BMW first launched the X6 crossover-coupe for the 2009 model year, calling it a "Sport Activity Coupe." Mechanically identical to the X5 crossover, the X6 trades cargo and passenger space for a rakish roofline and also provides surprisingly sharp handling given its large size (especially in high-performance X6 M form).
BMW gave the X6 a mild update for the latest model year, with changes including slightly tweaked styling and a new M Sport Package that boosts output for both of the crossover's engine options.
As the photos reveal, the X6 has anything but a conservative look.
The X6's roofline begins arching downward after the B-pillar and continues plunging right to the X6's rising waistline. As a result, second-row headroom and rear cargo volume are both compromised.
The new X6 is longer and lower than the new X5, seating only four. But what the sporty X6 loses in seating and storage, it gains in uniqueness.
Compared to the X5, the X6 has almost an inch of additional wheelbase length, and two inches of added width. The overall height of the X6 is a whopping 3.3 inches lower than that of the X5.
The main stylistic change for the latest model year a revised front fascia complete with a new grille, foglamps and optional adaptive LED headlamps (Xenons come standard). Continuing the LED theme are the taillights, which are newly designed and feature two LED-fed light banks with horizontal alignment.
The range-topping X6 xDrive50i is propelled by a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 unit that produces 400 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 446 pound-feet of torque between 1750 rpm and 4500 rpm. The sprint to 62 mph takes just 5.4 seconds and fuel economy is rated at 14 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway.
The X6's other engine is a 3.0-liter inline-six with a single turbocharger. This motor churns out 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque and returns fuel economy figures of 16/23 mpg.
Both engines send power to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
M Sport Package
A newly available M Sport Package is on offer for those looking for a bit more performance from their coupe-crossover. For the X6 xDrive35i, the package ups power to 315 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque, while the X6 xDrive50i sees a boost to 440 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque.
The package also includes a little extra show to match the extra go: 20-inch light alloy wheels, black chrome exhaust tips, stainless steel pedals, M foot rest and door sills, shadowline exterior trim and anthracite headliner are included.
Equipment and Options
Standard features include leather upholstery, genuine wood trim, power adjustable seats, a 10-speaker, 205-watt audio system with an iPod USB adapter, 19-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, automatic climate control, a power tailgate, front and rear Park Distance control and more.
Heated seats, a heated steering wheel, a navigation system, a 600-watt premium audio system, multicontour seats, a lane departure warning system, dynamic cruise control and a rear parking camera are highlights from the options list.
The X6's only true competitor is the Acura ZDX, which features dramatic styling inspired by the BMW. Those willing to trade the X6's unique looks for a lower purchase price and more interior space should consider the Infiniti FX50, the Audi Q7 and BMW's own X5.