2018 X6 M New Car Test Drive
The BMW X6 illustrates the emergence and evolution of luxury crossover models over the past decade. Launched as an early 2009 model, it stood well apart from the usual squared-off, conventional-looking bodies with its coupe-like profile. Dubbed a Sports Activity Coupe despite its four doors, the hatchback X6 established the trend for tall, stylish vehicles topped with a sleek, sharply sloped roofline.
X6 was redesigned for the 2015 model year.
Little has changed for 2018, except for modest simplification of the options list. 2018 BMW X6 option packages (Premium, M Sport, Executive) are configured more like trim levels with the same designation. Trapezoidal tailpipes are standard on 35i models.
Two turbocharged engines remain available in regular X6 models. A 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder makes 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. Stepping up a notch is a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8, which develops 445 horsepower and 480 pound-feet. Both engines mate with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard with the six-cylinder engine. All-wheel drive is standard with the V8, and optional for the six.
Topping the lineup is the performance-packed X6 M, packing a hopped-up version of the V8 that generates 567 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. That's enough to yield 4.0-second acceleration time to 60 mph.
With fine driving dynamics the rule, even the base six-cylinder X6 provides a polished driving experience, mixed with pleasure. Plenty of enticing options are available, but they add considerably to the X6's price ? especially when full option packages need to be purchased.
Largely because of low sales volume, the X6 has not been crash-tested by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The closely related X5 has earned good crash-test scores, led by a five-star rating from the federal agency, but they don't necessarily demonstrate that an X6 would fare equally well, despite similar structure.
Like its X5 cousin, the X6 can be fitted with a broad range of safety and collision-avoidance technology. A rearview camera is standard, but most other safety features are extra-cost options. They include automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, adaptive headlights, night vision with pedestrian and animal detection, a head-up display, and surround-view camera, as well as a Parking Assistant.
Unlike the X5, the X6 isn't offered in hybrid or diesel variants.
X6 sDrive35i ($62,700) has rear-wheel drive with the six-cylinder engine, leather upholstery, 19-inch alloy wheels, heated power front seats, and navigation with 10.2-inch screen. X6 xDrive35i ($65,000) has all-wheel drive. Premium Package adds keyless ignition, satellite radio, and wireless charging. The M Sport package provides a firmer suspension and heavier-bolstered seats. An Executive Package adds full LED headlights, soft-close doors, air conditioned seats, and Harman Kardon audio. CarPlay costs additional. (Prices are MSRP and do not include $995 destination charge.)
X6 xDrive50i ($77,450) substitutes the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine.
X6 M ($104,100) features a 567-horsepower V8 engine, along with an adaptive sport suspension, 21-inch wheels, all-wheel drive, and 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio.