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New BMW X7 (2019) reverses the downsizing trend

Welcome to a MASSIVE radiator grille, and the SUV to which it’s attached. Ostensibly for the American market, we suspect, the BMW X7 is designed to compete with the full-fat Range Rover and Mercedes GLS. But at 5,151mm long, 2,000mm wide (how much of that is the grille?!) and 1,805mm tall, the seven-seater isn’t just BMW’s biggest-ever SUV, it could well be South Africa’s, too. It’s longer, wider and taller than a Range Rover, which is just about the biggest car you can get away with. Gulp.

At least BMW X7 will have lots of space inside, though. We’re promised you can fit adults in each of the seven seats (a six-seat configuration can be specified, with three rows of two seats each), all of which are folded/unfolded electronically. With all the seats up you get 326-litres of boot space, or a van-like 2,120-litres with the two rear-most rows folded flat. A three-part glass roof illuminates proceedings, while standard air-suspension keeps things level, no matter how much weight you stick back there.

In South Africa motive force of the BMW X7 comes courtesy of two inline-six-cylinder engines – both diesel for now with a petrol on the horizon. No doubt a V8 will follow, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a plug-in hybrid of some description either. All use the eight-speed automatic and get all-wheel drive.

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