Plenty to like in coupe-like X6

Roseville, CA- The first thing many people will notice regarding this BMW X6 sport utility vehicle is the back end. It doesn’t look like an SUV.

And from this vantage point, the exterior appearance is one major strike against the 2020 BMW X6, billed as a 5-passenger midsize SUV. The X6 is very coupe-like. Not previously known here, there’s even a term for SUV-wannabees like the X6 – called “coupe-overs.”

BMW has sliced off part of the roof on the X6 to give it a controversial fastback coupe-like profile. Perhaps the sleek silhouette can account for poor sales in the U.S; only 4,240 X-6 models sold in 2019. Historically, sales have been weak over the 12-year period where the best year was 2015 (7,906).

2020 BMW X6

  • Performance: turbocharged 3.0-liter, V6, 335 horsepower; turbo 4.4-liter, V8, 523 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 21-26 mpg; 16-22 mpg
  • Price estimate: $64,400 to $85,800
  • Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain: 4 years/50,000 miles; roadside assistance: 4 years/unlimited; corrosion: 12 years/unlimited

If the design happens to be appealing, this is one very capable SUV. The third generation X6 has been redesigned for 2020, most notably receiving engine updates and added performance. There are now three trim models – the rear-wheel-drive sDrive40i, all-wheel-drive xDrive40i or the powerful M50i featuring a V8 engine.

High performance fun

All three models are seriously quick and naturally that has become the primarily draw for perspective car buyers. Who doesn’t enjoy the fun that derives from a high-performance car? We certainly did, pushing the X6 on a few isolated roads and testing out its passing power in freeway situations. All three can reach 130 mph or 155 mph with performance tires.

The base model is the sDrive40i, a turbocharged 3.0-liter, V6 that generates 335 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. It travels 0-60 mph in a very quick 5.2 seconds, making it almost a second faster than the model it replaced. The sDrive40i gets 21-26 mpg and the 21.9-gallon tank can go approximately 503 miles before a trip to the pumps is required. Note that BMW suggest using premium gasoline. The xDrive40i is nearly identical to the base model.

For the ultimate power there’s the X6 M50i, a turbo 4.4-liter, V8 that produces 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. It has standard all-wheel drive and is ridiculously fast, going 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds. The burly V8 isn’t so good on gas, getting 16-22 mpg and traveling 125 miles less than the sDrive401 on a tank of gas.

One expects a BMW to exhibit a comfortable and quiet ride, and the X6 doesn’t disappoint. It delivers an engaging, sporty ride that makes one want to go out for a drive just for the heck of it. It has well-balanced driving characteristics, providing sharp steering that never leaves the driver feeling uncomfortable.

High tech goodies

We applaud BMW for its sensible layout and the abundance of high-tech qualities – even though we struggled to grasp all of them in our week with the X-6. The interior has rich leathers, a leather steering wheel and dual-screen 12.3-inch displays, one a center touchscreen and the other a digital instrument cluster. There are multiple ways to utilize the touchscreen system: traditional touchpad controller, touchscreen, voice control, and gesture control.

The X6 has 16-way power front seats with plentiful leg and head room. There’s ample leg room in the three-person second row, but head room can be an issue for taller people due to the sloping roof line. The cargo area is 27.4 cubic feet and enlarges to 59.6 cubes with the second row down.

There’s standard Apple CarPlay integration, yet droid owners won’t be happy with no Android Auto. Among the standard features is a large panoramic moonroof.

Plenty to like

Assuming the sharply raked tailgate is not an issue, there’s plenty to like regarding the 2020 BMW X6. It has superior performance, terrific handling, a cool interior makeup, and even the base model isn’t outrageously expensive ($64,400).

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