It’s overtly ostentatious and obviously ‘X-tra’ large, the first-ever BMW X7 was officially introduced to the country, just four months after it was made available in European markets.
Led by its president, Spencer Yu, SMC Asia Car Distributors Corporation (the official importer and distributor of BMW vehicles) has been working at a furious pace this year, launching the X5, 3 Series and Z4, and the X7 all within a span of seven months. Their fourth new product is the marque’s new flagship Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) and every inch of it looks the part.
Measuring 5,151 mm long, 2,000 mm wide and 1,805 mm tall, and with a wheelbase of 3,105 mm, this is the largest BMW yet, not counting of course the pickup-truck concept revealed early this month.
With a body like that, it’s not surprising that it gets a supersized version of the shiny kidney grille with a discreetly placed front-facing camera at the bottom (center). It augments the sensors located along the bumper and the two air dams at each corner.
Connected directly to the grille, on either side, is BMW’s latest in illumination technology, Laserlight headlights. Offering a high-beam range of 600 meters, its svelte design is emphasized by the X-shaped elements inside the casing.
The bulbous nose makes the hood appear flat but it does have a few character lines similar to the ones found along the sides. Typical of a BMW, it also sports the Hofmeister kink at the bottom of the D-pillar. It sits on very elaborate 21-inch multi-spoke light-alloy wheels that use runflat tires.
Compared to the front, the rear appears more well-proportioned and sleeker due mainly to the slim taillights and the chrome strip in between. The tailgate features a two-section split, where the bottom part opens for easy ingress of larger cargo.
We only get the Pure Excellence trim, but because this model is under the BMW Individual program, buyers can order it with a certain amount of customization.
Inside are quilted premium leather seats that will fit seven people. All rows can be electronically adjusted to allow for as much as 2,120 liters of cargo.
Seats in the third row are full size and come with armrests, cupholders and USB ports.
To ensure that the cabin never offends the sensitive nasal passages of its owners, it comes with BMW’s Ambient Air package, which is basically bottles of scents disseminated via the vehicle’s HVAC system.
It’s equipped with BMW Live Cockpit Professional, which includes a 12.3-inch touchscreen on the center of the dashboard, has Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.
As the brand’s most premium SAV, it also comes with a panoramic glass roof, CraftedClarity glass applications, Harman Kardon Surround Sound System, Rear-seat Entertainment Professional system, the Luggage-compartment Package (anti-slip rail on the trunk floor and electronic rolling cover over the trunk), ambient lighting, plus the famous ‘Welcome Light Carpet’.
Only one engine will be made available, so don’t get your hopes up for the 4.4L twin-turbo V8. The local X7 uses a 3.0L TwinPower Turbo in-line six-cylinder diesel with an output of 265 HP and 620 Nm of torque. It is paired to an eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission powers the XDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system.
Because it prioritizes off-road capability as much as comfort, it also has Adaptive Suspension with electronically controlled dampers, and air springs at both axles, which allows the ground clearance to shift by as much as 80mm.
Safety features include six airbags, Antilock Braking System (ABS), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Hill Descent Control (HDC), and Active Protection that closes any window and tightens seatbelts when the system detects an impending accident.
Cruise Control comes with Braking function. It has Parking Assistant Plus, including Park Distance Control (PDC) front and rear, together with rear view camera and surround view.
It is BMW’s biggest and it also comes fully loaded. See it for yourself at dealerships by asking for the X7 xDrive30d Pure Excellence. It’s priced at P9.290 million and comes with a five-year, 200,000-kilometer manufacturer’s warranty.
Text and photos by Eric Tipan