Excelling with Power – BMW X6 XDrive 30d

A lavish SUV with sports-car-like handling but is this enough to get past those challenging looks?, we find out

Attaching an X5 chassis to the body of a four door coupe was always going to defy logic but BMW accomplished it and by doing so won a host of new fans. Who knew the world was waiting for yet another reinvention of the wheel? Since its market launch, more than 150,000 X6s were sold within three years;  a figure that far exceeded original expectations.

The second generation X6 continues to divide opinion but it comes packed with such luxury and driving dynamics that it is hard not to be seduced.  While still as bold a design statement as it first was it is muscular, prominent, aggressive and has a colossal road presence.  The challenge however of merging the style of a coupe with the functionality of a SUV is evident and we remain unconvinced that this is a good looking car; striking yes but attractive no.  However the exterior design does hint at the sporting potential of the car.

Test Car

Our test car was powered by the 3.0-litre straight six TwinPower turbodiesel, it delivers 180kW (245bhp) and a whopping 540Nms of torque.  It  hits 100km  in 7.5 seconds and has a top speed of 222km. The current range of X6 engines also includes the xDrive 35i, the xDrive 50i, both petrol engines, and the xDrive 40d  and 50d are the diesel options. There is also an eye watering 408kW(555bhp) X6M.

On the Road

Put your foot to the floor and instantly it is smooth and the response quick. The driving position is commanding, and the road simply disappears beneath its enormous wheels. The ride is firm but it the sheer agility of the X6 that impresses, it handles and  manoeuvres easily  and its colossal dimensions are never apparent. Drive it hard and the stability and security just increases and the coupe feels solid on any bend. On the downside rear view vision is limited due to the sharply sloped roof and you really have to be aware of blind spots  but the parking sensors and a rear camera make it a doodle to  squeeze into tight spots.

Economy

Surprisingly, the X6 is quite a frugal vehicle  and we managed to stay pretty close to the official average of 7.4 litres per 100km.  CO2 emissions are 195 g/km so it qualifies for Band F annual motor tax (€1,129).

Interior  

Inside the interior is as luxurious as you would expect and it oozes  style from every angle and is beautifully crafted. The cabin is spacious and there is an excellent driving position. Combing the benefits of both SUV and coupe it also offers plenty of comfort for all passengers. However the sloping roof restricts headroom and space in the rear but that is still more than adequate room and the boot is vast. But this is a four seater so it is not the most practical of cars.  A three-seater rear bench is optionally available for an additional €445.32. Luggage space is a decent 570 litres and this can be extended to up to 1,450 litres by folding down the rear backrests.

Verdict:

On paper it is hard to justify the X6, it is an expensive four seater with less functionality than an X5 but costing more. It is big and luxurious  and you’ll love every minute spent in it. The X5 makes far more sense as a family car but despite its failings the X6 was one car we had to be prised out of when the time came to give it back.

Competitors:  Mercedes-Benz GL-Class; Range Rover Sport ; Porsche Cayenne

 Why you’ll buy one? Impressive power figures; Driving Dynamics;  Opulence

Why you won’t? Questionable usefulness; Bulbous proportions; Styling

BMW X6 XDrive 30d

Factfile

Page 1 of 2 | Next page