BMW X7: Say hello to the biggest Beemer ever



The all-new BMW X7 sports utility vehicle makes its Singaporean debut, priced from S$471,888 with COE

SINGAPORE

We’ve been seeing the pictures for many months, sat transfixed at the size and shininess of the largest kidney grille in BMW history, even cowered under its towering presence when it was previewed in concept form at last year’s BMW World Singapore, and now finally, the BMW X7 is here.

Just the one engine option is available, the fantastic “B58” 3.0-litre turbo’d straight-six as found in the new X5 (BMW’s former SUV top-dog), as well as the new Z4 M40i roadster. In the X7 xDrive40i, the engine puts out 340hp and 450Nm of torque, dragging the more than 2.4-tonne car from 0-100km/h in a surprisingly brisk 6.1 seconds.

No word yet on whether the gurgly 4.0-litre V8-powered X7 xDrive50i will be Singapore-bound, but we’d guess it’ll only be on indent basis if it is.

Inside the 5.15m-long body (only marginally shorter than a 7 Series), buyers will have the choice of two seating configurations. The standard one will be a seven-seater version in Pure Excellence trim, with a conventional 2-3-2 seating configuration. The price for this is S$471,888 with Certificate of Entitlement

The posher offering is a six-seater Launch Edition available in Pure Excellence or M Sport trims, which replaces the middle row with a pair of captain’s chairs, replete with their own individual armrests, and the same expanse of adjustability as the front seats.

Launch Edition also adds 22-inch rims, two-tone leather, “Sky Lounge” panoramic glass roof (LEDs illuminate 15,000 different patterns on it at night), and introduces swanky glass elements to the gear selector, engine start button, infotainment rotary controller, and volume knob.

The Pure Excellence Launch Edition retails for S$474,888, while the M Sport (different wheel design, more aggressive body kit) costs S$485,888, both with COE.

Apart from having a more business class-like remit, the six-seater is also a product of its natural habitat, the SUV-loving United States, where captain’s chairs are more common, so that spry young kids can clamber into the back themselves without their mums having to fiddle with moving the middle bench. That said, the two rear rows in the seven-seater version do fold completely flat, which makes it just that little bit more versatile.

Rear-most passengers in three-row cars tend to be less well catered for, but the X7 is an exception. Apart from having plenty of space (naturally, since it’s so large), third-row passengers also get their own climate controls and panoramic glass roof opening.

Regardless of the version, all seats in the X7 are electrically adjustable, and can be operated both from the driver’s seat as well as the boot area, which is big enough for one golf bag with all rows in place, or up to four bags with the third row folded.

Ju-Len’s already had a whale of a time reviewing the X7 in Las Vegas, but, we have to wonder, how would such a huge vehicle fare in tiny Singapore? Parking might inevitably be claustrophobic, but thankfully it can parallel park itself, there’s an extensive 360-degree camera, and rear-axle steering also helps with maneuverability around town. Comfort across even our perennially-under-construction roads should also be good, thanks to standard air suspension.

The global popularity for SUVs shows no signs of abating, and the trend now seems to be to see how many niches can be carved into an SUV shape. “Sportiness” has already been well covered, not only in the thunderous high performance SUVs like the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and various AMG Mercedes-Benzes, but also bizzaro SUV-Coupes like the BMW X4, but the X7 is ahead of the curve in providing high limousine-like levels of luxury in a high-riding package (only the Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce Cullinan follow a similar concept).

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Jon Lim
CarBuyer's latest addition is its fourth historical Jonathan. Old-fashioned in all but body, he thinks car design peaked in the '90s. He also strongly believes any car can be a race car if you have a sufficient lack of self-preservation, which explains why he nearly flipped a Chinese van while racing it.