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BMW X6

An X5 with less room and a higher price.

To hear BMW tell it, the X6 combines the presence of an X5 with the elegance of a coupe. The X6 does indeed have the presence of the X5 on which it’s based. It’s similarly sized, offers the same up-high seating position, and has four-wheel drive. As for sporty elegance, we’ll leave that to you to decide. Undeniably, the X6 is heavily restyled compared with its more conventionally shaped sibling; it has a lower roofline and a more sloped hatchback, and those changes shrink interior volume. The X6 was designed as a four-seater, although it can be had with a fifth set of seatbelts. The squashed roofline and the high beltline make the X6 hard to see out of, so the backup camera and the available blind-spot assist are essentials. The X6 has a stiff ride but it handles more like a sport sedan than a tall, heavy SUV; its sophisticated all-wheel-drive system can send power not only from front to rear but also from side to side to aid cornering. The 35i has a 300-hp, 3.0-liter turbo six; the 50i uses a 4.4-liter turbo V-8, with 400 hp. With either engine, the M Performance Package bumps up the power slightly and adds a bit of eye candy. Then there’s the X6 M, with an over-the-top 555 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque from its turbo V-8.

COMPETITORS

Acura ZDX

BMW X5

Infiniti FX

Porsche Cayenne

new for 2013

The 2013 model year, which actually began in the spring of 2012, sees few changes for the X6. Adaptive LED headlights are a new option, complementing the LED taillights. There are new exterior colors and two new interior colors: vermilion red for the standard Nevada leather and ivory white for the available nappa leather.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, and side curtain air bags; front-seat active head restraints; traction and stability control; ABS; a tire-pressure monitor; adaptive brake lights; and xenon adaptive headlights are standard. Rearview and sideview cameras are available. BMW Assist with automated crash response is standard.

MPG

CITY 1216

HWY 17–23

PRO

Handling belies size/weight

Plush interior

Fast — particularly the X6 M

CON

Much smaller inside than X5

Hard to see out of

Thirsty — particularly the X6 M

Base Price Range: $60,695–$93,795

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: xDrive35i, xDrive50i, X6 M

BODY STYLE: SUV/crossover, 4- or 5-passenger

ENGINES: 3.0L turbo I-6, 300/315 hp, 300/330 lb-ft

4.4L twin-turbo V-8, 400/440 hp, 450/480 lb-ft

4.4L twin-turbo V-8, 555 hp, 500 lb-ft

TRANSMISSIONS: 6- or 8-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: 97.7 cu ft

CAPACITIES: Towing 6000 lb; cargo (rear seats up/down) 25.6/59.7 cu ft

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