angles for all three rows are controlled electronically with the ease of a button. Child seats can also be fixed in place securely and easily using the ISOFIX attachments. When all seven seats are in use the X7 offers 326 litres of load capacity. The standard air suspension allows the car to be lowered to make loading easier. 

Four-zone climate control, a 10-speaker audio system, wireless charging and Wi-Fi hotspot come standard. In addition to a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster display and 12.3-inch central display. The seventh generation BMW iDrive system, the BMW Live Cockpit Professional offers hardware upgrades including new haptic controls, an advanced touch screen interface and the largest displays available in a BMW. 

The onboard voice recognition system can be triggered by a simple “Hey, BMW..”. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is able to explain all sorts of different functions (“How does the High Beam Assistant work?”), provide current status information (“Is the oil level okay?”) and help answer questions (“What warning messages do I have?”). The X7 is able to learn the driver’s favourite settings, and can even activate a combination of them to enhance well-being. For instance, “Hey BMW, I feel tired” triggers a vitality programme that adjusts the lighting mood, music and temperature, among other things, in order to make the driver feel more awake. 

What CAF found to be most impressive about the BMW X7 is its expansive array of standard driver assistance systems. The X7 comes with Active Protection and Active Driving Assistant including Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Collision Warning, Frontal Collision Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and even Pedestrian Warning with City Collision which alerts the driver if cyclists are detected. Parking Assistant Plus which provides Top View, Panorama View and 3D View also comes standard. The X7 also features Heads-Up Display, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Extended Traffic Jam Assist for limited access highways. 

Driving to and from the office, X7’s Extended traffic Jam assist gives a glimpse of what fully automated vehicles will one day offer us. The system can be used in stop-and-go highway traffic up to a speed of 50km/h. X7’s sophisticated cameras monitor whether the driver is paying attention to the road. If so, drivers can take their hands off the wheel for extended periods. X7 will also suggest driving breaks if it deems the driver is becoming tired or less alert. 

CAF tested X7’s standard Parking Assistant which parallel parks the vehicle without any driver intervention required. The function is activated at the touch of a button on the center console. The system takes care of the acceleration, braking, steering and gear changes necessary to maneuver into the space. This was a huge bonus especially knowing what it’s like trying to parallel park a large SUV. A further illustration of BMW’s ongoing progress towards automated driving is provided by the Reversing Assistant. When leaving a parking space or manoeuvring in a confined area, this function offers a level of assistance as yet unmatched by any other manufacturer. The Reversing Assistant forms part of the standard Parking Assistant and offers 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. 

With details from “thermos” cupholders that warm or cool  drinks to massage function seats to the Panorama glass roof Sky Lounge and LED lighting, the X7 truly makes driving a luxury.  The newest and largest model in the BMW X line-up uses outstanding powertrain options and chassis technology, plus generous levels of space, and advanced equipment features, to deliver unparalleled experiences for the driver and passengers. The X7 doesn’t disappoint and we encourage you to drive it  so you too can understand that too much is just enough.

The BMW xDrive40i

The BMW Live Cockit Professional has been upgraded and offers the largest displays available in a BMW.

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