2019 BMW X7 xDrive50i: ultimate road trip SUV

It’s a special day when a new model hits the streets in America.

The 2019 BMW X7 xDrive50i was recently launched by the German manufacturer as the pinnacle of its X Sport Activity Vehicle lineup.

BMW’s X7 builds on the class-leading comfort, handling, safety and technology attributes of its cousins, built at the Spartanburg, S.C., plant since 1999.

The X7 offers standard three-row seating for seven, with optional second-row captain’s chairs that deliver a more exclusive seating arrangement for six. Standard two-axle air suspension, 22-inch alloy wheels and advanced driver assistance systems ensure that the new BMW X7 lives up to expectations of style, driver engagement, passenger comfort and all-weather and all-terrain capability.

Powered by a 4.4-liter, TwinPower turbocharged, 32-valve, V8 engine mated to an eight-speed Sport automatic transmission, the duo generates 456 horsepower between 5,250 and 6,000 rpm, and races from 0-to-60 miles per hour in 5.2 seconds. I almost forgot I was driving a land yacht SUV.

If towing is in your future, this engine is more than up to the task. Peak torque of 470 lb.-ft. is available over a broad rev range from 1,500 to 4,750 rpm. Best of all are the unmistakable exhaust notes that are music to one’s ears.

The X7 is the ultimate road trip vehicle. My jaunt was not nearly long enough, up to Camano Island for family 4th of July festivities. But it did give me the chance to push the buttons at the back of the vehicle, drop the third-row seats flat and attempt to fill the cavernous cargo area.

It was long enough, however, to show off some of the decadent luxuries the X7 bestows upon those lucky enough to become owners. My favorites were the rear entertainment system with two large screens mounted to the backs of the front seats that allowed passengers to enjoy DVD movies. A Bowers and Wilkins Diamond surround sound system that offers amplification of 1,500 watts, powering 20 speakers.

Other goodies included a WiFi Hotspot, Apple CarPlay, CD player, wireless phone charging, heads-up windshield display and a panoramic sunroof – but that badly shortchanges its capability.

The Panorama Sky Lounge LED Roof generates a very special and exclusive aura when darkness falls, with LED light spreading evenly across the glass surfaces to illuminate more than 15,000 graphic patterns, and generate a display reminiscent of a starlit sky – almost as good as the fireworks show at the beach, but not quite.

Offering a significantly expanded array of driver assistance systems, the new BMW X7 is able to support the driver through an array of interconnected sensors by processing camera images and data acquired by radar.

X7 xDrive50i comes standard with Active Protection and Active Driving Assistant including blind-spot detection, lane-departure warning, rear-collision warning, frontal-collision warning and pedestrian warning with city collision mitigation (which now also alerts the driver if cyclists are detected) rear cross-traffic alert and speed limit information.

Aside from the steep price, the other downside is an EPA rating of 17 miles per gallon in combined city/highway driving.

Unfortunately, I’ve barely scratched the surface of this BMW’s capabilities and attributes. The rest will need to be revealed in a test drive, or during your extended years of owning this engineering marvel.

Base Price: 93,555

Price As Driven: $120,645

Base price includes destination charge. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.

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