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Niche BMW 4x4 ‘sixy’ beast

17:44 11 September 2015

BMW X6 satisfies the dual roles of sports car and practical car all in one,

BMW X6 satisfies the dual roles of sports car and practical car all in one,

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It may be a niche vehicle but BMW’s X6 puts the sport into sport utility vehicle, says Matt Joy.

What’s new?

Back in 2008 BMW dished up a spin on the sport utility vehicle template by creating a coupe-like 4x4 that handled even more like a car than the bigger X5. It even coined a new phrase for it – the sports activity vehicle. The name might not have caught on but the X6 did, and it’s back in second-generation form.

The ludicrous X6 M came first but it’s the X6 30d that will take most of the sales action. The 3.0-litre diesel unit now gets a more sophisticated eight-speed automatic transmission. Inside it gets the same upgraded cabin as its X5 stablemate.

BMW X6

Price: BMW X6 xDrive30d M Sport, £56,315

Engine: 3.0-litre, 255bhp, six-cylinder turbo diesel

Transmission: Eight-speed automatic gearbox driving all four wheels

Performance: 0-62mph 6.7 seconds; top speed 143mph

MPG: 47.1 combined

CO2 emissions: 159g/km

Looks and image

It’s unlikely you’ll have no opinion about the X6’s appearance, especially in more obvious M Sport guise. It has the coupe-like roofline combined with the chunky lower half and, with a relatively slim glazed area, imposing front grille and optional 20in alloy wheels, you are guaranteed to get noticed. Mind you, there are few wallflowers in this segment and cars like the X6 clearly appeal to the lucky few who have it and are prepared to flaunt it.

Space and practicality

Although related to the X5, the X6 is designed to be less practical in the name of style and driving experience but, even so, the space on offer is more than sufficient for family use. Up front you get the desirable high driving position with the dashboard wrapped cosily around you, while in the back there’s room for three. Taller adults may find headroom a little lacking with that curvaceous roof but the boot is only 70 litres smaller than an X5 at 580 litres.

Behind the wheel

The X6 delivers the same kind of curious pleasure you get from most rivals in this sector – the sensation of driving something quite tall and heavy that is somehow able to devour back roads with ease and worry hot-hatch drivers with its speed.

This might be the entry-level diesel model but it still offers 255bhp and 413lb.ft of torque, giving rapid acceleration with ease.

The X6 also responds with impressive alacrity – M Sport’s adaptive sports suspension is firmer but brings another level of ability. The flipside is that the X6 is a little less comfortable than the X5, although it’s perfectly capable of despatching long journeys with ease. If you like the idea of a car this big being so able it’s a small sacrifice worth making.

Value for money

This isn’t a cheap car of course, but you get the specification to show for it. SE models get 19in alloy wheels, leather seats, a choice of wood or aluminium trim, DAB radio and satellite navigation as standard. M Sport adds sport suspension, gloss wood trim, electrically-adjustable sports front seats and a sports steering wheel with gearshift paddles. Then other good thing is economy – drive carefully and you could get 47mpg.

Who would buy one?

The X6 serves quite a particular market. There are more practical cars, not least from BMW, and sports cars that serve up bigger thrills. But the X6 does satisfy the dual roles of sports car and practical car all in one, and should you be in position to spend upwards of £50,000 on such a beast then it will most likely make you very happy.

1 comment

  • Who would buy one? Don't tempt me.

    Report this comment

    One Horse Town

    Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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