2019 BMW X7 First Drive: Absolute Munich

About 500 miles separate BMW North America’s manufacturing facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina from historic downtown Savannah, Georgia. Besides a small collection of twisty backroads, the long, traffic-covered highways between these two cities are a full-out assault on fun. If there were ever a stretch of road more apt for autonomy, this would be it.

But the new BMW X7 three-row SUV mitigates the mundane in more ways than one. It makes driving on these roads tolerable – hell, borderline enjoyable – in some instances. Though its top-end positioning suggests it’s exclusively a posh SUV for the whole family (and for the most part, it is), what’s most surprising is how fun it feels from the driver’s seat – a rarity amongst three-row luxo barges.

Toss the X7 into a corner, and the results are unexpected. Rather than roll uncouthly as its 5,600-pound curb weight reaches for the pavement, the X7 tackles the tight stuff with surprising poise. When equipped with the $4,750 M Dynamic Handling package, which adds bigger M Sport brakes, an M Sport differential, and active steering that acts almost telepathically as it predicts corners, the X7 is a genuinely fun vehicle to toss around.

2019 BMW X7: First Drive

The BMW X7 has two engines in the U.S.: a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder with 335 horsepower, and a brand-new twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 that produces 456 hp. The base...