BMW X4 vs. BMW X6

By

Automotive Editor

Willis is a freelance writer based out of Philadelphia. Born and raised in Colorado, he graduated from Williams College. When he's not writing about cars or the outdoors, he spends his time rock climbing or reading with his two cats.


, Automotive Editor - July 2, 2021

When the BMW X6 debuted all the way back in 2007, it invented a new sub-genre of SUV coupes and spawned imitators right and left. Based on the popular X5, the X6 shaves down the back half of the roof for a sleek, racy look.

In 2018, BMW introduced a smaller version based on the X3. The X4 ticks many of the same boxes as the X6, and inherits the same flaws. So which is the better buy? Here’s a comparison of key specs and features to help you decide which one is worth the money.

See a side-by-side comparison of the BMW X4 & X6 »

What the X4 Gets Right

The BMW X4 is smaller than the X6, and it’s also the cheaper vehicle. The gap is significant — a base X6 will set you back $13,450 more than the X4.

The X4 starts with a smaller engine than the X6, which makes it more efficient. The EPA estimates that the X4 xDrive30i will do 25 mpg combined, while the thriftiest X6 tops out at 23 mpg combined.

In addition to being smaller than the X6, the X4 is more than 600 pounds lighter. It has a stiffer suspension than the X3, which makes it nimble in the corners. If driving enjoyment is a priority, the X4 is a better bet.

Despite the price difference between the two, the X4 keeps up well in the features department. It gets the same infotainment screens as the X6, and it comes with all the same standard safety tech, including automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitors.

What the X6 Gets Right

As the larger model, the X6 offers a larger cargo hold than the X4. The X6 has about 10 cubic feet of extra space in the back, and the same with its seats folded. Neither model has as much cargo space as the traditional SUVs they’re based on.

The same goes for passenger space. The X6 squeaks out a little extra leg and head room, but it’s not as much as you might expect — less than half an inch in both cases.

To move its extra bulk, the X6 starts with a 3.0-liter turbocharged engine. It makes 335 horsepower, 87 more than the X4’s 2.0-liter powerplant. Both models offer M trims for extra performance. The weight and power differences cancel out to make acceleration times comparable, but the X6’s extra grunt allows it to tow up to 7,500 pounds.

The X6 is the more expensive choice, but it comes with a more luxurious interior to soften the blow. Leather upholstery and wood trim elevate the atmosphere, and fit and finish are top notch.

How Impractical is Too Impractical?

Neither of these models is the practical choice. Buyers seeking utility would be better served by either the BMW X3 or X5. SUV coupes are about standing out from the crowd.

Both the X4 and X6 do this effectively, as they share many design cues. The X6 is slightly more spacious and luxurious, while the X4 is more agile and much cheaper.

Our Verdict: BMW X4

The X4 offers most of the advantages of the X6, but without the hefty price tag. You’ll still enjoy dramatic styling and BMW’s best tech features, with the added benefits of sharper handling and improved efficiency. Unless the extra cargo space is a must-have, the X4 is a better option for most shoppers.

Take a closer look at the BMW X4 »

Take a closer look at the BMW X6 »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Willis is a freelance writer based out of Philadelphia. Born and raised in Colorado, he graduated from Williams College. When he's not writing about cars or the outdoors, he spends his time rock climbing or reading with his two cats.


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