In-depth reviews

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

The X6's cabin is similar to its X5 sibling, 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.

The display is 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.

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