The brand wants you to think of this as a 7 Series that could go off road, rather than a larger X5. But it does share most with that SUV, including all its engines - there are three, all of which are in some way new and all of which now feature the brand's latest 48V mild hybrid tech. Most will probably still select the diesel option, now represented by a more powerful 340hp xDrive40d model, which uses an uprated version of BMW's familiar six cylinder 3.0-litre diesel. This will be great for towing with its 720Nm torque output - and makes 62mph in 6.1s. Diesel-haters will opt instead for the xDrive40i variant, which now has a 380hp version of the brand's in-line six cylinder petrol unit. With that, the figures are 540Nm and 5.8s.
At the top of the range lies the M60i xDrive, which has a 4.4-litre petrol V8 with 530hp, capable of 62mph from rest in just 4.7s: for very fast families indeed. As before, all units use an 8-speed auto gearbox, but this Steptronic unit's been upgraded with Launch Control and a Sprint function, respectively allowing for faster starts and quicker overtakes. As previously, all models feature adaptive two-axle air suspension.
What else? Well the electric power steering system's been re-tuned for extra feel. And on the top M60i variant, there's an 'Executive Drive Pro' option, which gives you active roll stabilisation, restricting body roll at speed through the bends.
Tarmac is of course this SUV's preferred habitat where it rides with suppleness in 'Comfort' mode and handles with actually quite a lot of verve if you set the 'Drive Performance Controller' to 'Sport'. The commanding driving position helps and it's necessary because otherwise, this car's sheer bulk might easily feel intimidating on narrower roads.