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      03-16-2020, 06:39 PM   #1
Wanderer73
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First impressions of my X7 M50i after a 1,600-mile road trip

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Last week I took delivery of my X7 M50i and drove it from Maryland to Colorado. I thought I would share my first impressions and the driving experience. Here's what I ordered:

2020 X7 M50i

- Carbon black with black extended merino
- Dynamic handling package
- Driving assistance professional package
- Luxury seating package
- Cold weather package
- Bower & Wilkins
- Extended shadowline trim
- Leather dashboard
- Trailer hitch and space-saver spare
- 2nd row bench seating

Exterior

The X7 is large and in charge, but it looks well proportioned. I don't understand all the fuss with the grill, it looks great (I think the media needed something to criticize). The blue M Sport brake calipers and laser light accents add a nice sporty touch to the appearance.

I'm thrilled with the carbon black exterior; it is darker in low light conditions but has a nice pop in the sunlight (different shades of blue depending on your viewing angle). The extended shadowline trim gives the car a very menacing and muscular appearance without looking too monotone. The 21" double-spoke wheels add some nice contrast to the overall appearance of the vehicle.

Interior

The interior quality and comfort are top-notch, and the cabin is tranquil in both city and highway driving conditions. The dual-screens and their controls are easy to view and use. On long highway stretches, I found myself glancing at the HUD most of the time to check my speed and driving assistance status. I love the M steering wheel; it is beefy, sporty, and has controls for quick access to common functions (driving assistance, media, phone, etc.). In everyday driving, the massaging seats seem a little gimmicky; however, I enjoyed the feature on long highway stretches; very relaxing with the seat reclined, and full massage, ventilation, and driving assistance activated. It's the closest I could get to the ZeroG Lounger experience (while remaining alert and safe ).

A lot of people have asked if the B&W system is worth the upgrade. Coming from another B&W system, my decision was easy, and I'm enjoying the experience. If you're coming from an H&K or similar system, and are happy with the experience, you can probably save some money and go with one of the H&K options. If you're just looking to burn a hole in your pocket, the illuminated B&W speakers are a nice effect at night .

I haven't had the opportunity to truck the entire family around town for an extended period, but my kids have all commented on the vast amounts of space and legroom (my 12-year-old calls the X7 a limo). The controls for the second and third rows are all very logically placed and easy to use. I like how the second-row passengers can control the sunroof and window shades. At night, the X7's interior lighting is like a light show. Endless fun for the kids.

Driving and Performance

I'll start by saying that I'm very impressed with the 40i's performance. I made an emotional decision right before I put in my order to go with the M50i. Either way, you're going to be very happy with your choice. What I truly love about the M50i is the duality in its personality; it lets out a nice growl when it starts up, but then settles down and is smooth and quiet around town and on the highway. When you switch to sport or sport+, the V8 transforms into a beast. More power and torque than most of us will ever need. An Audi RS 6 owner came up to me at a rest stop and commented on how impressed he was with the highway acceleration of such a large SUV (a group of us were having some fun through Kansas).

Compared to my Volvo XC90, I find the parking assistance technology to be top-notch. For example, I love how the front-facing camera rotates to a top-down view looking over the front of the hood, so I have a better view of my proximity to obscured or hidden obstacles in a parking lot, garage, etc.

The driving assistance technology helps reduce driver fatigue on long trips. At the end of 8 hours, I still felt fresh and alert. My XC90 has similar driving assistance technology, but after driving 1,600+ miles, I'm giving it to the X7. It feels more stable, consistent, and doesn't often make little mistakes and corrections. For example, the Volvo often veers off towards an exit ramp on the highway when I want to continue straight. I did turn down the active lane keep assistance to medium; it was a little too aggressive for my taste. I grew to love the automatic lane change feature. It was at best jarring the first few times I used it, but I quickly got comfortable with the experience. I don't know if it's the integral active steering at work, but the car slides into the target lane. It's weird, but very reliable (it only aborted once in the 100+ times I used it).

I found the X7 to be incredibly stable at a range of different speeds. I will say that it does meander from side to side at highway speeds with high winds. What tall vehicle doesn't to some degree? I bring this up because this vehicle can make you feel invincible. High wind gusts can move the car very quickly towards another lane. I've been able to reduce this meandering by lowering the vehicle and or activating the driving assistance (it works amazingly well in high wind conditions).

I've read a few posts with people going back and forth on the merits of the dynamic handling package. I'm not sure I can quantify the benefits of the active comfort drive with road preview option, but I will say that the integral active steering is excellent. I had the opportunity to drive several X7s without it at low speeds and in tight quarters. The X7 handles well without this option, but it gains a fantastic amount of agility with IAS. I'd highly recommend it to anyone considering the option.

Gas mileage ... what can I say? Get the 40i if you're looking to maximize your MPG. I averaged 21mpg over the 1,600-mile trip.

My family and friends have asked me what I don't like about the car. Honestly, I have been hard-pressed to come up with a single major complaint. Sure, I've got some minor gripes, but overall, I feel fortunate to own such a fantastic car. If you're considering an X7 and on the fence, pull the trigger! I don't think you'll regret it. Cheers!
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      03-16-2020, 08:37 PM   #2
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You have ceramic coating on there? Shine is amazing.
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      03-16-2020, 08:46 PM   #3
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You have ceramic coating on there? Shine is amazing.
Unfortunately, no ... and it doesn't look like that anymore after driving through Kansas (which was a dust bowl).
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      03-17-2020, 08:29 AM   #4
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Highway Driver Assist

The Volvo XC 90 (assuming a 2016+) model uses the older Mobileye EyeQ3 processor. The X7 uses a Mobileye EyeQ4 processor and if you get the Driving Assistant Professional Package uses 3 cameras with different focal lengths facing forwards. It should deliver improved performance vs EyeQ3 based system.
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      03-17-2020, 09:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by like2short View Post
The Volvo XC 90 (assuming a 2016+) model uses the older Mobileye EyeQ3 processor. The X7 uses a Mobileye EyeQ4 processor and if you get the Driving Assistant Professional Package uses 3 cameras with different focal lengths facing forwards. It should deliver improved performance vs EyeQ3 based system.
Yes, it's a 2017. BMW experience is quite an improvement in my opinion.
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      03-17-2020, 10:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderer73 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by like2short View Post
The Volvo XC 90 (assuming a 2016+) model uses the older Mobileye EyeQ3 processor. The X7 uses a Mobileye EyeQ4 processor and if you get the Driving Assistant Professional Package uses 3 cameras with different focal lengths facing forwards. It should deliver improved performance vs EyeQ3 based system.
Yes, it's a 2017. BMW experience is quite an improvement in my opinion.
If you are on a 3yr lease, your next X7 is likely to have the mobileye eyeq5 processor that could go into production around 08/22 for the mid cycle updated x7
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      03-17-2020, 10:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by like2short View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderer73 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by like2short View Post
The Volvo XC 90 (assuming a 2016+) model uses the older Mobileye EyeQ3 processor. The X7 uses a Mobileye EyeQ4 processor and if you get the Driving Assistant Professional Package uses 3 cameras with different focal lengths facing forwards. It should deliver improved performance vs EyeQ3 based system.
Yes, it's a 2017. BMW experience is quite an improvement in my opinion.
If you are on a 3yr lease, your next X7 is likely to have the mobileye eyeq5 processor that could go into production around 08/22 for the mid cycle updated x7
I'm looking forward to that upgrade as the current experience is pretty nice!
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      03-17-2020, 03:15 PM   #8
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@exokiss FYI. Here's my first impressions of my X7 after switching from an XC90.
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      03-17-2020, 03:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderer73 View Post
** LONG POST WARNING **

Last week I took delivery of my X7 M50i and drove it from Maryland to Colorado. I thought I would share my first impressions and the driving experience. Here's what I ordered:

2020 X7 M50i

- Carbon black with black extended merino
- Dynamic handling package
- Driving assistance professional package
- Luxury seating package
- Cold weather package
- Bower & Wilkins
- Extended shadowline trim
- Leather dashboard
- Trailer hitch and space-saver spare
- 2nd row bench seating

Exterior

The X7 is large and in charge, but it looks well proportioned. I don't understand all the fuss with the grill, it looks great (I think the media needed something to criticize). The blue M Sport brake calipers and laser light accents add a nice sporty touch to the appearance.

I'm thrilled with the carbon black exterior; it is darker in low light conditions but has a nice pop in the sunlight (different shades of blue depending on your viewing angle). The extended shadowline trim gives the car a very menacing and muscular appearance without looking too monotone. The 21" double-spoke wheels add some nice contrast to the overall appearance of the vehicle.

Interior

The interior quality and comfort are top-notch, and the cabin is tranquil in both city and highway driving conditions. The dual-screens and their controls are easy to view and use. On long highway stretches, I found myself glancing at the HUD most of the time to check my speed and driving assistance status. I love the M steering wheel; it is beefy, sporty, and has controls for quick access to common functions (driving assistance, media, phone, etc.). In everyday driving, the massaging seats seem a little gimmicky; however, I enjoyed the feature on long highway stretches; very relaxing with the seat reclined, and full massage, ventilation, and driving assistance activated. It's the closest I could get to the ZeroG Lounger experience (while remaining alert and safe ).

A lot of people have asked if the B&W system is worth the upgrade. Coming from another B&W system, my decision was easy, and I'm enjoying the experience. If you're coming from an H&K or similar system, and are happy with the experience, you can probably save some money and go with one of the H&K options. If you're just looking to burn a hole in your pocket, the illuminated B&W speakers are a nice effect at night .

I haven't had the opportunity to truck the entire family around town for an extended period, but my kids have all commented on the vast amounts of space and legroom (my 12-year-old calls the X7 a limo). The controls for the second and third rows are all very logically placed and easy to use. I like how the second-row passengers can control the sunroof and window shades. At night, the X7's interior lighting is like a light show. Endless fun for the kids.

Driving and Performance

I'll start by saying that I'm very impressed with the 40i's performance. I made an emotional decision right before I put in my order to go with the M50i. Either way, you're going to be very happy with your choice. What I truly love about the M50i is the duality in its personality; it lets out a nice growl when it starts up, but then settles down and is smooth and quiet around town and on the highway. When you switch to sport or sport+, the V8 transforms into a beast. More power and torque than most of us will ever need. An Audi RS 6 owner came up to me at a rest stop and commented on how impressed he was with the highway acceleration of such a large SUV (a group of us were having some fun through Kansas).

Compared to my Volvo XC90, I find the parking assistance technology to be top-notch. For example, I love how the front-facing camera rotates to a top-down view looking over the front of the hood, so I have a better view of my proximity to obscured or hidden obstacles in a parking lot, garage, etc.

The driving assistance technology helps reduce driver fatigue on long trips. At the end of 8 hours, I still felt fresh and alert. My XC90 has similar driving assistance technology, but after driving 1,600+ miles, I'm giving it to the X7. It feels more stable, consistent, and doesn't often make little mistakes and corrections. For example, the Volvo often veers off towards an exit ramp on the highway when I want to continue straight. I did turn down the active lane keep assistance to medium; it was a little too aggressive for my taste. I grew to love the automatic lane change feature. It was at best jarring the first few times I used it, but I quickly got comfortable with the experience. I don't know if it's the integral active steering at work, but the car slides into the target lane. It's weird, but very reliable (it only aborted once in the 100+ times I used it).

I found the X7 to be incredibly stable at a range of different speeds. I will say that it does meander from side to side at highway speeds with high winds. What tall vehicle doesn't to some degree? I bring this up because this vehicle can make you feel invincible. High wind gusts can move the car very quickly towards another lane. I've been able to reduce this meandering by lowering the vehicle and or activating the driving assistance (it works amazingly well in high wind conditions).

I've read a few posts with people going back and forth on the merits of the dynamic handling package. I'm not sure I can quantify the benefits of the active comfort drive with road preview option, but I will say that the integral active steering is excellent. I had the opportunity to drive several X7s without it at low speeds and in tight quarters. The X7 handles well without this option, but it gains a fantastic amount of agility with IAS. I'd highly recommend it to anyone considering the option.

Gas mileage ... what can I say? Get the 40i if you're looking to maximize your MPG. I averaged 21mpg over the 1,600-mile trip.

My family and friends have asked me what I don't like about the car. Honestly, I have been hard-pressed to come up with a single major complaint. Sure, I've got some minor gripes, but overall, I feel fortunate to own such a fantastic car. If you're considering an X7 and on the fence, pull the trigger! I don't think you'll regret it. Cheers!
I second your comments, I call my M50i a "Racing Tank" it really feels like there is no weight in this car moves effortlessly, while with 40i you will feel lack of power in some situations,
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      03-18-2020, 09:55 AM   #10
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Great writeup. Congrats Wand!
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      03-18-2020, 11:29 PM   #11
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Excellent write up! I have 18,xxx miles on mine so far with a couple 2000+ mile trips to florida and back. Best vehicle I've ever owned for long trips.
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      03-18-2020, 11:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crackerjack15 View Post
Excellent write up! I have 18,xxx miles on mine so far with a couple 2000+ mile trips to florida and back. Best vehicle I've ever owned for long trips.
Ditto! Absolutely loved my trip and I was solo.
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      03-19-2020, 07:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Excellent write up! I have 18,xxx miles on mine so far with a couple 2000+ mile trips to florida and back. Best vehicle I've ever owned for long trips.
Agreed. Fantastic report. We've had ours for about 10 months and will pass the 18k mile mark today as we depart Vermont on the return to Fl. We took our 2 grandsons, ages 5 & 7, up here on their spring break and with the car seats in the 2nd row there was plenty of room in the back for 4 suitcases, shoe boxes, a Yeti cooler, and assorted tote bags. This trip will be about 2800 miles round trip. So far we are averaging 25.2 MPG for the trip. That's about what we averaged on our 4400 mile trip to Colorado in January. This car is a fantastic road machine. Cruise control is your friend though. I find myself doing 80-85 without constant vigilance.
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      03-19-2020, 08:24 AM   #14
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I agree with most of your points except I haven't noticed the meandering at highway speeds when windy. I'm not sure if this is because I have the 40i with 22 inch wheels, but I have not noticed any of that. You're car looks amazing, love the carbon black as well. Enjoy and be safe.
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      03-19-2020, 07:49 PM   #15
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Got a chance to drive today in our semi-blizzard conditions. I was really impressed with the stability and handling of the car in a variety of different conditions (all pretty slippery). I've got the 21" AS setup. Love to drive this car with a dedicated snow tire setup.
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      03-20-2020, 04:22 PM   #16
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Nice, congratulations!

(please clean that engine bay )
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      03-20-2020, 04:52 PM   #17
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That thing is NASTY. And I mean that in the best way possible. Looks like a comfortable cruiser and a fun weekend toy all in one. Congrats on the ride.
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      03-20-2020, 05:57 PM   #18
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Is that grille for real? 😁😁😂
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      03-20-2020, 06:00 PM   #19
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Is that grille for real? 😁😁😂
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      03-20-2020, 06:34 PM   #20
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I am not media, nor am I alone in thinking the grilles are way too damn big. The thing that makes them look bad is how high they go, above the headlights. That is poor design aesthetic. Cars have faces, and can be seen as beautiful because the well-designed ones mimic human faces, which we are biologically attracted to.

The X7 and 7 series have unibrows that flow into a huge long nose. Our brain recognizes this as a deformity, and therefore ugly as hell.

Great car though!
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      03-20-2020, 06:40 PM   #21
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I don't know why people have to share their negative opinions in people's delivery threads instead of reserving them for more general posts about the cars. No reason to tell people riding the high of a new car that you think his car is ugly or whatever else. Plenty of other threads to share those thoughts.

OP, congrats on the car. Looks awesome with M Sport.
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      03-20-2020, 06:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bodie217 View Post
I am not media, nor am I alone in thinking the grilles are way too damn big. The thing that makes them look bad is how high they go, above the headlights. That is poor design aesthetic. Cars have faces, and can be seen as beautiful because the well-designed ones mimic human faces, which we are biologically attracted to.

The X7 and 7 series have unibrows that flow into a huge long nose. Our brain recognizes this as a deformity, and therefore ugly as hell.

Great car though!
This is what I love about design; beauty is in the eye of the beholder ... or not
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