BMW X6 xDrive40i M Sport review: hugely capable but hard to justify

BMW’s X6 coupe-SUV continues to defy logic, but that doesn’t stop it being a very impressive all-round package

  • 4.0 out of 5

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    It also gives the X6 a good initial turn of speed despite having to haul the 2,240kg kerbweight. On-paper BMW claims the X6 will hit 62mph in 5.4 seconds, a figure that feels about right in the real world. The chassis setup is largely well resolved, coming with a firm but controlled ride quality that, combined with excellent compliance at low speed, makes it a joy to drive about town. The steering is light, but very accurate and has natural weighting when speeds do rise, so too does the all-wheel drive system, giving total sure-footedness regardless of the weather outside. 

    However, not all is perfect for the X6 on the move as it’s at high speeds when things start to lose their lustre. The ride, surprisingly, gets worse at speed amplifying small bumps to create a fairly unsettled feel on the motorway. Sitting on standard-fit air springs, this can sometimes be a side-effect of damping that’s out of sync with the springs themselves and, somewhat counterintuitively, improves slightly when you’re in Sport mode. The dampers can be set up individually through the multitude of driver modes to mix the Sport damper setting with less aggressive tuning for other elements, but the ride is only improved, not fixed.  

    The powertrain also starts to lose its shine at these higher speeds, as the engine needs to work quite hard to build speed at a constant pace. While never gruff, the six needs to rev harder than you’d expect, and comes paired with an odd speaker-induced noise enhancement that won’t be to everyone’s taste. The X6 is also a thirsty beast, settling at around 26mpg over the course of our test – some 6mpg short of the official figure. 

    Aside from a few high-speed knocks, though, the BMW X6 feels like a generally well resolved and enjoyable package, despite the obvious compromises associated with its coupe-like styling. While we still think there are better options out there if you’re after a large and luxurious daily driver, it is a very good SUV in isolation that can compete strongly with most rivals. 

    Porsche’s Cayenne Coupe is perhaps the most obvious direct rival, and starts at a comparable base price of £73,300. The V6 petrol engine is a little short on power with 348bhp, and is sparsely kitted out, being the very entry-level Cayenne model, but it fights back with an even more dynamic driving experience. The Audi Q8 and Mercedes GLE Coupe drive more in the manner of their truck-like SUV counterparts and don’t offer as fine a balance between comfort and control as the BMW does.

    Model: BMW X6 xDrive40i M Sport
    Base price: £73,600
    Price as tested: £94,379
    Engine: 3.0-litre turbo-petrol
    Power/torque: 375bhp/540Nm
    Transmission: Eight-speed auto, four-wheel drive
    0-62mph: 5.4 seconds
    Top speed: 155mph
    Economy/CO2: 32.1mpg/199g/km
    On sale: Now
    L/W/H: 4,960/2,004/1,690

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