BMW X6 review - Interior, design and technology
The 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.
It’s much like the BMW X5 in here, and that’s no bad thing. The dashboard design is typical modern BMW and with a few old-school BMW touches, such as a centre console subtly angled towards the driver. In brighter trim shades in particular it’s a pleasant place to sit, with well-judged use of high-quality materials pretty much everywhere you choose to look and touch. There’s leather covering many of the surfaces, some aluminium trim to brighten things up, and logically-arranged controls, with the sensible use of buttons and knobs rather than widespread touchscreens.
BMW has included some neat details too, such as the crystal-effect gear selector. We’re less sure about the fat-rimmed steering wheel (though it looks good, admittedly) and also the instrument display ahead of the driver. It’s certainly fancy with its counter-rotating speedometer and rev counter gauges, but their geometric shapes aren’t anything like as easy to read as BMW’s traditional analogue gauges of yore - you’ll spend more time looking at the digital numerals in their centres, or BMW’s excellent head-up display, where fitted. Seat comfort is very good, though.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
Once upon a time BMW’s iDrive infotainment system was a nightmare to navigate, but with a few decades to figure things out it’s now among the better systems on the market. The X6 is now on version 7.0 would you believe, comprising a large touchscreen system in the centre of the dash, angled towards the driver as it should be, which can be operated either by prodding it, or with the usual clickety wheel on the transmission tunnel or voice activation.
The system includes smartphone connectivity with Apple CarPlay but BMW’s built-in software, navigation and audio options are pretty good in their own right and invariably the physical iDrive wheel is the safest and most intuitive way to navigate the menus on the move.
In this review
- 1BMW X6 reviewBMW’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 technology - currently readingThe 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 spaceIncreased 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.