BMW, the last of the big luxury marques to join the full-size SUV party, is not wasting time. After only four years on the market (the first X7 was model year 2019), there's a heavily-refreshed X7 for 2023. As with most mid-cycle updates, there are appearance changes. A more aggressive twin-kidney grille is imposing and impressive without going to the extremes found on the iX electric SUV. The split lighting (DRLs and turn indicators on top, headlights on bottom) is a first for any BMW.
The X7's rear update is mostly confined to new 3-D sculpted taillights with substantially brighter and slimmer LEDs inside.
The news from the engine compartment is good for those of us buying the entry-level X7, the 40i six-cylinder....there's been a 40-horsepower boost, to 375. We had the opportunity to take an extended Presidents' Day weekend trip in the new X7, from home east of Sacramento to the San Francisco Bay Area, with a daytrip through the redwoods out to the Pacific, down to Santa Cruz and back, and the X7 xDrive 40i had tons of power, was silky-smooth and quiet and routinely returned 23 miles per gallon all told (the EPA combined city/highway estimate is 22).
Interior touches include cleverly-placed USB charging ports for second-row passengers that can be hidden when not in use.
The X7 gets treated to a new instrument panel with larger but lower screens for better road visibility. Slimmer center air vents take up less real estate but still deliver plenty of air.
The base price of the 2023 BMW X7 xDrive40i is $78,845 including destination. Standard at that price is a comprehensive suite of active safety features, remote start, roof rails, keyless entry, heated front seats, fineline brown wood trim, satellite radio, a premium audio system, navigation, head-up display, air suspension, rain-sensing wipers and a panoramic moonroof.
No surprise---our tester also had a serious list of extra-cost options. The Ivory White Merino leather interior was $1,950. The Dynamic Handling Package was $3,300. The Driving Assistance Pro Package adds $1,700. The Parking Assistance Package is $900. The Executive Package (heated and cooled cupholders, glass controls, front massaging seats, an upgraded Harman/Kardon surround sound system and gesture control) puts another $3,950 on the tab. Then there's the Climate Comfort Package, which heats the rear seats and upgrades to a five-zone climate control, at $1,600. 23-inch wheels are $2,600 and the leather dashboard is $900.
Don't worry---I've been keeping track. The as-tested price is $95,745.
Even at that price, the BMW X7 slots in this side of six figures, which is increasingly rare among full-size luxury SUVs. I found the new X7 to be a very impressive machine---powerful, capable of serious handling on the Peninsula's Skyline Boulevard (Highway 35), yet comfortable, serene and able to return better-than-decent real-world fuel economy. The Ultimate Driver's SUV.