This week see's BMW South Africa launch the first ever X7 in the country, they call it the 'definition of automotive luxury' and with good reason too. For long a luxury vehicle was defined to a long wheel based sedan, limousines if you'd like but with the shift in trend to raised cars , this opened the door to a much bigger prospect in the SUV and crossover market. BMW say their X7 blends lavish presence, exclusivity and spaciousness with the versatile and agile driving properties customers would expect from a Sports Activity Vehicle. Having had the opportunity to see the X7 in the metal prior to this launch, I can confidentially say BMW hit the nail on the head with this one. It's the biggest car in their impressive line up and BMW want you to know this, with the biggest kidney grilles fitted to date, the massive body encapsulating the luxurious interior for the passengers. Many say it's like a 7 Series on stilts but while I can see that comparison being made, it's a totally different car.
With the SUV you get much more room all round, most importantly increase head room, a higher seating position to that of the 7 Series, which allows for more room to stretch your feet out. The middle row is where you'd want to be sitting if you're being chauffeured around in the X7. Apart from the easy access, the seats are almost sofa like with padded headrests. You have personal touch screens which display BMW's on-board infotainment system. There is also a DVD player located in the central panel just above the dual zone climate control for the passengers. So you can adjust the temp to suit, put on your favourite movie, recline the seat and relax as you get to your destination. But if you, like me don't like to be driven around and prefer being behind the wheel, not to worry, the X7 is equally great for you too.
The cabin is laden with the finest materials and up front the the drivers cockpit has everything orientated around it. With BMW's interior design being very similar across all the models, the X7 just does the same but at a bigger scale. With the large touch screen infotainment screen with the latest BMW iDrive loaded, along with gesture control. The X7 gets BMW's new digital cluster, as in the X5, Z4, 8 and 3 Series, which displays a variety of information for the driver. Most of the the cabin is electronic, this goes for the adjustable items as well like seats, steering consol etc. The cabin also features a huge panoramic sunroof which can be split for the front and rear passengers. The third row of seats are also electronically controlled to fold up or unfold.
The X7 is being launched in two engine variants, both of which are diesel. The 30d and the M50d with the M50i expected to hit our shores in October this year. Both launch engines are brilliant in their own right, having enough torque to power this behemoth around. The M50d would be the prized one with a quad turbo powered engine, it would make the X7 super fast and with both models hace a perfect 50/50 weight distribution along with air suspension, it would make the X7 extremely agile on the roads. Price wise, the xDrive 30d starts off at R1,562,849 and the M50d starts off at R1,862,308.