The BMW X7 was not short on attitude or presence but with the facelift, the German marque has taken its largest SUV to imposing new heights.
Yes, it’s a facelift in the most literal sense, with the biggest changes happening up front. Gone are the traditional single-unit headlights with inlaid ‘angel eyes’, in their place are split units with one up high handling DRL and indicator duties and one down low handling the heavy-duty lighting. That includes adaptive light distribution allowing the headlights to ‘function’ as fog lights when needed.
If you’re not a fan, it’s not good news. This is the design direction BMW is taking both with the new 7 Series/i7 and the XM super SUV, among others beyond we suspect. The grille, while not much bigger in size than before, can now be lit up with ‘cascade lighting’, standard on the flagship M60i xDrive model.
At the rear we don’t have quite such an extreme change but everything’s been sharpened up, with the slim blade-like lights now featuring new detailing. There’s a new M Sport package with two new M-exclusive colours, Marina Bay Blue Metallic and Sparkling Copper Grey Metallic. There are also a number of other BMW individual colours now available, while 23-inch wheels are optional for the first time on any BMW.
Under the skin, the X7 gets 48-volt mild-hybrid tech across the board, for the new 3.0-litre straight-six petrol and diesel engines, as well as the 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 in the M60 flagship. This allows engine-off coasting and an electric boost, for more power and improved efficiency. The cooking xDrive40i gets 380PS (280kW), while the diesel gets 352PS (259kW) and the V8 530PS (390kW) as a result. The latter will get to 62mph in 4.7 seconds and top out at 155mph. We expect a plug-in hybrid model to join the fray at a later date, too.
Change is afoot on the inside, too. Gone are the traditional separate instrument cluster and infotainment displays. In their place, a curved display with integrated 12.3-inch and 14.9-inch screens, as previously seen in the BMW iX and i4. Like in BMW’s new electric twosome, these will come loaded with the latest BMW ‘iDrive 8’ infotainment system in the X7 with a clean new user interface and graphics. Around the screens are revised ventilation, a new gear selector and a new iDrive controller. In markets beyond Europe the cabin will be trimmed as standard in a new material called Sensafin, which is vegan but with leather-like properties.
Prices start from £80,980 for the entry-level six-cylinder petrol and launch upwards to £103,600 before options for the top-level M60i, with order books now open. What do you think of this latest update to the BMW’s monster luxury SUV flagship? Like it or not, this is the split-light, light-up face of big BMWs to come.