The 2018 model has two engine options and both are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Powering the two 35i trims is a 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-6 engine producing 300 horsepower and 295 lb. ft. of torque. The sDrive35i comes with rear-wheel drive while the xDrive35i comes with all-wheel drive. The xDrive50i trim is powered by 4.4 liter turbocharged V8 producing 445 horsepower and 479 lb. ft. of torque, while transmitting power to all four wheels. With the inline-6 engine under the hood, there is no shortage of oomph and the power band is wide. Launching the X6 to 60 mph took 5.8 seconds, which is above average for the midsize SUV segment. Both the transmission and the engine performed smoothly in pulling the SUV out of any traffic. The handling, while capable in twisted roads, did not feel to be the most agile. Despite its fairly tall driving position, body roll is contained decently and the suspension is just stiff enough to remain composed through the corner. The steering however isn’t weighted properly as if it was disconnected to the pavement. It still responds well to turning input and the Sport driving mode improves the weight of the steering. Braking the X6 to a halt from 60 mph took 108 feet, a figure above average among its competition. The brakes have a predictable delivery and was consistent even in stop-and-go scenarios. The feel of the pedal is easy to modulate but may be prone to fading in repetitive intense braking.
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The two 35i (sDrive35i and xDrive35i) trims come standard with adaptive xenon headlights, proximity key, auto-dimming mirrors, automatic wipers, power liftgate, power-adjustable heated front seats, driver-seat memory settings, BMW Assist emergency communications, Bluetooth, navigation, a USB port, HD radio and an infotainment system with 10.2-inch display and nine-speaker sound system. The Premium package adds keyless entry, automatic climate control and satellite radio. The Driver Assistance, Driver Assistance Plus and Parking Assist packages add advanced safety and driver aids. The top-of-the-line 50i trim builds on the 35i trim and adds keyless ignition, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, and several advanced safety and driver aids. The Premium package adds a heated steering wheel and more advanced safety and driver aids. Options for all trims include Apple CarPlay, a heads-up display, automatic doors, 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, heated rear seats, adaptive LED headlights, and a rear seat entertainment system.
The 2018 model has not been tested by the NHTSA nor the IIHS. All X6 trims have standard safety features that include a rearview camera, anti-theft alarm system and front and rear parking sensors. Advanced safety and driver aids are add-ons for all trims and they include adaptive headlights, blind spot monitoring, speed limit information, adaptive cruise control, 360-degree camera, automatic high beams, lane departure warning, front collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and 360-degree and night vision cameras. The X6 also comes standard with BMW’s proprietary telematics system that also connects to a smartphone. The BMW Assist comes with emergency request (SOS button) and enhance automatic collision warning while the BMW Remote Services offer stolen vehicle recovery and remote door access.
The 2018 model has a 193.8-inch length, 78.3-inch width, 67-inch height, and a 115.5-inch wheelbase. It doesn’t receive visual updates from last year’s model. There are two body styles available, namely the xLine Design and M Sport Design. The difference between the two is that the M Sport Design is influenced by BMW M styling with more muscular-looking and defined front and rear fascia. All trims start with 19-inch wheels and can go up to 20-inch wheels but only the 50i trim has the option for 21-inch wheels.
Entering the front row was a breeze, with the running boards and lower ride height making it less of a stretch. The front doors open wide to a front row that has more than enough legroom and headroom. The access to the rear seats were much more challenging, since the entryway is narrow and the sloping roofline minimized the headroom especially for the taller passenger. Legroom at the back is ample but is less than its competition. With the two rows of seats, five people can be seated inside the cabin. The seats were comfortable and didn’t yield aches to the lower body with its supportiveness. The front seats however could be more supportive to the thighs. The rear seats could also be more contoured to the natural position of the torso when seated. In the Comfort driving mode, the ride quality is compliant and the suspension dampened road imperfections superbly. The ride stiffens up when selecting the Sport driving mode to contain the body roll for better agility. The only noise that enters the cabin is the sound of the powerplant when opening the throttle, a welcome experience since the X6 is capable of performing.
Behind the second row of seats is 26.6 cu. ft. of cargo volume and once the seats are folded down, volume for cargo expands to 59.7 cu. ft.