With its straight-laced X5 sibling entering its third generation for 2014, the “don’t mess with me” X6 will carry on for at least another year.
Turbocharged inline six-cylinder and carry-over 400-horsepower V8 mated to eight-speed automatic transmissions; 555-horsepower X6 M delivers plenty of hoots.
There were — and remain — plenty of critics who cried foul when the slant-back X6 made its official debut, but that hasn’t stopped people who seriously desire standing out in a crowd from buying them. It’s easily the most recognizable BMW model — but not exactly the most useful — thanks to the sweep of the roofline and huge 19-inch (or optional 20-inch) wheels. It might actually look a little on the small side, but this really is one stout Bimmer that tips the scales at 4,780 pounds. This rolling fashion statement in base-35i trim runs with a turbocharged 3.0-liter gasoline six-cylinder that produces 300 horsepower. The 50i uses a twin-turbocharged 400-horsepower 4.4-liter V8, while the performance-oriented X6 M uses a 555-horsepower version of that same engine. The first two powerplants are hooked to eight-speed automatic transmissions with steering-column-mounted shifter paddles, while the M uses a six-speed automatic. Previously only available as a four-seater, you can add a three-person rear bench to bring the total number of riders to five. Standard comfort items include dual-zone climate control, multi-adjustable heated power front sport seats, power sunroof, adaptive headlights that pivot as the vehicle turns, bright xenon headlights and a front and rear park-assist warning system. Move up to the X6 50i and the list grows to include a navigation system, garage-door opener, compass, auto-dimming inside and (power folding) outside mirrors plus additional interior/exterior lighting. Among the wide array of options is four-zone climate control, power tailgate, aluminum running boards, heated rear seats, rear-view camera, headlight washers, 16-speaker audio system and a rear-seat DVD player.
Base price (incl. destination): $61,700
Type: Four-door sport-utility vehicle
Base engine (hp): 3.0-liter DOHC I6, turbocharged (300)
Optional engines (hp): 4.4-liter DOHC V8, turbocharged (400, xDrive50i; 555, X6 M)
Layout: Front-engine, all-wheel-drive
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic; six-speed automatic (X6 M)
MPG (city/hwy): 16/23 (3.0)
Safety: Front airbags; front/rear side-impact airbags; side-curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes; traction control; stability control
Weight (lb.): 4,780