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2019 BMW X7 Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.9

The 2019 BMW X7 has somewhat muted performance, owing to less-than-engaging handling and top-heavy body motions. However, it has two potent engine choices, a refined transmission, and great fuel economy.

  • "The 8-speed automatic shifted smoothly and when we wanted it to, so we rarely if at all used the paddles on the back of the X7’s thick-rimmed steering wheel." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "With a bump-soaking air suspension system, lively steering and pedals that are easy to modulate, it's easy to dig the X7. It's still plenty great on the highway, too, floating along and providing a plush ride with plenty of on-tap power for lane changes. It's surprisingly fun to drive, and it feels in line with BMW's efforts of late to deliver comfortable cars that still err on the dynamic side." -- CNET
  • "We drove both X7 versions in a variety of conditions. The xDrive50i accelerates effortlessly and is accompanied by a subtle V8 growl. BMW estimates it will reach 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. The xDrive40i trails by only 0.6 second. Gear changes are quick and smooth regardless of engine, and there's an abundance of grip on wet pavement. " -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The BMW X7 comes standard with a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine that produces 335 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. An available 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine generates 456 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission comes standard. The base X7 gets excellent fuel economy for the class, at 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. The optional engine returns an EPA-estimated 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway.

Both of the X7's engines deliver ample power for daily driving, but the optional V8 is much more muscular. The eight-speed automatic transmission provides smooth and timely shifts that complement the engine’s power.

  • "In the xDrive40i the six was smooth, quiet and refined. And engine noise from the V8 was a highlight. Throaty, athletic, muscular even, but also refined and muted. … Rounding out the powertrain, the eight-speed automatic went unnoticed, which is pretty much the highest possible praise. Shifts were quick, seamless and smooth, whether or not you command them from the shift paddles behind the wheel." -- Autoweek
  • "The 6-cylinder X7 has a bit less power and torque than the xDrive50i, it’s about $20,000 less expensive and feels totally acceptable in everyday use. The 335-horsepower inline-6 is smooth, and the twin-scroll turbocharger provides plenty of linear power with no hint of lag, which is much appreciated in a vehicle with a substantial curb weight of 5,370 pounds." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The V8 is glorious overkill. A 5.2-second sprint to 60 miles per hour may not seem all that sprightly, but when you're pushing a vehicle of this size at that rate, it feels quick. … No matter the engine, the standard eight-speed automatic transmission barely makes its existence known to me, swapping cogs effortlessly in the background and taking little time to call up lower gears when it's time to put the hammer down on the on-ramp." -- CNET

Handling and Braking

The BMW X7 comes standard with all-wheel drive. It has a soft and comfortable ride over most surfaces. However, the X7 exhibits noticeable body lean around turns, and its steering feels a little numb.

  • The steering itself was numb, though it was relatively direct and weighted well. It's disappointing in the context of a BMW. … Frankly, it's a bit boring at times, though it's hard to fault BMW for erring on the side of comfort." -- Autoblog
  • The X7 never feels unstable or out of sorts; it simply takes a moment to set itself right. There is a real Bimmer hiding underneath, though, once you activate Sport mode via a center-console-mounted button." -- Automobile Magazine
  • When things get twisty, the X7 is competent. Easy enough to position on the road with precision, but even in sport mode, body roll was noticeable. In a sedan, you’d call it excessive, but in a six-foot-tall, 203-inch-long SUV, you don’t." -- Autoweek
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