BMW X6 Large SUV

Price range

$109,900 – $190,900


Good: Refined diesel power plant; Great amounts of power and torque; Handling capabilities; Braking performance.

Not so Good: Limited rear seat headroom; Stiff suspension; Rearward visibility; Tyre roar and wind noise.

Design and Engineering

Good : The BMW X6 arrived in Australia in June 2008 with two models to choose from – BMW X6 xDrive35i and BMW X6 xDrive35d.

Along the way the model line-up grew to six vehicles in total with both diesel and petrol engines on offer.

In June 2012 the entire range received a midlife facelift that that saw BMW do away with its sporty 2 + 2 seating arrangement and adopt a new three seater bench in the back. The reasoning for this was that the 2 + 2 seat layout limited its sales to family buyers.

The mid-life facelift also included a revised front bumper that gave that X6 a more angular and bold design. While the X6 M received active LED lamps as standard (optional extra on other X6 variants).

The X6 M50d and X6 M both received a “power dome” bonnet that beefs up the appearance of the front – also an added option for other X6 customers that are after that masculine look.

Not so good : The BMW X6 has always been a tricky one for us; is it a sports saloon with coupe styling or is it a large SUV? However, after our time with the vehicle the styling has grown on us.

Interior and Styling

Good : Inside, the X6 features the usual BMW standard of superb fit & finish and high quality materials. The huge leather seats are very comfortable and the driver’s seat is fully adjustable so there isn’t any trouble in getting the right driving position for your needs.

The centre stack is fully intergraded into the dash; this gives a sleek design. Not only does the front dash look good it feels good too, BMW has used soft touch plastics.

The cabin is dominated mostly by Nevada leather that comprises of leather front panels of seats, front panels of headrests and centre and outer armrests in front and rear, while aluminium or wood grain is added for the finishing highlights that are a nice little touch for the interior.

Meanwhile, M variants get an Alcantara/leather combination that covers the head supports, armrest front and side armrests in ‘Nappa’ leather and seat centre panels in Alcantara. The seats also come with contrasting stitching in white and M lettering. Meanwhile, the interior is finished in brushed aluminium highlights.

As mentioned before the BMW X6 range received a mid-life facelift that added a little more practicality to the range – the new rear bench seat offers up another seat to fit five occupants.

Not so good : Because the BMW X6 features such a sleek design, the sharply raked roofline sacrifices rear passenger headroom.


Good : The BMW X6 range includes six engines in total both petrol and diesel. Powering the X6 xDrive30d is a TwinPower Turbo 6-cylinder in-line diesel engine with common rail direct injection and a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry. This combination produces 180kW of power and 540Nm of torque.

Next up is the X6 xDrive35i powered by a TwinPower Turbo 6-cylinder in-line petrol engine combined with a twin-scroll turbocharger with Valvetronic, DoubleVANOS and High Precision Injection delivering 225kW of power and 400Nm of torque.

The X6 xDrive40d is powered by a TwinPower Turbo 6-cylinder in-line diesel engine with common rail direct injection and two-stage turbocharging with variable turbine geometry this combination produces 225kW of power and 600Nm of torque.

Powering the X6 xDrive50i is a TwinPower Turbo V8 petrol engine combined with two turbochargers with Double-VANOS and High Precision Injection, this setup produces 300kW of power and 600Nm of torque.

Rounding out the model line-up is the X6 M50d powered by the M Performance TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder diesel engine combined with common rail direct injection and triple turbocharging this produces 408kW of power and 680Nm of torque.

All models come with an 8-speed automatic transmission with Steptronic and all-wheel-drive.

The X6 range has got all bases covered in the power and torque departments, there is plenty on offer no matter what variant you choose. The diesel engines are also quite refined with minimal engine vibration felt in the cabin – you’d almost forget it was a diesel.

Not so good : Because of the massive amounts of torque on offer it’s hard to drive an X6 sensibly day-to-day – it takes a little discipline but it is possible…..just.

Ride and Handling

Good : The X6 range is one bunch of crisp handling SUVs. Although the ride height is raised the X6 feels quite nimble and can be chucked around twisted roads with some level of confidence.

The suspension set-up feels like it is geared towards the more ‘sporty’ end of the spectrum, it’s just the sheer weight and size of the vehicle limits how hard you can drive this beast.

Not so good : The raised ride height of the vehicle would have you expecting a very cushy ride – wrong.

Because of the stiff suspension set-up you tend to feel a lot more bumps and humps in the road than you would expect from a vehicle of this nature. However, on the plus side because of the sporty ride tune the X6 does feel a lot smaller on the road in terms of handling dynamics.

Buying and Owning

Good : The BMW X6 has some serious on-road presence with its bold front end, flared wheel arches and massive 19-inch or 20-inch alloy wheels depending on which variant you choose.

The X6 is the kind of vehicle that makes a statement, it says “kindly get out of my way or I’ll crush you” – it truly is a beast of a machine.

Not so good : Because of its niche styling and design you probably sit in one of the two categories – you either love it or hate.

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