A deeper dive into some of the X7’s available options and technology
Like many high-end luxury vehicles, BMW packed the X7 full of all sorts of cool and interesting features. Not all of them are unique to X7, but if you’re in the market for a three-row luxury SUV, they definitely make the X7 a more appealing option. Read on to see what stood out to us on the X7’s features list, and don’t miss our review of BMW’s first full-size crossover right here.
BMW has come a long way since it begrudgingly added the world’s saddest excuse for cupholders to its American cars. The X7 has real cupholders up front, and even better, they’re heated and cooled—the lukewarm bottle of water we pulled from the door pocket was noticeably colder when we opened it about 20 minutes later.
A decade ago, it was rare to see a car with a head-up display, but they’ve become more common over the last several years. The problem is, they don’t always display enough information to be useful. The optional HUD on the X7, however, is large enough that it can show more than just the speed limit. It also shows a clear map with navigation instructions that almost make looking at the infotainment screen unnecessary.
Rear Sunroof Controls
BMW made a panoramic sunroof standard on the X7. Retract the sunshade, and the whole car instantly feels more open. But what happens if the family can’t agree on whether the shade should be open or closed? Since it’s a three-panel sunroof, that doesn’t have to be a problem. What really stood out to us is the fact that the third row gets its own controls so rear occupants don’t have to ask the driver to open or close their sunshade.
Multiple Rear Seat Controls
Since passengers aren’t all the same size, we appreciate BMW adding 5.7 inches of travel to its second-row seats. And since it can be awkward to manually lift the third-row seats when they’re needed, it’s also great that every seat has power controls. But BMW went even further, putting multiple controls throughout the car. The fact that the driver can move the second-row seats using a door control might be the most convenient, but you can also adjust the second and third row from the rear doors.
Split tailgates may look cool, but they’re also practical. In addition to providing an occasionally useful seat, the lower section can help prevent cargo from falling out when you open the liftgate. Since the X7 has a standard air suspension, the SUV’s split tailgate also has a button that lowers the suspension to make it easier to load cargo.
Optional Rear Locking Differential
The X7 may be big and heavy, but since it’s a BMW, it must be at least a little sporty. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the X7 xDrive50i can be fitted with an optional electronically controlled M sport rear differential. But because it’s an SUV, BMW also added a locking function just in case you ever find yourself off-roading in an X7. BMW knows few owners will use it, but you could if you wanted to.
You can get a pretty cool touchscreen key fob for the X7 that’s borrowed from the 7 Series (pictured here), but BMW has also borrowed a page from Tesla’s book and programmed in a digital key option. If you have an NFC-capable Samsung Galaxy, the BMW Connected app gives you the option of leaving the fob at home and just using your phone as a key.
Remote Software Updates
In another Tesla-inspired move, the X7 doesn’t need to be taken to the dealer to receive software updates. Instead, if you connect your car to your home’s WiFi network, those updates can be delivered over the air. That means less time spent at the dealer getting a recall fixed, and in theory, it could allow BMW to add features to the infotainment system in the future.
As with the head-up display, rear entertainment screens are relatively common these days. Although it’s not surprising that you can add a rear-seat entertainment package to the X7, it is interesting that the map from the navigation system can be viewed on those screens. That means passengers can stay informed without having to ask the driver how much longer the drive will take.
Emergency Stop Assistant
If you add the Driving Assistant Professional package to the X7, it comes with something called an Emergency Stop Assistant. If the driver ever has a medical emergency or becomes incapacitated, the driver or a passenger can pull the handbrake button to activate the ESA. When that happens, the vehicle will activate the hazard lights, use its driver-assistance systems to bring the car to a stop either in its lane or on the shoulder, and place a call to the BMW Assist Response Center so emergency services can be sent.