When we wrote about BMW's forthcoming X7 SUV a year ago after photos leaked, it was roundly ripped for having a ginormous, kidney-shaped grille. But yesterday, BMW officially released the 2019 X7 — preorders and all — and like Owen Wilson, there’s a lot to love once you get past the big ol' schnoz.
First of all, even though the X7 has been in development since at least 2014, it checks just about all the boxes that current American car buyers want. One: It’s a jumbo three-row SUV (U.S. car sales could be 50% SUVs by 2020, writes Quartz). Two: It’s fast off the line, with a 0-60 MPH time of 5.2 seconds. Three: It’s built right here in the U.S.A., in Spartanburg, South Carolina, their only North American factory.
It should be said that the 5.2-second sprint time is based on the top-of-the-line xDrive50i model, which packs a V8 engine with 462 HP and 479 lb.-ft. of torque. The more democratic xDrive40i model features a six-cylinder in-line engine that puts out a respectable 340 HP and 332 lb.-ft. of torque. A diesel-fueled xDrive30d is also available.
BMW X7 1 (5 images)
For more practical matters, whereas BMW’s X5 has an optional third row, the X7 comes with a standard three-row, seven-seat configuration. And for those who prefer space over the popular pack-in-as-many-people-as-possible approach, the middle row can be swapped for two individual “comfort seats” (read: buckets).
Either way, BMW took care to stretch this SUV in as many places as possible, with longer rear doors, an overall length nearly a foot longer than the X5 and even a three-section panoramic glass roof (which can be upgraded to an LED-enhanced “Sky Lounge”).
BMW X7 2 (5 images)
Which leads back to the sizable front end. At launch, BMW has shrugged off the internet trolls, proudly proclaiming in a press release, “The largest kidney grille ever designed for one of the brand’s models bestrides the front end of the new BMW X7.”
You tell 'em, BMW! Then, confidence should com easy when you’re a $90K luxury SUV.
The xDrive50i starts at $92,600 and the xDrive40i starts at $73,900. Preorders are open now, with an official launch set for March 2019.
All photos courtesy of BMW Group