BMW X6 review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
Increased size has benefitted space inside the X6, with greater interior volume and a usefully-sized boot, despite the sloping roof.
BMW’s X6 has grown this time around, though you’d not know it as the latest styling isn’t quite as imposing as before - or maybe that ever-increasing kidney grille just makes the rest of the car look smaller. The most important measure is that the X6 gets a larger wheelbase than its predecessor, in line with the X5, bringing a usable increase in passenger space.
Storage within the cabin is pretty good too, with a large compartment between the front seats, good door bins and a large glovebox, while all passengers enjoy comfortable seats - though unlike the seven-seat option in the X5, there are only five seats here thanks to that lower roofline. The view out of the front is fairly commanding too but rearward visibility does suffer a touch, so when parking in particular you’ll be thankful for the parking sensors and rear-view camera.
Personal taste for the styling aside, BMW’s done a good job of hiding an increase in size between the last X6 and the latest model - you’d swear it looks smaller, but it’s larger in every dimension than its predecessor. It’s 26mm longer (4,935mm total), 15mm wider (2,004mm), and comes in at 1,696mm tall, and its wheelbase (2,975mm) is 42mm larger than before, to the benefit of interior volume. For the record, the X5 on which the X6 is based is actually a touch shorter at 4922mm, the same width, and taller at 1745mm, though naturally they share an identical wheelbase. The X6 weighs between 2,055kg and 2,260kg.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
With a more sloping roofline than a typical SUV there’s a risk that the X6 might compromise space for rear passengers, particularly in terms of headroom, but thankfully that isn’t the case. BMW’s efforts to find more interior room mean the X6 feels spacious whichever end of the cabin you’re sitting in, but there’s no real penalty for those in the rear in particular, with good legroom and headroom - though with that lower roof, taller folks may need to pay attention to avoid headbutting the slightly smaller door aperture.
The front cabin is little different from the X5, so it looks and feels spacious and the seats should amply accommodate most body types. There’s a large range of adjustment in the seats and the wheel which makes finding the right driving position a doddle.
The rakish X6 shape packs a 580-litre boot with the rear seats up, expanding to 1530 litres with the seats folded forwards, something they do in a 40/20/40 format for good adaptability depending on the load you’re intending to carry. These numbers compare well with the more practically shaped X5, though naturally you’ll still get more in that car, with a 650-litre boot and up to 1870 litres if you drop the rear seats.
In this review
- 1VerdictBMW’s latest X6 is its best take on the format yet, and as good to drive as ever, but isn’t quite our favourite SUV coupe
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe best-driving X6 yet, with good ride and handling and ample performance whichever engine you opt for. X6M’s ride is punishing, however.
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsDiesels offer expected economy, but running costs for the X6 are relatively high, particularly for company users.
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe cabin is just as attractively-styled and well-built as its X5 sibling, while BMW’s iDrive system remains one of the best infotainment setups.
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingIncreased size has benefitted space inside the X6, with greater interior volume and a usefully-sized boot, despite the sloping roof.
- 6Reliability and safetyBMW’s warranty is fairly average for the industry. Should be as safe as the similar X5, but BMW’s Driver Power record isn’t great.