BMW X6 review
With coupe styling and SUV underpinnings, the BMW X6 is the answer to a question nobody asked
The BMW X6 is a kind of SUV-coupe hybrid, trying to mix the sleek styling and agile handling of one with the raised ride-height and rugged ability of the other. When it comes down to it, the X6 doesn't do either fantastically well but for as an SUV it's good to drive, just not very good off-road. On the plus side the diesel engines are all fantastic, with a good blend of performance and fuel efficiency. The mad M50d model offers thrilling pace with sensible fuel bills but the X6 40d model is the pick of the whole line-up.
Our choice: BMW X6 xDrive 40d
There’s no denying the X6 has huge visual impact. Look below the waistline, and it’s a chunky X5 SUV, while the shallow glass area and rakish roofline take their cues from low-slung coupes. No wonder BMW calls it a Sports Activity Coupe. The result is bold and unconventional, but it won’t be to all tastes. All versions get 19-inch alloy wheels as standard. However, 20-inch items- wider at the back than the front – are available with the optional Dynamic Package.
BMW now offers the X6 with a range of five engines and while the two petrol units are excellent, they are very expensive to run. Especially considering the three diesel engines offer similar performance and refinement. The entry-level 30d diesel still completes the 0-62mph sprint in 7.5 seconds so it does feel quick on the roads. The 40d knocks a second off that and the bonkers M50d can hit 62mph in just 5.3 seconds. Given its size, weight and raised ride height, the X6 is incredibly agile. Turn into a corner and you’ll discover sharp steering, strong grip and excellent body control. This is the first model in the firm’s line-up that benefits from Dynamic Performance control technology, which constantly adjusts the torque across each axle in an effort to maximise grip.
It’s not been put through Euro NCAP testing, but the X6 should be a strong five-star car. The list of standard safety kit is comprehensive, with buyers being treated to 10 airbags, ESP and Isofix child seat anchors. Tyre
pressure monitoring is also included, as are xenon headlamps. The X6 uses engines and technology proven elsewhere in the BMW range, so if any issues were to arise they would have already come about. The only unknown quantity at the moment is the M50d model, which hasn't been around long enough to prove its reliability.
Despite its huge exterior dimensions, the X6 is a strict four-seater, as there are two individual seats in the back. There’s decent luggage capacity though, with 570 litres of space underneath the hatchback tailgate. A handy area located underneath the boot floor is good for storing items you'd rather keep away from prying eyes. There’s no shortage of standard kit, with xenon headlamps, climate control and a parking sensors all featuring – the latter are essential given the BMW’s poor rear visibility.
This is where the benefit of choosing a diesel can really be felt. The cleanest petrol engine – the 35i – claims figures of 28.0mpg and 236g/km of CO2. Meanwhile, the most inefficient diesel – the M50d – boasts 36.7mpg and 204g/km of CO2. Insurance for all models will be costly but a £400 'Service Inclusive' package will take care of all servicing costs for 5 years/60,000 miles