Shop for a luxury crossover and you’ll find an increasing supply of models for your consideration. One of the top contributors to the segment is BMW, offering five “sport activity vehicles,” the company’s special name for crossovers and SUVs. At the top of the pecking order is the BMW X6, a four-door hatchback, or “sport activity coupe,” that shares its platform with the popular X5 line.

Pricing and Equipment


The BMW X6 offers a muscular countenance and a dramatically sloped roofline that rivals some coupes. Rear-wheel drive is standard with the base trim; all-wheel drive is included elsewhere.

The first-generation model was built from 2008 to 2014. The second-generation BMW X6 has been on the market since 2015. New this year is an updated navigation system and improved touchscreen functionality.

The standard engine is a 3-liter twin-turbo six-cylinder making 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. Also available is a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 making 445 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Pricing for the X6’s trim is as follows:

The X6 sDrive35i starts at $61,400. Choose the xDrive35i and this all-wheel drive model costs $63,700. Choose the XDrive50i and you’ll pay $76,100. Yes, there is an X6 M model starting in the six-figure range, but we cover that vehicle separately.

Standard equipment includes adaptive xenon headlights LED fog lights, and 19-inch light alloy wheels. You’ll also find power-folding heated side mirrors, chrome exhaust tips, and large air intakes.


Inside, you’ll find power adjustable front seats with lumbar support, a 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat, leather upholstery, wood trim, an anthracite headliner, and a cargo cover. All models come with full power accessories, dynamic cruise control, heated front seats, a premium sound system with HD radio, and front and rear parking sensors.

Trim and package level upgrades are many. Choose the XDrive50i edition and you get an enhanced suspension system to go with the beefy V8 engine. Upgraded seats, four-zone climate control, and a Harman Kardon Surround Sound Audio System are also included.

As far as packages go, you’ll find an M Sport package ($3,000) that tacks on an adaptive M suspension, special wheels, sport seats, and upgraded finishes. Other packages include Driver Assistance ($1,700), Premium ($1,550), and Lighting ($1,950).

Individual options include an adaptive suspension, multicontour seats, leather dashboard trim, a rear video entertainment system, night vision with pedestrian detection, and a Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Package prices may vary according to trim and are subject to change. Vehicle prices do not reflect a $995 destination charge.

Performance Pros

  • You might be tempted to overlook the base sDrive35i’s rear-wheel drive arrangement in favor of all-wheel drive. Take a pause here and reflect because this model comes close to matching the 5 Series’ driving thrills.
  • The base twin-turbo engine offers generous kick and will be sufficient for most buyers.
  • Choose the xDrive50i and you’ll enjoy the delicious, raucous power of a performance model. Opt for the Dynamic Handling package and you’ll handle the twisties with confidence.

Performance Cons

  • As muscular as the X6 is, ride quality does tend to suffer under its massive wheels and sporty suspension tuning. Maybe upgrading to the 20-inch wheels isn’t worth the reduction in ride quality.
  • The X6 may have a burly off-road look, but this model is intended for hard pavement. Light off-road duty should be restricted to the well-groomed dirt road leading to your farm or lodge.

Interior Pros

  • BMW’s meticulous attention to quality is renowned. Further, you’ll have the opportunity to customize the interior as you see fit, adding front ventilated seats, automatic soft-close doors, and rear window sunshades as desired.
  • The rear seat has been recently restyled and holds three passengers, although two is a better choice. The roofline doesn’t begin its sharp descent until immediately behind the rear seat.
  • We like the 26.6 cubic feet of cargo space, which is slightly larger than the X5’s area. Fold the rear seat and the X5 comes out just ahead.
  • For 2017, BMW has added a 10.2-inch touchscreen to the standard iDrive infotainment system. It's big, bright, and the modern tile design with adjacent symbols is easy to decipher.

Interior Cons

  • Apple CarPlay compatibility is here! Unfortunately, it comes with a $300 price tag, a cost most mainstream models do not assess.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

That you might even approach the fun-to-drive characteristics of a BMW 5 Series is an unexpected delight. Yes, you need to overlook the extra weight and added height, but driving thrills certainly await you.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Your price tag can come in much higher than you planned, especially if you choose certain luxury items you might have thought were included. When all is said and done, a well-equipped xDrive50i can top an eye-watering $90,000.

The Bottom Line

BMW sells eight times as many X5s as it does X6s. The styling differences are the main reason, but if you’re looking for something outside the prevailing design theme, then the BMW X6 may be worth your consideration.