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Designed specifically for the U.S. market, BMW has tailored the new X7 to have a strong focus on passenger comfort and cargo space. The step up in overall size and practicality over the X5 has come at a cost however, most noticeable with its price tag and fuel economy. Based on official ratings from the EPA, we can compare how this range-topping SUV compares to other vehicles in this class.

The xDrive40i inline six has been rated at 20/25/22 mpg city/highway/combined. These numbers aren't much less than the X5 xDrive40i at 22/26/22, which helps to put the X7 on the higher end of the three-row luxury SUV candidates. Only a select few hybrids and smaller full-size models like the Infiniti QX60 and Lexus RS 350 manage to outdo it.

Those looking for some extra power will find the opposite to be the case on the xDrive50i V8, which only achieves 15/21/17 mpg, ranking it near the bottom of three-row SUV's. Comparatively the Cadillac Escalade delivers 14 city/23 highway and the Mercedes GLS gets 17 city/22 highway. This is to be expected from vehicles of this size, but factor this into overall running costs.

Stepping up to the V8 also brings a significant increase to the X7's starting price, jumping from $73,900 to $92,600. Unless 0-60 sprints with the family in tow are a priority, the xDrive40i is the more practical package.

Real world numbers tend to vary from these estimates, so we'll have to wait on more first-hand test drives to see what's achievable during daily commutes. If you've ever wished for a more utilitarian BMW however, the X7 may be the exact model you've been waiting for.
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