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Roadshow Video Reviews
2013 BMW X6 XDrive 35iThe 2013 BMW X6 XDrive 35i is a mouthful to say and a big lumbering vehicle with some confusing technology inside.
-BMW's X6, a coupe SUV crossover thing. This category has not exactly taken the automotive world by storm nor is it a halo car. It's not that far up in their lines. So, what is point? Let's delve into that as we drive this 2013 X6 XDrive 35i and check the tech. The X6 is based on the X5, but with a 4-door couple UV body that hasn't worked for anyone else, Acura killed off their ZDX, which was one of the few direct competitors, but that doesn't mean the BMW sells a tons of these. Alright. Some numbers first. BMW sold about 6,800 of these guys in calendar 2012 in the U.S. That puts it down pretty much near the bottom with the Z4 and the 6 Series Coupe. 2.5% or so of their U.S. sales. But that's part of the story. They kind of don't want you to see one of these next to you at every stoplight because vehicle is much about exclusivity as practicality. Now, inside, nothing too unfamiliar. BMW has about the most consistent cabins, I think, of any carmaker out there. So, you'll recognize just about everything including our wide-ish, though not the largest large-est BMW display screen right there. This is the iDrive system you've seen many times. I'll make a couple of notes about it. It's a little messy in terms of getting around all the media choices. I haven't talked about this in a couple of years and they haven't fixed it either, so I'm back on it. Under CD and multimedia, you'll find your optical drive, your music collection. That's the internal hard drive that you're never going to use. And then another submenu takes you to external devices where you find your iPod, bluetooth streaming, and the aux jacks here in the console. Why are those on separate menus? And all of it separate from radio, which is just another audio choice to me. Oh and I forget, there are media choices under connected drive then down to BMW apps and then you can access web radio. Why isn't that with radio? Further fragmentation occurs this way. The apps that are on my iPhone here in the console, which are these web apps I'm showing you, Facebook, Twitter, web radio, those get their connection from the phone or in this case my iPod Touch going through my droid hotspot. That's a detail. But many of the services under BMW online like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, but not the apps that are on the iPhone-- See what I'm talking about?-- get their connection from the car. It's not consistent to know when or when you don't have a connection for your online experiences. As for that navigation system, BMW is generally excellent. I'm not a big fan of the little 3D SimCity thing, but you may like that a lot. You can take care of that view by changing to a different one, but this ribbon on the left still annoys me. It's the other thing I wanna see BMW do something better at. This is a cryptic toolbar and I shouldn't need to dive into it, select this thing, just to zoom in and out. That is an intuitive thing that should always be available on the knob in some way. I won't even dignify this ancient rear seat entertainment rig other than to say 2005 called and it doesn't want its tech back. Okay. XDrive 35i on the butt tells you a lot about what's in the front. 3L, inline 6 direct injection, completely variable valve train in terms of timing and lift. It's a BMW thing called Valvetronic. And twin power turbo means not 2 turbos in a 6. They do that with their V8s. But a single 2-staged turbo that's meant to spool up quickly at low RPMs to reduce lag, but also be optimized differently with a separate internal scroll for higher RPM efficiency as well. The numbers: 300 horsepower, 300 foot pounds of torque. Easy to remember. Makes my job simpler. You're gonna get to 60 in about 6.3 seconds, which is kind of impressive because this guy ways almost 4,800 pounds before you even get in it. This is a big boy in term of weight. And your mileage isn't bad. It's 16.23. Now, let's compare this briefly to the same power plant in a 335 XDrive, sedan or coupe 3 Series. Same power, but you get significantly better MPG, 19.26, and a 1 second faster 0 to 60 spring, but that car weighs 1,000 pounds less than this one. Big difference. Same motor. I can sum up driving the X6 real quickly for you. I don't like it. I dunno what it is about this combination of what is called BMW's N55 engine with this vehicle, but I don't recall driving a BMW with this engine that is this laggy. Some of it feels like turbo lag, which is kind of unusual for them. And I also feel like the weight of the vehicle is perhaps too much for this engine regardless of what the numbers are on paper. I'm in sport mode. I've gone over here to manual mode. I've run the gears manually on the paddles. At no point am I getting what I would call responsive driving, although I am getting powerful power output, but that's not what I'm looking for. The car just feels heavy all the time. Secondly, the handling I find to be a purposy ride. I'm getting nose and butt doing this, and it feels tippy. I know we've got a sporty vehicle here, but I dunno. It doesn't feel well planted to me like there's a lot of jaunts in the ride like right there. So, this is not my favorite BMW. Even though it has an M package, an M sport package and has a sporty look, I find it to be a chore to drive. Oh, let's price this guy. A 2013 X6 XDrive 35i is gonna run about 60,007 delivered. One of the biggest option packages you can grab is dynamic handling. 4,300 bucks. We've got it on this one, but I wasn't all that impressed with the driving. So, I might skip it. It might not be much worse and you'd save 4,000 or more. The package you do want is premium, $3,300. That brings in almost all the CNET tech toys including navigation, rear camera with top view, the online services, quad zone, climate control, and more. And BMW apps 250 bucks. Don't be cheap. You want that, but it only works with your iPhone as of this date. All in, we're at around the mid 68,000-dollar range CNET style. Kind of pricey, but also kind of a value because this car is exclusive. It's very stylish and it's actually kind of efficient given its bulk, its heft, and its size. It does okay on MPG and does a lot [unk].