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2020 BMW X6
$64,300 — $85,650 MSRP
5
Photos
SUV
5 Seats
18-23 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 3 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • M50i acceleration and throttle response
  • Apple CarPlay no longer requires paid subscription
  • High-resolution, easy-to-read screens
  • Multiple 360-degree camera views
  • Interior quality
  • Quiet, comfortable ride

The Bad

  • Rear sight lines are compromised
  • Gets expensive quickly
  • Gearshift isn't intuitive
  • Standard safety features
  • Can’t hear sport exhaust (M50i models)
  • Fuel economy
2020 BMW X6 exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2020 BMW X6
  • Redesigned for 2020
  • Seats five
  • Three X6 variants offered (40i, M50i, X6 M)
  • Rear- or all-wheel drive
  • Turbocharged I-6/V-8 engine options
  • Closely related to the X5

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2020 BMW X6 Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

By Brian Wong

The verdict: The 2020 BMW X6 M50i doesn’t make a lot of sense, but its superb powertrain and technology make it enjoyable anyway.

Versus the competition: The X6 M50i doesn’t have trouble keeping up with its competitors, but some of them offer better handling, like the Porsche Cayenne.

Related: Redone 2020 BMW X6 ‘Coupe’ a Rakish Take on 2019 X5 SUV

The BMW X6 has always puzzled me, as have the rest of its even-numbered BMW SUV brethren. My tongue-in-cheek reasoning for their existence is that BMW wanted to make sure it covered all the numbers; that’s why we get an X2, X4 and X6, which are all oddly shaped mutations of the original X1, X3 and X5 SUV triumvirate. But these days it seems the more SUVs a company can put out, the better — “if you build it, they will come” and all that.

For 2020, the X6 gets a full redesign that feels familiar. That’s because its updates follow those of the 2019 X5, which was redesigned a year prior. These two SUVs have a lot in common, including the same powertrains, wheelbase and technology — just with different bodies on top. The X5 is a more traditional SUV, with high sides and big windows all around, while the X6 has more of a fastback, coupe-esque shape to it, with a roofline that peaks right above the steering wheel and quickly tapers back. The X6 competes against other powerful five-seat, coupe-shaped SUVs, like the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63, Jaguar F-Pace and Porsche Cayenne Coupe (and eventually the Audi SQ8, which is sti...

The verdict: The 2020 BMW X6 M50i doesn’t make a lot of sense, but its superb powertrain and technology make it enjoyable anyway.

Versus the competition: The X6 M50i doesn’t have trouble keeping up with its competitors, but some of them offer better handling, like the Porsche Cayenne.

Related: Redone 2020 BMW X6 ‘Coupe’ a Rakish Take on 2019 X5 SUV

The BMW X6 has always puzzled me, as have the rest of its even-numbered BMW SUV brethren. My tongue-in-cheek reasoning for their existence is that BMW wanted to make sure it covered all the numbers; that’s why we get an X2, X4 and X6, which are all oddly shaped mutations of the original X1, X3 and X5 SUV triumvirate. But these days it seems the more SUVs a company can put out, the better — “if you build it, they will come” and all that.

For 2020, the X6 gets a full redesign that feels familiar. That’s because its updates follow those of the 2019 X5, which was redesigned a year prior. These two SUVs have a lot in common, including the same powertrains, wheelbase and technology — just with different bodies on top. The X5 is a more traditional SUV, with high sides and big windows all around, while the X6 has more of a fastback, coupe-esque shape to it, with a roofline that peaks right above the steering wheel and quickly tapers back. The X6 competes against other powerful five-seat, coupe-shaped SUVs, like the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63, Jaguar F-Pace and Porsche Cayenne Coupe (and eventually the Audi SQ8, which is still to come).

There are three X6 variants: 40i, M50i and X6 M. The 40i comes with the smallest engine: a 335-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder that makes 330 pounds-feet of torque. It’s available with rear- or all-wheel drive. The M50i is a big jump up in power, with a 523-hp, turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 that makes 553 pounds-feet of torque. The M50i also adds standard AWD. The X6 M is the most bonkers of the three, with a high-performance version of the M50i’s engine that bumps output up to 600 hp. All come with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

I tested the middle child, the M50i, though it’s closer in nature to the X6 M than the 40i (200 more hp leaves quite a gap between those two models). What I found was that it’s not necessary to understand the X6 to enjoy the hell out of it.

Giddy-Up: Speed and 0-60

The X6’s V-8, like much of the X6, isn’t new to me. I’ve tested the engine in the 8 Series M850i and X7 M50i, and I’ve tested its technology and safety features throughout the BMW lineup. In this instance, familiarity doesn’t breed contempt; it’s more like anticipation. The strength of its powertrain is what makes the X6 fun to drive.

There’s no reason a vehicle this big should move the way the X6 does. It zips forward with supreme indifference. You start off tentatively, but the easy way it accelerates at half throttle gives you cause to bury your foot into the gas pedal — and then it hurls forward like a meteor. Here one second, gone the next: 60 mph comes in an estimated 4.1 seconds, which is very impressive for a 5,115-pound vehicle.

The X6 isn’t quite as at home on a winding road, especially under braking. Trying to get the vehicle to slow down quickly to prepare for a corner results in a lot of nosedive. Though it feels stable when you stand on the brake pedal, I could also feel the back end of the X6 get a little light. My test vehicle came with the Dynamic Handling Package ($2,600), which added active roll stabilization, an adaptive M suspension and active steering. Yet even with all that electronic wizardry working underneath it, the X6 doesn’t feel agile. It will do the dance steps you ask of it, for the most part, but without great enthusiasm and with plenty of body roll. The throttle response indicates a good deal of athleticism, but curves expose the X6’s SUV soul. I also wished for some more feedback from the steering, as I do from most BMWs these days.

Ride quality is good — especially in the more comfortable driving modes — despite the large (and optional) 22-inch wheels on the SUV I drove. It turns the X6 into a rather good touring vehicle, minus its fuel economy. The X6’s EPA estimates are 21/26/23 mpg city/highway/combined for the RWD 40i and 20/26/22 mpg with AWD. The M50i is even worse, at 16/22/18 mpg. While a long drive might be comfortable for driver and passenger alike, it’ll take a bunch of premium fuel to complete.

Interior and Technology

The interior has no surprises. It uses BMW’s latest iDrive control system, with a standard 12.3-inch touchscreen that can also be operated by a rotary controller to the right of the gear selector. I find the touchscreen to be an easier way to use the system, but it’s kind of far to reach without leaning forward a little. For simpler tasks I found myself using the knob, especially while driving, or the steering-wheel controls. Flipping through radio stations or changing audio sources can be done via another 12.3-inch screen (also standard) that replaces the traditional instrument panel, or through an optional head-up display. 

Android Auto is still not offered (though that will be changing soon). Apple CarPlay comes standard and now without a fee (after BMW came to its senses).

Despite what the roofline may suggest, passenger room is decent in the backseat, and there are good sight lines. The sides don’t dip down that far, and the window gets larger as you move forward, so it feels less claustrophobic than I had feared. Legroom is ample for adult passengers; a couple of 6-foot adults fit back-to-back (driver and driver-side rear passenger) without issue. 

That doesn’t mean visibility is great for the driver, though: The blind spots over each shoulder are manageable, but looking directly rearward is a problem thanks to that sharply slanted rear window. It’s not so bad on the road, but low-speed maneuvers in tight spaces are difficult because you won’t be able to see any short objects behind you. BMW’s 360-degree camera system, which is quite good, is almost a must on this vehicle. It’s included in the Parking Assistance Package ($700), and it’s an option box I’d check on any X6.

A Price That’s Gonna Cost You

Like other expensive luxury vehicles, there’s a huge price range for the X6. The 40i starts at $65,295 (including destination charges), while the M50i starts more than $20K higher, at $86,645. All that speed doesn’t come cheap. On top of that, my test vehicle added various option packages and those 22-inch alloy wheels, pushing the final price tag to $99,645. 

The X6’s safety features include standard blind spot warning, forward automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and front and rear parking sensors. Notably missing from that list are adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and the 360-degree cameras I found so essential. Some of those optional features are standard on much more affordable cars, and others can be added on their own, not just by getting expensive option packages on higher trim levels (I’m thinking of our Hyundai Palisade in particular). I hope luxury makes start following that trend soon.

Why Not an X5?

This ends up being the biggest question about the X6, given it doesn’t seem to have any of the hidden sports car essence its shape might suggest. The X5’s M50i trim level starts $3,500 less, has more cargo room (33.9 cubic feet behind the rear seat vs. 27.4 cubic feet) and a roomier cabin. With equal feature sets and powertrains, it’s hard to give the X6 an edge in any quantitative sense. 

That being said, personal preferences and styling have to be taken into account. One of my favorite things to say to folks looking at buying a car is, “buy what you like.” If your heart says to get the X6 because you like the way it looks, go for it. Maybe a traditional SUV isn’t what you want. There’s goofy fun in big vehicles that go fast, and the X6 M50i certainly fits that bill.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2020 BMW X6 currently has 5 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2020 BMW X6 has not been tested.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by BMW

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    Certified Pre-Owned Elite with less than 15,000 miles; Certified Pre-Owned with less than 60,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    1 year/unlimited miles from expiration of 4-year/50,000-mile new car warranty

  • Powertrain

    N/A

  • Dealer Certification Required

    196-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2020 X6 Stories

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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

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*MSRP and Invoice prices displayed are for educational purposes only, do not reflect the actual selling price of a particular vehicle, and do not include applicable gas taxes or destination charges.