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BMW X6: Don't believe the hypeThe BMW X6 gathers strong opinions wherever it goes. Is its rep justified or is it misunderstood? XCAR take the latest X6 out for a spin to find out.
Sometimes a car gets itself an unfair reputation. The Mazda MX5 for example, is a, hairdresser's car. Same goes for the [??] but why, they're both really good motors. And then we have this, the BMW X6. It's reputation is less than stellar, let's face it. And I wanna find out why. This is the all new X6 and unsurprisingly it's closely related to the X5, though, as it's adorned with an even number it's been setup more for driving pleasure than mud-plugging because. As you know X5 owners are known for taking their super expensive SUV off-road at every available opportunity. [MUSIC] The X6's story is pretty standard. BMW decided it wanted to make it so in the mid to late 90's released at concept for it at the Frankfurt Auto Show. And a gentle [UNKNOWN] where the Germans go to show off. It was swifty and shiny and what have you and knowing BMW, it probably had active in the name. It looks pretty cool. Then a couple of years later, it hit the road. So that's when it started going a bit wrong because all of a sudden, people got the impression that X6's were only driven. By unpleasant people with no taste. Was it because even though it's massive, it only seated four people, not five, which did become optional later, or was it because the boot was nowhere near as big as it should have been? Maybe it was the styling, or perhaps the engines. Was the M version really necessary? Probably not, but. The [UNKNOWN] was really very good, big power, big torque, big fun. It may have been a mix of those things, hell, it certainly didn't that one bloke put gold wrap on his and drove it around Central London. Something about the X6 appealed to the precision facial hair brigade, the ones for whom a badge and the perceived feeling of image was all. While I was trying to get to the bottom of why people like the X-6 I put out a quick unscientific Twitter poll just to gauge opinion and the same answers kept coming over and over again. Not very good looking it's impractical it's an impractical version of a practical car and the [UNKNOWN]. All the kind of people you want to have around for dinner. But despite all of that, BMW has sold thousands of these. Since [UNKNOWN] of 2008, they've sold 260,000 of them. Before we get to the driving bit, it's worth talking about the look of the X6. And it looks like. Six has got a big face and a sloping roofline. As you'd expect, however there are still some problems with it. The first one is that if there are tall people in the back, they will struggle for headroom. And I find that really weird, because to get into the front, I have to practically jump into this thing. Originally, I'm not the tallest man in the world, but. Still. Then there's the boot. You expect it to be enormous, but in reality, it isn't. And BMW says they've upped the literage, so you can fit more stuff in there than you could before, but it's still not as big as you'd hope it would be. Despite all that, despite the roof and the boot and what have you. I'm hard pressed to say I don't like the look of it. I do. I, I don't find it an unpleasant car to look at at all. And if you look at it from the wheel arches up it looks like a slinky, slinky coupe. It's just the wheel arches down there's a lot more dull and it's a little bit. Well, it could be described as ungainly. Here in the US where we are now, well, it fits in, it looks like a premium SUV, it works here. But in London, I'm not entirely sure it would work as well. It lacks the classlessness that you get in something like a Range Rover, especially if you wrap it in. I can't speak for the drivers or how they'll drive it. I've seen the people who bought the last one will buy the new one and enjoy it greatly. We live in an era where everything you own says something about you. Everything from your phone, shoes, luggage all the way up to your car. THe X6 says that you have a certain style, a way of doing things, but you don't really care what. Any one of those things. Which, given my little Twitter poll, is a good thing. Since this is a car set up for driving pleasure and lifestyle, it's worth talking about the engine. To start with, there'll be three on offer. The 30D, the 50i, and an M50D. NOw that is a three litre tri turbo diesel. That has been fiddled with by the boys at the N division, after that there will be a full fat N, and then a 40 D. This is the N 50 D, Now, that engine is packing 381 horsepower, and 546 pound foot. That means it's good for 0 to 62 in just 5.2 seconds. And it'll hit a limited 155 miles an hour, which is. Very impressive for a car that weighs 2.2 tons. The X6M50D is very good but that's no surprise given who's had a hand in it. This is an M car but not quite. This is one of M division's in performance car. And what that means it's a more usable half way [UNKNOWN]. Between a normal BMW and a full fat [UNKNOWN] the wall, race bred M car. It just gives it a little extra pep, a little bit more. It gives you an extra experience in it. But it's bloody good fun. I've been playing around these lovely, winding roads and everything about this is very, very fluid [MUSIC] This car just works. And this is why I find why people dislike them so bizarre, because actually you get into it and it [INAUDIBLE] good. There is one other minor problem with it, though. Because of the roof line, the rear window is very flat, which means even though it's very large,. Onge and you can't see much out of this at all. It is a bit letter-boxy. And you know, I, I can't fault it in the driving experience. The Geyser M has tweaked it so it feels just that little bit more aligned. It isn't just a car. This is a car with a decent kick to it and the engine, good lord, is a three [UNKNOWN] diesel but its got three turbos on it which means the torque delivery is so smooth. The torque number at least is super car humbling. It's, it's mind blowing how quick this thing can cover ground. It's very impressive. This has no right to move quite as well as it does. This is a 2.2 ton car. But it goes man, it's so fast [LAUGH] And it's so much fun you just want to put it into a corner and hammer it. It's got an eight speed automatic gearbox which is silky, silky smooth. You do have pedal shift if you want the. And if you're playing in Sport Plus, that's the thing to do because it does let you choose what you want. It does get quite aggressive when you're playing in the, the angriest modes. You do feel the car jolt a little bit. Given the choice between this and a Range Rover Sport I would honestly take the Range rims but that's cuz I prefer the look and I prefer the image that goes with it. The X6 doesn't have that class, it doesn't have that quality where you really think, Yeah, you know, you know what, you see that yeah whoever's done that, whoever's bought that they've done well for themselves. It's not a bad car to drive at all. If anything with this trick engine it's a damn good laugh. It's far more fun than something over two tons should be. Admittedly, the vast majority of these will be sold X6 30D spec in the UK but. Still, it's a good car to drive. However, the vast majority are still going to hate it. [MUSIC] It's trying to be a giant SUV coupe but it's a little bit coupe-ish to be an SUV and a little too SUV-ish. So the coupe. And then there's the fact that the X5 exists. That answers both of the problems I hae with it. There's plenty of headroom in the back for tall people, and the boot is, well, more size appropriate. But let me put it like this. If someone likes it, and if they want to drive it and they want to live with it every day then, who are we to say that they shouldn't [MUSIC]