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5000 km with our new BMW X7 40d: Ownership experience so far

On paper, the SUV is just a few inches/cm wider than the Audi Q7 or a Mercedes GLS but it feels larger since it’s pretty much a big box from the A-pillar and back.

BHPian Karjun recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Well, I present to dear team-bhpians and guests, my family’s latest acquisition, the mighty BMW X7 40d.

We wanted a larger SUV for a while for our family road trips and the X7 seemed a better choice to the GLS. Having the 2023 Audi Q7 in the garage I realised the 3rd row had to be usable at least by teenagers, unlike the cramped 3rd row in the Q7. Our local dealer in Cochin isn’t the best at all in terms of service or customer relations or the purchase process, but since a Tanzanite blue car didn’t seem to be available anywhere else in south India, we decided to proceed with them.

After owning the car for 3 months and 5k kms I’ll share my experience so far.

Firstly the car on paper is just a few inches/cm wider than the Q7 or a GLS but the X7 feels larger since it’s pretty much a big box from the A-pillar and back. But the boxy shape gives the car great presence on the road and sitting in the car, the view out with the beautifully shaped hood gives a commanding feel on the road. The width also means stepping out of the car is a bit hard as you really have to stretch your legs to avoid your trousers rubbing the sills which may be covered in road grime, to avoid this it’s best to manually lower the car before exiting to make things easier especially for parents and older passengers. The intricate details on the rear lights are a nice detail. And the massive exhausts on the M-sport bumpers look great. The split headlines are controversial but grow on you over time.

On to the interior, the build quality is a usual BMW affair excellent fit and finish and the car is loaded to the gills with tech, Gesture control, Digital key and ADAS etc too much for me to through here. The front seats are extremely adjustable and the rear bucket seats are comfy for long distances and the individual sunroof is unique and makes it a lot airy. The third row is pretty decent and having space to stretch your legs between the rear seats helps massively.

The 5-zone climate control is a great feature but I have to say the Air conditioning system is underpowered for the massive cabin, especially on sunny days, I got cooling film installed on all glass panels to reduce heat which improves cooling but the A/C on my Innova seems to do a better job of cooling the cabin quickly, which is disappointing for a car north of 1.5 crores, hoping it’s a simple defect that can be fixed during service. The screen controls everything including climate control which is a real headache as you have to take your eyes off the road for a couple of seconds as the fan speed settings are two clicks away. The CarPlay on the screen looks mega as it’s extremely wide and looks mega.

On to the driving, on roads the car is supremely comfortable, you definitely would not tell it’s running 21-inch wheels. Once you pick up speed the smaller imperfections are ironed out beautifully, it’s only the larger potholes that give a thump and unsettle the ride. The engine is butter smooth for a diesel and almost similar to a petrol in terms of NVH.

The 700Nm of torque is the piece de resistance of the drivetrain. Maintaining triple-digit speeds on highways seems effortless and overtaking is a breeze with the mountain of torque, never having to rev the engine, ensuring the family never realises the speeds I’m doing. I seriously doubt diesels can get better than this. On braking from higher speeds (fairly smoothly), the car does pitch forward a tad bit but I guess it’s to be expected of a 2+ tonne behemoth of an SUV.

The car returns 7-8kmpl on mixed driving conditions, I’m sure I can squeeze out 9 or maybe even 10 on my upcoming Cochin-Banglore drive. Although I did expect more since the dealership claims 14-15. The car does have a coasting feature which charges up the 48v battery that fills in torque to improve efficiency.

Overall a great car especially the diesel if your commute involves long journeys as the range and efficiency are way better than its petrol sibling.

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