The BMW X7 is a three-row luxury SUV with seating for up to seven passengers and a choice of turbocharged six- or eight-cylinder engines. It’s the largest BMW available and is still in its first generation, having only come to the market in 2019. The X7 displays the sort of attention to detail and engineering excellence that puts it at the very top of our list, winning the 2024 AutoTrader Award for being the Best Full-Size Luxury SUV.
There were some great entries this year like the redesigned Range Rover, Cadillac Escalade (last year’s winner), Jeep Grand Wagoneer, and Lincoln Navigator, making this a difficult decision for our jury of over 20 automotive experts. Jury members consider every single vehicle available to Canadians and vote for vehicles that go above and beyond what’s expected so we can feel confident recommending them to our friends and family.
Undergoing a mid-cycle facelift for 2023, the X7 got new split headlights, an illuminated grille, a new taillight design, and a heavily reworked interior with BMW’s new curved display and a reconfigured centre console. BMW’s two-axle air suspension is now standard equipment, making for an extensive update that improves the X7 in nearly all areas.
The X7 is instantly recognizable as a BMW and, more importantly, it drives like one. AutoTrader’s Editor-in-Chief, Jodi Lai, wrote, “the air suspension works with the navigation system, driving style, and cameras to make sure it’s always in the optimal setting: stiffer when hustling through winding roads, and softer when out for a leisurely cruise.” For something so big and heavy, the BMW X7 can hold its own on twisty roads using technology to further enhance its handling. In her review, Lai writes “it also has active roll stabilization so the SUV is able to keep itself remarkably flat in corners and during acceleration and braking.”
Engines include a 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-six that makes 375 hp, which is more than enough. But for the power-hungry, a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 is available that puts down a massive 523 hp, which is able to propel the big SUV from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.8 seconds, a blisteringly quick time for something so massive. Both powertrains are enhanced with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology that adds a bit more power, a much smoother auto stop-start system, and a slight boost to fuel economy. Mated to quick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmissions, the powertrains on hand are energetic and efficient.
The X7 has impressive driving dynamics, but it’s even better when it comes to being a luxury SUV. It has impeccable ride quality, the seats in all three rows are very comfortable, there are five zones of climate control available, and enough USB ports to satisfy all members of the family. Lai says, “It is one of the smoothest vehicles I’ve ever experienced outside of a Rolls-Royce or Maybach. This year, an adaptive and self-levelling air suspension is included as standard, which makes the big SUV feel like it’s floating over even the most busted roads.”
The materials used in the cabin are of the highest quality, with rich leather upholstering the seats and just about everything else, and there’s a full range of customization and interior and exterior colour choices expected of a high-end luxury vehicle.
Pricing for this three-row BMW starts at $111,500, which seems reasonable considering the X7’s award-winning status. The Range Rover and Cadillac Escalade are also excellent choices, but the BMW takes the win this year with the best balance of luxury, handling, technology, and practicality in a package that’s a pleasure to use daily.