2020 BMW X6 Test Drive Review
We do a detailed road test review of the BMW X6.
Car Tested: BMW X6 xDrive40i M Sport; Road Test No. 1247; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs – 1,12,54,546/-
For the 2020 model year, BMW has gone all-in on the X6’s striking design and paired it with a feature-loaded and luxurious cabin
The BMW X6 has always been a very interesting car ever since it’s launch. Its sportback design caused a lot of polarising opinions. With a radical design like what the X6 embraces, you never can satisfy anyone. However, the sales showed that people loved the original X6, which necessarily did not nail the proportions for this style of a car.
The second-generation embraced the design, and added more aggression, and tidied up the proportions. However, it is with this generation that BMW have truly understood what the X6 should be, and have taken the sporty and aggressive design to the next level, as well as updating everything inside to keep in touch with the times.
Exteriors – The exterior is distinctly aggressive. BMW have become more confident about what they have come up with and have turned up the aggression with the design, especially in the M-Sport variant we have here. Upfront, if you view it head-on, you might even mistake it for an X5, as not much has been meddled with here, the headlamps and even the grille have been kept the same to a large extent. Even the front bodywork in comparable variants have very similar designs between the X5 and X6.
The sloping roofline combined with the massive tyres and flared wheel arches give the X6 a distinct and sporty stance
Moving on to the side, and that side profile is why you would be considering the X6. With this generation, BMW have gotten their proportions right. The car doesn’t look too bulky from the side, and the body lines, in general, have not been overdone. There are a couple of sharp creases up top and a soft one merging into the flared wheel arches. The big wheels are a good reason why this car is quite intimidating in person. The car can also come with an illuminated grille, if that is your thing.
The rear of the BMW X6 is a very interesting prospect. There is just so much real estate at the back to work with, which would normally be lacking in a sedan. Especially with the slimmer lights taking up less space there are a lot of lines going on at the back. This may seem a tad busy for some, but it certainly adds some character to the car.
Interiors – The interior is standard BMW 2020 lineup interior. This is to say that you can expect high-quality materials, tight tolerances, and a very ergonomically laid out cabin. Everything right from the buttons to the door handle all have a very solid feeling to them, and everything you touch feels robust and premium.
BMW has loaded the X6 with a ton of features including a high-resolution 360-degree parking camera and wireless Android Auto
The iDrive infotainment system is getting bigger with every generation, and more useful as well. With wireless Android Auto recently added, this system is really smooth to use, and ticks all the boxes an infotainment system should at this price point. The digital driver’s display is what we have seen with other BMW cars as well, and does not suffer from any latency issues. It could however be more customisable, as there are very little customisation options available. Enthusiasts also may not appreciate the tachometer revving in the opposite direction.
The backseat is where the sloping roofline starts eating up space. Tall passengers might feel a bit cramped, despite BMW’s best efforts in scooping out some space at the top. The panoramic sunroof does not extend all the way to the backseat, probably because of the sloping roof. It is better to get a lighter coloured interior for a more airy feeling if you are buying one, as the window’s small aperture also doesn’t help the situation.
The sloping roofline eats into the rear passenger’s headroom and may also make the feel claustrophobic due to the small windows
The car is loaded to the brim with tech. BMW has some of the best car technology in the world, and they have put nearly all of them in here. The 360-degree camera gives you angles you never thought you would need, and the system works smoothly and consistently. The car also comes with lane keep assist, and emergency stop assist.
The ambient lighting, has been taken to another level with customisations and moods, and now it has become an integral part of the interior mood, rather than a cool gimmick. The thoughtful features like heated/cooled cup-holders, and 4-zone climate control enhance the experience of the interior.
Performance – In spite of the X6 being a CBU model, BMW chose to offer us in India, the base 40i petrol engine, rather than the more efficient and torquey diesel which powered its predecessor. The 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine produces 340 HP between 5500 to 6500 RPM while the torque output of 450 Nm comes in at an early 1500 RPM and stays there till 5200 RPM, giving the X6 a very wide torque band. There is a hint of lag lower down but the mid-range is very strong while the motor screams in the top-end with a sporty snarl. Refinement levels are fantastic too and you can barely hear the engine until you get past 3000 RPM.
The petrol motor has a fantastic punch in the mid-range along with a strong top-end too thanks to the wide torque band
0-100 km/hr is dispatched in 5.5 seconds which isn’t quick for a car of this price but the 8-speed transmission is super fast with shifts and gets you the right gear almost all the time. It’s not only fast to swap cogs upwards but is always willing to drop a gear or a few to get you in the meat of the powerband. One can also manually shift gears using either the steering mounted paddles or the tiptronic function on the gear lever.
Driving Dynamics – The X6, like other BMWs, has a slew of drive modes – 4 to be precise (Adaptive, Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport) which alter the engine, gearbox, steering and dampers (the M Sport doesn’t get Air Suspension as standard which is there in the xLine).
The xLine variant comes with Air Suspension as standard while the M-Sport variant gets BMW’s M Adaptive Suspension
In Adaptive mode, the car tries to understand the driving conditions to alter the aforementioned aspects of the X6 for a better drive. However, the ride is just uncomfortable due to the stiffness and feels busy most of the time on less than smooth roads. The handling is good though with a steering that weighs up and offers feedback too, but there is some body roll to contend with, naturally. The brakes offer surefooted stopping power but the feel on the pedal could be better.
Verdict – The BMW X6 is a more well-rounded option than its predecessor. As mentioned before, BMW seems to have understood what to do with this lineup of body design, once they realised it’s potential to stand out among a sea of SUVs on road today. At Rs. 95 lakhs (ex-showroom), this car is certainly not cheap. At a premium of about 10 lakhs over the X5’s top-end variant this car is based on, you are paying that extra amount mainly for the new style.
Unlike the previous models, the advantage this car holds over its predecessors is the fact that this design style has now been more accepted since 2008, when the original X6 came out. This would certainly help the car’s status quo, and the distinct look, and the road presence the X6 provides might justify the extra premium for some.
If you are one of those people who are a fan of this form factor and its bespoke stance, then this car should be right up your list.
What’s Not So Cool
Alternatives – Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe
Further Reading –