From £91,200
Has grip and pace, but lacks the balance and involvement of a proper M car

Our Verdict

BMW X6 M

The 2015 BMW X6 M is the second generation of the company's ultimate performance coupe-like SUV

  • First Drive

    BMW X6 M

    Has grip and pace, but lacks the balance and involvement of a proper M car
11 November 2009

What is it?

The Greenpeace activist’s nightmare. The BMW X6 M is, as the name suggests, the hottest variant of the four-wheel drive SUV-coupe crossover.

Power comes from a 4395cc V8 motor that puts out 547bhp and 501lb ft of torque, providing the 2380kg X6 with the ability to pass 62mph from standstill in just 4.7 seconds. That makes this 4x4 faster than the manual BMW M3 Coupe.

What’s it like?

On the road in the BMW X6 M, it does not feel as fast as it does in a similarly quick saloon or coupe. The engine is a masterpiece, delivering power instantly and in a constant surge.

Much of that smooth delivery is due to the six-speed steptronic gearbox (there is no other transmission option), but the engine has an impressive level of flexibility through the rev range, never feeling out of its depth.

But for all the pace the X6 has, it doesn’t ever give the impression of speed that for many is more important than the actual thing. You will be a long way past any speed limit before the X6 begins to evoke any emotion in its driver.

Driving the car on a typically narrow British road only emphasises this. Even the engine, which we’ve already said is fantastic, is lacking any drama to complement its efficiency. The overly-heavy steering has unnecessary levels of resistance at low speeds, and though it is quick and faithful it is totally uninvolving.

You have to get on a track to discover that the X6 M actually can be a rewarding drive, you just have to be going at speeds that no sane person would choose to do on a public road. And in truth any ability on track gives little focus to the elusive purpose of the X6 M because it is still so much less entertaining than numerous cheaper and more involving saloons.

What the X6 M does do effectively is cover distance quickly and without hassle. The ride is firm but well controlled even around town, and this together with the high seating position and good refinement make this a capable motorway cruiser.

Should I buy one?

No. There are more talented saloons, estates and even SUVs available for much less than the X6 M, and with such restricted rear passenger space and visibility in a car this size there is no practical reason to opt for this over its rivals.

Its position as the fastest car in its class will win it a few advocates, but beyond that and its controversial image there is no reason to opt for the X6 M.

Join the debate

Comments
111

12 November 2009

This would be great in the new Mad Max4 ( Fury`s Road ) where at least in a post apocalyptic world, you could at least be seen dead in one!

Now if BMW could get nice and retro and fit this obviously superb engine in say an old 80`s 5series bodyshell style with traction control, big alloys and modern safety equipment then you would have a real hotrod you could love! ( and probably half the weight of this fatboy to boot?! )

12 November 2009

Good review; I guess the X6 M doesn't just appear to be a pointless car...it really is! I'm sure some people will love it, though.

12 November 2009

Isnt it right that the higher up you sit, the less fast you feel you are going? And you look to sit pretty high up in this......

12 November 2009

"But for all the pace the X6 has, it doesn’t ever give the impression of speed"

...which will make it insanely dangerous in the wong hands. and there are plenty of X6s in the wrong hands, they way that they drive around Paris...

I was wrong about the Infiniti - this is the ultimate BCSD.

Well said Vicky!

12 November 2009

[quote Squonk61]There are plenty of X6s in the wrong hands, they way that they drive around Paris...[/quote]

There are plenty of X6s in 'wrong hands', in fact anyone who has gone through the whole decision and buying process, and still come out of the showroom with one of these (or any model X6), is undoubtedly 'wrong' on many levels!

Whenever I see an X6 on the road I've taken to laughing and pointing at it hysterically, in full view of the driver. It works a treat if you're walking past and they're stuck in traffic. They hate it, but they deserve it. What an utterly pointless, awful looking waste of development, time, money and words. Give me an M3, M5 or M6 any day, or buy a Range Rover if you must have a 4x4.

12 November 2009

[quote Autocar]

What is it?


The Greenpeace activist’s nightmare. The BMW X6 M is, as the name suggests, the hottest variant of the four-wheel drive SUV-coupe crossover.


Power comes from a 4395cc V8 motor that puts out 547bhp and 501lb ft of torque, providing the 2380kg X6 with the ability to pass 62mph from standstill in just 4.7 seconds. That makes this 4x4 faster than the manual BMW M3 Coupe.


What’s it like?


On the road in the BMW X6 M, it does not feel as fast as it d...Read the full article

[/quote]

My gosh im rubbing my hands, whats Vicky on about, this is a 4x4 that'll smoke an M3, not even mentioning all the Audi S3's, Subarus etc, and she's sayin its no good idea to buy one, what is she greenpeace?

The engine is a masterpiece, Turbocharging is the way to go ( get this Ferrari?).

BMW, please take this 4.4 V8 and stick it into the next M3, n uprate the power, then we just close all those silly arguments involving the Merc C63 AMG and the next Audi RS4.

Then the next M5 should be good for over 600-650BHP if the capacity of this twin-turbo V8 is increased to 5litres or so, as reports are suggesting the next M5 being Twin-Turbo V8.

Theres no wrong hands for this car, how come noone complains about the specimens prancing around in Porsche Cayenne Turbos? huh ?

This ones gonna be a hot seller i can bet my sub-prime mortgage on this. Which

12 November 2009

BMW M has lost its way. Auto transmissions, heavy cars, instead of racing heritage. The M3 has gone soft, the M5 doesn't even offer a manual transmission (well except in the USA) and the M6 is not sporty, and no Z4 M!!!. Why doesn't BMW let Alpina do the comfy stuff and keep M focused? BMW could have marketed the X5/6 Ms under the iS brand, but have chosen to bastardize its M brand instead of keeping it a pure blood. BMW is becoming the new GM...

12 November 2009

I wish BMW would bin all its 4x4s and stick to what it was good at . Fast nimble saloons. Looking at the prices of its 4x4s I can see why they build em though as if enough mugs buy em at the crazy prices they go for they must be almost as hugely profitable as they are gross.

Oh well another car company run by bean counters rather than enthusiasts/engineers. Sad really sad.

12 November 2009

[quote CarDesign]BMW M has lost its way. Auto transmissions, heavy cars, instead of racing heritage. The M3 has gone soft, the M5 doesn't even offer a manual transmission (well except in the USA) and the M6 is not sporty, and no Z4 M!!!. Why doesn't BMW let Alpina do the comfy stuff and keep M focused? BMW could have marketed the X5/6 Ms under the iS brand, but have chosen to bastardize its M brand instead of keeping it pure[/quote]

I couldn't agree more!! BMW is not the enthusiast's car anymore it's not focused it's thrown away all of its sporting heritage with the latest monstrosity of cross-overs.. no one needed an X6 in the first place, leave alone for an X6M.. no one needed a 5-series GT.. and most of all no one needed turbocharged M cars! I understand that turbocharging is popular now with the environment and all but let's face it, M-cars never were and never will be about being enviromentally friendly! what we need, what petrol-heads and BMW lovers need is a Naturally Aspirated lightweight M3 CSL, a featherweight-back-to-the-roots 1-series M car and a no-nonsense hardcore insane Z4M just like the previous one.. I understand that they're aiming for more profit but what they've managed to do is lose all of their followers. I used to be a big BMW fan.. I think I might switch to the Mercedes side now, they seem to have found their way after-all.. I only wish BMW could understand that and go back to the way they used to build cars, back to the era where the center console used to face the driver just because it was a driver's car!

12 November 2009

As usual the anti-X6 brigade is out in force, led by Vicky "I'd rather drive a Mondeo" Parrot.

I contrast this review with Autocar's review of the Infiniti FX50 S, which is a simliar kind of SUV, but nowhere near as fast or dynamically adept as the X6 M, and yet Autorcar ends up waxing lyrical about the Japanese car!

Vicky Parrot concludes:

"There are more talented saloons, estates and even SUVs available for much less than the X6 M, and with such restricted rear passenger space and visibility in a car this size there is no practical reason to opt for this over its rivals.

Its position as the fastest car in its class will win it a few advocates, but beyond that and its controversial image there is no reason to opt for the X6 M."

Beyond the porbability that "praticality" is perhaps not the main issue for a potential X6 M customer, can I ask why the same conclusion was not addressed at the Infinit FX50 S?

While I'm at it, this Autocar's conclusion for the FX50 S:

"If you generally drive no more than two-up, or at least don’t carry four people and their luggage the FX is definitely worth considering if you are in the market for a high-performance ‘off-roader’. In reality, however, this is an impressively mature and hugely competent giant sports coupe."

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