As expected, BMW refreshed the BMW X5 M and X6 M at the same time. What’s interesting, though, is that after the LCI facelift, the X5 M and X6 M are actually more similar looking than they were prior to being updated. But the question isn’t how do the X5 M and X6 M differ, it’s how does the newly facelifted car compare to the outgoing car it replaces? So let’s take a look at the two to find out.

The BMW X6 M received more than just visual updates. It now has a new engine, upgraded steering, revised suspension, and better cabin tech. It’s also only offered as a Competition model now, without the base X6. However, because we obviously haven’t driven the new X6 M LCI just yet, we can’t compare the way they feel. So we’re going to stick to just comparing their designs for now.

Up Front

There are three main differences at the front of the new X6 M LCI that make it distinctly different than its predecessor. For starters, it has much slimmer headlights, which feature arrow-like light elements, and they’re much sportier than before. It also gets a new grille insert, which features horizontal slats rather than vertical ones. The front bumper is all-new as well, which now has a zigzag-like patter flanking the grille. All in, I think the new X6 M looks sportier, more interesting, and more fun, so it wins here.

Down the side

From the side, the two cars are pretty much exactly the same. There’s really no difference aside from the fact that you can see the updated headlights and taillights a bit. But the two cars are effectively identical in profile, so this part’s a wash.

Out Back

Surprisingly, very little changed out back. When you see how different the front of the LCI car is, you might expect the back to get similarly significant updates but nope. Instead, the lighting elements inside the taillights are a bit different but that’s really it. The rear diffuser is slightly updated but so subtly it’s barely worth mentioning. Thankfully, it still has quad exhausts, as changing that would have drawn the ire of angry fans. Still, the LCI car’s taillights do look a tiny bit better, so it wins.


It does change quite a bit inside, though. Like the X5 M, the BMW X6 M now has iDrive 8, which comes with a large dual curved screen and a new digital gauge cluster. The dash trim is new, which now also features an illuminated strip of trim, and there aren’t anymore physical climate controls. Interestingly, BMW didn’t give the M cars its new little toggle switch gear selector, instead sticking with the same gear lever as before. While the new climate controls are annoying, the new look is better than the old one, so it wins.


The BMW X6 M still retains the strange proportions and stylish shapes that made it so popular. Except now it has a sportier, more exciting face and some new interior tech. So it’s the winner of this comparison.