BMW X5 vs X7: Do You Really Need The Bigger SUV?

Sure, the X5 won’t fetch you the bragging rights of owning BMW’s flagship SUV, but do you really need it? Let’s find out.


The X5 was for long BMW’s flagship SUV until it was superseded by the BMW X7. A look at their specification sheet shows both SUVs have a lot in common. Heck, they are even powered by the same 3.0-litre petrol and diesel engine options.

This got us thinking: why do you need the larger X7? How does it justify the extra premium and more importantly, should you pick it over the smaller yet capable X5? We answer all these questions in our detailed report. 

Advantage: X7

I Own The Flagship Baby! 


If you prioritise bragging rights, then eyes closed, the X7 is your de facto choice. Sure, the X5 with its taut stance and smaller size looks more pleasing out of the two and also has a better look… ahem… ahem kidney grilles out of the two. But size matters in India and the X7 beats the X5 hands down in this regard.  






5151mm (+229mm)



2000mm (-4mm)



1805mm (+60mm)



3105mm (+130mm)

Everything you see in the X7 is XXL. Right from the kidney grilles to the alloy wheels and even its overall size. And while the design of the large kidney grilles needs getting used to, it suits the overall nature of this SUV and is one of the X7’s main head turning elements. Speaking of size, it brings us to the next point. 

Lounge and Relax! 


The X7 comes with a super long 3,105mm wheelbase, a full 130mm longer than the X5. This naturally translates to a roomier cabin in the X7. Mind you, the X5 is still a comfortable SUV with loads of legroom. But with the option of captain seats for the X7’s middle row occupants, one can really stretch out in comfort and laze around.


The presence of rear entertainment screens (paid option in the X5) means the chauffeur-driven seth could watch his favourite movie on the go. Large families that travel frequently will like the fact that the X7 comes with a third row which is actually usable by adults. The X5 is a 5-seater SUV. 


But where the X5 fights back is in the boot space department. At 645 litres, the X5’s cargo volume beats the X7’s 326-litre capacity with all seats up. However, folding the X7’s third row reveals a massive 1,376-litre boot which can be expanded to 2,126 litres with the second row down! Perfect for moving your house or going out for a long family road trip. Speaking of road trips, it brings us to the next question. 

Which One Is Better To Drive?  


Both models come with the same 340PS 3.0-litre petrol engine and 265PS 3.0-litre diesel engines, drive their four wheels and come mated to the same 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox. But with the X5 being lighter, it’s a tad faster than the heavy X7. This table below helps you with an easy explanation:





5.5 seconds (Petrol) / 6.5 seconds (Diesel)

6.1 seconds (Petrol) / 7 seconds (Diesel)

Top Speed

243kmph (Petrol) / 230kmph (Diesel)

245kmph (Petrol) / 227kmph (Diesel)

Fuel Efficiency (Claimed)

11.24kmpl (Petrol) / 13.38kmpl (Diesel)

10.54kmph (Petrol) / 13.38kmpl (Diesel)

The main advantage for the X5 could be around a twisty road. Sure, both cars have Bavarian DNA and make for great driver’s cars, but the X5, with its more compact footprint, is the better one on a twisty road. The X7 doesn’t fare bad but with its gargantuan dimensions, it’s better to drive it a notch down.  


The presence of air suspension on both models means they should fare well on a broken patch of road as well. One can switch to Comfort mode to soften the suspension and waft along or put it in Sport to stiffen things up and push hard on those twisties. 


All said and done, BMW receives a thumbs up here for offering this feature in the cheaper X5 as it makes the overall driving experience better. The X5 is the winner in this department. As you’re in the front seat, let’s get to the next challenge. 

Advantage: X5

Just as Plush! 


Before signing the cheque, we suggest you step inside both cars and have a good look at their dashboards. Spotted any difference? Well, there aren’t any as both models utilise the same dashboard. Yes, that’s typical BMW with even the 3 Series borrowing design cues from the 7. But this might be a bummer for those who wish the X7’s dashboard would have some sort of differentiating factor so they can still hold the flagship bragging rights. 


That said, the interior quality of both cars is impeccable. Everything feels super solid and will stand the test of time. Even the fit and finish can’t be faulted. Everything feels screwed super tight and there ain’t any rough edges around the corners. So, while BMW might have taken the tried-and-tested route with the X7’s dashboard, it’s the X5 that wins here as some of you can say: the flagship X7 utilises the X5’s dashboard. You get what I mean, right! 

Feature Heavy?


First, the common features are a digital driver instrument display, a 12.3-inch infotainment system, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, four-zone climate control, ambient lighting, powered front seats, wireless Apple CarPlay, a large panoramic sunroof, and even air suspension. Safety is covered by eight airbags, ABS with EBD, front and rear parking sensors, tyre pressure monitor and electronic stability control. 


It’s here that the X7 starts to edge out the X5 with an extra zone for its climate control, a 3-part panoramic sunroof, and standard rear entertainment screens. 

Summing Up




Prices (ex-showroom)

Rs 74.90 lakh to Rs 84.40 lakh

Rs 92.90 lakh to Rs 1.07 crore


The X7 is for those who are predominantly driven around and have a large family to utilise all three rows. It also gives the bragging rights of owning a flagship SUV and the presence it attracts is something you can boast of.  


But if you have a smaller family and prefer to be behind the wheel, we suggest you save the cash and pick up the X5 instead. It’s essentially a mini X7 and comes with a premium cabin and a lengthy feature list. The more compact footprint also means it’d be the more rewarding car on a twisty road and for a BMW enthusiast, this could seal the deal. It also does the job as a comfortable 5-seater SUV with a decent boot for your weekend.


BMW X5 Video Review

Write Review & Win iPhone
Rs. 76.50 Lakh
View May Offers

See what our community has to say! NEW

India's largest automotive community

Explore Now
comminity image

4 Other Things You Might Want To Do