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      02-21-2019, 04:00 PM   #1
Influence
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Got to drive an X7 50i this past weekend. My review.

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I saw a few posts in the other threads talking about 2nd row legroom, so that prompted me to finally post a little mini-review on my test drive this past weekend.

I got to drive a 50 Luxury edition (Arctic Grey/Ivory White Extended Merino/Ash Grey/Silver trim) this past weekend with the bench seat in the second row. While the posted numbers (37.6") of second row legroom is indeed correct, what that number doesn't show is that is the leg room with the 2nd row seat in the "base" position. The seat can then slide forward a good 3 inches from the base (didn't actually measure, just estimating here) and more importantly can slide rearward an easy 4+" to give some seriously good legroom. I'm 6'2" with fairly long legs and after my test drive I did my standard torture test of sitting behind myself. At first, I was disappointed in that as the specs say, there is a whopping .2" more legroom versus the G05. But then I hit the cool little button on the side of the seat and it just kept moving further and further back. Before hitting the stops, I had at least 4" before my knees would hit the back of front seat. Lots of foot room too. Also, you can recline the 2nd row bench seats which made for a really comfy 2nd row. The cushioning is really nice too. Granted, the fully slid back position would kill the 3rd row, but I was able to fit in the third row with the 2nd row in the "base" position. My knees were definitely hitting the seat back, but I fit. My 5'4 wife fit back there without issue. Of course you probably shouldn't put a 6'2" person in the third row. Head room is an issue in the 3rd row though. I had to duck down to keep from hitting the ceiling. Considering how tall the X7 is, I was surprised by this.

Also, for anyone who cares the X7 drives much better than it has any right to. It doesn't feel too big (though I didn't do any backing up or parallel parking on my drive) and sort of shrinks around you as you drive. Except for the added length towards the rear, it doesn't feel any bigger than the G05. Visibility is very good (is it typically is with BMWs) and there is a really commanding view over the hood. Handling was very good for such a large vehicle. This was a Luxury 50 and sadly, I didn't notice if it had the 4-wheel steering or not (trying to find out now). MSRP was about $106,000 on it so it very well might have. Both my wife and I were really surprised by how easy it was to park and maneuver on the lot.

I drove the car hard on my test run as there are some great country back roads by my dealership that let you really push a car. This one had the 22" wheel option on it. I spent about 30 seconds in comfort mode before moving to sport as it was just too soft for my taste. Too much bouncing around and body roll. Sport mode was excellent for such a big vehicle. Still plenty soft for highway or normal use, but handling and overall driving experience was so much better. Very smooth, but yet surprisingly little body roll and sway over bumps/ruts/corners. I took some sweeping turns well in excess of 50 MPH and didn't come close to scaring the crap out of myself. Frankly, the X7 drove very car-like, though you could still feel its mass if you have any performance driving experience. Getting back into our '16 X5 35i with DHP right afterwards really was a contrast, with our F15 feeling so much lighter. Despite, this I was incredibly impressed with how well the X7 drove. I can't wait to get into a 40i MSport with the Dynamic Handling package to see if there is a noticeable difference, but I could certainly live with the "base" air suspension, especially for a big, heavy 3-row SUV. I'll also wager that the 40i will actually be better to drive (short of the horsepower, of course), than the 50i due to there being less weight on the nose.

The V8 was incredibly smooth and I wish I could afford a 50i. The engine lets you build up speed effortlessly. Apparently I hit 90 at one point (though I swear I never broke 70). Frankly, with my build on a 40i coming in around 92K, even the 40i is a bit of a stretch. A 40i with a RaceChip/JuiceBox should work out just fine though.

I will say that the interior is up to par with the price tag. Everything looked and felt fantastic. The Luxury seats are fantastic, way better than the Comfort seats on our F15. The Merino leather feels fantastic as well.

Cargo area is generous with the 3rd row folded down and the under cargo storage area is still pretty big. Power folding seats are nice and there are "shortcut" buttons for "Max Cargo" which folds down both the 2nd and 3rd row seats automatically and a "Max Passenger" button that folds both row back up for you. You can also manually fold any of the 2nd or 3rd row seats down. Personally, I'll probably stick with the 2nd row bench seating as they were very comfortable, add a 7th potential seating position, and fold down flat. For the life of me, I can't understand why the captain's chairs can't fold flat. Engineering failure as far as I'm concerned.

Access to the 3rd row is pretty good. The bench seat slides forward (really slowly - that will be fun when you have passengers standing out in the rain waiting to get into your car) and then tilts up to give a pretty big opening. I got into the 3rd row much easier than 75% of the 3-row SUVs I've ever climbed into. I think that you might even be able to keep a baby seat on the second row and still be able to get into the 3rd row as long as you don't recline the seat beyond the "standard" recline position. I'll need to test this out.

Don't ask me any questions about the tech as I didn't even try any of it out. I did have to shut down the auto-lane correction immediately as it didn't care for the apex hitting I was doing on my test drive This is really the least important thing for my wife and I as we know the X7 can do 10 times more than we'll ever ask of it.

At least you can still use a simple button to change fan and temperature settings. Everything else you actually need is on the steering column or easily accessed via iDrive.

I didn't get to spend as much time with the X7 as I would have liked (wife and 1 year old were with me), but I left being very impressed and can absolutely see us adding one to our garage once we can get one for a fair price (~12-14% off MSRP (including loyalty/rebates/etc) as we've done with every other one of our BMWs). It only took 6 months for the G05 to get to these levels, so I imagine the X7 will get there pretty quickly too, especially with the new GLS (and possibly even the Lincoln Aviator) arriving shortly. From the spy pictures, the new GLS will almost certainly be the better looking of the two though. Judging by the pricing on the 2020 GLE, the GLS might cost a lot more for the same equipment level, so that may push demand for the X7. We'll have to wait and see.

And for the record, the new grilles certainly do suck. If they were 2-3 inches shorter, they would look good - still aggressive, but not ridiculous. They are disproportionate to the rest of the design. If you get a dark color and then black out the grilles it won't be too bad though. It's a shame, as the rest of the X7 is nicely proportioned and classically handsome to my eyes. It certainly isn't anything special to look at, but there is only so much you can do with a 3-row SUV without sacrificing practicality.

If anyone has any questions, put them up and I'll try to answer them.

Last edited by Influence; 02-21-2019 at 04:07 PM.
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      02-21-2019, 04:54 PM   #2
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Man awesome insights ty for all that. So front row all the way back and second row all the way back, legroom is 37.6” in the second row, which is basically same as x5. That can only be increased to a number north of 37.6 by moving the first row forward.
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      02-21-2019, 05:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ppagiga View Post
Man awesome insights ty for all that. So front row all the way back and second row all the way back, legroom is 37.6” in the second row, which is basically same as x5. That can only be increased to a number north of 37.6 by moving the first row forward.
Frankly, I'm not sure how BMW comes up with the spec numbers for legroom, if you put the front row all the way back, there is less than 37.6" of second row legroom (unless you push the 2nd row back from it's "standard" position. What I can tell you is that with the driver's seat set for a 6'2" guy with long legs (and I sit with my legs fairly stretched and with the seatback in a position where if I keep my back pressed against the seatback and stretch my arms out, my wrists sit on top of the steering wheel. I keep my seatback fairly upright as well), I can fit in the 2nd row seat with my knees just about touching the front seat back, maybe 1" of clearance. That's with the 2nd row seat in its standard position. You can move the second row back at least 4" from there, which creates a ton of legroom for passengers. If you are less than 6' tall, you probably won't even need to move the 2nd row back from the standard position to give 2nd row passengers plenty of legroom (unless they are 6'4" or something like that).
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      02-21-2019, 05:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Influence View Post
Frankly, I'm not sure how BMW comes up with the spec numbers for legroom, if you put the front row all the way back, there is less than 37.6" of second row legroom (unless you push the 2nd row back from it's "standard" position. What I can tell you is that with the driver's seat set for a 6'2" guy with long legs (and I sit with my legs fairly stretched and with the seatback in a position where if I keep my back pressed against the seatback and stretch my arms out, my wrists sit on top of the steering wheel. I keep my seatback fairly upright as well), I can fit in the 2nd row seat with my knees just about touching the front seat back, maybe 1" of clearance. That's with the 2nd row seat in its standard position. You can move the second row back at least 4" from there, which creates a ton of legroom for passengers. If you are less than 6' tall, you probably won't even need to move the 2nd row back from the standard position to give 2nd row passengers plenty of legroom (unless they are 6'4" or something like that).
That’s all great to hear. So when you say “standard” position is there a default setting of some kind tries to increase third row room by moving the second row up by about 4” or so?
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      02-21-2019, 05:27 PM   #5
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Thank you for the detailed review. Regarding straight line performance for the 50i, the official 0-60 number is 5.2 seconds, which to me is pretty good. Curious does BMW typically underestimate these numbers? I current drive a L405 Range Rover full size Supercharged, only 2 rows of seats, 518hp, and its official 0-60 is 5.1 second, only 0.1 sec quicker.
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      02-21-2019, 07:24 PM   #6
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Found this regarding the "standard" position you referred to you with respect to second row. From the manual. Check out the description of Maximum Comfort and Maximum Space

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      02-21-2019, 09:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swenzi View Post
Thank you for the detailed review. Regarding straight line performance for the 50i, the official 0-60 number is 5.2 seconds, which to me is pretty good. Curious does BMW typically underestimate these numbers? I current drive a L405 Range Rover full size Supercharged, only 2 rows of seats, 518hp, and its official 0-60 is 5.1 second, only 0.1 sec quicker.
BMW typically underates the power in their vehicles. The M5 has been quoted as low as 2.8 seconds to 60, and many of the vehicles have more horsepower than what BMW puts on paper. Also, there will be an X7 M50i in a year replacing the X7 50i which will have 500+ hp and more torque, as the engine from the 8 series is making its way into other vehicles.
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      02-22-2019, 11:37 AM   #8
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Great write up! Thanks for sharing
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      02-22-2019, 11:44 AM   #9
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Great insights. Very helpful.
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      02-22-2019, 11:49 AM   #10
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Nice write up OP. Lots of good info in there. Very excited about this SUV, i think it will be a good addition to the lineup.
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      02-22-2019, 12:21 PM   #11
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pretty sure the 40i doesn't have DHP as an option. I have a G05 X5 50i + DHP and unless you push the car hard you won't notice a big difference. IAS (4 wheel steering) is really weird getting used to. I'm certain you would've noticed especially at low speeds while hitting the gas. it almost feels like the back end is sliding out
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      02-22-2019, 01:15 PM   #12
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DHP with the IAS is an option on the 40i

Going to see and drive the X7 tomorrow, dont know much about the one(s) they have except it has captains 2nd row. When its time for us to get the X7 I was set on captains, but the fact they dont fold flat might push me to the bench 2nd row.

Of course not getting one until the 45e is available or the 50d (praying).

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndroidRobot View Post
pretty sure the 40i doesn't have DHP as an option. I have a G05 X5 50i + DHP and unless you push the car hard you won't notice a big difference. IAS (4 wheel steering) is really weird getting used to. I'm certain you would've noticed especially at low speeds while hitting the gas. it almost feels like the back end is sliding out
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      02-22-2019, 01:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bagekko View Post
DHP with the IAS is an option on the 40i

Going to see and drive the X7 tomorrow, dont know much about the one(s) they have except it has captains 2nd row. When its time for us to get the X7 I was set on captains, but the fact they dont fold flat might push me to the bench 2nd row.

Of course not getting one until the 45e is available or the 50d (praying).

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndroidRobot View Post
pretty sure the 40i doesn't have DHP as an option. I have a G05 X5 50i + DHP and unless you push the car hard you won't notice a big difference. IAS (4 wheel steering) is really weird getting used to. I'm certain you would've noticed especially at low speeds while hitting the gas. it almost feels like the back end is sliding out
is it on their website now or just the ordering guide? I only checked the builder a while ago which didn't have it for the 40i.

edit: I can see it's an option on the builder now


hell I wish we got diesels here, I'd get an M50d
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      02-22-2019, 02:58 PM   #14
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Wow, my first featured post!!!

Very flattering. Thanks guys.

Anyway, here's the exact config on the X7 I drove:

50i - $92,600
Arctic Grey Metallic (nice color in person)
Ivory White/Night Blue Merino $3,700 - how I missed the blue I really don't know. It did look pretty posh though.
Cold Weather Package - $1,200
Premium Package - $1,550
Executive Package - $2,100
Design Pure Excellence (Satin Aluminum roof rails, ambient lighting)
22" 757 w/run flats - $1,300
Display Key - $300 (I didn't even get to see this)
Leather dashboard - $1,200
Individual Ash Grey trim - $1,080
Destination - $995
Total: $106,025 (ouch!!!!)

So this model did NOT have the 4-wheel Integral Active Steering. It was still easy to spin around in the parking lot. I'll definitely need to drive one with IAS before deciding if it is helpful or just plain weird. The 4-wheel system in the Audi Q7 is really great in my opinion. I hope the X7's is similar. I do wonder if alignment jobs get insanely expensive with the 4-wheel steering though. Apparently on a Q7 an alignment is like $700

Also, I didn't mention the steering feel in my original post. It felt pretty similar to the G05. Not too light feeling, nor was it too hard to turn the wheel. There was a bit of feedback, but still nothing like the old hydraulic systems. Definitely leagues better than our '16 X5 and perhaps even a bit better feeling than my '17 340 with the variable sport steering (track pack). Steering was very accurate and I felt instantly comfortable driving the X7.

That is probably my biggest takeaway from my test drive. The X7 actually felt like a BMW. Engineering did a great job on this one. Now just let me get the laser headlights on a 40i and I'll be happy.

This dealership also had a couple of new 3-series already but sadly I didn't get to take their Portimau Blue (stunning color in person) 330i MSport out a for a spin.
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      02-22-2019, 03:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndroidRobot View Post
pretty sure the 40i doesn't have DHP as an option. I have a G05 X5 50i + DHP and unless you push the car hard you won't notice a big difference. IAS (4 wheel steering) is really weird getting used to. I'm certain you would've noticed especially at low speeds while hitting the gas. it almost feels like the back end is sliding out
Yes you are able to get the X7 40i with DHP but only the X7 50i gets the M Sport Differential with the DHP package.
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      02-22-2019, 03:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nantucket View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndroidRobot View Post
pretty sure the 40i doesn't have DHP as an option. I have a G05 X5 50i + DHP and unless you push the car hard you won't notice a big difference. IAS (4 wheel steering) is really weird getting used to. I'm certain you would've noticed especially at low speeds while hitting the gas. it almost feels like the back end is sliding out
Yes you are able to get the X7 40i with DHP but only the X7 50i gets the M Sport Differential with the DHP package.
read my follow your I commented on that. M sport differential does make a difference depending on how you drive but I prefer having a locking diff anyway which it can do in some scenarios

while I'm not in the market for an X7 I did consider one instead of my G05 X5. I have no children but wanted a more luxury oriented suv and really liked the X7's looks. If it handles anything like my X5 it'll be great
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      02-22-2019, 03:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Influence View Post
So this model did NOT have the 4-wheel Integral Active Steering. It was still easy to spin around in the parking lot. I'll definitely need to drive one with IAS before deciding if it is helpful or just plain weird. The 4-wheel system in the Audi Q7 is really great in my opinion. I hope the X7's is similar. I do wonder if alignment jobs get insanely expensive with the 4-wheel steering though. Apparently on a Q7 an alignment is like $700
IAS has a weird feel and learning curve but I've come to love having the option on my G05. it effectively shortens your wheel base at low speeds and extends it at high speeds so it's a win win. steering is more direct with IAS or at least I think it is. through the corners you get used to how it handles with the sport differential, it's very satisfying

well I'd imagine they're not cheap I'll have to ask what they cost on my x5
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      02-22-2019, 04:16 PM   #18
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This is a fantastic review, thank you for sharing!
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      02-22-2019, 05:04 PM   #19
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Hey, if you have driven a GLS, how does it compare? I had a GLS as a rental in California for a week and I really disliked it. The steering was way too light especially for a car that big, it didn't feel like it was connected to anything. Plus the interior is atrocious, the new one should bring it in line to the other Mercs though
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      02-22-2019, 06:04 PM   #20
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Great information Influence Thanks for sharing..
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      02-23-2019, 08:41 AM   #21
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Thank you. One of the best reviews I've read. You've answered so many questions I could never find the answers to. Perhaps because we both have one year olds.....
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      02-23-2019, 10:21 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuastein55 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by swenzi View Post
Thank you for the detailed review. Regarding straight line performance for the 50i, the official 0-60 number is 5.2 seconds, which to me is pretty good. Curious does BMW typically underestimate these numbers? I current drive a L405 Range Rover full size Supercharged, only 2 rows of seats, 518hp, and its official 0-60 is 5.1 second, only 0.1 sec quicker.
BMW typically underates the power in their vehicles. The M5 has been quoted as low as 2.8 seconds to 60, and many of the vehicles have more horsepower than what BMW puts on paper. Also, there will be an X7 M50i in a year replacing the X7 50i which will have 500+ hp and more torque, as the engine from the 8 series is making its way into other vehicles.
considering my G05 50i will do 0-60mph in 4.25s or less their 4.6s number is conservative assume you know how to drive. N63M also has an overboost ability during launch control (I didn't use launch control because DSC off is quicker)
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