BMW X5 vs BMW X7 | Which is Right for You?

26th Mar 2024

By Kenny Longdon


BMW launched their very first SUV at the end of 1999, with the introduction of the X5.

Since then, the X5 has evolved with each new generation, and is a textbook SUV choice if you are after quality, practicality, performance and luxury.

However, with evolution comes opportunity, and the X5 has been joined by more compact X Series BMW SUVs, such as the X1 and X3, along with larger (X7) and coupé-like models (X2, X4, X6) too.

One of the aforementioned larger models is the X7, but how does the trailblazing X5 fair against the largest X Series model in the BMW range?

Introduction and Design

BMW X5 Angle Static

Since starting the BMW X Series SUV range in 1999, the BMW X5 has enjoyed multiple evolutions, and at the time of writing, is now in its fourth generation. Naturally, the X5 (pictured above) has become more sophisticated, more luxurious and more impressive with each new incarnation.

The BMW X5 was joined by a larger, even more luxurious BMW X7 in 2018, which on the face of it, is a more practical (seven seats as standard) and larger SUV, in the BMW range.

You can specify a BMW X5 with seven seats (optional extra), whist the X7 also offers the ability to have six seats - giving rear occupants more space, comfort and luxury.

Exterior styling wise, there is no mistaking either as a BMW X Series model, with the X5 arguably being more handsome, whilst the X7 has a more individual look with a unique front end design, featuring a bolder grill and headlight design.


BMW X5 M Competition in Isle of Man Green

Both BMW X5 and BMW X7 offer petrol and diesel variants, whilst the X5 also offers plug-in hybrid variants too.

In 2009 BMW introduced the BMW X5 M, a dedicated M version of the X5, which has continued with each new generation, and today is called the BMW X5 M Competition - pictured above in Isle of Man Green metallic. Like bona fide BMW M cars, the X5 M Competition offers enhanced levels of power, dynamics and character, whilst still delivering as a practical SUV. Performance is superb with 616bhp of power on hand from its 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine, allowing for 0 to 62mph in just 3.9 seconds.

Interestingly, the X7 does not feature a PHEV version, or a full-on M version, there is however a M60i version, which is like an M car, just not as hardcore, or as dynamic. It is no slouch however, with 0 to 62mph taking 4.7 seconds.

The bread and butter of both models is perhaps the M Sport versions of both model, offering enhanced dynamic looks, but with more mainstream, economical BMW engines.

Interior and Technology

BMW X7 Interior

Both interiors of the BMW X5 and BMW X7 (pictured above) are superb, blending state-of-the-art technology, with typical BMW refinement and top quality material choice.

Curved display screens which blend the instrument and infotainment displays ensure both X5 and X7 feel impressively modern, whilst the multiple features such as voice control, personal assistant and applications ensure you are never felt need more behind the wheel of either SUV. Of course, there is Apple CarPlay and Andrioid Auto to make life even easier for those who prefer.

Safety features are also impressive, with multiple driving assistance packages to make driving these large SUVs not as difficult as you would probably think.


BMW X7 Side Angle Static

Both the BMW X5 and BMW X7 offer exemplary levels of practicality, with both models offering seven seats. The only difference is the X7 comes as standard as a seven-seater, whilst the X5 come as standard with five seats, with the ability to add another two as a cost option.

As mentioned, the X7 (pictured above)can be spec'd with six seats, for greater comfort and space for rear seat passengers.

As for boot space, the BMW X5 features 650 litres (which drops to 500 litres in PHEV versions), increasing to 1,870 litres with the rear seats folded.

The X7 offers 326 litres of boot space, with all seven seats in place. In five-seat mode, this increases to 750 litres, whilst folding all the rear seats gives a capacious 2,120 litres.

Value and Final Thoughts

BMW X7 M60i in Blue Parked at an Angle

The BMW X5 is very much the textbook choice if you want a BMW X Series model that ticks all the sought-after boxes. Yes, the X7 may be seen as the more luxurious choice, but only really in terms of space for rear seat passengers.

The BMW X5 is the more dynamic offering too, especially with the ability to select a full on M version. The fact that there is only a M60i version in the X7 (pictured above) further demonstrates there is no real need for a full-on M version of the X7.

If however, you want as much space as possible in a BMW X model, then the X7 will fit your brief better, especially if you want to wow your rear seat passengers with enhanced comfort.

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