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Actual rating will vary with options, driving conditions, habits and vehicle condition.
The standard features of the BMW X6 sDrive35i include 3.0L I-6 300hp intercooled turbo engine, 8-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), integrated navigation system, side seat mounted airbags, curtain 1st and 2nd row overhead airbags, airbag occupancy sensor, automatic air conditioning, 19" aluminum wheels, cruise control, ABS and driveline traction control.
Starting at: $61,400
Regardless of engine, the X6 has little in common with a typical premium sedan, coupe, or crossover SUV. BMW technology results in refined, yet nearly insolent, performance, even from the six-cylinder model.
As for handling skills, just point the X6 toward a curve or corner, observing how its stability-control and traction-control systems pave the way for precisely satisfying reactions. Powerful brakes bring all the X6’s weight to a halt with little nosedive, with a level of confidence that even beats that of the smaller BMW X4 model. Push the gas pedal again, and the engine resumes speed with little delay. The only drawback is ride quality, which inevitably becomes a bit harsh over certain road surfaces.
Naturally, the X6 M is the logical choice for BMW devotees who seek a seriously boisterous experience. Simply knowing that such expert capabilities await, including the ability to transition from highway to race course, can be almost as stimulating as the actual experience.
Overall highway performance could be compared to the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, except that this shapely BMW keeps its rear end under better restraint. Remember, though, that no X6 qualifies as a full-fledged SUV, despite xDrive; so don’t expect this BMW to trudge through more than relatively mild off-the-pavement exercises.
Fuel economy isn’t a high point, which is no surprise. The six-cylinder is EPA-rated at 18/25 mpg City/Highway, or 21 mpg Combined. All-wheel drive drops the EPA Highway estimate to 24 mpg. As expected, the X6 M is even less thrifty, EPA-rated at only 14/19 mpg City/Highway, or 16 mpg Combined.
Billed as a sports activity coupe, the four-door X6 is topped by a curvaceous roofline, giving it a fastback profile. Large air intakes suggest the performance potential of the X6. Side gills, on the other hand, come across as rather garish.
The X6 M gets bigger-yet air intakes, plus a scattered group of M badges to make clear that it’s a hottest model of them all.
More functional than some comparable vehicles for back-seat occupants, the rear bench can hold three passengers, though two will be more comfortable. The X6’s roofline tapers downward near the back end of the vehicle, so head clearance for occupants in the back row isn’t as restricted as it would be in other coupe-like models.
Leg space could be better, measuring an inch shorter than the X5 provides. Overall, though, the interior is a tad roomier than the X5. Four passengers should be content, though the less-fortunate fifth rider is likely to be squeezed.
Compared to the X5, too, cargo volume isn’t heavily penalized. Available space totals 26.6 cubic feet with the back seat up. The X6’s tall ride height makes the cargo floor readily accessible.
Reaching beyond good looks, the BMW X6 benefits from a choice of three potent powertrains. Two V8s deliver especially compelling performance, though the six-cylinder isn’t far behind when pushing hard on the gas. Tech upgrades, as well as tantalizing wheel, trim, and interior options, as well as technology extras, make it quite easy to send prices soaring. If fashion doesn’t matter, you can save about $6,000 by choosing a six-cylinder X5 instead of the X6.
Driving impressions by Aaron Cole, The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.
The 2017 BMW X6 comes in four versions. The X6 sDrive35i ($61,400) comes with the six-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive. Standard features include leather upholstery, heated front seats with driver’s memory, wood interior trim, a power liftgate, front/rear parking sensors, navigation with a 10.2-inch screen, and 19-inch wheels. The X6 xDrive35i ($63,700) is similar but with all-wheel drive.
X6 XDrive50i ($76,700) gets the V8 engine and all-wheel drive, along with 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound and most features that are optional for six-cylinder models. An Executive package adds soft-close doors, leather dashboard trim, a head-up display, sunshades, and ceramic-finish controls.
X6 M ($102,200), the super-performance version, unleashes a 567-horsepower V8, with all-wheel drive. Dynamic Damper Control with rear air suspension, quad tailpipes, 18-way power heated front seats, M-specific instruments, and 21-inch tires are standard. The X6 M gets its own Merino leather upholstery, Alcantara headliner, and aluminum trim.
Option groups include an M Sport package, Cold Weather and Lighting packages, and Dynamic Handling package. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)