BMW X6 vs Range Rover Sport and Porsche Cayenne
Can second-gen X6 recreate the controversial appeal of the original against Porsche and Range Rover rivals?
One thing’s for certain, the BMW X6 has carved a unique niche in the SUV sector. Branded as a Sports Activity Coupé, it has caused controversy with its blend of off-road body and rakish sports car roofline, but that hasn’t stopped the company from introducing an all-new version.
As before, the second-generation model is based on the X5, and aims to deliver an entertaining driving experience in a unique SUV package. But does the new X6’s performance do justice to its sporty looks? To find out, we’ve lined up two tough rivals in the shape of the Range Rover Sport and Porsche Cayenne.
They don’t look as radical as the X6, but they both deliver performance, practicality, luxury and all-round driving ability that will be a stern test for the newcomer. We’ve tested 3.0-litre diesel versions of all three to find out where exactly the new X6 fits in.
Read individual reviews by following the links above, and scroll down to see which SUV comes out on top in this test...
The X6’s Sports Activity Coupé styling stands out, and BMW’s X4 is the only other car on the road with a similar look – for now, at least. But Mercedes’ new GLE Coupé will take the fight to the X6 when it hits dealers in the summer, while Audi has its own coupé SUV plans, too. In this test, you could argue the Range Rover looks as racy as the X6, yet its angled rear doesn’t hit practicality as much as the BMW’s.
Our X6 M Sport is well equipped, with sat-nav, heated leather seats, LED lights, metallic paint and a multimedia system with a parking camera (above). The Range Rover Sport gets a similar amount of kit, but you have to pay £7k extra to get the Cayenne to the same level, cancelling out its price advantage.
A high list price and poorer emissions mean the Range Rover is the costliest car to tax, with higher-rate taxpayers facing an annual bill that’s £2,000 more than the X6. The Cayenne sits in a higher tax band than the BMW, but its lower price means costs for the two are similar.
1st place: Porsche Cayenne
The Cayenne’s margin of victory is extremely slim here, but it edges the Range Rover Sport for first place on account of its lower running costs and the proposition of excellent reliability and dealer service. Although it can’t match the British car for style, the Cayenne is the best SUV to drive and cheaper to buy and own, plus residual values of 59 per cent leave the others in its wake.
2nd place: Range Rover Sport
While the Range Rover Sport can’t match the Cayenne’s level of driver involvement, its extra refinement, comfort and marginally better practicality mean it’s a more usable car. However, it’s the slowest of the three, despite having a more powerful engine. It’salso the least efficient, and although it features more standard kit than the Porsche, it costs £11,000 more.
3rd place: BMW X6
A lack of practicality next to these two more conventional SUVs sees the BMW X6 take third spot, and what you lose in practicality you don’t gain back in extra style. It does come with plenty of kit and offers much of the refinement of the Range Rover with the speed of the Porsche. It’s a comfortable cruiser, too, although depreciation of £29,000 in three years will be hard to stomach.
|Porsche Cayenne Diesel||Range Rover Sport 3.0 SDV6 HSE||BMW X6 xDrive30d M Sport|
|On the road price/total as tested||£50,247/£62,925||£61,250/£71,478||£55,850/£65,445|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)||£29,595/58.9%||£33,810/55.2%||£26,138/46.8%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£2,994/£5,988||£4,016/£8,032||£3,226/£6,451|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£1,922/£3,204||£2,079/£3,465||£1,946/£3,243|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||45/£696/H/£205||43/£568/I/£225||45/£659/G/£180|
|Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service||£420/£550/£420||£699 (5yrs)||£525 (5yrs/50k)|
|Peak power/revs||258/4,000 bhp/rpm||302/4,000 bhp/rpm||255/4,000 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque/revs||580/1,750 Nm/rpm||700/1,500 Nm/rpm||560/1,500 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||8-spd auto/4wd||8-spd auto/4wd||8-spd auto/4WD|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||85 litres/sealant||80 litres/space saver||85 litres/run-flats|
|Boot capacity||670/1,780 litres||489/1,761 litres||550/1,525 litres|
|Turning circle/drag coefficient||11.9 metres/0.36Cd||12.3 metres/0.34Cd||12.8 metres/0.32Cd|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (unltd)/2yrs||3yrs (unltd)/3yrs||3yrs (unltd)/3yrs|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||20k miles (2yrs)/36||Variable/130||Variable/153|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos||6th/3rd||20th/28th||10th/22nd|
|Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|0-60/30-70mph||7.3/5.0 secs||7.5/6.9 secs||6.3/6.4 secs|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||2.9/3.9 secs||2.8/3.5 secs||3.0/3.9 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th/8th||4.6/5.6/7.4/10.2 secs||4.9/6.6/8.2/13.4 secs||4.2/5.6/7.5/11.7 secs|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||137mph/1,850rpm||130mph/1,600rpm||143mph/1,700rpm|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||33.2/7.3/621 miles||30.7/6.8/540 miles||32.8/7.2/613 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||228/173g/km/30%||247/185g/km/33%||231/159g/km/27%|
|Automatic box/stability/cruise ctrl||Yes/yes/yes||Yes/yes/yes||Yes/yes/yes|
|Climate control/leather/heated seats||Yes/yes/£296||Yes/yes/yes||Yes/yes/yes|
|Met paint/LED headlights/keyless go||£720/£1,886/£744||Yes/no/yes||Yes/yes/yes|