In-depth reviews

BMW X7 review – ride and handling

More than just an X5 XL, the X7 adds luxury, a little more space and a satisfying driving experience

Evo rating
Price
from £72,195
  • Space, quality, strong engine range, still drives like a BMW
  • A large car to live with, looks divide opinion

Unlike the X5, all versions of the X7 are fitted with air suspension as standard, with double wishbones at the front and a multi-link arrangement at the rear. Tied in to the usual drive select options, the X7 automatically lowers itself by 20mm above 86mph or with Sport mode engaged, can lower itself a further 20mm for loading and can raise by 40mm over standard for venturing off-road.

The additional flexibility of the air suspension is welcome, even if it does result in a slight compromise for body control. It rides with a good deal of composure and comfort, even when on the 21-inch wheels fitted to M Sport models, filtering out all but the largest of potholes from the cabin. However, you are always aware that there is a lot of mass at work, with the occasional pitch from front to rear as the suspension works to manage the weight, but the same applies to its rivals too.

Where the X7 does surprise is that it is still game enough to be hustled along, even if your passengers might not appreciate it. Allowing for masses at work, it turns in with surprising keenness, and once it has settled onto the outside wheels it can scoot through with vim that is worthy of the badge. Even in Sport mode, with the suspension running a lower and stiffer setting, it still rides well. It won’t convince you it’s a sports car, but it does manage to help you forget it is almost 230mm longer than an X5.

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