The BMW X6 is like Don Corleone, which is to say it’s the godfather of coupelike SUVs. The original that debuted back in the late 2000s basically invented the controversial breed, which spawned imitators from the likes of Audi and Mercedes-Benz. While beauty is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to these polarizing crossover coupes, the sloped-back Bimmer boasts a pair of sublime engines: a 335-hp turbo four (40i) and a 523-hp twin-turbo V-8 (M50i). Thrill seekers will want the latter, but it comes with a hefty price. Both mills are mated to an automatic transmission that’s as smooth as they are. Peak performance is offered on the six-figure X6 M (reviewed separately), but even the less extreme models are entertaining to drive. The regular X5 is more upright and practical, but the 2022 BMW X6 is just as luxurious inside and better suited for extroverts.
What’s New for 2022?
For 2022, BMW makes a handful of alterations to the X6 lineup. The most notable update is the removal of a rear-drive, six-cylinder model. The X6 40i now comes standard with the brand’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system. This contributes to a base price that rises by $2300, which is exactly what the previously optional system cost to add last year. Other small changes include the addition of enhanced Bluetooth and the subtraction of wireless device charging to the list of standard features, reshuffled option packages, a different selection of individual options, and new metallic paint colors (Sparkling Brown and Dravit Grey).
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Despite the burlier sounds and gutsier acceleration that the 523-hp X6 M50i provides, we don’t need to spend the nearly $20,000 extra on it. Instead, we’d stick with the six-cylinder X6 40i, which comes standard with all-wheel drive. We’d spring for the M Sport package that includes a snazzier body kit and exterior trim, an upgraded exhaust system, a retuned suspension, and a unique steering wheel. The Luxury Seating package is a solid value that adds ventilated front seats with extra power adjustments and massage functions. Those in cold-weather locales like us will appreciate the new Climate Comfort package. It includes four-zone climate control, heated seats in both rows, and a heated steering wheel and armrests.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The X6 40i is powered by a 335-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six that features a 48-volt hybrid system and pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The M50i has the same transmission and all-wheel drive, too, but its twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 is significantly more powerful. Its 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque helped it rocket to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds at our test track. What’s even more shocking is that the X6 M has up to 617 horsepower and is even quicker. Still, the standard six-cylinder powertrain is plenty quick and velvety smooth. Both the X6 40i and M50i also have standard adaptive dampers and wheel sizes that range from 20 to 22 inches. Our test of the V-8-powered X6 revealed its impressive cornering grip and stopping power. Although its suspension is firmer than the setup found on the six-cylinder X6 we tested, it was never punishing. We also appreciated its adjustable steering heft and hushed interior at cruising speed.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The all-wheel-drive-only X6 40i is rated at 21 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway. The much more powerful twin-turbo V-8 X6 M50i is rated at 16 mpg city and 22 highway. While the six-cylinder X6 exceeded the government’s expectations on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route—part of our extensive testing regimen—earning 29 mpg highway, the M50i missed its mark by 2 mpg in the same test. For more information about the X6’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Unsurprisingly, the X6 interior looks and feels like most other new BMW products. That means upscale materials and soft-touch surfaces abound, and two large 12.3-inch digital displays dominate the dashboard. While the instrument panel looks slick, the gauges are a confusing mess. Thankfully, the optional head-up display is more straightforward. The rest of the switchgear is also smartly laid out. BMW’s gesture controls—which enable you to control certain functions such as audio volume by waving your hand in front of the infotainment screen—are included but unnecessary. Plenty of standard amenities are offered, too, including 16-way power-adjustable front seats, customizable ambient lighting, heated front cushions, and passive entry. While the back seat is comfortable for two adults, its legroom and headroom shrink by about 2 and 3 inches, respectively, compared with the boxier X5. Likewise, the X6 has less cargo volume behind the rear seats. In our test, it only held nine carry-on suitcases back there; the X5 handled 11.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The standard 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It operates through various functions such as traditional buttons, voice commands, a rotary controller on the center console, and even hand gestures. The company’s iDrive interface has crisp graphics and immediate responses, but some of the layered menus can be distracting. BMW also offers upgrades such as built-in navigation, enhanced USB ports, wireless charging, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The X6 can also be upgraded with a premium Harman/Kardon stereo or an even more premium Bowers & Wilkins unit.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Bimmer is available with a plethora of standard and optional driver-assistance technology. For more information about the X6’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Available adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
BMW provides limited and powertrain warranties that align with rival luxury automakers such as Audi and Mercedes-Benz. However, BMW offers one of the best complimentary maintenance plans in the industry apart from Jaguar.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for three years or 36,000 miles