Driving BMW’s top range SUVs to and from Tagaytay: X5 and X7 experiential drive

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BMW's top range SUVs

My usual drives, which are now limited due to the pandemic situation, are either in a subcompact sedan that my family owns or my old 90s hatchback. With the recent media drive hosted by BMW Philippines, I got the chance to upgrade from my usual set of wheels to the best SUVs of the German marque, the X5 and the X7. Quite a jump, right?

A drive event that is different than the usual experiential drives, we were scheduled to drive from RSA Libis to Tagaytay and have lunch at Escala and then drive back to RSA. As simple as it is, I love it! Nothing extra, just pure driving pleasure.

I got the first dibs on the BMW X7. From RSA Libis, I tackled the midweek traffic along C5 which perfectly tested the BMW flagship SUV in heavy traffic situation. Also, if you frequently drive along C5 you probably know how badly paved its road is. When I drive there in my 90s shit box, the bumps were so bad that it felt like the dashboard will fall. But not in the X7. The bad C5 lanes were suddenly more tolerable and were minimized to just smooth waves rather than harsh cabin vibration. Definitely a splendid ride for terrible metro traffic and roads.

Driving this luxurious German SUV, it seems that the BMW X7 is perfect for top brass who like to be in command. Those who prefer to be behind the wheel rather than be chauffeured. The X7 handles like a compact SUV despite having the longest wheelbase among BMW’s SUV lineup and is best enjoyed behind the wheel and not in the back seat. The 265 horsepower 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder BMW TwinPower Turbo Diesel engine does a good job in moving the 2,370kg SUV as it can get up to speed in no time. After all, it claims to do 0-100kph in 7 seconds.

I drove mostly in Comfort mode and it was more than enough. Just imagine how much of a beast the X7 turns into once in Sport mode. The 275mm wide tires on all corners also do a wonderful job in giving traction contributing to a splendid drive even on winding roads. Overtaking maneuvers could be done in absolute ease thanks to its brute power and handling.

After having a blast in the X7, we then arrived at Escala in Tagaytay. We had a scrumptious lunch and after which I had the chace to take photos of the two BMW beauties. While others poke fun at the X7’s huge kidney grill, it is not bad in actual. It fits nicely with the overall design of the X7. The long wheelbase gives the X7 a powerful stance that seeks attention even in static. Meanwhile, the X5 looked like it has the perfect mix of sophistication while perfectly embodying “sport” in SUV. The X7 is bigger but the X5 seemed more macho in my book. Moving these two biggies around Escala for the perfect shots also became easy courtesy of the Parking Assistant Plus which gave a 360-degree view while doing parking maneuvers.

It was our time to go back to RSA Libis and it was also my time to get behind the wheel of the X5. The X7 and X5 are powered by the same engine. With the same power output on a lighter and shorter wheelbase chassis, the X5 is more stimulating to drive. Spirited driving is more enjoyable in the X5. The X5’s power kicks in more instantaneous and handles nimbler than its bigger brother. This one handled more like a car with just taller ride height and I felt secured while descending from Tagaytay even with a bit of speed.

Traffic is not bad as expected on my way back to the metro thus a more relaxed drive upon exiting SLEX at-grade to C5.

Getting to drive these big boys for a day was nothing short of fun. Despite the luxurious and elegant vibe both SUVs ooze, the X5 and X7 provided a pleasant experience that one will not feel riding in the passenger seat. Both vehicles may have an impressive list of amenities for passenger comfort, but BMW made sure as well that the X5 and X7 are splendid SUVs to drive.

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