Big (and small) SUVs are taking over our streets, where once there were bundles of city cars - we now have a range of SUVs from small to large filling our shopping centres. What does this mean?! Well, to win the game, you must have the biggest and best SUV of them all. Fortunately, for those of us entertaining that game, BMW have introduced an all (ish) new X6 - with a larger grille (not to everyones taste) and overall redesign, it now stands out much more than before.
"The grille is enormous an totally stupid!"
When I first saw photos, I'd have agreed with you. However, in the flesh it works much better - also when photos are taken from different angles it's less in your face. In person the design actually works incredibly well, more so than many of the competitor vehicles. Front end wise, it's filled with sharper edges which run into longer lines - it's distinctively BMW.
The side profile is surprisingly sweeping considering the type of vehicle it is, nice lines run down the side alongside some of the sharper edges to a nicely finished rear end. Sharp edges really are such a big thing with the new X6, but they work well so you can't really complain. It is a very stylish SUV, looking as expensive as it is and also offers new BMW design language to help the ageing process.
The alloy design is reminiscent of other 'M-Sport' vehicles in the range, however these alloys just happen to be HUMONGOUS - 22" wheels aren't small by any standards.
Ever stepped in to a palace on wheels?
That's what happens when you jump into a £90,000 X6 M50d - none of this car rubbish, only the best of the best will do here. Truly the finest stitching, leathers and utter quality is in the X6, finding a nicer interior is seriously difficult to do. Want to know even more you're in a vehicle which costs as much as a house? The gear knob is finished with glass - actual glass - no real plastic here! Up front the position is comfortable and offers great visibility, especially considering the size of the vehicle. The bonnet does stretch out in front of you, however thanks to a great surround view system - you know where everything is.
Your passengers also get a great and comfortable ride with tonnes of space - as you'd expect. The sloping roofline doesn't affect rear comfort - however the rear tach capabilities mean they have as much control as you do. Once again the Harman/Kardon system was clear, however it could have had more bass - considering how much space they have to play with. Total interior comfort is also achieved thanks to a £3,500 optional Merino leather interior - ouch.
In summary, a lovely place to be. So nice, you won't want to go back to your house - which you might not have anymore due to the cost of the car.
It shouldn't drive as well as it does..
For something as big as the X6 is, it shouldn't be nearly as fast or nimble as it is. Strap four (yes, four) turbos to a 3.0 straight-six diesel and you get 400hp / 760Nm, a 0-62 time of 5.2 seconds and an electronically limited 155mph top speed. The responsiveness of the engine is incredible, quite literally launching you off the line. In corners, whilst you do get some body roll (inevitable in such a huge car), it's nothing short of a miracle to how little you do actually get.
So finally corners can be fun in a humungous car, just as much as backroads.... and overtakes... thanks to 760Nm of torque. Motorway driving is as simple as tickling the throttle, town driving is also with ease - just remember you move a lot faster than other people. The steering feel is light but does offer some response, the same goes for the pedal feel. If you want a really 'performance' inspired X6, then go for the M50i model - packing a whopping 523bhp out of a 4.4 V8 it does 0-62 in 4.3 seconds - absolutely insane figures for such a large vehicle.
It shouldn't be as good as it is
A large, not full size SUV shouldn't work. Not in theory - not in practice, but yet somehow BMW have absolutely made it work in every way. Whilst the off-road capability may not be as sublime as competitors, the on-road driving characteristic easily makes up for it. The design aesthetic is different and makes a bold statement (especially if you go for the illuminated kidney grilles).
Inside you find yourself in a totally different world to what's going on outside, however it's equally a connected drive. Need to go to the local shop? The X6 can do it with ease. A tip run with loads of junk, easy. Towing a huge weight half way across the country - the X6 has got your back. Oh, want to have some serious fun on a track and walk over a lot of 'fast' cars - the X6 M50d/i can help you there too.
It costs as much as a house, but it feels like a home on wheels. Worthy of the price tag? Yes, prices don't fall too fast on these - and it would be a great ownership experience.