This has been a long time coming. Since the release of the current G05-generation BMW X5, we’ve been wondering what the next-gen X6 would look like. Yet, the waiting seemed to take forever. Well, the wait is finally over. Here it is — the G06-generation BMW X6.
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Now that it’s finally here, it’s certainly interesting looking. Like all BMW SACs (Sports Activity Coupes), it’s going to be polarizing; Some fans are going to love it, some are going to hate it. But it’s certainly different looking. More importantly, it differs from the BMW X5 more than we thought it would.
The new BMW X6 is bigger than the car it replaces in every single way, save for height. It’s 26 mm longer, 15 mm wider and has a 42 mm longer wheelbase but is 6 mm lower and has a lower center of gravity.
To be perfectly honest, we though it’d be just an X5 with some of its trunk cut off, at least in terms of styling. However, even its face is different from the X5. Compared to its more traditional sibling, the BMW X6 gets more angular Kindey Grilles, new headlights and simply enormous lower front intakes in ‘M50i’ spec. Also, those Kidney Grilles can light up, as the X6 is the first BMW production car with illuminated grilles.
As-standard it gets LED headlights that are a bit more angular than those found on the X5. Optional are BMW’s Laserlights, with a Laserlight Spotlight and Selective Beam, which have a non-dazzling high-beam function. Those high beams can also shine 500 meters, which is absurdly far. What’s also nice is that if you choose the more expensive Laserlights, you get a cool little blue ‘X’ shaped elements in them, to show that you’ve done well enough to afford fancy headlights.
In profile, it’s still such an odd shape, for better or worse. Again, there’s going to be a large section of the fabase that loves it but there will also be a section that hates it. However, there are some definitive aspects of it. For instance, its Hofmeister Kink is one of the best we’ve seen on a modern BMW and its angular Air Breather looks quite good, too.
From the back, it gets new taillights that are sort of reminiscent of the X4’s and even the 8 Series’. On the X6 M50i seen in these photos, it also gets a subtle roof spoiler as well as a spoiler on the small decklid under the rear window. Vertical air vents bulge out from under the taillights and rectangular exhausts.
The new BMW X6 has grown by 26 millimetres in exterior length over the outgoing model (to 4,935 mm) and by 15 mm (to 2,004 mm) in width. It now stands 6 mm lower (at 1,696 mm) and combines dynamically stretched proportions with an extremely powerful appearance, which is enhanced by a wider front track (+44 mm to 1,684 mm). The car’s wheelbase has increased by 42 mm to 2,975 millimeters, and the new model also has a lower center of gravity than its predecessor.
Two trim levels will be present on all non M Performance models; xLine and M Sport. The former highlights the car’s ‘SAC’ nature. So it gets under-guard protection (body color at the front, matte black at the rear) and most of its trim comes in Pearl-effect-Chrome (as BMW calls it). That last bit includes air intakes, side grilles, side skirts with trim strips, Air Breather edging, air flaps and exhaust tailpipes.
As for the M Sport trim, it gets a more aggressive front fascia, subtle rear diffuser, wheel arch trim in body color and high-gloss black trim replacing the xLine’s chrome. It also gets Adaptive M Sport Suspension and M Sport brakes (with blue calipers). Beginning in December of this year, M Carbon Fiber mirror caps and a rear spoiler will also be available for M Sport models.
There will be four model variants on offer from the beginning. Two diesels will be available in the form of the BMW X6 xDrive30d and the X6 M50d. The former will get a 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 diesel with 265 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque. BMW claims 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds and a fuel economy of 6.6 – 6.1 l/100 km (42.8 – 46.3 mpg imp). As for the high-performance diesel M50d model, it gets a 3.0 liter quad-turbocharged I6 diesel with 400 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque. According to BMW, it hits 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and returns 7.2 – 6.9 l/100 km (39.2 – 40.9 mpg imp).
As for the gasoline engine options, there will also only be two from the start; the BMW X6 xDrive40i and the X6 M50i. The former will get a 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 engine with 340 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. It’s said to hit 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and should return 8.6 – 8.0 l/100 km (32.8 – 35.3 mpg imp). As for the big-boy BMW X6 M50i, it gets a 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged V8 that makes 530 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. It’s the fastest of the bunch to 60 mph, doing it in 4.3 seconds, but also the thirstiest, netting 10.7 – 10.4 l/100 km (26.4 – 27.2 mpg imp).
Both M Performance models — the X6 M50i and M50d — will get an M Sport Exhaust as standard kit but it will be optional on other models. Also, M Performance models get an electronically-controlled limited-slip rear differential as-standard. It’s optional on all other models. When combined with the xOffroad package, it helps the X6 handle tricky terrain. Though, don’t expect it to rival a Range Rover.
Inside the new G06 BMW X6, you’ll find a cabin that’s almost identical to the one in the X5. The only noticeable difference is just ahead of the shift lever, where the little cubby is flanked by two humps on either side of the center console. While it’s an extremely minor change, it actually looks quite good and better than the X5’s, which is just flat all the way across. It’s a subtle change but it works.
Though, it’s not really a problem that it looks so similar to the BMW X5 inside. It’s a fantastic interior that prioritizes quality, comfort and ergonomics over flash and pizzazz. Sure, something like a Jaguar F-Pace will be snazzier inside but the BMW X6 will have the better quality and the better technology, if the X5 is anything to go by.
Just like the BMW X5, the X6 gets thermoelectric cupholders (that’s a fancy way for saying they’re heated and cooled), which are honestly brilliant. It also gets a Panoramic Glass Roof Sky Lounge, which features 15,000 illuminated patterns in the glass at night. There’s also the same glass effect options, on the shift lever, starter button and even the volume knob, as the X5, X7 and 8 Series.
Suspenion and Handling
Just as with the X5, the BMW X6 can be had with an optional adaptive two-axle air suspension setup. The height of the air suspension can be adjusted inside the car, with the flick of a toggle switch, or it will adjust based on drive settings. What’s also interesting is that it can be controlled via the Display Key. So driver’s can lower the suspension before getting into the car, allowing easier ingress.
That air suspension is a standalone option but also can comes with the xOffroad package. With said package, the air-ride gets four new suspension modes; snow, sand, gravel and rock.
If the BMW X6 handles anything like its X5 sibling, it’s going to be a superb driving car. Its older sibling has one of the best ride/handling balances of any SUV we’ve ever driven and gives the entire segment trouble. So we’re expecting the BMW X6 to do the same.
Like the X5, the BMW X6 gets all of BMW’s driver assistance technologies. So it can help park itself, drive for short periods of time on its own on highways and it even has BMW’s new Reverse Assistant. The latter of which helps it remember the last 50 meters or so of forward driving so, when it comes time to reverse, it can just follow its own steps backward. This is actually super helpful if someone has a long twisty driveway or drove through something narrow that’s tricky to back out of. It just remembers its exact path forward and reverses it.
Of course, the new BMW X6 gets BMW’s brilliant surround-view camera, as well as every other camera system. One of the most interesting BMW camera feature is the Remote 3D view, which sends a 3D surround-view of the car to the owner’s smartphone.
Inside the car, the BMW X6 gets the same new iDrive 7.0 system as all other new Bimmers and it’s brilliant. So it’s touch-sensitive but it also gets a physical rotary dial and Gesture Control. While the latter is a bit annoying to use, you can always use voice commands for BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant, which is basically a Bavarian Siri. It wakes up by saying “Hey, BMW” but that wake-up command can be changed by the driver. In my personal experience, changing that is necessary as I’ve found just saying the word “BMW” in passing wakes the system up often.
The BMW X6 is about as we expected it to be; a sportier, more aggressive looking BMW X5 with some slightly new design tweaks. Though, it does differentiate itself from the X5 more than we thought it would, for better or worse. As always, the BMW X6 is going to be a polarizing car among BMW enthusiasts but at least this time it does so on its own terms, as it’s more unique than ever before.
The new BMW X6 will celebrate its world premiere at the IAA Cars 2019 international motor show in Frankfurt am Main. The market launch will follow in November 2019.
MSRP pricing starts at $64,300 for the new 2020 X6 sDrive40i, $66,600 for the X6 xDrive40i and $85,650 for the X6 M50i. Pricing does not include $995 Destination.
X6 xDrive30d: 265 PS | 620 Nm | 6,5 s | 230 km/h | 6,1-6,6 l/100 km
X6 xDrive40i: 340 PS | 450 Nm | 5,5 s | 250 km/h | 8,o-8,6 l/100 km
X6 M50d: 400 PS | 760 Nm | 5,2 s | 250 km/h | 6,9-7,2 l/100 km
X6 M50i: 530 PS | 750 Nm | 4,3 s | 250 km/h | 10,4-10,7 l/100 km
BMW X6 Exterior Design
BMW X6 Interior Design
BMW X6 In Motion
BMW X6 Design Sketches
BMW X6 Highlights
BMW X6 Design Process
BMW X6 Full Specifications