The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

BMW X6 xDrive40i Premium Rocky Mountain Review By Dan Poler

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

SEE ALSO: BMW News and Review Archive 1994-2020

BMW X6 xDrive40i Premium Review
By Dan Poler
Bureau Chief and Senior Editor
Rocky Mountain Bureau
The Auto Channel

BMW’s X6 has always been something of an interesting proposition: Take an X5 and remove six and a half cubic feet of cargo space by lowering the roofline, making the vehicle into a sporty coupe-type offering. All-new for 2020 and similar to last year’s all-new X5, the X6 is a distinctly unique offering and pioneered the class, leading to similar examples from competitors Mercedes Benz and Audi.

BMW’s refresh is thoughtfully executed; attractive and surprisingly delicate. One might expect a vehicle of this its size and class to be striking and angular, or that an X-class vehicle can’t “wear” this sort of hatchback design well, but not so - to do away with that rear cargo space, the roofline exhibits a gentle, asymmetric curve without hard angles denoting front from back.

The cabin is peaceful, with generous storage space; seats are comfortable, with adjustable thigh support up front; headroom is a bit cramped in the back, owing to that curved roofline. The X6 test subject came equipped with the Premium Package, which includes additional features such as a color heads-up display, four-zone climate control, and improvements to infotainment including wireless charging and gesture control for the central display. All the technology feels cutting-edge, which makes it equal parts amazing - the quality and clarity of the displays, including the fully digital instrument panel - and frustrating. For example, to communicate to an Apple iPhone, the X6 uses a wireless CarPlay system; it took 20 minutes or so to work through all of the steps required to successfully get CarPlay to work, and I found it laggy, slow to respond. Not all is lost, however; there are thoughtful touches, like a warning before exiting the vehicle if your phone has been left behind on the wireless charger, and, rather thankfully, touchscreen and gesture control in addition to BMW’s standard button-and-wheel control for infotainment.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

I could spend a review on just the technological wonders of the X6 - the displays, the features, adjustable-color interior lighting, sport gauges and information, 360-degree cameras (integrated with the GPS so that they can activate when at a certain spot on the map) - all sorts of marvels too numerous to detail. If there’s any complaint, it’s that selections are buried in multiple menus, difficult to learn and difficult to traverse. I worry that the temptation exists to manipulate deeply into the internals of the system while driving, causing unnecessary distraction.

Also equipped was the entry-level engine option, BMW’s 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six, good for 335 horsepower and mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s a good combination; although more powerful options are available, this combination is well-suited to the X6 - moving it along nicely without the slightest hint of turbo lag. It should be noted, as well, that the 3.0 will take the X6 from 0 to 60 in a reported 5.3 seconds - not exactly a slowpoke. I averaged a surprising 26mpg in my time with the X6, not bad at all for a vehicle of its size and power.

I did have a chance to drive the X6 in Rocky Mountain snowfall; it behaved itself well, maintaining its composure and handling predictably. Particularly of note were the brakes, bringing us safely to a stop every time. More than eight inches of ground clearance were well appreciated, too.

Being a BMW, of course the X6 comes with a host of safety features, including frontal collision warning, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, and rear cross traffic alert. Some of the safety features are fairly unique: An impact sensor that will automatically disconnect the alternator, fuel pump and starter, unlock doors, and turn on hazard and interior lights.

I went into my time with the X6 thinking it was just an X5 minus storage space and headroom; instead I found it a vehicle unto its own and worthy of consideration. It looks great, handles well, and perhaps most surprisingly the reduced storage space detracts little from the use of the car. The X6 is a solid option that will handle Winter in the Mountain West with grace, while still being sporty and fun.

2020 BMW X6 xDrive40i Premium
Engine Type: Turbo inline-6
Engine Size: 3.0-liter
Horsepower: 335 @ 5,500 RPM
Torque (lb-ft): 330 @ 1,500 RPM
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Wheelbase / Length (in): 117.1 / 194.8
Curb Weight (lbs): 4,784
Pounds per HP: 14.28
Fuel Capacity (gal): 21.9
Fuel Requirement: Premium Unleaded
Tires: Pirelli Scorpion Zero; P275/45R20 110H
Brakes, front / rear: Ventilated disc / Ventilated disc
Ground clearance (in): 8.1
Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
EPA Fuel Economy - MPG city / highway / combined / observed: 20 / 26 / 22 / 26
Base Price: $66,600
Base Trim Price: $66,600

Options and Charges
Option: Mineral White Metallic paint - $550
Option: Parking Assistance Package (parking assistant plus, active park distance control, surround view w/ 3d view) - $700
Option: Harmon Kardon surround sound - $875
Option: Premium Package (remote engine start, 4-zone climate control, head-up display, SiriusXM radio with 1 year subscription, wireless charging, gesture control, WiFi hotspot, enhanced USB and Bluetooth) - $2,300
Destination - $995
Price as tested: $72,020

MORE: BMW X6 Manufacturer Information