2016 BMW X6 35i
When the BMW X6 first came out it was crucified by the majority of auto journalists’ as an abomination, whereas I absolutely loved it. Fast forward several years and now there’s several CUV/SUV’s that look an awful lot like the X6 (a very similar thing happened with the BMW GT as well)… take a bow BMW – setting the trend that gets copied several years later by other manufactures.
What Is It?
- Large Premium SUV
- The first coupe-styled SUV that everyone else is now copying
- TheBMW X6 35i is equipped with a 3.0L 6-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine mated to
- an 8-speed Steptronic transmission with paddle-shifters and AWD
How Does It Look?
- Stunning – I just LOVE the look of this vehicle
- By far the best looking SUV on the road today
- Love the big fat tires – makes it very tough-looking
- If you want to climb Mt. Everest you buy a Range Rover, for climbing/driving through suburbia – this is what you want
0 – 62 mph/100 km: 6.4 seconds
What’s It Like Inside?
- Very BMW-ish. Nice large and wide screen for the Navigation/Audio info
- Heated, but not cooled leather seats
- View out is superb – nice commanding view
- My wife asked me if I liked driving an SUV in Germany better than a regular car … Great question – Yes, surprisingly!
- Cool Blue light-band that goes all the way around the interior
- Loved the heads-up display – this should be mandated for every vehicle and it wouldn’t be expensive to implicate
- Switching to Sport mode changes the dynamics of the X6 into a sports car – the dash turns red just to emphasize your decision
- 360° camera was very handy, especially when leaving the parking spot at the airport. Unfortunately that was the only time we saw it in action – couldn’t get it back
So How Quick Is It & How Does It Handle?
- Terrific steering input and feel – even in Luxury mode! In Sport mode, superb
- Thanks to the big fat tires it always felt solid and well planted – cornering was better than expected for a vehicle like this
- Got the X6 up to 205 kph on the Autobahn and after a bit it got a little squirrely
- Dropping down to 190 kph it settled down and became comfortable again
- With a 0-100 kph (62 mph) time of 6.4 seconds – it wasn’t long ago that was Porsche 911 territory
- If that’s not enough for you then there’s the X6 50i with 450 hp, 480 lb-ft and 0-100 kph of 4.8 secs
Noteworthy Standard Features
- Park Distance Control, Front and Rear
- Rear View Camera
- Automatic Trunk – worked very well, I used it all the time unlike other vehicles I’ve tested
- BMW On-Board Navigation
- Electric Steering Column Adjustment
- Heated Steering Wheel
- Sport Automatic Transmission with Paddles
- Lane Departure and Collision Warning
- Lights Pkg; Surround View
- Heads-Up Display
- Active Protection
- Active Blind Spot Detection
*Standard in Germany, optional in Canada: Convenience Telephony with Extended Smartphone Connectivity…$600; Bang and Olufsen (16 speaker/1,200 watt) Sound System…$4,900 (Harmon/Kardon Surround Sound System – Standard in Canada); Speed Limit Info… $350
# Standard in Canada, optional in Germany: Glass Sunroof + Bi-Xenon Headlights + Electric Seats w/Memory + Lumbar Support
What Does It Cost?
To Buy… For up-to-date pricing and options in your region visit: BMW.com or BMW.ca
U.S. ~ Base Price: $61, 595
Canada ~ Base Price: $69,700 // As Tested: $83,968 (approx.)
- Fuel economy was as expected…a little thirstier than your average BMW
- For the entire week I averaged 11.1 L/100 km in very mixed speed levels, so the combined rating is attainable
- Government Fuel economy is rated at (L/100 km): City – 13.0 / Hwy – 8.9 / Combined – 11.1
- MPG (U.S.): City – 18 // Highway – 27 / combined – 21
- Obviously at different speeds, the fuel economy changes – here’s what I observed:
@ a steady 130-140 kph: 13 L/100 km
@ a steady 150-170 kph: 16 L/100 km
@ a steady 190-200 kph: 17.5 L/100 km however…
On one trip at over 200 kph, I averaged 12.2 L/100 km for a considerable distance
Audi Q7, Jaguar F-Pace, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe, Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover Sport
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Good: Gorgeous. Felt surprisingly small even though it is quite large. The Navigation was very good except…
Bad: Voice commands were much slower than the visual and actual – we had to do several about turns because of missed exits
Ugly: Every other SUV compared to the X6
What’s The Verdict?
The X6 is what the English would say: “Painfully Pretty.” It is extremely rare, even in Germany where we didn’t see another one and that resulted in many stares and double-takes from people that obviously had never seen one before. It’s the Ultimate Urban Vehicle (UUV) – © me. The base model is too basic for $69k, but if you loaded it up it would still come out cheaper than a Range Rover with the bonus of it being rare. I prefer cars to SUV/CUV’s, but this X6 would definitely change that perspective. This is the perfect day-to-day vehicle that is very easy to live with.
Copyright © 2016 by Iain Shankland
Text: Iain Shankland Images: Iain Shankland & BMW