Driven! 2019 BMW X7 xDrive40i

    Does your car have a crystal shift knob?

    I’ll be honest with you. I don’t have kids, own big Labradoodles, play a professional sport, or wear a Bluetooth headset so I have no business behind the wheel of BMW’s hot new behemoth. There’s almost zero reason a guy like me is qualified to review other than I’ve just happened owned an auto review site for nearly a decade. I can’t tell you how easy it is for my offspring to hop into the third row or how many sets of golf clubs fit in the trunk. It’s just not my lifestyle. However, after spending an afternoon with the dang thing, I can give you one big reason I would consider getting the entirely brand new 2019 BMW X7 xDrive40i: to ball out.

    Instead of listing the hundreds of features on the 2019 X7’s spec sheet, I’ll start with the top 10 reasons this is a bonafide brag machine.

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    1. Cooled cup holders
    2. Air Suspension
    3. Connected Cockpit (3rd to the game, but still awesome!)
    4. Panoramic Sky Lounge
    5. 21″ Wheels
    6. Split Power Tailgate
    7. Wireless and USB-C Charging
    8. Privacy Glass
    9. Customizable Ambient Lighting
    10. A (f*****) Crystal Gear Selector!

    Some of those are standard and some are optional, but you can get all of that cool stuff on the base (xDrive40i) model! This specific X7 had a slew of goodies that nearly poured over onto a second spec sheet so it would be ridiculous to list them all. Trust me, if you can think of a feature, this thing has got it.

    The 2019 BMW X7 xDrive40i is certain to wow any prospective buyer, but what’s wrong with the already great X3 (which is fantastic) or X5? So BMW’s squeezed a in third row of seating and stretched out the “kidney” grille, big deal! Well, according to the global market, large luxury SUV’s are a currently a very big deal. So much so, that my guy Jake Fredrickson at Luxury Auto Mall of Sioux Falls says they can barely keep them on the lot!

    What gives? I thought luxury performance sedans (M5) and coupes (M2) were BMW’s bread and butter? As the great Bob Dylan refrained, “The times they are a changin'” According to the data, and there is a ton of it out there, the fastest growing segments in America are Crossovers and SUVs; specifically luxury SUVs. In the modern day Americans want their vehicles to be large and comfortable with no compromises.

    Right now, the global SUV market share is nearly 40% which is up from 22% in 2014. Of that, the 2019 BMW X7 has already made the top 6 in sales of premium full-sized SUVs and it was released as a new model in March! The scrappy X7 has nearly tied the much revered Lincoln Navigator and is on track to surpass its other British and German counterparts. In fact, BMW sales as a whole have gone up .8% in the first half of 2019, with over 200,000 vehicles sold in June alone!

    So what does all of this market mumbo jumbo have to do with the 2019 BMW X7 xDrive40i? I have a couple of theories. First of all, the X7 finally rounds out the X-lineup and acts as a new flagship for BMW. It’s the “check-out-what-we’re-capable-of” model of the SUV branch. And the other theory is that it’s the new kid on the block. Mercedes and Audi have had 3rd-row SUVs for a little while now but BMW has finally thrown their hat into the ring. And, from my experience with the X7 xDrive40i, they took their time and did it right.

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    The 2019 BMW X7 xDrive40i feels tight, which is a high compliment in the automotive world. All of the materials are top-notch, the steering and handling feels purposeful, the 335 horsepower 3.0 liter TwinPower turbo inline-6 has virtually zero lag, and the bumps in the road are non-existent. Even on wet and loose gravel (see photos for terrain) the X7 felt like it was pavement thanks to the latest xDrive all-wheel-drive system. As an owner of a 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit, I don’t like big vehicles, and the X7, to my amazement, doesn’t feel like as big of a vehicle as it is.

    Then there’s pricing. The 2019 BMW X7 xDrive40i is the base model and, at $73,900, it is priced a little high. The base Mercedes GLS450 is priced right around $70,000 and the Audi Q7 slinks it at $53,550. Now hold on a minute, Audi! Your base Q7 has a turbo-4? Get outta here! Still, the top Q7 starts at $68,700 which is still below both of its competitor’s base models. Oh well. The BMW X7 is bright, new, and shiny and gets to be the Belle of the ball for a couple of years. You want the latest and greatest? You get the BMW.

    And finally we get to the “balling out” part of the review. When you drive home in your fresh X7, the first thing you’ll want to do is pick up some friends and head on a road trip. “Woah!” Beyoncé will say when you turn on her chilled cup holder and shift into drive with your crystal gear selector. “Turn up the music!” Brad Pitt will yell from the third row and you’ll proceed to shake his insides with the 10 speaker HiFi system. “Is there a light back here?” asks Will Smith as you open up the illuminated Panoramic Sky Lounge and turn on the ambient lighting to the color of his choice. “You’re really balling out, Chris!” they all cheer as we arrive at our destination…Sorry, that’s just a dream.

    Seriously, though, if you want the best SUV…excuse me, SAV…I’ve ever driven, get the BMW X3 M40i. It’s incredible. But if you need that third row of seating, want the latest and greatest, and have an inclination to ball out just a little bit, set your sights on the 2019 BMW X7 xDrive40i, 50i, or M50i. If the crystal gear selector alone doesn’t get you, I don’t know what will.

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    Chris Berke
    Chris Berke
    I am the founder and editor of Short Shift. My obsession with wanting to drive every car ever made me build a website so I could share my experiences with the world. I love cars, traveling, and my cats, Henry and Winston.


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