ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: We’re more or less legally obligated to refer to the X6 as a polarizing vehicle every time we review one, and for good reason: People either like it or hate it. Well, there’s also a third sub-group that likes it but is sort of ashamed to admit it.
But however you look at it, no one’s really ambivalent about this … crossover?
For the record, I’m not on Team X6. I’m usually all about weirdness, but I don’t get this at all. Who asked for the high center of gravity, bulk and thirst of an SUV but without the visibility, cargo room or the pretense of utility that accompanies that body style? The X6 comes off as bulky and awkward -- like someone force-fed the 5-series Gran Turismo the automotive equivalent of Creatine and it got all swole.
So when a bro rolled up to me, dropped down his window and asked, “That thing drive as good as it looks?” I didn’t know exactly how to respond. Because, all things considered, it drives well. A lot of that is the extremely smooth, punchy inline-six. A quiet cabin and a firm, but never jarring, ride make it feel like a true luxury vehicle. If you attempt to corner at speed you’ll notice that, while sudden body movements can be dramatic, they’re always well-controlled.
I’d don’t think I’ve ever been in a vehicle that makes me want to drive like more of an ass than this X6. In a sports car, you’ll want to drive fast; that’s natural. But it’s ideally a sort of calculated speed. The high driving position and the tanklike solidity of the X6’s build means you’ll want to put your foot the floor and muscle through traffic. Hard as I tried, I found it impossible to drive less than 10 miles above the speed limit. And this is with the base engine car. You could step up to a 4.4-liter V8. And if that’s not enough, BMW will happily sell you an X6M.
Ultimately, there’s scant room in my heart for the X6. A silly idea, well-executed, is still a silly idea. Why, again, does BMW make this? What, exactly, justified a second-generation? I guess the few buyers interested in the X6 have decided that they’ve absolutely got to have one, which is probably better than a large crowd of take-it-or-leave-it prospects.
Or course, now that Mercedes is getting into the car/hatch/crossover market, the X6 isn’t the uncontested king of the roid-raging car/hatch/crossover market. I can’t wait to see what happens when a guy in one of these rolls up to another guy in a GLE Coupe at a stop light. I have a feeling it will be tough to de-escalate.
Options: xLine packing including 19-inch light alloy wheels, aluminum running boards ($2,500); Cognac/black bi-color napa leather interior design package ($1,950); driver assistance package including rear view camera, head-up display ($1,400); premium package including comfort access keyless entry, 4-zone climate control, satellite radio with one-year subscription ($1,300); auto-dimming mirrors ($1,300); side and top view cameras ($750); cold weather package including heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, retractable headlight washers ($550); mineral white metallic paint ($550)
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