BMW has gone with two models at the X7's launch, including the base diesel. Why has it taken that strategy? Here, the company explains.
The 2019 BMW X7 will launch in Australia with surprisingly sharp pricing, and two diesel models initially. In a departure from recent new – or refreshed – model launches, BMW Australia has announced the entry-level model will be available from launch, starting under $120k, rather than launching with higher-spec models and parachuting the entry-level model in later.
Read our pricing and specification guide for more information, but the two launch models will be: the X7 xDrive30d starting from $119,900 before on-road costs and the X7 M50d starting from $169,900 before on-road costs.
X7 equipment highlights for these two models include: BMW's largest ever 'kidney' grille, a three-part electric glass sunroof, premium leather trim, three rows of seating and up to 2210 litres of luggage space, and an electric split-fold tailgate.
There's up-to-date infotainment with BMW Operating System 7.0 and BMW Live Cockpit Professional, 12.3-inch digital dash display, BMW Personal CoPilot with driver assistance systems including collision and pedestrian warning with city braking, turbocharged six-cylinder diesel engines with intelligent xDrive AWD, two-axle air suspension with automatic self-levelling and adjustable ride height, and off-road driving modes.
As mentioned above, starting with the most affordable xDrive 30d is an interesting move from BMW Australia, compared with starting higher up the price chain and then offering a price leader after initial launch.
It's perhaps even more noteworthy given the X7 could be the new tech leader and halo vehicle for the brand, especially in a market like Australia where SUV sales outnumber passenger car sales almost 60:40 percent for BMW.
BMW Australia public relations manager Adam Davis told CarAdvice models are taken on a case-by-case basis dependent on what is available globally.
"Generally the intent is to bring the (anticipated) most popular variants to market first, then to add additional variants through the model cycle," Davis said.
"Over the last couple of years, our network has focused on the mid-range variants as they have proved the most popular, particularly across the passenger car ranges - 125i, 330i, 530i etc. When the new 5 Series arrived in 2017, we offered 520d, 530d, 530i and 540i. These were augmented by the entry-level 520i at a later date, and of course the M5 at the top end."
While passenger cars are still important for BMW globally, Australia is very much an SUV market (SAV in BMW-speak) and therefore, we tend heavily toward those vehicles - with a skew to the more expensive variants.
"For the SAV ranges, we launched X3 with mid-grade models - 20d, 30i and 30d," Davis explained. "Then the entry-point sDrive20i and the M Performance M40i came along later."
"X2, we started with sDrive20i and followed with sDrive18i entry point, and xDrive20d range-topper, with an M Performance M35i now on sale, too," Davis went on to say. "But interestingly, the X4 came with all four variants we now sell from market launch, so it’s not always so cut and dry."
Interestingly, the X7 will share the same model designation strategy as X5 at launch, although the final lineup might not mirror that of the X5.
"X5 and X7 share the same market launch variants – xDrive30d and M50d," Davis said. "At this stage, the 30d is the entry point to the range and that is looking likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future. And given the previous-generation X5’s runaway best-seller was the 30d, it makes the most sense in this category, in our market."