What is it?
This new, second-generation BMW X6 is the sister model to the latest X5 and sticks to a formula that has surprised critics with its success, the original version finding almost 260,000 buyers over the past six years.
It’s a full-size SUV coupé of sporting intent and was originally conceived with the US market in mind. Indeed, America is where it’s made, at BMW’s expanding Spartanburg plant in South Carolina, but it’s slightly unexpected appeal in Europe and China too has made it a usefully profitable hit for the branf.
Key features of this new version, which is for the most part entirely revised, include upgraded engines delivering improved power and economy, more equipment for much the same overall weight, reduced drag (it’s 0.32 Cd improves on the previous 0.35) and a battery of optional driver aids ranging from night vision to self-parking and traffic jam assist.
Usefully, the X6 now seats five full-size adults rather than four-and-a-bit, has an electric tailgate and myriad trim and décor options besides the regular Design, Luxury and Performance packages.
Engine choices include xDrive 30d and 40d diesels of 258bhp and 313bhp outputs respectively, as well as the performance-oriented 381bhp M50d sampled here. The petrol offering consists of the one 450bhp V8 xDrive 50i. All are harnessed to an eight-speed automatic transmission and a permanent four-wheel drive system.