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BMW X6 gets huge 2023 update to tackle coupe SUV rivals

BMW’s current generation X6 has got a facelift with exterior redesign and more efficient engines

We’ve seen the facelifted BMW X5 but now the sleeker X6 coupe SUV variant has also been put under the knife. BMW essentially kickstarted the coupe SUV genre with the first generation X6, but this updated Mk3 model has plenty of rivals to contend with. 

Only last week we saw the Mercedes GLE Coupe gain its facelift and there’s added competition from the Audi Q8, Range Rover Sport and Porsche Cayenne Coupe. In order to fend off these rivals and others in this rapidly growing segment, BMW has not only redesigned the X6’s exterior, but also added mild-hybrid technology in the name of efficiency. 

The design changes on the outside are immediately noticeable. Slimmer headlights feature a new LED signature and the X6 has a ‘notably greater front-end presence’ thanks to a completely reshaped bumper. There’s gloss black paint extending from the grille and separated air intakes to the side. 

The air vent behind the front wheels remains and depending on the trim level there’s either body-coloured wheel arch extensions or plastic ones. The aggressive air vents behind the rear wheels also remain and the exhaust tips on the M60i model are finished in black but otherwise the rear is unchanged.

Interior and technology updates

Inside the new X6 we can see a rather extensive update with a new dual-screen setup taken from BMW’s all-electric ‘i’ models. A 12.3-inch touchscreen connects to a 14.9-inch driver’s display and with some of the climate buttons being relocated to the central screen, the design of the dash has been tweaked. Restyled air vents along with some fresh trim and either an ‘X6’ or ‘M’ logo on the passenger side help give the facelifted car a new look. The gear lever has shrunk to a small nib.

New mild-hybrid engines 

As with the X5, the X6 has gained refreshed powertrain choices. The big news is that every petrol and diesel model now comes with mild-hybrid power. A 48V battery adds 12bhp and 200Nm of torque and can be used for electric-only driving at low speeds on xDrive40i models. BMW also says the mild-hybrid system enables smoother operations of the start/stop feature. Charge for the battery is recouped from braking. 

The range kicks off with a hybridised 3.0-litre, straight-six diesel in xDrive30d form, putting out 294bhp and 670Nm of torque. Another diesel option will be added in summer 2023. The xDrive40i entry-level petrol model is next with another 3.0-litre, twin-turbocharged straight-six - this time with 375bhp and 540Nm of torque. 

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Unlike the X5, the X6 doesn’t get a plug-in hybrid xDrive50e model. The range-topper is the M60i (until the new X6 M comes out), featuring a 4.4-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 with mild-hybrid power, putting out 523bhp and 750Nm of torque. 0-62mph is the same as the X5 M60i at 4.3 seconds.

Prices and specs

Skipping the X5’s entry-level xLine model, the X6 comes in two trim levels - M Sport and M60i. The M Sport starts at £72,430 for the xDrive30d diesel and £73,600 for the xDrive40i petrol. 20-inch wheels, adaptive damping, sport heated seats with electric adjustment are all standard.

The M60i starts from £89,910 and offers a sportier exhaust system, 22-inch wheels, an M Sport differential, BMW’s ‘M Sport package’ with red brakes, coloured seatbelts and exterior trim finished in black and darkened headlight surrounds. The M60i also uses the same wing mirrors as the full-fat X6 M. 

Click here for our list of the best SUVs on sale right now...

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Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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