Test drive BMW X7. Big Brother

The term “automotive designer” has recently been filled with new meaning. Creating a car resembles a puzzle, and the details in it are elements of a modular platform. The new BMW X7 is built on the CLAR platform, which debuted for the first time on the “seven” and became the basis for Bavarian models with a longitudinal arrangement of the power unit, including the X5. However, the X7 aims to be not just a “stretched X-fifth,” but a “seven” in the SUV class.

Despite the giant nostrils and even the maximum unification with the younger X5, every time I glanced at the X7, a Mercedes-Benz GLS appeared in my head. Partly due to the fact that they are classmates, but mainly because of their external resemblance from behind. Take a look at the roof line, the trunk lid, and the massive rear rear racks. The similarity of dimensions, in which the X-seventh repeats GLS almost completely, enhances the effect: BMW is 31 mm longer, 66 wider, 45 lower and 30 longer from axis to axis.

Test drive BMW X7. Big Brother 1

Representatives of the company make a helpless gesture, relying on functionality and a narrow class framework. Like, the designers had no room for maneuver. You cannot lower the roof line – you need a place above the heads of third-row passengers. Changing the line of the trunk lid means sacrificing no less important cargo space. Fair! And, in general, even though the BMW X7 resembles the rear of the GLS, it’s really spacious inside!

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The main market for the BMW X7 is the USA. Actually, it is produced here at the company’s enterprise in Spartanberg. And the main users of seven-seater minivans and crossovers in the states are mothers of many children, the so-called Soccer Mom (soccer mom). Therefore, the “X-seven” is already in the base three-row. All seats are equipped with electric drives. The buttons located in the trunk can easily turn a huge crossover into either a passenger business jet or a cargo wagon. All seats in the seven-seat version fold and unfold automatically in about half a minute. The third row is converted to a completely flat floor, and the second – with a slight slope.

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The interior design is nothing new if you are familiar with the latest generation BMW X5. At least you can play “find the ten differences” to the front desk. But you’ll hardly find them. In X7, the same architecture of the central panel, the same expensive materials in the decoration, pleasant both visually and tactilely. The same high level of quality. The same unusual digital dashboard panel with arrows running towards each other. By the way, for the X7, there is no alternative in the form of analog devices. A lot of leather, aluminum and wood, a panoramic roof, four-zone climate control – and all this is already in standard modifications of the X7

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An additional 56,000 rubles to the cost will turn the X7 into a six-seat crossover with two separate captain’s chairs in the second row instead of a classic sofa. But I still have questions for these captain’s chairs. The backrest must be manually tilted forward, and only after that the seat will begin to move in order to let the passenger into the third row. The armrests are reminiscent of an economy class in an airplane. And in order to squeeze out of the car from the second row to the third, you need to move one chair as far forward as possible, and the second as far back as possible. So the classic sofa with an armrest in the basic version seems to me a more logical option.

Passengers of the third row of comfort went according to the residual principle. A tall man will be cramped, although if there is an urgent need to make a trip in a couple of hours, it is still possible if the passengers of the second row are not selfish. Optionally, the climate system can be expanded to the third row and install a separate control unit there. In addition, the “gallery” is available a separate segment of the panoramic roof, heated seats, USB ports, cup holders and the ability to control the seats in front.

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The trunk with the seats fully unfolded is small – 326 liters. Although it is enough for two small suitcases. If necessary, you can use the underground, where the curtain of the luggage compartment is stored. If you add the third row, then the volume of the cargo compartment will increase to 722 liters, and when the second row is folded – 2120 liters.

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Technically, the BMW X7 is heavily unified with the X5. They have in common not only a modular CLAR platform, but also a suspension scheme: in front – a double-lever, behind a five-lever, which was finalized taking into account the increased load. Already in the “base” there are electronically controlled shock absorbers and air suspension with single-chamber cylinders. The all-wheel drive transmission is xDrive with a multi-plate clutch in the front axle drive and an optional rear differential with a controlled degree of lock. A rear axle steering up to 3 degrees is an option.

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The line of powertrains on the BMW X7 also migrated from the X5. The basic version in Russia will be the xDrive30d with a three-liter diesel “six” with a capacity of 249 forces and 620 Nm. An intermediate option is the xDrive40i with a 340-horsepower in-line three-liter petrol turbo-six. The top-end modification on the Russian market will be the M50d with a three-liter diesel engine with a return of 400 forces and 760 Nm, with an M-package and an active rear differential. But the most powerful X7 xDrive50i with a 4.4-liter V8 is not yet expected in Russia due to certification problems.

The catch is that there are no diesel X7s on the Texas test. So, I grab the keys to the xDrive40i relevant to us! First of all, I note that even despite the variegated 22-inch “runlets” of the Pirelli P Zero, the first miles after the start, the behavior of a large crossover in its smooth running reminds me of a large BMW sedan. He delicately works out pits and bumps of medium caliber, unable to cope only with small things like pebbles that appeared on old asphalt. That’s why the buzz in the cabin, coming from the arches. The point, of course, is in tires. In the 1920s, the car a priori should be more comfortable and quieter.

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Test drive BMW X7. Big Brother 11However, after a few miles, having left on an imperfect American highway, I don’t recognize at all the “X-7” BMW family features. The car sways pleasantly on large irregularities, rolls are not shy in turns, there is no proprietary “be-weight” sharpness and precise reactions to the steering wheel with a standard steering gear, and in windy weather it does not matter if it is kept in a straight line – the sailing capacity of a large crossover is serious.

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If you do not engage in traffic light races, then this 2.3-ton crossover is enough for 340 forces and 450 Nm of torque of the in-line gasoline “six” to confidently make overtaking on the highway and start ahead of the flow. From zero to a hundred in 6.1 seconds is pretty good. And for the surroundings, an unobtrusive amplification of the engine sound through the speakers in the cabin. The 8-speed automatic juggles gears quickly, so the delays between sending the gas pedal to the floor and real acceleration are minimal. At cruising speeds, the X7 pleases with silence in the cabin and reasonable fuel consumption – 8.4 liters per 100 km in suburban mode.

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A completely different thing is the X7 xDrive50i. Terrible roar of a sports exhaust, tight suspension and sharp steering. Thanks to the active steering gear and the actuators for turning the rear wheels. A 462-horsepower petrol 4.4-liter V8 teleports this seven-seater crossover in space. Touching the right pedal – and after 5.4 seconds the digital arrow of the speedometer crosses the mark of 100 km / h. No, for football moms this version will not work.

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Technical specifications of the BMW X7 xDrive40i

Dimensions 5151х2000х1805 MM
Base 3105 MM
Curb weight 2320 KG
Full mass 3155 KG
Clearance 221 MM
Boot volume 326/2120 L
Fuel tank capacity 83L
Engine gasoline, turbo., 6-cylinder, in-line, 2998 cm3, 340 / 5500–6500 l. s./min-1, 450 / 1500–5200 Nm / min-1
Transmission automatic, 8-speed, four-wheel drive
Tire size 275/50R20
Dynamics 245 km / h; 6.1 s to 100 km / h
Fuel consumption 9 liters per 100 km in the combined cycle
Competitors Lexus LX, Mercedes-Benz GLS, Range Rover

Large, roomy, comfortable and premium – a good option for wealthy families.
Objectively, there are no minuses. Subjectively – “nostrils” and similarities with GLS.

Driving

The balance between handling and comfort is biased towards the latter. M-layout for those who want to get a “real BMW” in the maximum form factor.

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Salon

Expensive, quality, premium and … family.

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Comfort

It was on the comfort that the team of engineers working on refining the chassis relied.

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Security

Officially, the X7 has not yet been beaten, but given the technical resemblance to the X5 and a wide range of active and passive safety systems, there is no doubt in the highest ratings.

Price

5.9 million rubles for the base xDrive30d. X7 M50d will cost at least 7.6 million. The price range for GLS is from 5.6 to 11 million rubles, given the AMG version.

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Grade point average   9

Verdict
It’s a mystery to me why BMW dragged on for 13 years with the release of a large crossover, while Mercedes-Benz successfully sold its GLS. In any case, the demand for the X7 will be great not only here in the USA, where the test drive is taking place, but also here, in Russia. Do not believe? Meanwhile, cars from the first batch are already reserved.

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