BMW’s Bold Niche-Filler
We Like: Its power, handling, and lunacy.
We Don’t Like: The pointless, compromised packaging and how far BMW has drifted from its roots.
Many MT staffers scratch their heads when they look at the new BMW X6. Sure, BMW likes filling any and all white spaces it can find (3 Series Gran Turismo, anyone?) but why bother with a second-generation X6? I can tell you about a billion and a half reasons why. BMW sold around 250,000 of the first-generation X6. The difference in base price between the X5 and the X6—which are built on the same assembly line in South Carolina—is $6,000 USD. That’s $1.5 billion USD revenue. And a birdie at BMW told me the X6 is actually much more profitable than the X5, as X6 average transaction prices tend to be much greater than X5’s. So, there’s your business case. Let’s not forget, Mercedes-Benz straight up copied the X6 with the GLE Coupe because car companies like money.
Stay tuned to MotorTrend.com as the 2016 Motor Trend SUV of the Year contenders and finalists are revealed in advance of the official winner announcement on the evening of November 16. Learn about other SUV of the Year contenders at the links below. Check out the SUV of the Year evaluation process HERE, and read about the evolution of our Of The Year awards HERE.
As for the case of the X6 itself, here’s what Jason Cammisa has to say about the xDrive35i: “This might be the absolute worst car here in terms of what you get for your money.” Ouch! Perhaps he’s just being hyperbolic? He continues: “If someone hopped directly out of their pre-2005 BMW and directly into this abomination, they would patently refuse to believe that this wasn’t a Chinese knockoff of a brand that once built gimmick-free driver’s cars. What a complete letdown.” Well, that settles that, then.
But maybe the much wiser Frank Markus will have something nice to say, perhaps about the 567-hp X6 M? “I really do not like the engine note of this vehicle,” he said. “It somehow sounds smaller and cheaper than the X6 M is. I get the feeling I’m in a WRX, which I don’t like.” What about the packaging? “I can’t really sit in the back seat at all, and I’m a short-waisted 5-foot-10. Pitiful.”
Well, that’s not very nice. Surely editor-in-chief Ed Loh has something nice to say about either X6. Here’s Loh on the X6 M: “It drives great on the freeway; it has tremendous power thrust getting onto the highway, and it’s quite capable off-road.” Hey, there we go!
|2015 BMW X6||xDrive35i||M|
|Price As Tested||$73,700||$115,150|
|Vehicle Layout||Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV||Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV|
|Engine||3.0L/300-hp/300-lb-ft turbocharged DOHC 24-valve I-6||4.4L/567-hp/553-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 32-valve V-8|
|Transmission||8-speed automatic||8-speed automatic|
|Length x Width x Height||193.8 x 78.3 x 66.5 in||193.8 x 78.3 x 66.5 in|
|Wheelbase||115.5 in||115.5 in|
|Curb Weight (F/R Dist)||4,686 lb (50/50%)||5,187 lb (51/49%)|
|Acceleration, 0-60 mph||5.8 sec||3.7 sec|
|Quarter Mile||14.5 sec @ 95.9 mph||12.1 sec @ 114.3 mph|
|Braking, 60-0 mph||105 ft||105 ft|
|Lateral Acceleration||0.88 g (avg)||0.98 g (avg)|
|MT Figure Eight||26.1 sec @ 0.71 g (avg)||24.3 sec @ 0.84 g (avg)|
|EPA City/Hwy/Comb||18/27/21 mpg||14/19/16 mpg|
|Energy Consumption, City/Hwy||187/125 kW-hrs/100 miles||241/177 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 Emissions||0.92 lb/mile||1.22 lb/mile|
|Real MPG City/Hwy/Comb||18/25/21|
2016 Motor Trend SUV of the Year Contenders:
- BMW X6
- Chevrolet Trax
- Fiat 500X
- Ford Edge
- Ford Explorer
- Honda HR-V
- Hyundai Tucson
- Jeep Renegade
- Kia Sorento
- Land Rover Discovery Sport
- Mazda CX-3