What's the used BMW X6 4x4 like?
For a select few, the BMW X5 is a decent enough thing, but it isn’t quite as leery as it could be. Enter the BMW X6, a car that takes all the good things the X5 offers and cloaks it in a body of uncompromising outlandishness and daunting physical presence.
In fact, it’s the design that divides opinion most about this car, rather than its sheer size, which is even wider than the X5, an already perilously wide thing indeed. However, if you can put aside issues of style and matters of taste, the X6 is not a bad SUV, even if you must accept that while it is larger than the X5 on the outside it actually has less space on the inside, such is the price you must pay on the altar of design.
Underneath its unsubtle bonnet is the usual range of punchy BMW engines. The first of the diesels is the 30d. It has six cylinders and feels suitably muscular at low revs, although there are two further diesels should you want even more get-up-and-go. First is the 40d, which adds more power and torque, and at the top of the range sits the swift M50d, with a triple-stage turbocharger. The least popular engine in terms of sales is undoubtedly the 4.4-litre turbocharged 50i V8 petrol, which is a shame. It’s brilliantly smooth and has no problems catapulting the vast X6 down the road.
On the road the X6’s ride is rather firm and a little unsettled, which means that it’s not the most comfortable car on journeys long or short. However, the flipside of this is unusually sharp handling for such a large and heavy SUV, helped by quick steering and plenty of four-wheel drive grip.
Perhaps predictably, the X6’s interior is borrowed wholesale from the X5, and it’s none the worse for that. The dashboard, centre console and front seats are all the same, and it all feels well assembled and the materials used of a good quality. It has BMW’s excellent iDrive infotainment system controller and space up front is fine, although taller passengers will find the two rear seats short of head room, due to car’s sloping rear roof line.
So, if you can accept the large external dimensions and the limited interior space and the poor ride, the X6 is a sharp-handling and intriguing proposition. It won’t be cheap to buy or to own even used, but it will certainly cut a large dash in the urban cut and thrust of the school run.