2023 BMW X7 review, road test - top diesel, top luxury

Tuhin Guha Published: December 24, 2023, 12:16 PM IST

The X7 is the ultimate form of what a BMW SUV should look like. So you should expect an uncompromised experience in terms of the space and practicality of a three-row SUV and the very best in tech and creature comforts. So how does the X7, now notably updated as part of its mid-cycle refresh, deliver on these counts while still having to maintain the good driving character that is a must when you have a blue and white propeller on the bonnet?

2023 BMW X7 styling

BMW says that the split headlamp design is meant to differentiate its top-most offerings from the rest of the line-up. This works quite well in the case of the new 7 Series which was always designed to carry this look. But we think some of that effect is lost with this new X7. Sure, it'll still draw glances like you'd want it to but the shiny grille and less sculptural bodywork don't fully gel with this.

Still, there's a definite dose of aggression with the new blacked-out sections in the bumpers(with functional intakes) which continues to the sides too with the 21-inch wheels M Sport wheels in their simple but athletic look. We also like the way the bodywork widens from below the glass area onwards, giving the X7 quite a committed stance for a large practical SUV.

The mildly revised rear section of the X7 is its best angle in our books. The wide lighting has been lightly revised to carry the new 3D L-shaped light signature while there's a more aggressive bumper design highlighted but a chunky set of exhaust tips. The split-boot lid design remains. It adds quite some functionality, considering there's a fair amount of space for small bags with all rows up. The powered functions make it especially simple to fold down the third row to carry larger items.

2023 BMW X7 interiors, space practicality

The updated interiors of the BMW X7 follow the theme set by what we've seen in other BMWs recently. The big change is the new curved iDrive 8 display with its 14.9-inch central touchscreen and the 12.3-inch driver's display. This new setup fits quite cleanly into the existing layout of the X7, adding a more modern sense to the luxurious ambience inside. A slight miss is that the dashboard is nearly identical to that of the lesser X5 but that also means that you have a space that is finished as well as anything at this price point. The soft surfaces, metallic and crystalline accents, and textured wood all feel of the highest grade with the typically solid BMW build.

Also like we noticed with the X5, the new vent arrangement creates a sense of minimalism that complements the new screen setup. But the new vent controls could have been better finished here too, lacking the tactility of the rest of the switchgear. The arrowhead light motifs accompanying this are a touch loud but gel well with the cabin lighting in the dark.

The iDrive 8 carries on with its smartphone-like widget-based layouts. You still have to deal with the slightly convoluted menus and climate controls in this particular car but the updated iDrive 8.5 will eventually roll out to these SUVs via software updates. That said, this older setup with its rotary dials and hard buttons for the major menus is still the best interpretation of this operating system we've seen. Practicality is well taken care of too, aside from some small spaces in the central tunnel, you have deep door pockets and well-placed cup holders.

But you fully start to realize that you are spending the extra dough over an X5 in the second row of the X7. This top xDrive40d M Sport version comes in a six-seater configuration. These captain seats are especially comfortable with their soft cushioning and good support all around. The bolsters are not too aggressive either so occupants of all body types should be comfortable. There's quite a bit of knee and legroom, and headroom too is good despite the sunroof. The seats also recline to quite a substantial angle so a quick nap will be easy here.

Having been spoilt by very competitively equipped mainstream cars, we missed a seat ventilation function and thigh rests but otherwise the X7 is generous in the second row. You have full powered adjustment, motorized sunblind and sunroof controls for both passengers as well as a four-zone climate control. We would have liked the cupholders to have been easier to reach otherwise there are numerous charge ports.

Third-row passengers are also well-treated. Getting in is slightly tricky since the second row doesn't fold away completely, but the powered movement makes it convenient. Once inside, you have enough room for adults but like with most such arrangements in SUVs, you compromise slightly in thigh support and leg room, especially if you are taller. The softly cushioned and well-designed seatbacks cover this to a small extent. But this space should be great for children. Also, BMW doesn't want you to compromise on amenities here. A great party trick, that seems to feed our sunroof obsession, is a separate smaller one just for this row. There's also a separate climate zone here as well as neatly arranged charge ports and storage spaces for passengers.

2023 BMW X7 features, safety

Notable features include soft-close doors, double-glazed glass, five-zone climate control, three-part panoramic sunroof, heated and cooled front seats with 24-way adjustment, power-folding and adjusting second and third-row seats, ambient lighting, three-part sunroof, powered sun-blinds, 14.9-inch touchscreen with wireless Android Auto/Apple Carplay, 12.3-inch driver's display, HUD 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio and ambient lighting.

There's a good deal of safety equipment too like nine airbags, hill-descent control, 360-degree cameras and a parking assistant. ADAS functions include emergency braking, lane departure warning and prevention.

2023 BMW X7 driving impressions

Start driving the BMW X7, and you are greeted with a suitably commanding view out of the front seats. The high, bulged bonnet flows out in front of you to drive this point home. You sit high enough for an SUV but with the dash top also fairly high, there's a fairly sporty cocooned sense for the driver. The immensely adjustable and support seat and the well-placed wheel drive this point home further.

A significant change with this update to the X7 is the new engine. The 3.0-litre inline-six diesel is now at a higher state of tune making a significant 340Ps and 700 Nm. There's now also 12PS and 200 Nm of mild-hybrid assistance. But as we noted with the X5, what you notice first isn't the performance but the impressive refinement. Here too, there's barely a way to tell that this is a diesel. It's nearly silent on the inside at idle and very little is felt in terms of vibrations. There's also a deep, V8-like piped-in engine note that adds to this sensation. Among other measures, the X7 uses double-glazed windows and windscreen to control noise.

We also said this for the new X5, but the X7 further moves the post forward in terms of the excitement you can expect from a diesel. The electrical assistance makes for a flat, progressive supply of torque in any situation, but more impressive is this motor's responsiveness. It's quite eager to rev out which helps extract even more of the torque available. Needless to say, the X7 is brisk by any standard as the 0 to 100 kmph time of 5.7s suggests, but you will especially like the way it seems to not run out of steam well past triple-digit speeds.

As always, the 8-speed ZF automatic complements the engine well. With the 48V system filling any gaps in power delivery, you barely notice its function. Usually, there's enough torque to not need too many downshifts but in the sportier modes, the gearbox becomes quite responsive to heavier throttle inputs. Maybe even too much so in the Sport Plus mode, this drivetrain adds over the 30d iteration of this motor, where the gearbox will choose the lowest possible gear and then snap through gears quite aggressively for what is still a family SUV.

Pairing with this is a similarly impressive ride and handling character. The air suspension in the X7 is a touch more firmly set up than in the X5 but the good damping still covers this up well. So at lower speeds, you do notice larger imperfections a touch more but in isolation it isn't uncomfortable, especially considering the large rims this SUV runs. But this trait smoothens out the faster you go, making for a flat composed ride as speeds build. That said, the slight bobbing over an extended rough patch that you can expect in our conditions with cars running air springs is still mildly present.

You do notice the X7's sizeable dimensions in tight traffic, but past this, it does that likeable BMW thing of shrinking around you. This trait is especially impressive when you show the X7 a set of corners. It turns confidently and predictably, there's a good deal of grip on offer so you can keep pushing harder than you might expect in something this large. The well-balanced chassis with the AWD also makes this kind of driving predictable. You hardly ever notice the long wheelbase here and the X7 makes for clean, fluid and exciting progress. The steering also plays a part with its being just direct and just hefty enough to keep you connected to the road. In calmer highway driving, this translates into great high-speed stability. The long wheelbase and wide tracks make the X7 feel rock steady on a cruise.

2023 BMW X7 price, verdict

Priced at Rs 1.58 crore, the BMW X7 is about as complete a package as you might find at this price. Surprisingly, it's no less agile or exciting than its smaller siblings. The diesel powertrain is efficient but still exciting enough to extract the most out of this package. But this big BMW also does the luxury bit very well. The looks may not sit with everyone but the plush cabin and the space and practicality on offer in the second and third rows are hard to argue with.

2023 BMW X7 xDrive40d M Sport real-world mileage, performance



0 to 100 kmph - 5.7s

In-gear acceleration

30 to 50 kmph - 1.2s
50 to 70 kmph - 1.4s
60 to 80 kmph - 1.5s


100 to 0 kmph - 41.7m, 3.1s


City - 8.54 kmpl
Highway - 14.71 kmpl
Overall - 10.08 kmpl

Text: @tuhinguha

Images by Neel Paradkar

Watch our video review of the BMW X7 below

Also read,

2023 BMW X7 launched in India, prices start from Rs 1.22 crore

2023 BMW X5 review, road test – sharper looks, but sharper drive?

BMW Group launches the Retail.Next experience for customers in India

Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 92.5 Lakhs
Max Power(ps)
Max Torque(Nm)
Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 74.9 Lakhs
Max Power(ps)
Max Torque(Nm)
11.24 Kmpl