Say hello to…
…the BMW X7 in 40d form. As the largest of BMW’s X designated SUVs it rivals cars such as the full-fat Range Rover and the Mercedes GLS SUV. In other words, it’s like a seven-seat, all-wheel drive, SUV version of the 7-series.
The BMW X7 is available in two trim levels:
- M Sport
There are three engines available,. Two petrols; a 40i, a 50i and the option bosses of SMEs are most likely to be interested in a diesel badged 40d – the version on test here.
Prices start from £79,000 although you can stretch well past the £100,000 mark if you’re liberal with the options.
While it may not seem the obvious choice in this class, that’s almost the point. It’s far more exclusive and far less showy than a Range Rover even if there’s no getting away from the sheer size and presence on the road.
If the company owner is looking for top rate refinement from their next SUV company car, then the X7 is an underrated option.
Is The BMW X7 Suitable For My Fleet?
While most cars being leased in the company car sector are electric, there’s still a section of employees that either have a work schedule or lifestyle that requires go-anywhere ability with a range longer than EVs can fulfil.
The BMX X7 fits in that slot, yes it’s a bit old-school in the engine department, but as yet, there’s no EV that will do what the X7 will. And that’s carrying lots of people or luggage in total luxury on very long distances with minimal refuelling time.
What’s more, on our test we achieved mid-30s mpg, over 1,600 miles while loaded with people and luggage, which equates to a range of more than 500 miles between fills.
The downside to having a large, powerful diesel engine is a CO2 figure that sits the wrong side of company car tax maximum of 37%. For the 40d M Sport, with a P11D of £80,380 that’s a hefty monthly tax payment of £991 for a 40% PAYE employee.
In terms of the cost to a business it’s probably worth looking at a cash option. According to Gensen Reports, the three year true cost to the company would be around £53,287, while as a personal contract hire the cost to the company would be around £29,989, a saving of £23,297.
Leasing A BMW X7
The X7 may be a rarity on UK roads, but there are still competitive lease rates to be had on the biggest BMW. On a business contract hire from gateway2lease, the X7 M Sport can be had for £842 a month on a 9+47 basis excluding VAT with 6,000 miles per year. Or a personal lease would be around £1,010 on a similar terms.
Driving A BMW X7
The X7 is far more than just a bigger version of the X5. While in basic terms it’s a seven-seat SUV, there’s so much more to it than that.
Interior quality both in terms of the materials used and the way they’re put together are outstanding. At no point can you find any cost savings, such as cheaper plastics used in out-of-the-way locations, that can be present in lesser vehicles.
As you’d hope from a 5.1m long car, there’s no shortage of leg room in middle row of seats – even with taller front seat occupants – and the third row of seats will also happily accommodate adults too.
In seven seat mode, there’s not that much boot space, but you’d get a couple of squashy bags in. However, fold the power-operated back row down and you’ve got one of the biggest boots going at more than 700 litres under the parcel shelf.
The X7 may be massive, but out on the road it hides its size well. Visibility is excellent from the high driving position and all-round cameras help with parking.
For the most part, ride comfort is superb, but with optional 22-inch alloys, some more broken roads can make their presence known. However, refinement is on a par with, and in some scenarios better than, that in EVs. What this means is that motorway work is a breeze, even if adaptive cruise control is an option and regular cruise is the standard.
Power comes from a 335hp 3.0-litre diesel. Despite the car’s size, the X7 would be described as fast – if you need it to be. However, a better description of the performance would be; effortless. And as we’ve mentioned it’s efficient for a car in this class too.
FleetandLeasing.com Verdict On The BMW X7
There are few cars that will carry everyone and everything for long distances in total comfort, but the X7 is one of them. It may not be an EV or even a PHEV, so has a high company car tax loading, but if you’re a senior executive who covers high mileage, and needs the SUV capabilities, the BMW X7 is a compelling vehicle.
- Model: X7 xDrive 40d M Sport
- Power: 335 hp
- Torque: 700Nm
- Max speed: 152mph
- 0-62mph: 5.9 s
- Official mpg: 35.3 mpg
- Test mpg: 32.1mpg
- CO2 emissions: 209g/km
- BIK tax band 2021/22: 37%