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Key Specs

of the 2015 BMW X6. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Acceleration
  • Ride quality
  • Comfortable sport seats
  • Unique styling

The Bad

  • Tall bumper makes loading cargo tough
  • Low roof makes ingress/egress challenging
  • Poor rear visibility
  • Backseat headroom
  • Limited cargo capacity
  • Uncomfortable driving position

Notable Features of the 2015 BMW X6

  • Coupelike profile
  • Turbocharged engine choices
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Available high-performance X6 M

2015 BMW X6 Road Test

Aaron Bragman

The BMW X6 makes absolutely no sense. It has all the performance-sapping mass and heft of an X5 SUV, with none of that car's passenger- or cargo-carrying usefulness.

BMW would like you to believe that this is a coupe. Never mind that it's enormous and rides tall or that it has four full-sized doors and a hatchback. But since the German epidemic of labeling vehicles like this as coupes shows no signs of abating, we'll just nod and smile and quietly roll our eyes at this obvious silliness. What the X6 really is, is a BMW X5 SUV that's had its top chopped, its cargo and headroom slashed, and its body modestly restyled — all for more money than BMW wants for an X5.

There haven't been any significant changes for 2015 (compare the 2014 and 2015 models here) aside from the addition of a rear-wheel-drive version; previous X6s have been all-wheel drive only. So at first glance the X6 seems like a ridiculous proposition. It begs the question: Could its driving experience somehow redeem it?

Exterior & Styling
The X6 is a provocative vehicle in much the same way the Pontiac Aztek was — some people get it, most people don't, but everyone has an opinion about the way it looks. It's obviously a BMW, with its signature twin grille, its swept-back headlights and its high taillights, but the overall silhouette causes everyone to pause to consider exactly what they're looking at.

It reminds me of a toy I had as a child called a Stomper "Fun...

The BMW X6 makes absolutely no sense. It has all the performance-sapping mass and heft of an X5 SUV, with none of that car's passenger- or cargo-carrying usefulness.

BMW would like you to believe that this is a coupe. Never mind that it's enormous and rides tall or that it has four full-sized doors and a hatchback. But since the German epidemic of labeling vehicles like this as coupes shows no signs of abating, we'll just nod and smile and quietly roll our eyes at this obvious silliness. What the X6 really is, is a BMW X5 SUV that's had its top chopped, its cargo and headroom slashed, and its body modestly restyled — all for more money than BMW wants for an X5.

There haven't been any significant changes for 2015 (compare the 2014 and 2015 models here) aside from the addition of a rear-wheel-drive version; previous X6s have been all-wheel drive only. So at first glance the X6 seems like a ridiculous proposition. It begs the question: Could its driving experience somehow redeem it?

Exterior & Styling
The X6 is a provocative vehicle in much the same way the Pontiac Aztek was — some people get it, most people don't, but everyone has an opinion about the way it looks. It's obviously a BMW, with its signature twin grille, its swept-back headlights and its high taillights, but the overall silhouette causes everyone to pause to consider exactly what they're looking at.

It reminds me of a toy I had as a child called a Stomper "FunX4." It was a little electric monster truck that had interchangeable bodies, and my favorite thing was to take a car body and put it over the truck frame. That seems to be what BMW has done here, as well. Whether the look is successful is another matter. Inevitably, everyone stands back and gazes at the X6, scratches their head, and ponders, "What the heck is that?"

How It Drives
Under its curvy sheet metal, the bones of the X6 come from the X5 SUV, which is itself basically a high-riding BMW 5 Series wagon. As such, it handles and behaves much as the X5 does. The mass of its body structure combines with its high seating position to create body roll when cornering — it feels heavy because it is.

The standard engine in the X6 is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder pumping out a decent 300 horsepower. It moves the X6 from zero to 60 mph in a quick 6 seconds, BMW says. It doesn't feel that quick, however, given the size and heft of the truck.

Like most BMWs, it feels more responsive when the adjustable driving mode is switched to Sport, but its sports-car looks simply aren't matched by sports-car performance. If you want something tighter, quicker and faster, that handles better, you'll have to opt for the X6 M and its 567-hp, twin-turbocharged V-8 engine and dedicated sports-oriented parts.

Stopping power from the X6's big, grabby brakes is more than adequate and well-matched to the X6's ability to be driven fast. While the X6 can be driven fast, it's unlikely to be, given its heft. Where that mass comes in handy is in ride quality, which was excellent despite my test car's 20-inch wheels.

What is most assuredly not excellent in the X6 is the horrible wind noise. There's a whistling shriek from the side mirrors that pierces the cabin when you have the windows open, even just a crack. It's particularly troublesome at speeds below 40 mph, and you'll hear the same noise from each side of the car. Something about the X6's aerodynamics and the airflow over the mirrors causes it, and it is truly horrible.

Competitors are similar in form, most notably the nearly identical-looking upcoming 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. Based on the GLE (formerly ML-Class) SUV, the GLE Coupe features a 362-hp, twin-turbocharged V-6, a nine-speed automatic and standard all-wheel drive. It outguns the 300-hp X6 but is so similar in nearly every other way that calling it a copycat model is not hyperbole. The Porsche Macan also fits the bill as an X6 competitor, even though it's slightly smaller and a little less expensive (to start). That model is basically the only real competitor the X6 has right now; the old Acura ZDX mercifully got the ax for the 2014 model year, leaving the X6 to soldier on as a unique offering in the industry — at least until the GLE Coupe gets here.

Fuel economy is fair for such a big, heavy truck. The X6 xDrive35i is rated 18/27/21 mpg city/highway/combined. If you forgo all-wheel drive, which is easy to do in places that don't get much in the way of inclement weather, you can boost your fuel economy slightly to 19/27/22 mpg. Opting for the bigger, V-8 powered, all-wheel-drive X6 xDrive50i drops fuel economy to 15/22/17 mpg, which is not so stellar.

The Land Rover Range Rover Sport is a decent competitor, featuring a standard supercharged 3.0-liter V-6. It earned a 17/22/19 mpg rating, significantly worse than the X6, but features a more powerful engine. Information for the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe was unfortunately not yet available at the time of this writing.

Interior
Inside, the X6 I drove had a few optional upgrades that made the cabin more luxurious and opulent than a typical base model. It's already slightly sportier inside than your standard X5 SUV, despite sharing most of the interior trim between the two. It featured a Cognac Interior Design Package, which brings special seat trim in Nappa leather, contrasting brown with the gray overall trim. It's not what I would call classy, but it is distinctive.

The seats themselves are wonderfully comfortable up front, with 10-way adjustment — but getting into them isn't as easy as you might think. The X6's high ride height combines with a low roofline to make getting in and out a contortionist's act, even for front occupants. Backseat passengers have an even lower roofline to deal with, making it even more challenging to get in and out without hitting your head.

Once inside, the front seats are comfortable, with heaters, high adjustability and plenty of width, but the backseat is again an issue, thanks to confining headroom and a smaller window that makes it feel dark and confined back there.

The Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe is a much nicer place to be, with materials and shapes that make it look much more luxurious than the X6. For a comparable price, the seats are more bolstered, the surfaces are covered in higher-quality leather and the wood trim looks more like wood should. This isn't to say the X6 is bad; it's just that the GLE Coupe looks and feels a step better. The Macan is also a step up from how the X6 feels and can be optioned up to ridiculous levels of wood, leather, metal and carbon, as is typical of Porsche. It's more cramped in back than the X6, however; it doesn't feature the same kind of room for either passengers or cargo.

Ergonomics & Electronics
BMW includes a considerable amount of technology in the X6, but as with all German luxury cars the high-end gadgets cost extra despite the car's already high sticker price. My test car included options like a head-up display, keyless entry, four-zone climate control, satellite radio, heated rear seats and side- and top-view cameras. Their inclusion makes for a well-equipped vehicle, however, and the way BMW lays out the controls continues to be intuitive and simple to use. Strangely, despite the X6's lofty sticker price, a premium audio system was not included on my test car, but the base system is acceptable.

A navigation system is standard on the X6, with a 10.2-inch, high-resolution screen situated high in the dash. The associated iDrive controller knob mounted low on the center console is easy to use without having to hunt for buttons. On-screen menus are clear and easy to navigate; BMW has had a lot of time to get the ergonomics of its control systems right, and its work has paid off.

Cargo & Storage
This is where the X6 really starts to run into trouble. The price, mass and equipment all say "SUV," but the cargo area says "sport sedan." Cargo room for the X6 is 26.6 cubic feet behind the rear seats, expandable to 59.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. The X5 has considerably more room, with 35.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats, expanding to a maximum of 76.7 cubic feet. No information is yet available on the interior size of the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, but the Range Rover Sport features a similar 27.7 cubic feet behind the rear seats, expandable to 62.2 cubic feet maximum. As for towing, the X6 maxes out at 6,000 pounds, while the Range Rover Sport manages a bit more, rated to tow a 7,716-pound trailer.

Safety
The BMW X6 had not been crash-tested as of publication.

Standard safety features include only basic equipment, like a full complement of airbags, front and rear parking sensors and a 10-year subscription to the BMW Assist eCall concierge service. Just about all other electronic safety features are optional, including the Driver Assistance Package with a backup camera and head-up display, radar-based cruise control, forward collision warning with autonomous braking, blind spot warning and more. See a list of all the X6's standard safety features here.

Value in Its Class
So in the end we have an SUV-sized "coupe" that doesn't do the things the X5 does, but costs more. Starting price for a rear-wheel-drive X6 sDrive35i is $60,550, including a destination fee. That price bumps up to $62,850 if you upgrade to the all-wheel-drive xDrive35i model. Going for a V-8-powered xDrive50i will cost $73,850 to start, a hefty premium for the bigger engine and more standard features. My xDrive35i added $550 for Mineral White paint, $2,500 for the xLine trim, $1,950 for Cognac leather interior trim, $550 for a Cold Weather Package, $1,400 for a Driver Assistance Package, $1,300 for a Premium Package (including keyless entry, satellite radio and four-zone climate control), $1,500 for multicontour seats, $750 for LED fog lights, and $750 for side- and top-view cameras, for a grand total of $73,200. Price an X6 your way here.

The X6's main competitor, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, isn't on the market just yet but is expected in late 2015. It will likely be priced a bit higher than the X6, if tradition holds. The initial launch version will be the GLE 450 AMG Sport Coupe, powered by a 362-hp, twin-turbocharged V-6. That will make it more powerful than a six-cylinder X6 but less powerful than the V-8 version. The Porsche Cayenne is slightly bigger and more expensive than the X6 and more a match for the X5 M, but the smaller Macan doesn't match either (it's too small). The Land Rover Range Rover Sport is a good match, however; it's priced almost identically and is nearly the same size, as well. It's slightly larger than the X6, but not much, and is meant to compete for the same sporty-SUV-intending buyers. See how it stacks up against the X6 here.

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Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(5.0)
Performance
(4.8)
Interior Design
(5.0)
Comfort
(5.0)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.1)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

7-series BMW in SUV Package

by Fraz on June 13, 2018

I have owned 2009 BMW 750Li and wanted an suv that gives you a luxury feeling but in an suv package. This vehicle has strong performance and all the bells and whistles of my previous 7-series. Just a ... Read full review

(5.0)

Good look sav

by Jl from WA on February 6, 2018

Very good looking and fun driving. is different between x5. enough space even small than the x5 but still good enough. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2015 BMW X6 currently has 0 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2015 BMW X6 has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by BMW

Program Benefits

Comprehensive inspection by BMW technician, 24/7 Roadside Assistance, BMW Assist. Exceptional vehicles with exceptional coverage

  • Limited Warranty

    Unlimited Miles for 1-Year

    BMW Certified Pre-Owned: Covers you for unlimited miles for 1-year, after the expiration o f the 4-year / 50,000 mile New Vehicle/SAV Limited Warranty for a total of 5 years with unlimited miles. This includes up to 5 years and unlimited miles of BMW Roadside Assistance and BMW Assist (TM) on many late model BMW vehicles. Additional plans are available to extend your vehicle's coverage for up to a total of 6 years with unlimited miles. See your BMW Center for details.
  • Eligibility

    Under 5 years / 60,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a Comprehensive inspection.

    See inspection details.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The X6 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker