2021 BMW X7

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Robert Duffer Robert Duffer Senior Editor
October 29, 2020

Buying tip

The base xDrive40i balances the best attributes of the X7 without jumping into six-figure territory.

features & specs

ALPINA XB7 Sports Activity Vehicle
M50i Sports Activity Vehicle
xDrive40i Sports Activity Vehicle
15 city / 21 hwy
15 city / 21 hwy
19 city / 24 hwy

The 2021 BMW X7 doesn’t compromise roominess, comfort, performance, or price.

What kind of vehicle is the 2021 BMW X7? What does it compare to?

The 2021 BMW X7 luxury three-row SUV seats up to seven in the largest vehicle made by BMW. The new Alpina XB7 variant competes against other absurd performance SUVs ranging from the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat to the 2021 Audi SQ7 and Mercedes GLS 63 AMG. More reasonable versions of the X7 square off with the Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, Lincoln Aviator, and Land Rover Discovery. 

Is the 2021 BMW X7 a good SUV?

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Yes. The flagship SUV ranks high with a TCC Rating of 7.4 out of 10, buoyed by exceptional comfort and a wealth of standard features. Safety scores aren’t in yet, but the X7 carries plenty of weight in case of a crash and has enough standard safety gear to avoid one altogether. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2021 BMW X7?

The flagship SUV gets even more luxurious for 2021 while becoming less confusing to purchase. The XB7 has been added, while the middling xDrive50i has been canceled., The base xDrive40i expands its impressive feature list to all X7 shoppers. Now standard with a 48-volt mild hybrid system to help power all the goodies, the X7 adds remote start, Android Auto compatibility, and a one-year subscription to satellite radio. Our favorite standard addition heats the front seats, steering wheel, and armrests. 

The large SUV carries BMW’s stately style across all three rows of seats. The exterior doesn’t break any new ground with a twin kidney grille grown to metallic butterfly wings, but it’s unmistakably BMW. The inside balances wood or metallic trim pieces with black synthetic leather worthy of the upgrade into the real thing. 

Three trims, or three engine outputs, delineate the X7, which comes standard with all-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission. The base xDrive40i and its turbocharged inline-6 provides plenty of power for most needs, but the new Alpina and its 612-horsepower 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 can rocket the nearly 6,000-pound SUV to 60 mph in just 4.0 seconds. Fuel economy is pretty good for the base model at an EPA-rated 21 mpg combined. 

Comfort and convenience reign in all three rows of the X7. Power adjustable heated front seats treat the driver and shotgun, while available massaging seats dial up the comfort even more. Available captain’s chairs in the second row provide better comfort and access to the third row, which is large enough to fit two adults. Cargo space behind those seats is small at just over 11 cubic feet, but power-fold those rear seats down for nearly 50 cubic feet of space.

Standard features run the gamut from an air suspension and 12.3-inch touchscreen with smartphone compatibility to advanced driver assist systems ranging from automatic emergency braking to adaptive cruise control down to a stop. 

How much does the 2021 BMW X7 cost?

The 2021 BMW X7 starts at about $75,000 in base xDrive40i, then jumps to $100,000 for the M50i, and tops out in the new Alpina XB7 performance model at $143,000. 

Where is the 2021 BMW X7 made?

In Spartanburg, South Carolina.


2021 BMW X7


The X7 is a stately BMW SUV.

Is the 2021 BMW X7 a good-looking car?

We think so. It looks like a buffed up X5 that it’s based on. It gets a point above average for both the exterior and interior for a 7. 

The long nose with a broad hood is fronted by a ribbed kidney grille. It sweeps over a lower grille flanked by large C-shaped intakes topped with fog lights. Standard roof rails complement chrome or black rocker panels and large 21-inch wheels.

Inside, wood or metallic trim pieces contrast with black synthetic leather; it’s worth an upgrade of at least $1,450 for the real skins. Second-row captain’s chairs are another recommended upgrade to open up the interior space. 

The Alpina performance model comes with available 23-inch wheels with hot 20-spoke rims, and a splitter graces the front while Alpina rear diffuser and spoiler finish the rear with a quad exhaust.

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2021 BMW X7


Performance isn’t sacrificed to size.

The 2021 BMW X7 can be had with the turbo engines found under the hood of BMW’s performance cars and an 8-speed automatic transmission with quick, clean shifts that’s ubiquitous across the lineup. It gets a point each for impressive acceleration and handling on even the base xDrive40i, to finish with a 7. 

The M50i might get another point, and the Alpina XB7 new for 2021 should get another point for performing like a sports car lurking in an SUV. 

The xDrive50 is not offered in 2021, creating a hefty price spread starting at about $75,000 and doubling that on the Alpina end. 

Is the BMW X7 4WD?

All-wheel drive is the only way to get an X7, and the near perfect 50/50 weight balance that favors the rear helps this portly 5,397-pound SUV handle much lighter than it looks but with the sure-footedness you’d expect from AWD. 

How fast is the BMW X7?

The xDrive40i has a 3.0-liter turbo inline-6 that makes 335 hp and 331 pound-feet of torque. Paddle shifters and launch control might enable a quicker 0-60 mph time than BMW pegs at 5.8 seconds. There is plenty of power to shrug off any size concerns, and when not testing its limits the X7 remains quiet and composed. 

For about $100,000, the M50i uses a 4.4-liter turbo V-8 found in M models ranging from the M8 coupe to the M550i sedan. In the X7, it makes 523 hp and 553 lb-ft to help shuttle it to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Top speed increases from 130 mph to 155 mph for 2021. A sport-tuned exhaust pops off the V-8’s sweet-sounding burble for all to hear, and an electronically locking differential optimizes torque to the rear wheel with the most grip.

Then there’s the Alpina XB7, priced at about $145,000. The first Alpina SUV uses a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 that makes 612 hp and 590 lb-ft. It hits 60 mph in 4.0 seconds. In a three-row SUV that weighs 5,860 pounds. Jaw dropped. BMW says it has a reinforced 8-speed with close gear ratios and quicker shift times. We haven’t had our minds blown by the Alpina yet but will report back when we do. 

The four-wheel independent suspension with standard air suspension comports the X7 for comfort and quiet in most uses, but can be tightened up for more spirited driving. It’s big and heavy and rolls into turns, but the dynamics still impress for a vehicle this size. 

An off-road package is no longer offered, and the trailer hitch goes from standard to optional. The xDrive40i can tow 5,400 pounds, while the Alpina can tow a Range Rover-esque 7,500 pounds.

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2021 BMW X7

Comfort & Quality

Few vehicles balance comfort, luxury, and spaciousness like the 2021 BMW X7.

BMW’s largest vehicle can seat seven with a second-row bench seat, but swapping in power captain’s chairs to seat six adults in comfort would be our recommendation. With leg room nearly as good in back as up front, comfy seats, room for more than five, versatile cargo space, and high-quality fit and finish, the X7 aces our Comfort rating with a 10. 

More than five inches longer than the X5, the X7 also outreaches the Audi Q7 and Mercedes GLS-Class. The high ride height and wide windshield afford good outward vision, and the side and rear vision is pretty good for a vehicle of this size.

Standard heated seats and armrests complement 16-way power adjustable fronts for plenty of comfort, and the available captain’s chairs give rear seat riders extra comfort, too. There is 37.6 inches of second-row leg room, and the power-sliding seats enable easy access in the third row, which is roomy enough for two adults. Cargo space behind the third row is limited to just 11.5 cubic feet, but power-fold those seats down for 48.6 cubic feet behind the second row. 

Cabin storage is smart without being cheap, with a deep center console, console cup holders that can warm or chill beverages for a price, wide cup holders in the door pockets, and even cup holders and armrests for third-row passengers.

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2021 BMW X7


The 2021 X7 has not been crash-tested.

How safe is the BMW X7?

We’re still not sure how the BMW X7 fares in crash-testing, but its standard driver assistance systems should do a good job of avoiding crashes. We’ll hold off on a safety rating until the NHTSA and IIHS test it.

Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams, and parking sensors.

Options include a surround-view camera system, automatic parking system ($800), and head-up display. The driver assistance package ($1,700) lightens up the commute with hands-free driving for brief intervals on highways at speeds up to 40 mph in stop-and-go conditions.


2021 BMW X7


The 2021 BMW X7 is the ultimate luxury machine.

The BMW X7 is a luxurious tech showcase loaded with goodies. The X7 earns a point each for standard features such as heated armrests, an options list ranging from black wood trim to massaging seats, a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, and a worry-free warranty. It’s a 9. 

Which BMW X7 should I buy?

It depends. The trim classes for the X7 are mostly divided by performance (and escalating price) between the xDrive40i, M50i, and the Alpina XB7. The xDrive50i is no longer offered, and the 75 units of the exclusive Dark Shadow Edition sold out before we could finish writing this sentence. 

The base xDrive40i hits all the right notes for a luxury three-row SUV with good performance and lovely features. It comes with remote start, synthetic leather upholstery and wood trim, heated power-adjustable front seats, heated steering wheel and armrests, a panoramic sunroof, and active safety features. The infotainment setup features twin 12.3-inch displays, including a touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, and a digital instrument cluster that has grown on us like the Digital Age. All of that gear costs $75,895, including $995 destination. 

All X7s come with a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty with roadside assistance, and a 3-year/36,000-mile complimentary scheduled maintenance service. 

How much is a fully loaded 2021 BMW X7?

So you want to skip over the $100,000 M50i and go full hog? Let us steer you to the Alpina XB7 and its 612-hp 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 that goes 60 mph in 4.0 seconds. It’s $142,295 and comes with Merino leather upholstery, glass controls, a leather dashboard, 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound, a head-up display, and all the performance upgrades. Add a Bowers & Wilkins sound system and rear-seat entertainment system to crack the $150,000 level.

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2021 BMW X7

Fuel Economy

The 2021 X7 gets decent fuel economy with standard all-wheel drive.

Is the 2021 BMW X7 good on gas?

It’s not bad considering its size. The 48-volt mild hybrid system helps take some of the electrical load to get an EPA-rated 19 mpg city, 24 highway, 21 combined with the turbo-6 and standard all-wheel drive. That’s good enough for a 4. 

That’s in line with the GLS, and only 2 mpg off the smaller X5 and the turbo-4 in the Volvo XC90. 

The 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 in either the M50i or the Alpina X7 rates at 17/21/15 mpg.

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Styling 7
Performance 7
Comfort & Quality 10
Safety N/A
Features 9
Fuel Economy 4
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