On the test, we have a BMW X6 in the G06 body. I will say right away that this X6 is not the one that we are all used to. How “wrong”, we will find out in this test. Give him the true fans of the BMW? Has it become a full-fledged alternative to Mercedes-Benz or Audi? How is it better than its predecessor, and how is it inferior to it?
BMW X6 front view
After switching to the new CLEAR platform, the vector of BMW X5 and X6 settings has shifted significantly towards comfort. But it is the sports settings that BMW cars have always been different. Of course, this could not but affect the handling of the car. How are things with M-drive now?.
If the BMW X5 in terms of design still have questions for too wide” nostrils ” of the radiator grille, in the case of the X6 for me personally, everything is clear. This is a beautiful car. I will say even more-stunningly beautiful.
The back is the most difficult place (in terms of design) for crossovers in the “coupe” style. But in this case, I think the Bavarians did a great job! Someone may even say that it was very aggressive, but I like it even more. But I didn’t like the picture of the wheels here. It feels like these wheels are borrowed from another car.
BMW X6 rear view
The test crossover is equipped with an external M-package. As with the Mercedes-Benz GLE, which is decorated with external AMG additions, without these decorative elements, the car would look much simpler. 20-inch wheels do not look too big: even with a relatively high tire profile, the wheels look very “appropriate”. And for some not the best Ukrainian roads, this combination is even a winning one.
BMW X6 side view
This BMW X6 costs an incredible 94 thousand euros. But this configuration is not the maximum. For example, the base (for the X6 model) 3.0-liter 30D diesel engine is installed here. Yes, our car already has air suspension, M-pack and laser head optics. At the same time, there is no steering rear axle, “top” leather trim, night vision system and some more expensive options. But the X6 boasts a luminous false radiator grille, which looks very impressive in the dark. For this crossover, it is available for 600 euros, but the X5 is not equipped with such an element.
BMW X6 headlights and bumper
The laser lights that our X6 is equipped with Shine well, so there are no comments on them. The cost of this option is about 1500 euro. But it is important to understand that this technology is best shown when driving on the highway at high speed. If you most often move around in the city, I do not see the need for laser headlights.
Motors and dynamics
I already mentioned that the engine of the test X6 is basic. However,the fact that you can install something more productive here becomes clear from the amount of space in the engine compartment. On the other hand, unlike the X5, you can not order units with a volume of less than 3 liters.
Our 30D modification is equipped with a B50D30 series motor. This is an inline six-cylinder engine with an aluminum block, chain drive, direct injection, intercooler and hydraulic compensators. The peak power of the engine is 265 HP, and the torque is 620 Nm. It provides the X6 with the fastest acceleration to 100 km / h among all competitors with 3.0-liter diesel engines (in basic boost) – 6.5 s (our check confirmed the result stated by the manufacturer). The Mercedes-Benz GLE 350d accelerates slightly slower in 6.6 seconds. The Audi Q8 crossover in the 50 TDI version in theory only needs 6.3 seconds, but in fact Audi accelerates in almost 7 seconds.
BMW X6 motor
As for other engines, the 40d version is equipped with exactly the same engine, but with two turbines (the result is a return of 340 HP). but the 50D version already has four turbines (on the same cylinder block). This engine produces 400 HP. Today it is the most powerful six-cylinder diesel engine (among passenger cars). But, unfortunately, this 400-horsepower unit lacks reliability.
The B50D30 engine in the list of BMW power plants appeared relatively recently. It was first tested on the 7 Series model in 2015, then it was equipped with the 5 Series, and now it is installed on many cars of the German brand. Among the characteristic features of the engine, we can distinguish the presence of two EGR valves (usually one is installed), which can cause significant – double – problems when refueling with low-quality fuel.
BMW X6 automatic transmission selector
But thanks to new technologies, this 3.0-liter diesel engine “pulls” perfectly, and it consumes 10% less fuel than the previous generation of engines (N57). In addition, the declared resource of this engine is pleasantly impressive-300 thousand km!. The only condition (worth repeating again) is to refuel exclusively with high-quality fuel.
The transmission is an eight-speed Steptronic automatic (from ZF). The X6 platform is rear-wheel drive, and the front axle is connected using a clutch located in the front.
How the car behaves in extreme modes, we tried to check by sliding in a skid. Of course, many buyers are not going to do something like this at all. But I’m sure most of them just want to know about their car’s capabilities so they can enjoy that potential or just be able to tell their friends about it.
BMW X6 drift
The test car is equipped with everything that-in theory-it can be put into a controlled skid. First, the engine produces a sufficient amount of torque over a wide range of revolutions. Secondly, the main drive here is the rear: the torque is transmitted to the rear wheels constantly, to the front-when the electronics deem it necessary. Third, this crossover is equipped with a rear differential with locking (which in BMW is called the M-differential).
Did it happen? Unfortunately, no matter how much we tried to break the rear axle into sliding, the clutch was blocked, and the car prevented all our attempts. But it lasted as long as the clutch is not overheated. Then the electronics turned off the overheated node. And only after the clutch “capitulated”, we were able to prove that the current generation of X6 and drift are still not so distant stories.
After switching to the new platform, X6 has become more comfortable, and I only welcome such changes. In my opinion, sports habits in cars are necessary for the mood, but you always want a comfortable behavior on the road. Especially when it’s not about a coupe, but a crossover for every day. Like the new BMW X5, the X6 also received a full air suspension. After that, both cars became significantly softer on the move. Of course, the X6 is not such an “omnivorous” car as, for example, the Lexus RX, but now the comfort while driving on city roads is not the best quality, this crossover absolutely suits me. Even though it is equipped with RunFlat tires.
Now I can say with confidence that the current X5 and X6 have already become as comfortable as Mercedes-Benz, and more comfortable than Audi (not to mention Porsche). Interestingly, the air suspension in this model can only be ordered with basic motors. But in versions with the “50” nameplate, you can only get an M-suspension on more rigid springs (which I would not recommend doing). “Pneumatics” in Sport mode is also quite assembled here, and be sure-there is plenty of tenacity in such a suspension. And even more: this running gear is enough not only for the base engine. And the more powerful version of the 40d is also easy to “get along”with it.
BMW X6 top view
The weak link in this whole bundle is more the steering wheel than the suspension. It is the steering settings (not the running gear) that will make you move more calmly. When actively maneuvering, I do not have enough weight in the steering wheel, and I guess the position of the wheels more by the rolls of the body than by the resistance on the steering wheel. As a result, there is absolutely no desire to go somehow aggressively; there is a desire to deactivate the Sport mode and calmly roll yourself. If we compare the current X6 with the previous one (F 16), we can say that this car was significantly sharper and more adventurous in driving. But the price for this pleasure was a hard and shaking suspension, which at times just bored with its uncompromising.
Now I state the fact that the current X6 can compete fully with Mercedes-Benz and Audi as a car for those who are primarily looking for comfort, softness and luxury. The sports niche now remains only for Porsche.
BMW X6 exhaust system
However, it is worth clarifying that I mean exactly the “civilian” versions of all these models. Because there is still M, AMG, Turbo, RS and so on, and this is a completely different segment and a special element.
I liked the sound insulation in the BMW X6. Its level is very decent, but in fairness it should be noted that the test car is equipped with an additional noise insulation package. This option includes double side Windows and a thickened windshield. If you compare with competitors, then in BMW it is absolutely not inferior to the same Mercedes-Benz or Audi.
BMW X6 acceleration to 100
Now that we’re talking about sounds, I must say that the sound of this engine is just fine. No 3.0-liter diesel engine sounds like a BMW engine. The only competitor in the category “holiday for the ears” could only be a Maserati Levante, but there are installed mechanical dampers. As for BMW, this sound is available exclusively as an option called “M-exhaust”.
We did not dare to check the BMW X6 on the off-road. And there is no need for it. Off-road environments are not BMW’s thing. On the other hand, if you want to give your X6 an off-road look, you can order an additional xLine package. In this case, the car will receive unpainted plastic in the lower part of the body and overlays on the arches.
The current BMW X6 is a Gran Turismo of sorts. This name is usually used to call powerful, fast and, of course, beautiful cars in which sports features, being really important, should in no case interfere with the enjoyment of travel and the road. In these vehicles, it is necessary to be able to keep a high speed of movement confidently and safely.
BMW X6 road behavior
In the current X6, everything is implemented this way. At high highway speeds, this crossover simply “floats”. At the same time, there are no vertical bounces or swings. Also, there is no excessive sharpness of steering settings or nervousness in behavior that would prevent you from relaxing. And the recoil of even the basic engine is enough for the eyes.
The steering and suspension settings are also balanced enough to move smoothly and confidently, easily overtake and smoothly maneuver at speeds exceeding 200 km/h. But “play checkers” in the city stream or take turns sideways-this is not about the current BMW X6.
Our car is equipped with more efficient M-brakes. Front mounted wheels with a diameter of 395 mm (which is 5 cm more than the standard mechanisms), which hardly fit into the 20-inch wheels. Of course, we measured (traditionally) how effectively such brakes can stop a car at a speed of 100 km/h.
BMW X6 on the track
We used to make similar measurements, and some cars surprised us unpleasantly. For example, the Lexus RX stopped at 42 m, which is a very weak result today (any distance exceeding 40 m is already considered unsafe). So, our BMW X6 with M-brakes showed an absolutely mediocre result in 38.5 m. The expected figure was much lower, especially since we are not talking about standard brakes.
Interior and trunk
I’ve already tested several BMW cars with updated interiors before. Among them-the new X5, X7 and 8 Series. And now-X6. So I’m starting to get used to the design of Bavarian cars, and more importantly, I’m starting to like it. For a while, I had to get used to the unusual dashboard (which, of course, was initially associated with Chery cars), but this is in the past. And I have already come to terms with the” world domination ” of the BMW multimedia system. Otherwise, there were no special complaints about BMW cars, so there’s not much to find fault with.
BMW X6 interior
The front panel is covered with high-quality leather, the line on it is even. Carbon fiber inserts and a black ceiling look great (although they cost a considerable 1500 euros). A small note is to the leather upholstery of the seats. Here they are covered with Vernasca skin. Yes, it is softer than the rather rough Dakota that was used before, in addition, Vernasca feels closer to Nappa (and this material is in a completely different price range). But personally, I liked Dakota better.
What really appeals to me is the amount of soft materials in the interior of this BMW. In this regard, Mercedes-Benz should learn from the Bavarians.
BMW X6 multimedia
The buttons on the front panel are comfortable, the M-steering wheel evokes extremely positive feelings, and it’s really nice to control the multimedia system. There are, however, comments on the build quality. For example, some trim elements are fixed with tiny, but still gaps. There are such disadvantages in places associated with additional elements (for example, with decorative lighting; apparently, these details are still “lapped”).
Despite the almost complete technical identity of the BMW X6 and X5, the difference in fit is noticeable significantly. The engineers placed the seats in the “six” a little lower. This is done to make the landing seem more “driver” to customers than in the X5. In addition, this position of the seats leaves more space in height, and tall drivers will no longer rest their heads on the ceiling. On the other hand, for those who liked landing in the “five”, the configuration of the driver’s seat and steering wheel in the X6 may not seem so convenient.
The seats installed in the test car are optional “comfort” seats. Their cost is 1500 euro. For the same money, you can get M-seats that have a different design, but the same mechanisms; their distinctive feature is a more developed side support and a rigid headrest.
BMW X6 all-round view cameras
The basic X6 seats, called “sports”, can be even more comfortable for the tall driver and passenger due to the different angle of inclination, and in addition, the side support is most pronounced in them. So if the lack of ventilation and massage is not critical for you, you can safely choose the basic option.
Because of the” flattened ” proportions of the car, the interior here seems wider than in the X5. And if, after finding a comfortable fit, you can freely put both hands on the armrests on the left and right, you will find another nice bonus in the form of heating these armrests. However, this option costs a lot-900 euro.
Among the pleasant features, it is worth noting the Cup holders with heating, cooling and lighting and the wireless Apple CarPlay (which, thanks to the new firmware, works flawlessly). The armrest has a hidden USB Type-C port, which is given out by all 3A, and in the niche on the Central tunnel there is a traditional USB port, which gives out 2A, which is quite enough for normal charging of the device.
BMW X6 Cup holders
As a result, the design, materials and ergonomics in the BMW X6 are rated “excellent”by me. Compare the interior of this generation of crossover (which is only worth the orange backlight in the dark!) with the previous generation means to consider cars as if from different eras. But there is one “but”. Space in the cabin of the previous X6 was less, and formally this can be considered its weak side. But this feature made the interior of the previous X6 more comfortable.
Tall passengers have nothing to do in the back row. If your height is above 185 cm, you are guaranteed to rest your knees on the back of the front seats. In the Audi Q8, for example, there is much more space in the back. I still don’t understand how the engineers from Ingolstadt managed to make the second row in Audi so spacious.
BMW X6 rear row seats
The backs of the second row in the X6 are not adjustable on the slope (as in the same Q8), but the seats themselves are soft. But the upholstery, unlike the front seats, is not perforated. Separate climate control is available for rear passengers, and heating can also be ordered as an option. In fairness, it’s worth noting that the main competitors also don’t offer much space and comfort on the back sofa. The exception is the already mentioned Audi Q8: it has no equal in these parameters.
In the trunk of this crossover, you can put a fairly bulky Luggage (although not the same as in the X5). The first impression of this compartment is deceptive, because it seems that due to the compartment-like proportions, the trunk height may not be enough. But it is worth looking into the niche under the floor (which, as in the previous generation, is equipped with a pneumatic guide), and you immediately understand the real volume of the compartment.
BMW X6 trunk
It’s nice that the top shelf of the trunk is hard, and you can put something heavy on it (this solution is much more convenient than the flimsy curtains in most SUV). It is also convenient that you can lower the level of the rear axle using the button on the trunk, which activates the air suspension. The trunk lid, of course, is equipped with an electric drive.
At the end, it is worth mentioning another very practical function-the ability to display the car in real time. It is very useful when you are moving in tight spaces at low speeds. The display shows a combined image from several cameras, processed so that you can see the obstacles ahead, but only from a height. It will allow you not to miscalculate the distance during Parking. In addition, from this functionality, there is also an automatic Parking attendant, which must independently find a suitable Parking space. But you need to be careful with this function, because there are still some flaws in its operation.
A test drive of this generation of BMW X6 showed me that the crossover in the G06 body is really not the one that we are all used to. The drive on the BMW X6 stopped being incredibly emotional and bright (thanks to the more sporty settings of the previous version). True BMW fans may even be disappointed. The” consolation ” can be a chic appearance of the crossover (which before it could not be denied). Once again: I believe that among cars with this type of body, the X6 looks the best (and competitors, let me remind you, are the Cayenne Coupe, GLE Coupe, Audi Q8 and even Maserati Levante).
BMW X6 radiator grille lighting
If you like a comfortable and measured ride with the ability to push the pedal to the floor at any time and feel the thoroughbred roar of the engine, then this generation X6 is for you. And in addition, you will get a really good interior and refined functionality of the multimedia system. The main thing (and now I have no doubt about it) is that the current generation of the Bavarian crossover will easily charm those buyers who yesterday were ready to look in the direction of only Mercedes-Benz or Audi. This is because the X6 is really not what it used to be.