The launch of BMW's largest crossover to date next year will plug an SUV-sized hole in its product portfolio.
The new X7, arriving at U.S. dealerships in March, will let BMW play in the large premium crossover market, a shortcoming in the brand's crossover lineup. The X7 comes standard with three-row seating for seven passengers, with optional second-row captain's chairs offering a roomier seating arrangement for six.
The X7 should add incremental sales for BMW, as luxury crossovers continue to drive off showroom floors. BMW's X5 currently offers third-row seating but is not a full-size SUV, said Akshay Anand, executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book.
"Large SUVs tend to fill more 'needs' than 'wants' for consumers shopping that segment, so BMW will attempt to gain a foothold," Anand said.
The large premium crossover segment has grown in each of the past three years, including a 13 percent increase in 2017, according to the Automotive News Data Center. This year, through September, the segment is up nearly 5 percent from the same period a year ago.
The BMW X7, which starts at $74,895, will compete with the Mercedes-Benz GLS class, Audi Q7 and Range Rover.