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BMW goes big with the new X7

BMW is hoping you are passionate about its trademark kidney grille design, because the new 2019 X7 three-row SUV, due in Australia in the second quarter of next year, sports the largest kidney grille ever integrated into the nose of any BMW model.

Like that shiny chrome grille, everything about this new X7 is sized XXL. It’s almost 254mm longer than BMW’s X5 and looks even biggercourtesy of its towering 1803mm height and bolt-upright stance. Parked alongside its closest rival, Mercedes-Benz’s GLS, the X7 is longer by 33 millimitre.

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As you might expect, all those millimitres deliver a cabin that is nothing less than cavernous. There’s seating for either six or seven, with generous knee room in the third row for a couple of adults. The middle row offers a choice of a three-seat bench or a pair of captain’s chairs, both of which offer 144 millimitre of power-assisted fore-aft travel.

The X7 is also a capable load-carrier. With the second- and third-row seats folded flat—electrically, of course, no manual fiddling required—it swallow 2120 litres of luggage or sports gear. And loading is made a little easier courtesy of a power-opening split tailgate and standard air suspension that can lower the truck at the touch of a button.

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The X7 is being produced in four powertrain variants, namely: xDrive40i with 250kW/450Nm; xDrive50i with 340kW/650Nm; xDrive30d with 195kW/620Nm; and xDriveM50d with 294kW/760Nm. BMW Australia has yet to confirm which variants will come here. The 40i features BMW’s proven 3.0-litre, twin-turbo in-line six and is good for zero-to-100km/h sprinting in 5.8 seconds.

Seeking even zippier performance? The 50i comes with a returned version of BMW’s brawny 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 that reduces the zero-to-100km/h time—impressive for such a blunt-fronted heavyweight. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic.

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Being based on a stretched, rear-drive-biased X5 platform should ensure this South Carolina–built leviathan handles itself well. All-wheel drive is standard, as are adaptive dampers and air springs. Upgrade to the Dynamic Handling package and you get rear-wheel steering, upgraded brakes, and, for the V8 version, BMW’s M Sport rear differential.

As you’d expect, this new X7 is loaded with cool tech, from heated and cooled cupholders and gesture control to a head-up display and an available panoramic sunroof that uses embedded LED lights to provide a starry night. Not even the new Rolls-Royce Cullinan offers that.

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