The decision: The 2020 BMW X6 M50i doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, however its very good powertrain and expertise make it pleasurable anyway.
Versus the competitors: The X6 M50i doesn’t have hassle maintaining with its rivals, however a few of them supply higher dealing with, just like the Porsche Cayenne.
Associated: Redone 2020 BMW X6 ‘Coupe’ a Rakish Tackle 2019 X5 SUV
The BMW X6 has all the time puzzled me, as have the remainder of its even-numbered BMW SUV brethren. My tongue-in-cheek reasoning for his or her existence is that BMW needed to ensure it coated all of the numbers; that’s why we get an X2, X4 and X6, that are all oddly formed mutations of the unique X1, X3 and X5 SUV triumvirate. However nowadays it appears the extra SUVs an organization can put out, the higher — “should you construct it, they may come” and all that.
For 2020, the X6 will get a full redesign that feels acquainted. That’s as a result of its updates comply with these of the 2019 X5, which was redesigned a 12 months prior. These two SUVs have rather a lot in frequent, together with the identical powertrains, wheelbase and expertise — simply with completely different our bodies on prime. The X5 is a extra conventional SUV, with excessive sides and massive home windows throughout, whereas the X6 has extra of a fastback, coupe-esque form to it, with a roofline that peaks proper above the steering wheel and rapidly tapers again. The X6 competes in opposition to different highly effective five-seat, coupe-shaped SUVs, just like the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63, Jaguar F-Tempo and Porsche Cayenne Coupe (and finally the Audi SQ8, which continues to be to return).
There are three X6 variants: 40i, M50i and X6 M. The 40i comes with the smallest engine: a 335-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder that makes 330 pounds-feet of torque. It’s out there with rear- or all-wheel drive. The M50i is an enormous bounce up in energy, with a 523-hp, turbocharged 4.4-liter V-Eight that makes 553 pounds-feet of torque. The M50i additionally provides customary AWD. The X6 M is probably the most bonkers of the three, with a high-performance model of the M50i’s engine that bumps output as much as 600 hp. All include an eight-speed automated transmission.
I examined the center youngster, the M50i, although it’s nearer in nature to the X6 M than the 40i (200 extra hp leaves fairly a niche between these two fashions). What I discovered was that it’s not essential to perceive the X6 to benefit from the hell out of it.
Giddy-Up: Velocity and 0-60
The X6’s V-8, like a lot of the X6, isn’t new to me. I’ve examined the engine within the Eight Sequence M850i and X7 M50i, and I’ve examined its expertise and security options all through the BMW lineup. On this occasion, familiarity doesn’t breed contempt; it’s extra like anticipation. The power of its powertrain is what makes the X6 enjoyable to drive.
There’s no motive a car this massive ought to transfer the best way the X6 does. It zips ahead with supreme indifference. You begin off tentatively, however the simple manner it accelerates at half throttle offers you trigger to bury your foot into the fuel pedal — after which it hurls ahead like a meteor. Right here one second, gone the subsequent: 60 mph is available in an estimated 4.1 seconds, which may be very spectacular for a 5,115-pound car.
The X6 isn’t fairly as at dwelling on a winding highway, particularly beneath braking. Attempting to get the car to decelerate rapidly to arrange for a nook leads to a whole lot of nosedive. Although it feels steady whenever you stand on the brake pedal, I might additionally really feel the again finish of the X6 get somewhat mild. My take a look at car got here with the Dynamic Dealing with Bundle ($2,600), which added lively roll stabilization, an adaptive M suspension and lively steering. But even with all that digital wizardry working beneath it, the X6 doesn’t really feel agile. It’ll do the dance steps you ask of it, for probably the most half, however with out nice enthusiasm and with loads of physique roll. The throttle response signifies a great deal of athleticism, however curves expose the X6’s SUV soul. I additionally wished for some extra suggestions from the steering, as I do from most BMWs nowadays.
Trip high quality is sweet — particularly within the extra snug driving modes — regardless of the big (and non-obligatory) 22-inch wheels on the SUV I drove. It turns the X6 right into a relatively good touring car, minus its gasoline financial system. The X6’s EPA estimates are 21/26/23 mpg metropolis/freeway/mixed for the RWD 40i and 20/26/22 mpg with AWD. The M50i is even worse, at 16/22/18 mpg. Whereas a protracted drive may be snug for driver and passenger alike, it’ll take a bunch of premium gasoline to finish.
Inside and Expertise
The inside has no surprises. It makes use of BMW’s newest iDrive management system, with a normal 12.3-inch touchscreen that may also be operated by a rotary controller to the best of the gear selector. I discover the touchscreen to be a better manner to make use of the system, nevertheless it’s type of far to succeed in with out leaning ahead somewhat. For easier duties I discovered myself utilizing the knob, particularly whereas driving, or the steering-wheel controls. Flipping via radio stations or altering audio sources could be completed by way of one other 12.3-inch display screen (additionally customary) that replaces the normal instrument panel, or via an non-obligatory head-up show.
Android Auto continues to be not provided (although that can be altering quickly). Apple CarPlay comes customary and now with no price (after BMW got here to its senses).
Regardless of what the roofline might recommend, passenger room is respectable within the backseat, and there are good sight strains. The perimeters don’t dip down that far, and the window will get bigger as you progress ahead, so it feels much less claustrophobic than I had feared. Legroom is ample for grownup passengers; a few 6-foot adults match back-to-back (driver and driver-side rear passenger) with out concern.
That doesn’t imply visibility is nice for the motive force, although: The blind spots over every shoulder are manageable, however wanting straight rearward is an issue due to that sharply slanted rear window. It’s not so dangerous on the highway, however low-speed maneuvers in tight areas are troublesome since you received’t have the ability to see any brief objects behind you. BMW’s 360-degree digicam system, which is sort of good, is sort of a should on this car. It’s included within the Parking Help Bundle ($700), and it’s an choice field I’d test on any X6.
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A Value That’s Gonna Price You
Like different costly luxurious automobiles, there’s an enormous worth vary for the X6. The 40i begins at $65,295 (together with vacation spot prices), whereas the M50i begins greater than $20Ok increased, at $86,645. All that pace doesn’t come low cost. On prime of that, my take a look at car added varied choice packages and people 22-inch alloy wheels, pushing the ultimate price ticket to $99,645.
The X6’s security options embody customary blind spot warning, ahead automated emergency braking, lane departure warning, and entrance and rear parking sensors. Notably lacking from that record are adaptive cruise management, lane-hold help and the 360-degree cameras I discovered so important. A few of these non-obligatory options are customary on far more inexpensive vehicles, and others could be added on their very own, not simply by getting costly choice packages on increased trim ranges (I’m pondering of our Hyundai Palisade specifically). I hope luxurious makes begin following that development quickly.
Why Not an X5?
This finally ends up being the largest query in regards to the X6, given it doesn’t appear to have any of the hidden sports activities automotive essence its form may recommend. The X5’s M50i trim degree begins $3,500 much less, has extra cargo room (33.9 cubic toes behind the rear seat vs. 27.Four cubic toes) and a roomier cabin. With equal function units and powertrains, it’s onerous to present the X6 an edge in any quantitative sense.
That being mentioned, private preferences and styling need to be taken into consideration. One in all my favourite issues to say to of us looking to buy a automotive is, “purchase what you want.” In case your coronary heart says to get the X6 since you like the best way it seems, go for it. Possibly a conventional SUV isn’t what you need. There’s goofy enjoyable in massive automobiles that go quick, and the X6 M50i actually matches that invoice.
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