What is it?
Our first steer in BMW’s new ‘SUV coupe’, the X6. The current political climate makes this an unpropitious time to be launching a car like this, with massive levies for cars that produce more CO2 than a diesel supermini on the horizon and the SUV being the subject of derision among the chattering classes.
But BMW isn’t apologising for the X6. It’s a car that’s been designed for the American market, where big still equates to better, but there’s no doubting it’s towering road presence and upmarket image mean it’s going to be popular in the UK as well.
BMW calls the X6 a “Sports Activity Coupe” and says it will appeal to those looking to combine the commanding driving position of an X3 or an X5 with coupe-inspired styling and handling.
What’s it like?
Seen alongside the X5, the pieces start to fall into place. Although it is only 55mm lower than the X5 at it’s highest point, the combination of the heavily sloping roofline and much shallower side glazing makes the X6 look incredibly imposing, even intimidating.
The steeply raked window line further accentuates the car’s deep body sides and dramatically swollen wheel arches. If you regard the Porsche Cayenne as the most indiscreet SUV on the road, it has most certainly been toppled by the X6. The hackneyed ‘Chelsea tractor’ tag will have to be upgraded, too, for something rather more militaristic.