The BMW X6 is a respectable luxury SUV. The X6 has a luxurious interior, comfortable seats, a plethora of standard tech and safety features, and a reasonably user-friendly infotainment system. On winding roads, it feels athletic and surefooted, and its turbocharged engine lineup provides more than enough power for most situations.
However, the X6’s most distinguishing feature – its low-slung roofline – is arguably the source of its biggest flaws. Although the coupe-like styling attracts attention, it results in less backseat and cargo space than most other luxury midsize SUVs.
Major Changes Over The Years
The following are the most significant changes to the BMW X6 in recent years:
2017: wireless device charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot became available.
2018: a rearview camera was added to the list of standard features.
2019: Apple CarPlay and additional safety features became standard.
2020: Completely redesigned (beginning of the third generation) with a new exterior, updated interior styling, increased engine power, and a standard 12.3-inch infotainment display (up from 10.2).
2021: Android Auto becomes standard, and 40i models get a 48-volt mild-hybrid system.
The BMW X6 includes a 335-horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive as standard. All-wheel drive is an optional feature. This 40i engine is smooth and punchy, and it makes quick work of getting the X6 around town and up to speed. It only takes 5.3 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph. The transmission is also enjoyable. It has quick but smooth gear changes, allowing for strong passing power on the highway.
The base 40i model will satisfy the majority of drivers. If you want more power, go with the M50i and its 523-horsepower V8. This twin-turbocharged engine accelerates the X6 from zero to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and emits a deep, sonorous exhaust note. The throttle response is also quick, and the engine always feels like it has plenty of power. A racy 600-horsepower version of this engine can be found under the hood of the X6 M, yielding even faster zero-to-60 mph sprints of 3.8 seconds. It’s thrilling, to be sure, but despite a $22,000 price increase, it doesn’t feel noticeably sportier than the M50i.
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Ride and Handling
For such a large, heavy SUV, the BMW X6 feels surprisingly agile and surefooted. The X6 confidently slices through winding roads with minimal body lean, the brakes provide strong and linear stopping power, and the steering is quick but occasionally dull. The X6’s ride quality is much more firm than it is comfortable, especially on models with optional 21- and 22-inch wheels. The suspension absorbs larger bumps and dips in the road, but the ride can become jittery over the rough pavement at times.
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The interior of the X6 is luxurious, with padded leather surfaces, soft-touch plastics, and sharp metal accents. The styling is clean and modern, though not as flashy as rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GLE coupe or Audi Q8. The cabin does an excellent job of absorbing road and wind noise, resulting in a peaceful and relaxing ride.
Unsurprisingly, the X6 interior is similar to that of the majority of new BMW products. That means upscale materials and soft-touch surfaces abound, and the dashboard is dominated by two large 12.3-inch digital displays. While the instrument panel is stylish, the gauges are a jumbled mess. Fortunately, the optional head-up display is simpler. The rest of the switchgear is also well-organized.
BMW’s gesture controls, which allow you to control functions such as audio volume by waving your hand in front of the infotainment screen, are included but not required. Standard features include 16-way power-adjustable front seats, customizable ambient lighting, heated front cushions, and passive entry. While the back seat is adequate for two adults, legroom and headroom are reduced by about 2 and 3 inches, respectively, when compared to the boxier X5. Similarly, the X6 has less cargo space behind the rear seats.
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The X6 comes with the most recent version of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system, which includes a large 12.3-inch touchscreen mounted high atop the dashboard. The graphics on this display are sharp, and the system responds quickly to inputs. Controlling the system is also possible via a knob and touchpad on the center console, as well as buttons on the dashboard and steering wheel. These redundant controls can be confusing at first, but with some practice, the layout becomes quite user-friendly. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard, allowing users to integrate their smartphone interface on-screen.
However, not everything runs smoothly. The available hand gesture recognition system, for example, is more of a gimmick than a benefit. It allows users to control functions such as the radio with the flick or twirl of a finger, but it frequently misinterprets or ignores commands.
- Standard infotainment features: a 12.3-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, HD Radio, satellite radio, a 10-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, and five USB ports
- Available infotainment features: wireless device charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot, hand gesture recognition, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, and a 20-speaker Bowers & Wilkins stereo
- Additional standard features: 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry, push-button start, a hands-free power liftgate, and a panoramic moonroof
- Other available features: quad-zone automatic climate control, remote start, and rear sunshades
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The EPA rating for the BMW X6 sDrive40i and xDrive40i models is 21/26 mpg city/highway and 21/25 mpg city/highway, respectively, which is good for a luxury midsize SUV. The M50i model gets 16 mpg in town and 22 mpg on the highway. The X6 M has a low 13/18 mpg rating.
Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking.
- Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts.
- Available adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology.
The X6 will never be accused of getting stuck in a large group. It has one of the most rakish rooflines of any coupe SUV, and when compared to the X5, its styling cues seem to shout rather than whisper. Fortunately, BMW backs it up with two powerful engine options and a plethora of performance upgrades. Inside, the X6 is more conservative, with a focus on high-quality materials and numerous standard features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is the BMW X6 reliable?
The predicted reliability score for the 2021 BMW X6 is 81 out of 100. A J.D. Power predicted reliability score of 91-100 is considered the best, 81-90 is considered great, 70-80 is considered average, and 0-69 is considered fair and below average.
Does the BMW X6 have problems?
Common problems for BMW X6 include diesel engine problems, electric handbrake problems, rattling from doors, electric seats/steering column problems, etc.
How much is the cheapest BMW X6?
The starting price for the 2021 BMW X6 is $65,050, which is above average for a luxury midsize SUV. The price of the midrange X6 M50i models rises to $86,250. The price of the high-performance X6 M starts at $108,600.
Is the BMW X6 high maintenance?
During the first ten years of ownership, a BMW X6 will cost approximately $18,148 in maintenance and repairs. This is $2,434 more than the industry average for luxury SUV models. During that time, there is also a 54.61% chance that an X6 will require major repairs. This is 15.05 percent worse than comparable vehicles in this segment.