Is the BMW X7 the Ultimate Family Car? One Mom Puts It to the Test
As a working mom with two kids under the age of five, luxury is not something I’m particularly accustomed to. My life is more dirty diapers and Slip ’N Slides than ball gowns and infinity pools. And cars are utilitarian—a means to get from here to there, safely and efficiently.
So when I was recently offered the chance to test drive the first-ever BMW X7, I was like, “Um, YEAH I will.” And oh my God you guys, it is beyond. Here’s a rundown of what I loved, what I learned, and what just might make me an X7 convert.
First things first—this is the type of sturdy, well-made vehicle parents can get behind. In addition to all the safety features you’d expect from a top-of-the-line vehicle, there are some really cool additions. Think: a driving assistant professional, offering lane assist, steering assist and lane control assistant, and a particularly well-integrated head-up display, so you can see things like your speed and upcoming turns on the windshield without having to avert your eyes from the road. Driving my kids in such a large vehicle felt intimidating at first, but once I got behind the wheel, I had an acute sense that this car was so-well designed I could very easily control it.
Can we talk about the 12-inch touchscreen, which makes navigating the controls a piece of cake? I’ve driven several cars where getting the Apple Carplay to work is finicky, or switching between music and navigation proves problematic. This was not the case. My family and I were particularly impressed with the volume control, which works either via the dial (as you’re used to) or by spinning your finger in front of the touchscreen itself, seemingly by magic.
And then there are the fun bells and whistles: cooled and heated cup holders, ambient lighting with six colors to choose from (should you want to transform your car into a purple-tinted club scene), two touchscreens for backseat passengers. My two favorite features were actually pretty unflashy, yet soooo smart: the door handles, which light up at night for easy finding, and the fact that the seats fold down with a push of a button, rather than having to find and raise a lever.
Hello lap of luxury. As you might imagine from a car of this size, the roominess is unparalleled—even for my 6-foot-tall husband. But there are also so many little details that make everybody more comfortable. I’m talking about heated and cooled seats (in both the front and back), customizable seat massagers for the driver and front seat passenger, and adjustable ground clearance, so that the car lowers for little kids to climb in more easily. In short, if you have to be in a vehicle for a long period of time, you want it to be the X7.
The Configuration and Storage
The standard configuration is as an optional seven-seater, but ours came with two captain’s chairs in the middle row, for a grand total of six. I’m not going to lie, the third row is tight—but it’s great for kids, or in a pinch when you just need a couple extra seats. Without the third row in play, there’s a ton of storage. But even with it in use, you could fit your groceries or a suitcase or two. Bottom line: It really fit my family’s needs—we packed for a week’s vacation (bikes, beach toys, the works) and still had plenty of room for two kids, two adults and one Goldendoodle.
The model we tested was definitely top of line (we’re talking glass gear shifter, smooth interior, etc) with an MSRP which clocked in at $120,645.
It’s going to be hard to have to go back to another car after this. The BMW X7 is smart, sexy and supremely family-forward. It just may have me reconsidering the concept that luxury and utility can’t go hand-in-hand.