BMW promises its 530-horsepower X6 is not an SUV, it's just practical like one
BMW feels like it's really onto something with its half-coupe, half-SUV "Sports Activity Coupe" X6, which gives you family-grade practicality while still attempting to look a bit cool. The new model gets giant, light-up kidney grilles and up to a supercar-adjacent 530 horsepower.
If you're really prepared to give up all pretense that you're still young, virile and fancy free, BMW's got you covered with the hulking, boxy X5. But if you want to signal to the world that you've got a bit of the ol' shenanigans left in you, a spring in your step, a twinkle in your eye – while still hauling your inconveniently present children around – the X6 is the tool of choice in the BMW rack.
Its gently rearward sloping roof is designed specifically to camouflage the fact that you've reproduced, going so far as to tint the rear windows so nobody can look in there and see the apple core and corn chip disaster area your spawn are creating as you flex and wink at the hottie in the two-door next to you at the lights.
Sure, you lose the top back bit of your storage space, but there's still 1,500 liters (52.9 cu ft) back there if you fold the seats down, and if you squint from certain angles, you can almost convince yourself the X6 is a sporty coupe that's just been stretched a little vertically. In all fairness, as crossovers go, this is a nice looking machine, especially if you like a big set of kidney grilles. Which some people must, because BMW is now offering you the ability to light the things up and call even more attention to this car's giant, gated nostrils.
It's a tiny bit bigger and a hair lower than the previous X6 – not so you'd notice, really – and the standard LED headlights can be optioned up to an adaptive Laserlight system, which allows you to run high beams without blinding oncoming traffic as much as 500 m (0.3 mi) away.
It will launch, like nearly all BMWs, with a bunch of different engine options: two gasoline, two diesel, no hybrids or electrics. The lowest power, highest efficiency unit is the xDrive30d, an inline six diesel making 265 hp and returning fuel economy as high as 6.1 l/100km (46.3 mpg). The racehorse in the stable is the gasoline-burning, V8-powered M50i, which makes a monstrous 530 hp if you're prepared to deal with a best effort of 10.4 l/100km (27.2 mpg).
All models are Euro-6 compliant, and all use the 8-speed Steptronic auto with intelligent AWD that's biased toward rear-wheel drive until the going gets slippery. Dynamic damping is now standard, but you'll have to option up the M suspension Professional package if you want active roll stabilization and integral active steering, or the xOffroad package if you want a self-leveling air suspension kit that allows you to raise the car up to 80 mm (3.1 in) at the touch of a button if you want to get it muddy.
Standard driver assist gear includes cruise with braking, auto emergency braking including cyclist alerts, and collision and pedestrian warnings. You'll need to spend extra for adaptive cruise with stop/go functionality, steering and lane control assist, evasion assistance, rear collision warnings, wrong-way warnings, cross traffic warnings, lane change warnings or automatic "park yourself" buttons.
The cabin tends toward leathery luxury with hints of sportiness. That includes standard ambient mood lighting, with "welcome carpet" ground lights that guide you toward the doors. There are two 12.3-in displays and BMW's "intelligent personal assistant" if you're the type that talks to your car. The standard seats are sport-adjacent and comfy-looking, but you can option them up to include heating, cooling, or massaging. Indeed, there are also options for thermo-electric cupholders, wireless phone charging, a bangin' 1,500-watt Bowers & Wilkins stereo and an eight-fragrance in-car aromatherapy package to really ratchet up the olfactory opulence.
Slated to be built in the United States, the new X6 will launch this November, with pricing yet to be announced. Enjoy a bunch of photos in the gallery.