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2014 BMW X6 Review By John Heilig

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2014 BMW X6

The Auto Page
By John Heilig

Model: 2014 BMW X6
Engine:: 3.0-liter DOHC I6
Horsepower/Torque: 300 hp @ 5,800-6,000 rpm/300 lb.-ft. @ 1,300-5,000 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 115.5 in.
Length x Width x Height: 192.0 x 78.1 x 66.5 in.
Tires: P315/35R20
Cargo: 25.6/59.7 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down)
Economy: 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway/19.4 mpg test
Fuel tank: 22.4 gal.
Curb wt.: 4,780 lb.
Sticker: $82,445 (includes $895 destination charge and $20,750 in options)

Bottom line: While the BMW X6 doesn't look like your standard sport utility vehicle, it has all the performance you'd expect or want, plus undeniable comfort. The sticker is a bit high, which can be mitigated somewhat by a judicious use of the option list.

The BMW X6 is an imposing vehicle. Since it's a 6-Series, sort of, you expect a sleek vehicle. Not so. It's also an X-Series, which defines it as, in BMW-speak, a Sport Activity Vehicle, so you might expect some sort of SUV-type boxiness. Not so.

The X6 is a combination of the two, being sleeker than the average SUV, but larger than the average 6-Series.

Its aspect ratio is SUV all the way, with a high profile and high riding height. In the back, it becomes sleeker, with a sharply sloping rear half. The sleek rear part of the X6's profile doesn't reduce cargo capacity that much, but it does give the vehicle the unique shape BMW intended. My only complaint with the rear section is that the rear window glass has some distortion, giving the appearance of outside rear view mirrors with double convex surfaces.

The X6 rides high, almost like a Range Rover. You get the impression that it must handle poorly, but it does alright by itself on winding, twisting roads. This is no sports car, but it is better than most SUVs.

Beneath the cargo floor is a small hidden cargo area that is next to the emergency spare.

Under the hood of the X6 is a 3.0-liter DOHC inline six that's rated at a comfortable 300 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque powering all the wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission. Can you imagine what an 8-speed MANUAL would be like to drive? This is enough power for the X6's 4,780 pound curb weight. Put any kind of cargo in it and the X6 tops out at well over two and a half tons.

We found the X6 to be an excellent Interstate cruiser. It is solid, powerful and comfortable. We drove almost 200 miles with just short breaks for changing lanes due to highway construction and barely touched the brake or gas or steering wheel. Such is the beauty of cruise control. On the other side of the coin, you need cruise control just to keep yourself honest.

Our tester was a deep brown color that BMW calls Marrakesh brown metallic. Our family was divided on whether they liked the color or not. The solution came when another driver at a stop light rolled down his window and said he liked the car AND the color.

The dash is clear, with orange background lighting at night. The audio and HVAC systems worked fine. There was a navigation system, without a navigation function as far as I could discern. It had a map, but no means of setting a destination, again, as far as I could discern.

I found comfort in the heated and cooled front seats that offered some side support. The heated rear seats had excellent leg and knee room, as well as equally excellent head room, despite the sharply sloping roof. The rear seats fold flat to increase the cargo area that has four tie-downs for added functionality.

There are also some neat features that make the X6 a true BMW. For example, the outside rear view mirrors fold down when you shift into reverse, so you can get an idea of how close the curb or white parking space definition lines are. On the navi screen, you also get a "top-down" view that lets you know how close you are to anything. This is very convenient in tight spaces or if you have a wife who's always telling you that you park crooked.

I also liked the automatic high beams. Once set, they automatically dip for oncoming traffic. This was another convenience on my 200-mile Interstate jaunt. Without the good audio, I might have fallen asleep.

TheX6 isn't your standard SUV, nor does it fit neatly into BMW's stable of SAVs. Like the 6-Series, it is an animal apart, but not so different that you can't immediately recognize its DNA.

(c) 2013 The Auto Page Syndicate