The X6 is here to finish what it started. The original X6 pioneered a new styling direction for SUVS: the dramatically sloped roof, which cuts down on some cargo space for the sake of coolness. Think of it as an X5 SUV that goes to the gym. Its athletic antics transcend its looks, too. The base engine is a peppy 375 horsepower turbocharged inline-six engine that gives the X6 plenty of scoot. The M60i runs hotter, using a 523-horsepower twin-turbo V-8 that’s built for pounding pavement at high speeds. Both powertrains are locked to an eight-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive. The 617-hp X6 M delivers a far more aggressive experience but is reviewed separately. But don’t let its focus on driving entertainment skew what’s really at work in the X6. It spoils its passengers with a pleasantly elegant interior complete with an enormous infotainment screen that works a high-tech command center. The X6 has inspired other SUVs, such as the Porsche Cayenne Coupe and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe, to lower their rooflines. Which only confirms that it was the X6 that started the move to sleeker SUVs.
What’s New for 2024?
BMW gives the X6 a makeover for 2024, with a revised front grille and bumper, new headlamps and taillamps, updated wheel designs, and a boost in power for the base engine thanks to a new 48-volt hybrid system. Output for the X6’s turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine is up to 375 horsepower, but the power of the 523-hp 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 remains the same for this year.
The performance-minded M60i, renamed from last year’s M50i, carries the angrier engine and gets gloss-black exterior accents, quad tailpipes, and an M logo for the grille. The X6 is also now available with the Highway Assistant hands-free driving feature that we first experienced in the new 7-series flagship luxury sedan.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Despite the burlier sounds and gutsier acceleration that the 523-hp X6 M60i provides, we don’t think it’s worth the staggering price gap. Instead, we’d stick with the six-cylinder X6 40i. We’d spring for the M Sport package that includes a snazzier body kit and exterior trim, an upgraded exhaust system, a sportified suspension, and a unique steering wheel.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The X6 40i is powered by a 375-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six that features a 48-volt hybrid system and pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The M60i has the same transmission and all-wheel drive but its twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 is significantly more powerful. Its 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque helped it rocket to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds at our test track. What’s even more shocking is that the X6 M has up to 617 horsepower and is even quicker. Still, the standard six-cylinder powertrain is plenty zippy and velvety smooth. Both the X6 40i and M60i also have standard adaptive dampers and wheel sizes that range from 20 to 22 inches. Our test of the V-8-powered X6 revealed its impressive cornering grip and stopping power. Although its suspension is firmer than the setup found on the six-cylinder X6 we tested, it was never punishing. We also appreciated its adjustable steering heft and hushed interior at cruising speed.
Towing and Payload Capacity
The X6 has an impressive towing capacity in a segment where pulling capability is often a low priority. When optioned with the available towing package the maximum towing capacity for the X6 is 7200 pounds.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The most fuel-efficient version of the X6 is the turbocharged inline-six xDrive40i. The EPA estimates its good for 23 mpg in the city and should get at least 26 mpg on the highway. Stepping up to the twin-turbo V-8-powered M60i xDrive drops efficiency to 17 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. The thirstiest of X6 is the high-horsepower X6 M Competition, which we review separately, earning 13 mpg city and 18 mpg according to the EPA. We’ll update this space once we’ve driven the refreshed X6 on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen. For more information about the X6’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Unsurprisingly, the X6’s interior looks and feels like most other new BMW products. That means upscale materials and soft-touch surfaces abound, and two large 12.3-inch digital displays dominate the dashboard. While the instrument panel looks slick, the gauges are a confusing mess. Thankfully, the optional head-up display is more straightforward. The rest of the switchgear is also smartly laid out. BMW’s gesture controls—which enable you to control certain functions such as audio volume by waving your hand in front of the infotainment screen—are included but unnecessary. Plenty of standard amenities are offered, too, including 16-way power-adjustable front seats, customizable ambient lighting, heated front cushions, and passive entry. While the back seat is comfortable for two adults, its legroom and headroom shrink by about two and three inches, respectively, compared with the boxier X5. Likewise, the X6 has less cargo volume behind the rear seats. In our test, it only held nine carry-on suitcases back there; the X5 handled 11.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The standard 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It operates through various functions such as traditional buttons, voice commands, a rotary controller on the center console, and even hand gestures. The company’s iDrive interface has crisp graphics and immediate responses, but some of the layered menus can be distracting. BMW offers a free over-the-air upgrade to iDrive 8.5 for the X6 sometime during the summer of 2023. BMW also offers upgrades such as built-in navigation, enhanced USB ports, wireless charging, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The X6 can also be upgraded with a premium Harman/Kardon stereo (standard on M60i) or an even more premium Bowers & Wilkins unit.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The big Bimmer is available with a plethora of standard and optional driver-assistance technology. For more information about the X6’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Available adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
BMW provides limited and powertrain warranties that align with rival luxury automakers such as Audi and Mercedes-Benz. However, BMW offers one of the best complimentary maintenance plans in the industry apart from Jaguar.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for three years or 36,000 miles
2020 BMW X6 xDrive40i
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
PRICE AS TESTED
$72,020 (base price: $67,595)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve inline-6, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
183 in3, 2998 cm3
335 hp @ 6000 rpm
330 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm
Suspension (F/R): multilink/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 13.7-in vented disc/13.6-in vented disc
Tires: Pirelli Scorpion Zero All Season Run Flat, 275/45-R20 110H M+S ★
Wheelbase: 117.1 in
Length: 194.8 in
Width: 78.9 in
Height: 66.3 in
Passenger volume: 100 ft3
Cargo volume: 27 ft3
Curb weight: 4713 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
Rollout, 1 ft: 0.2 sec
60 mph: 4.7 sec
100 mph: 12.7 sec
130 mph: 25.1 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 5.7 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.8 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 3.6 sec
¼-mile: 13.4 sec @ 102 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 131 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 171 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.90 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 20 mpg
75-mph highway driving: 29 mpg
Highway range: 630 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 22/20/26 mpg
More Features and Specs