After what seems like years of concepts, spy shots and teasers, the new BMW X7 has finally been revealed in all its glory. We consider whether it has what it takes to succeed in the market, or whether it will simply lure buyers away from the X5. As always, we’re most interested in what you think, so sound off in the poll and the comments section!
Hmm, it looks like an X5 on steroids
It does, doesn’t it? While the model clearly tries to distinguish itself from its smaller brother by adopting a squarer, more aggressive front end, as well as more chrome all around, there is no escaping the fact that the overall looks a lot like the X5. Or the X3, for that matter. But, when unified “corporate identity” is the driving force behind exterior design at Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Range Rover, is the similarity between the X7 and BMW’s smaller SUVs necessarily a bad thing? Only time will tell, but to these eyes BMW has not quite succeeded in making the X7 stand out as the top dog of the range, much as Mercedes-Benz’s GLS looks just a bit too ordinary given the price it commands.
Who will it compete with?
The new model, the largest-ever SUV from BMW, is targeted in the US at the likes of Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator and Mercedes-Benz GLS, which are all similarly-sized and offer comfortable accommodation for seven or more passengers. However, BMW doubtless hopes it can do better than that, and lure some buyers away from Range Rover, a car that majors on style and quality rather than outright space, and, maybe, possibly, the Bentley Bentayga. However, the big risk for BWM is that rather than lure new buyers, the X7 will instead be bought by those who would have gone with the X5 – a car which also offers seating for seven, don’t forget, albeit with a smaller third row. Good for profit margins, given the X7’s higher asking price, but will it be worth the development cost?
So, what’s the verdict? Will it succeed?
There is little doubt that the X7 will sell in respectable numbers – while the looks may not be to everyone’s tastes it is an imposing machine, doubtless meticulously engineered, has all the high-tech gadgets one could expect in this market, and, at the end of the day, it is a BMW. In the US, the presumed primary market for the X7, Mercedes-Benz sells one GLS for every two M-class cars, not a bad result given that the GLS follows the same formula as the X7. However, it is far from clear that the X7 has what it takes to become a true success for the brand – in my opinion it is too “by the numbers” to be truly special in a way that a Range Rover feels, its commonality with the X5 is a bit too obvious (not least the identical interior), and crucially it does not offer much that its smaller sibling did not already offer, save for some extra space in the middle and rear rows, and maybe some cachet stemming from being the biggest/most expensive SUV BMW has ever produced. Hardly ground-breaking stuff, but should contribute to BMW’s bottom line nonetheless.
But, what do you think?
Let us know in the comments section and in the poll below!