Ever since I watched the action sequences of the remote-controlled BMW 750iL (E38) in the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies when it was released in the US, I dreamt of a gadget-filled Bimmer similar to the original Aston Martin DB5 but in a tall wagon with all-wheel-drive! A couple of years later, BMW launched the sensational all-new X5 (E53) sans the film gadgetry of course. So, when the all-new BMW X7 (G07) was released in 2018, yes 21 years after I fantasized about the concept, I cheered with delight, though it would be another three years before I would finally test drive its most affordable variant, the xDrive30d Pure Excellence, in the Philippines. The domestic offering may be described as an entry model because of its power output, which is more than sufficient, and slightly smaller front brake discs, but it has all the essential and sensational new equipment deserving of BMW’s X-family flagship.
There are multiple trim and powerplant models available in other markets that include the epic 613 bhp / 590 lb-ft twin-turbo V8 Alpina XB7 that rockets from 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds and BMW’s own quad-turbo X7 M50d which adds three more turbos to the incredible inline-6 diesel engine. But for our market, honestly, the “standard” xDrive30d does everything you need and more plus it is the most fuel-efficient setup in the family range too. It is only 3-tenths of a second slower from 0-100 km/h compared to an X5 xDrive30d. The 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission has been revised with a wider ratio spread and new control electronics with new torsion dampers to reduce rotational forces and converter slip for further improved shift comfort. The rear-bias xDrive system has also been updated to its newest tuning. It is able to split torque between the front and rear axles with even greater precision and reaction speed, while also being able to direct all the power to the rear wheels automatically when AWD is not required.
The X7 is truly an elevated version of the 7-series saloon with grand accommodations for more occupancy and versatility. It is the more practical full-size premium luxury solution for those who have it all and want to travel everywhere in our country without boarding an airplane. The quilted Merino leather seating resembles the saloon with the addition of a third row. The effortlessly versatile configurability of the seating is astonishing and thoughtful. The road footprint is a scaled up X5 with more capacity with no tangible compromises. The X7 chassis uses the extended version of the now ubiquitous modular Cluster Architecture (CLAR) platform that incorporates steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber in varying proportions. Compared to the X5, it essentially uses a 130 mm longer wheelbase, which gives the X7 a 230 mm longer body, with about the same width, and a 60 mm taller roofline.
Using the very familiar switchgear, it can be raised or lowered by 40 mm (1.6 inches) and will automatically lower the car by 20 mm (0.8 inches) at speeds just shy of 140 km/h. Another button in the luggage compartment activates a loading mode that lowers the vehicle by 40 mm (1.6 inches) to make loading easier even when the engine is off. The air supply is controlled individually for each wheel using an electrically driven compressor which also automatically balances out an unevenly loaded vehicle to maintain the dynamic handling behavior that you would expect from a BMW.
The extensive standard equipment includes four-zone climate control, iDrive 7.0, fabulous adaptive laser headlights, active kidney grille, a multitude of driver assistance systems, the crafted glass gear knob, electrically adjustable and heated three row seating, a fully adjustable second row bench (captain chairs are optional), a panoramic moonroof with LED light patterns and a second moonroof for the third-row, ‘Fineline Stripe’ brown high-gloss fine-wood trim, roller sunblinds for rear side windows, aluminum running board and aluminum satinated roof rails, soft-close function for doors, 1,500-watt Harman Kardon surround sound system with two 10.2-inch HD screens for rear-seat entertainment, multiple USB ports, and so much more. The only drawback really is the financial challenge of acquiring the brilliant BMW X7.
Specification – 2021 BMW X7 xDrive30d Pure Excellence (G07)
Location: Front, Longitudinal
Displacement: 2993 cc
Cylinder block: Cast Aluminum
Cylinder head: Cast Aluminum, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Fuel Injection: Direct Commonrail Fuel Injection, Intercooled VGT Turbodiesel
Max power: 262 bhp @ 4000 rpm
Max torque: 457 lb-ft @ 2000-2500 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, intelligent xDrive AWD System
Front suspension: Independent double-wishbones, adaptive & self-levelling air shock absorbers.
Rear suspension: Independent lightweight multi-link adaptive & self-levelling air shock absorbers.
Fuel Capacity: 80 liters (21 gallons)
Load Capacity: 2,120 liters (both rows folded) / 750 liters (3rd row folded) / 326 liters (all seats up)
Ground Clearance: 220 mm
Wading Depth: 500 mm
Approach Angle: 25 degrees
Departure Angle: 22.2 degrees
Ramp-over angle: 19.8 degrees
L x W x H: 5151 mm x 2000 mm x 1805 mm
Wheelbase: 3105 mm
Brakes: Front 14.7-inch (373 mm) ventilated discs with 4-piston calipers / Rear 14.6-inch (371 mm) vented discs with single piston calipers Integrated Electric Parking Brake, ABS, BA, DSC, EBD, VSA, HSA.
Wheels: 21”x 9.5J Multi-spoke Aluminum Alloys.
Tires: P285/45R21 113Y Pirelli P Zero RSC
Weight: (kerb) 2320 kg. (5104 lbs.)
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 6.9 seconds
Top Speed (mph): 230 km/h (144 mph)
Fuel Mileage: 7.2 L/100 km Overall
Price as tested: PhP 9,290,000.00
C! RATING 10/10
+A dream realized. Extremely desirable. A proper flagship on stilts.
-Price. Limited color variety in our market.