Today we get our first-ever look at the first-ever 2019 BMW X7 crossover. We've actually already had our first-ever drive in an X7 Prototype. And so, we thought it appropriate to follow that up today with the first-ever X7 comparison of specs between BMW's first-ever three-row crossover with legitimate room for seven and its many high-dollar competitors.

On paper, the 2019 X7 definitely seems to most closely align with the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class. Their similar dimensions, interior space, engine choices and price would certainly imply where BMW placed the target when developing X7. We used those same elements to determine three-row vehicles likely to be cross-shopped or that should be cross-shopped. These include the Audi Q7, Land Rover Discovery, Volvo XC90 and Lincoln Navigator. Yes, the latter is a truck-based SUV as opposed to a crossover, but tell that to all the people lining out the door at the local Lincoln emporium. They do not care, and neither shall we.

We also included the 2019 BMW X5, which was completely redesigned for this year and therefore not the first-ever. That makes it less appealing? Either way, lining the new X5 up with the SUV that leapfrogs it atop BMW's SUV hierarchy should provide a good idea of just how much more you get by going up a model number.

SUV comparison

Engines and model lineup

Again, the X7 aligns closest with the GLS, offering a base six-cylinder in its xDrive40i model and an upgrade turbo V8 in the xDrive50i. The Mercedes engines have greater output, but the GLS still accelerates slower than the BMW. As the 2019 X5 offers the exact same engines, we would also expect the X7's fuel economy to be superior to the GLS once its estimates are announced. It should be noted, though, that the GLS offers a high-powered AMG model whereas we anticipate the X7 to offer a plug-in hybrid model comparable to the X5 upcoming xDrive45e model.

The other luxury SUVs diverge in their engine choices and model lineup. The Audi Q7 offers a base turbocharged four-cylinder, as does the Volvo XC90 in its T5 model, which we left out of the above chart entirely for space reasons. That the Q7 3.0 TFSI supercharged V6 gets the same fuel economy estimates as the four-cylinder is proof positive that engine is purely around for its lower base price. Speaking of the Volvo, it's the only one here to have its upgrade engine be a four-cylinder, in this case a turbocharged and supercharged one, as well as offer a plug-in hybrid model that distinctively represents both the performance and fuel economy choice. Win-win!

The only other contender here (for now) to offer a fuel economy choice is the Land Rover with its Td6 diesel engine. Admittedly, it's barely better than the XC90 T6, but a big improvement over the Discovery's standard supercharged V6. That engine actually matches the big boy Navigator's 18 mpg combined, despite that truck's stump-pulling 510 pound-feet of torque and a curb weight that flattens the Discovery by nearly 1,000 pounds. Come to think of it, the Mercedes GLS 450 gets the same 18 as well, which could potentially mean a significant advantage for the X7.

BMW X7 Third-Row Seat
  • BMW X7 Third-Row Seat
  • Luxury SUV Third-Row Seats
  • Image Credit: BMW
Audi Q7 Third-Row Seat
  • Audi Q7 Third-Row Seat
  • Luxury SUV Third-Row Seats
  • Image Credit: Audi
Land Rover Discovery Third-Row Seat
  • Land Rover Discovery Third-Row Seat
  • Luxury SUV Third-Row Seats
  • Image Credit: Land Rover
Lincoln Navigator Third-Row Seat
  • Lincoln Navigator Third-Row Seat
  • Luxury SUV Third-Row Seats
  • Image Credit: Lincoln
Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class Third-Row Seat
  • Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class Third-Row Seat
  • Luxury SUV Third-Row Seats
  • Image Credit: Mercedes-Benz
Volvo XC90 Third-Row Seat
  • Volvo XC90 Third-Row Seat
  • Luxury SUV Third-Row Seats
  • Image Credit: Volvo

Passenger and cargo space

To put the passenger space numbers into some kind of perspective, I'm 6-foot-3 and can fit quite comfortably in the third rows of the GLS, Discovery and XC90. I am very squished in the kids-only Q7. I could luxuriate with LeBron James in the Navigator. The X7 should therefore be somewhere in that middle group judging by the specs and the photos (note the squared D pillar and how high the third-row seat is off the floor). In other words, it should deliver the genuine seven-passenger capacity BMW has always lacked.

Cargo space will also be a strong suit, as the X7 has one of the largest cargo holds of any crossover — luxury or otherwise. You'd have to get a Buick Enclave or one of the more utilitarian family haulers to get more. Or just get the Navigator. That thing's enormous and actually gets bigger with that Navigator L that considerably extends the cargo area.

Towing capacity

Want to tow with a crossover? Well, this luxury segment is going to be your best bet as all but the four-cylinder-powered contenders offer far more than the Honda Pilots and Subaru Ascents of this world. The Discovery's 8,201-pound capacity is particularly noteworthy as it comes ever-so-close to the mighty Navigator. Of course, which would you really want to tow with? The one with 332 pound-feet of torque or the one with 510?

Fuel Economy

If you really care about fuel economy, get the XC90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid. When you factor in its price tag, ample interior space and the fact the XC90 still looks just as cool as it did when it debuted, well, it's definitely a compelling family- and eco-friendly luxury hauler.

Styling

Take a look at the pictures below and decide for yourself (though after the above XC90 comment, it's probably safe to say where I stand).

2019 BMW X7

2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
2019 BMW X7
  • 2019 BMW X7
  • Photos of the newly revealed 2019 BMW X7 flagship crossover SUV.
  • Image Credit: Autoblog


2019 BMW X5

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2018 Audi Q7

  • Image Credit: Audi
2017 Audi Q7 front 3/4 view
  • Image Credit: Zac Estrada
2017 Audi Q7 rear 3/4 view
  • Image Credit: Zac Estrada
2017 Audi Q7 front 3/4 view
  • Image Credit: Zac Estrada
  • Image Credit: Audi
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2017 Audi Q7 grille
  • Image Credit: Zac Estrada
2017 Audi Q7 grille
  • Image Credit: Zac Estrada
2017 Audi Q7 headlight
  • Image Credit: Zac Estrada
2017 Audi Q7 taillight
  • Image Credit: Zac Estrada
2017 Audi Q7 wheel
  • Image Credit: Zac Estrada
2017 Audi Q7 side trim
  • Image Credit: Zac Estrada
2017 Audi Q7 engine
  • Image Credit: Zac Estrada
2017 Audi Q7 interior
  • Image Credit: Zac Estrada
2017 Audi Q7 interior
  • Image Credit: Zac Estrada
2017 Audi Q7 interior
  • Image Credit: Zac Estrada
2017 Audi Q7 climate controls
  • Image Credit: Zac Estrada
2017 Audi Q7 rear seats
  • Image Credit: Zac Estrada
2017 Audi Q7 rear cargo area
  • Image Credit: Zac Estrada
2017 Audi Q7 rear cargo area
  • Image Credit: Zac Estrada
2017 Audi Q7 rear cargo area
  • Image Credit: Zac Estrada


2019 Land Rover Discovery

  • Image Credit: Land Rover
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2018 Lincoln Navigator

  • Image Credit: Lincoln Motor Company
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  • This the cargo area of the extended-length Navigator L. It adds about a foot of extra space.
  • Image Credit: Lincoln
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  • Image Credit: Lincoln Motor Company
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  • Image Credit: James Riswick
  • Navigator "Ebony" interior
  • Image Credit: James Riswick
  • Navigator "Cappuccino" interior
  • Image Credit: James Riswick
  • Navigator "Dark Slate" interior
  • Image Credit: James Riswick
  • Navigator Black Label "Yacht Club" interior
  • Image Credit: James Riswick
  • Navigator Black Label "Destination" interior
  • Image Credit: James Riswick
  • Navigator Black Label "Chalet" interior
  • Image Credit: James Riswick


2019 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class front 3/4 view
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class rear 3/4 view
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class front 3/4 view
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class rear 3/4 view
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class side view
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class front view
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class rear view
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class front details
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class grille
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class headlight
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class wheel
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class taillight
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class engine
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class interior
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class interior
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class interior
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class front seats
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class rear seats
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class rear seats
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class gauges
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class instrument panel
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class navigation system
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class instrument panel
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class climate controls
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class drive mode controls
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class drive mode controls
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class speaker
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2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class rear cargo area
  • Image Credit: Steven J. Ewing


2019 Volvo XC90

  • Image Credit: Seyth Miersma
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Conclusions

I was tempted to say BMW is late to the game here, but really, there have never been many luxury SUVs with legitimate room for seven passengers. The GLS has been the biggest luxury thing you could get that wasn't a Navigator-like truck or a Buick Enclave (no slight intended), and judging by the specs, the X7 would seem to be an even-better people hauler. We still need to find out fuel economy, but given the X5, it seems likely to be better than most.

The key takeaways after this first look at the specs and photos: the X7 has the big space it needs to command a premium over the X5, but like the GLS, it sure is expensive. The XC90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid is intriguing. The GLS and Discovery fuel economy disappoint. The Q7 is still an awfully big vehicle for something with so little third-row space. The Navigator sure is different, but it deserves to be in the same conversation as the others.

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