Opinion-dividing. Striking. Distinctive. Just some of the words often bandied about in the presence of the BMW X6.
Whatever you or I think of its appearance, there’s no denying that lots of people like it and buy it, so BMW is laughing regardless.
It would be hard to argue that the facelift, or second generation as some are calling it, has made it any better looking. But in other areas this entry-level X6 gets a tweaked cabin design and improved efficiency – mostly thanks to updates to the eight-speed automatic gearbox to get the best out of the single-turbo 3.0-litre straight six diesel.
There are three other engines to choose from, including two other oil burners: the 308bhp xDrive40d and the M-tuned 376bhp 50d. There is only a single petrol option in the form of a 444bhp, twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 xDrive50i. Those wanting a bit more poke car opt for a full M car in the shape of the X6 M, equipped with the same V8 petrol engine, which puts out 567bhp.
It’s always been impressive how well the X6 handles for something of this size, and that remains the case. Opting for the M Sport trim of our test car brings adaptive dampers as standard, over the variable steering weight, throttle and gearbox responses you get on all X6 models, and the result is satisfyingly pert handling.
Some might think the steering is a bit too heavy, even in the standard setting, and it feels lifeless at any point, but you can still enjoy flinging the X6 through corners with confidence.
The active four-wheel drive system keeps things mostly neutral, and if you do scrub past the fairly monstrous grip levels afforded by the active four-wheel drive, it’s easy to correct your line if the ESP doesn’t do it for you.
Sure, there’s a fair bit of body roll as the X6’s substantial weight gets shuffled about through corners, but by SUV standards body movement is really progressive and doesn’t remotely spoil the general entertainment on offer.
Having said all that, ride comfort leaves something to be desired here; even in the most forgiving driving mode, there’s plenty of patter over high-frequency bumps, and any rough-edged intrusions can feel pretty jarring even at low speeds.
On top of that, you never quite forget how heavy this car is. Sure, it’s grippy and easy to drive at high speeds, but you’re always conscious of its size and weight, and you get little sense of what speed you’re doing.