Miles driven: 265
Fuel used: 13.2 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 20.0 mpg
Driving mix: 60% city, 40% highway
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||B-|
|Power and Performance||B+|
|Fit and Finish||A|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||335-hp 3.0-liter|
|Engine Type||Turbo 6-cylinder|
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 20/26/22 (city, highway, combined)
Fuel type: Premium gas recommended
Base price: $66,600 (not including $995 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Mineral White Metallic paint ($550), Parking Assistance Package ($700), Premium Package ($2300), Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system ($875)
Price as tested: $72,020
The great: Excellent powertrain performance and ride/handling balance
The good: High-class cabin, distinctive body-styling touches in addition to rakish roofline
The not so good: Compromised cargo volume and rear visibility, price premium over BMW X5
They are odd things, the 4-door hatchback “coupes” in the premium-midsize crossover/SUV segment, and the competitive set is small. That has not stopped BMW from advancing their cause, however.
The BMW X6 is redesigned for 2020, migrating to the platform that its wagonlike X5 sibling inaugurated last year. The timing of that seems right, considering Porsche joins the fray with a new-for-’20 Cayenne coupe, and Mercedes-Benz is expected to put out a next-generation GLE-Class coupe as a 2021 model. (This Teutonic trio forms the sum total of this segment within a segment for now.) The new X6 is a little bit longer, wider, and lower than the one it replaces. Wheelbase is stretched by 1.6 inches, to 117.1 inches. Despite its structural kinship to the X5, the 6 has a slightly different take on the “big kidneys” grille and a distinct front-bumper cover. The X6’s specific rear styling has been redone.
Slip behind the wheel of them both and you’ll be hard pressed to sense a difference—well, until you look in the X6’s rearview mirror and see the limited view through its sloping backlight. Control layouts and appointments are—or can be—the same, based on Consumer Guide’s experience at having tested the 2019 X5. Take a seat in the second row or load something into the cargo bay, however, and it’s clear they are distinctly different vehicles.
CG’s X6 tester was an all-wheel-drive 6-cylinder xDrive40i with a base price of $67,595 including delivery. (A rear-wheel-drive sDrive version starts at $2300 less.) That is $5400 more than a more-practical X5 xDrive40i, though the coupe does come with features like Vernasca leather upholstery and 20-inch alloy wheels that cost extra on the X5.
Other standard gear includes satin-aluminum exterior trim, power-folding heated side mirrors (auto dimming on the driver’s side), LED fog lights, panoramic moonroof, power hatch lid, heated 16-way-power front sport seats with 4-way lumbar support and driver’s-seat memory, leather-wrapped M steering wheel, and ambient lighting. The list of comfort and convenience items runs to keyless entry and starting; “Live Cockpit Pro” system with iDrive 7.0 infotainment, navigation, 12.3-inch touchscreen, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and natural voice recognition; HD radio; “Connected Package Pro” with real-time traffic information and BMW Remote Services; and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Safety minders are bunched in the “Active Driving Assistant” suite of front-collision warning, city-collision mitigation, lane-departure warning, active blind-spot detection, and rear cross-traffic alert.
The test vehicle was optioned to $72,020 with premium Mineral White Metallic paint, Harman Kardon surround-sound audio, and a pair of packages. The Parking Assistance Package added a 360-degree camera, parking-distance monitors, and “Parking Assistant Plus” to automatically handle parallel-parking chores. The Premium Package provided 4-zone climate control, head-up display, satellite radio, wireless charging, and a Wi-Fi hotspot among its eight features.
The X6 40i has the X5’s 335-horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six and 8-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel paddle shifters. Engine performance is lively and strong, even in basic “Comfort” mode, but the powerteam responds more rapidly in one of the selectable “Sport” settings. When that’s activated, the trans holds gear ranges longer before snapping off shifts with added urgency. (BMW claims 5.3-second 0-60-mph capability for the X6 xDrive40i.) There’s added feedback from the exhaust as well—or at least there can be depending on what the driver selects from one of the vehicle-settings menus. Out on the highway, the slick transmission kicks down promptly in passing situations. Ride is firm, and steering goes from light to tight when Comfort is abandoned for Sport. The X6 handles body roll pretty well for something that rides a little higher than a conventional sedan.
EPA fuel-economy estimates for the AWD 40i are 20 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined. This reviewer’s 150-mile test stint averaged 19.6 mpg with 65 percent city-style operation.
Cargo loading is SUV-like, at bumper height onto a flat, velour-covered floor. However, the sharp roof slope cuts into load capacity. This driver was able to load two short stacks of metal folding chairs across the width of the load space under the retractable cargo cover. There is a substantial storage bin under the floor, with a piston prop to support the raised floor while loading. When further cargo capacity might be required, the 40/20/40 second-row seats fold flat.
In the passenger space, wood trim, bright-metal accents, and the coffee-colored leather seating surfaces heightened the sense of luxury in the test car. The X6 is amply endowed with soft-to-the-touch surfaces. Seats are comfortable and supportive, all the more so with cushion extenders. Legroom is good in both rows, and rear headroom doesn’t fall off quite as much as expected, judging by the roofline. Six footers parked in the outboard seats still should fit. Three adults could squeeze across the rear seat under the right conditions, but the middle rider will have to be on the shorter side.
Personal-item storage falls to a usefully sized glove box, a modest console box with padded side-hinged lids, hard-sided pouches on the backs of the front seats, and large door pockets with bottle holders. A covered bin at the front of the console contains two cup holders, and there are two more drink receptacles that pop out of the pull-down rear armrest that also has a shallow covered bin. We’re often leery of remotely managed infotainment-control systems like iDrive, and it does present a lot of rabbit holes down which a driver can go depending on the information being sought. At least there is some easy-to-discern logic to the audio system. Climate controls are separate, but consist of a strip of function buttons that require a bit of a learning curve to get right at a glance. The optional 4-zone system gives rear-seat riders an abbreviated version of this arrangement.
These part-car/part-SUV mash-ups like the X6 appear to have a home in the luxury market, where cost—in terms of money and utility—seems to be no object. As we said before, they are odd things.
2020 BMW X6
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