This BMW X7’s Engine Is Too Weak to Haul 7 People

A lack of room often plagues seven-passenger SUVs. Just because a brand says that a vehicle can fit that many people doesn’t mean it’s spacious. The full-size BMW X7 has some issues in the roomy department, but there’s another problem. MotorTrend questions whether a certain 2020 X7 model can do what it says.

It’s an issue that BMW models typically don’t have. Does the X7 actually have enough power to do the job? Here’s the situation.

The 2020 BMW X7 looks great

The BMW X7 is a beautiful automobile. The exterior boasts high-quality materials and styling that the German automaker is known for. None of the exterior paint colors are all that exciting, except maybe Phytonic Blue Metallic, but the SUV exudes such class that bright colors might be overpowering.

There are plenty of features to entice potential buyers. Android Auto now comes standard, as do heated front seats, armrests, and the steering wheel. For those who enjoy SiriusXM Satellite Radio, a one-year subscription is included. 

As for the seats, they’re as comfortable as you’d expect from a late-model BMW. And beautiful waveform quilted brown leather adorns the seats. 

Tragically, there isn’t much room in the third row, making it feel cramped. It’s also difficult to reach the third row, thanks to a painfully slow folding second row. Optional captain’s chairs can help alleviate the problem. The other solution is to become a contortionist who can bend and twist your way into the back.

But is a certain engine up to the task?

Some X7 models come equipped with a 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline six-cylinder xDrive engine and intelligent all-wheel drive, BMW reports.

The X7 xDrive40i can go from 0 to 60 in 5.8 seconds. That’s impressive for such a large vehicle, but then again, designing slow vehicles isn’t what BMW does.

The X7 M50i model is faster, with a 4.5-second split. But the Alpina XB7 leaves the M50i in its dust thanks to a 4.0-second time. Some sedans can’t top speeds like those.

But as great as all that is, MotorTrend is on the fence about the X7 for one important reason. So, what’ wrong with the xDrive40i model?

Don’t pile in just yet


The 2020 BMW X7 Is One of the Best Full-Size 3-Row Luxury SUVs

An issue holding the BMW X7 back is that even the lightest of loads slows it down. “Right off the bat, the X7 doesn’t live up to the promises on the tin,” MotorTrend reports. “Although we really enjoy BMW’s 3.0-liter turbo I-6 in other models, we’re not sure it’s the right choice for a three-row people-hauler. Quick around town with a throaty, sporty exhaust note, the six-cylinder starts to run out of steam on the highway with just a driver on board. A full load of passengers might overburden this BMW.”

MotorTrend test-drove the 2020 BMW X7 with a standard xDrive40i 335-hp, 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine rather than the optional 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. This is important because the I-6 produces 335 hp as opposed to the V8’s 523 hp. Still, the I-6 model starts at $74,900. For that price, it should easily haul seven passengers and still have plenty of power left for luggage and other cargo. Though other SUVs fare worse in critics’ reviews, the BMW’s first full-size crossover has room for improvement.