Ten years ago, the car market received a gift. The BMW X6. Never before had this kind of vehicle been introduced and it was a brave move by BMW.
Codenamed the E71, it is one of the most successful mid-sized crossovers in the market and sold more than 250,000 units. My first encounter with it was however a little traumatic. I needed a head massage just after several attempts to get onboard due to the low roofline. When I saw the current model, the BMW X6 second edition, I was more cautious and fortunately it was not necessary as it is bigger and better.
What is great about the car?
It is roomier and comes with an 8-speed gearbox plus a host of faster and more efficient engines. I took it out to play and found out that it actually makes a great playmate. Don’t be put off by the swooping roof-line, it actually is spacious enough for fully grown adults at the back. You can choose from a wide choice for interior appointments. I love my leather, the tan colour combined with black accents.
The reason anybody buys a BMW is to drive it as opposed to be driven in it. I love the seating position and the fact that BMW maintained their driver focus cockpit. If money was not an issue I would choose the X6M because it presents the best of both worlds.
Engine and drive
Thrilling performance of a sports coupe and the robustness of an utility vehicle in a very well appointed interior that is decked in all the goodies including soft alcantara roof lining, Nappa leather and a storming V8 engine to boot.
The two high revving twin scroll turbo chargers tested for the race track and cooled by 10 radiators to reduce stress. It generates 750Nm of torque and 575hp from the 4.4litre engine. Consumption is not for the faint-hearted at 11.1 litre for 100kms on the combined cycle. It’s the quickest off the mark and will sprint to 100kph in just 4.2 seconds and maxes out at a limited top speed of 250kph.
The vehicle I tested is a little less rabid and has two less cylinders in form of a straight six cylinder engine with 302hp (225kW) and 400Nm of torque. It manages to rush to 100kph in just 6.4 seconds unto a top speed of 240kph. That is quick for a car that weighs just over two tonnes. Fuel consumption is impressively between 8.6 and 8.5 litres for the 100km journey.
The 3.0-litre six-cylinder common-rail diesel engine in the xDrive30d features a single turbocharger with variable inlet geometry. It develops 13hp and 20Nm more than its predecessor – now 258hp and 560Nm. With peak torque available from 1,500rpm, this translates into effortless driveability and a zero to 62mph acceleration time improved by 0.8 seconds to 6.7 seconds. Fuel consumption has been reduced by 15 per cent to a combined 47.1mpg, while CO2 emissions are down to 157g/km.
A range of additional safety options are also available and include driving assistant plus— which automatically maintains the distance to the car ahead above 19mph, lane change warning system, adaptive LED headlights, active steering and Internet access.