First drive: BMW X6 xDrive 35i

* 306bhp 3.0 turbo petrol engine * Fast sprint and top speed * Costs from £42,730...

16 July 2008

First drive: BMW X6 xDrive 35i

The jury is well and truly out on the styling of the X6, but whether you're a fan or not, it's impossible not to be seduced by the way it drives.

The X6 XDrive 35i continues BMW's confusing system for labelling models, because it's actually a turbo-charged 3.0-litre with 306bhp. It slots in at the lower end of the X6 range, but still costs £42,730.

Star of the show is the new xDrive four-wheel-drive system, which can shuffle power to individual wheels whenever it's needed, maximising traction and meaning the handling is incredible for such a vast, heavy vehicle.

The ride is firm, but the X6 still does a good job of absorbing bumps, while body roll is minimal.

Performance is sharp, too. That turbo engine hurls the X6 down the road with a verve you simply don't expect from such a huge car - the X6 will sprint from 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds and go on to hit 149mph.

So why would you opt for 35i over the cheaper 30d model? Well, unless you really want the extra oomph, or like visiting fuel stations, there aren't many reasons, although it sounds a lot sweeter than the diesel models.

However, some extra noise might be a small price to pay. Although the official average is 25.9mpg, that'll drop significantly if you exploit the performance available.

The resale values of petrol-powered 4x4s are also in doubt, so you're also likely to lose a lot more when it's time to trade it in. All in all, your wallet will thank you for going the diesel route.

  • The BMW X6 xDrive 35i is on sale now, costing £42,730.