Coupé-inspired SUVs appear to be the flavour of the month for many of the world’s biggest car makers, but one that inspired the segment is the BMW X6.
The X6 first joined the BMW range in 2008 and at the time was considered vulgar by some, but it is now credited with kick-starting the desire for luxury, premium SUVs with sleek coupé-like styling. As of 2019, the X6 is now in its third generation, and it’s better than ever.
It is a pleasure to be behind the wheel of today’s X6, and not only because of the impressive entry-level equipment. An intuitive gearbox and direct handling relative to the car’s size are key to its driving appeal. We are also admirers of its long-distance abilities, but perhaps best of all is the BMW’s selection of punchy petrol and diesel engines.
The X6 offers a versatile selection, including options for both frugal economy drivers and those hankering after a 2.2-tonne performance SUV. All units are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and equipped with rear-axle-biased four-wheel drive.
The X6’s petrol line-up starts with the xDrive40i, powered by a 3.0-litre turbocharged engine producing 328bhp and 560lb ft. Above it sits the X6 M50i, which draws inspiration from BMW’s M performance division with a powerful twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 making 523bhp and 533lb ft. That will get you from 0-62mph in 4.3sec, which is mightily impressive given the car’s size and weight.
Diesels are traditionally the biggest sellers in the UK, and you won’t need to compromise on power if you’re eyeing up a more economical proposition. The entry-level 3.0-litre xDrive30d offers 282bhp and 457lb ft: drive it carefully and you’ll be able to get more than 45mpg. The most powerful diesel is a quad-turbo 3.0-litre unit producing 394bhp and 560lb ft and badged M50d.