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Opinion: Why I'm not a fan of the BMW Concept X7

Autocar logo Autocar 12/09/2017 Mark Tisshaw

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Related: BMW X7 concept unveiled - will it turn heads or stomachs? (Auto Express)

For the best part of the last year, my daily driver has been a BMW 3 Series saloon. It is a very fine looking car indeed for the simple fact it has nice proportions, no fussy lines, and an overall coherence to it.

Many a time, I have turned for another admiring glance at the 3 Series after parking it.

I’d say the same of the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the 2 Series Coupe, two more BMW saloons penned around the same time that also get a nod of approval for similar reasons.

The latest generation of BMW design arrived with the 7 Series a couple of years ago. That car was okay, not too bad, but not pretty, a bit brash, and not worth an admiring glance back to it in the car park.

It’s hard to make a big saloon graceful, I’m sure, yet the 7 Series has some features that just don’t look like they need to be there, like the bit running down the bottom of the sides, and one too many lines at the rear end.

Opinion: Why I'm not a fan of the BMW Concept X7

Opinion: Why I'm not a fan of the BMW Concept X7
© Autocar

Surprisingly (in the pleasant way), that look scaled down nicely to the 5 Series last year, yet we’ve just seen what happens when it is scaled up: the X7, which is on display at the Frankfurt motor show.

Now there are many infinitely more design literate than me who I’m sure can tell me why I’m wrong (probably from the BMW design department…) yet the X7 just doesn’t look right.

The front looks to have two big Rolls-Royce grilles stuck next to each other on the front, with some large holes at the bottom of each side of the grille that jar with the angles.

It’s the same on the side: those big vertical stuck-on pieces of brightwork create a right angle with one stuck along the bottom, which is at odds to the heavy creasing in the body sides.

Then those odd holes return either side at the rear. It just looks odd. 

Coupled with the more interesting-looking 8 Series, it’s supposed to be the BMW to allow the brand to go and play at an even higher price point.

BMW might know how to design a £30k saloon, yet I’m far from convinced they can scale up to an SUV that might find itself costing £100k in certain guises. 

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