Never one to be considered a looker, the BMW X7 recently received a big visual upgrade from the brand’s usual LCI treatment. With its LCI came new tech, some new interior bits and, most importantly, a new face. The pre-LCI X7’s face was its biggest point of contention. BMW said big grilles were in and that it was the right directions. Fans, very loudly, disagreed.

BMW’s given the BMW X7 Facelift an almost entirely new face. While the grilles remain the same, and are as large as ever, everything around them has grown too. So we decided to take a look at the design of both cars to see if the new one is any better or if it’s just too much.

No one asked for BMW to give the X7 a massive kidney grille and everyone complained once it arrived. However, after near-constant complaints, BMW decided not only to not get rid of the big grille but to actually enlarge everything else. And ya know what? It actually worked.

The Large Kidney Just Works

Not only does the BMW X7 LCI actually look better than before, it’s actually good looking now. The new split headlight design looks great on the front end of the X7, evening out the proportions of the large kidney grille. It’s a very novel design for BMW and it still feels a bit alien but the slim upper portion the lights is sleek and the chunkier lower portion gives the front end real meat. I’ll be honest, I was unsure how I’d feel about these new headlights, especially on the X7 — a car I never liked the look of — but I think this new facelift works really, really well.

Inside, the new updates are subtle but helpful. Gone is the old iDrive 7 system and its accompanying screens. In is the all-new iDrive 8, from the BMW iX. Not only is the iDrive 8 system a big improvement over iDrive 7, it’s far better looking and the floating screen it’s housed in looks slick, high-tech, and premium. Connected to that iDrive 8 screen is a new digital gauge cluster, which is far more intuitive than the outgoing on, while also being more customizable. It’s a big upgrade.

There are also some subtle details, such as the light bar trim on the dashboard and the new shift toggle switch, which replaces the old shift lever. Aesthetically, none of these changes are huge but they end up making a big difference together.

Overall, the new BMW X7 LCI is far better looking than its pre-LCI predecessor and we’re happy to see the new split headlight design looking sharp.