Find it irresistible or hate it, BMW’s controversial styling is right here to remain. The grilles maintain getting larger, the headlights maintain getting weirder, and but the model’s gross sales stay sturdy. This time round, it is the large X7 SUV’s flip for facial surgical procedure. The 2023 mannequin has an up to date look meant to deliver it in keeping with the new-generation 7-series sedan, and it is polarizing. There’s extra to the brand new X7 than revised front- and rear-end designs, nevertheless, because the mannequin additionally sees upgraded engines, a spruced-up inside, and a number of other new commonplace and optionally available options.
Whereas the earlier X7 regarded just about like a stretched and inflated X5, the brand new entrance finish makes a extra distinct assertion with its eyebrow-like daytime operating lights above the squared-off headlights mounted decrease on the fascia. BMW admits it isn’t the primary automaker to undertake this inverted-headlight look. We won’t assist however discover that earlier autos that attempted it, such because the Jeep Cherokee and the Nissan Juke, both shortly deserted it or have been dropped altogether. Nonetheless, we can’t be stunned if the X5 and X6 finally undertake this face too. Sigh.
The X7’s tail is extra pleasing to the attention, because the added chrome bar and revised taillights make for a crisp look. There are additionally new wheel designs, together with an enormous 23-inch choice for the primary time. These large rollers are finest prevented, although, because the X7 we drove with the 23s rode harshly over large bumps. The 21- and 22-inchers experience higher and nonetheless fill out the wheel wells simply wonderful.
As soon as once more, the X7 gives a alternative of six-cylinder or V-8 energy. BMW says the overwhelming majority of patrons select the xDrive40i mannequin with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six, and that is the engine that has acquired the extra vital upgrades. It good points 40 horsepower and 52 lb-feet of torque for brand new totals of 375 hp and 383 lb-feet—now surpassing the Mercedes-Benz GLS450 in each regards. On high of that, a 48-volt hybrid system provides torque that juices the whole as much as 398 pound-feet. The dual-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 additionally will get the 48-volt system, however its output is unchanged at 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet. Do not be fooled by the V-8’s new M60i mannequin designation changing the earlier M50i. BMW says this transformation in nomenclature was merely meant to align gas-engine trim ranges with electrical fashions, together with the brand new iX M60.
The powertrain upgrades do not do a lot to alter the engines’ character. Like earlier than, the V-8 is enjoyable, with a snorty exhaust be aware and a pleasant shove of torque. It is onerous to disclaim the draw of 523 burbling horsepower in an enormous car like this. And but, the inline-six is so easy and nice that it is an equally interesting alternative. Though much less raucous than the V-8, the six, with its quiet demeanor, is nicely suited to an opulent folks hauler. Plus, the xDrive40i is hardly missing for energy, and its EPA mixed fuel-economy ranking is a good 22 mpg, 4 mpg higher than the M60i’s.
Correct steering, good sightlines, and a composed chassis assist the X7 drive smaller than it’s. Though there’s loads of physique roll in the usual air suspension’s loosey-goosey Consolation mode, the X7 corners nicely within the firmer Sport mode, with a surprisingly excessive grip threshold and powerful brakes.
Even so, the X7 is most satisfying whenever you settle into the plush seats and simply cruise. The inside options wealthy supplies and loads of new commonplace options, together with extra changes for entrance seats, a panoramic sunroof, and four-zone local weather management (5 zones are an choice, with the fifth setting for these within the rearmost row). The brand new curved show display screen that is propagating throughout the BMW lineup incorporates a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 14.9-inch heart touchscreen. The latter may also be managed by the iDrive knob on the middle console, and BMW’s newest working system stays comparatively simple to make use of given its complexity.
As is changing into de rigueur amongst full-size luxurious SUVs, the X7’s record of driver-assistance options has grown to incorporate a hands-free driving operate for freeways. Not like Cadillac’s Tremendous Cruise or Lincoln’s ActiveGlide, nevertheless, the X7’s system works solely at decrease speeds, similar to in a traffic-jam situation. With so many cameras and sensors onboard, BMW additionally throws in features similar to a trailer backup help and a park-assist system that may “keep in mind” sure maneuvers and autonomously information you into or out of a decent storage.
The X7 already had rather a lot going for itself as one of many extra luxurious and best-driving entries within the full-size-SUV class. For 2023, the quite a few upgrades, particularly improved powertrains and an interesting array of know-how, solely reinforce its place on the high of the section. And though the X7 was by no means an amazing magnificence—neither is any large barge like this, for that matter—the funky new entrance finish is de facto the one catch.