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This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest BMW X6 review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9

Opinion-dividing SUV that's about to be replaced by more of the same

BMW X6 (14-19) - rated 3.9 out of 5
Enlarge 90 photos

PROS

  • Excellent steering, roadholding and handling
  • Good range of engines and transmissions
  • Well-equipped and offers available on run-out models

CONS

  • Can you live with the image?
  • Does it offer anything over an X5?
  • It's about to go off-sale

At a glance

New price £51,815 - £98,570
Used price £20,070 - £57,730
Fuel economy 25 - 47 mpg
Road tax cost £200 - £570
Insurance group 41 - 50 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Excellent steering, roadholding and handling
  • Good range of engines and transmissions
  • Well-equipped and offers available on run-out models

CONS

  • Can you live with the image?
  • Does it offer anything over an X5?
  • It's about to go off-sale

BMW X6 rivals

The BMW X6 has been around since 2007 and is about to enter its third generation, and yet thanks to its divisive styling, it's still something of a conversation starter when you see one. Whatever your views on the X6's styling and image, being a BMW you're safe in the knowledge that the engines and transmissions will be spot on, it'll drive as well as the best of its rivals.

When the original appeared, the concept of what BMW rather stuffily called a Sports Activity Coupe was something of a novelty. But during the intervening years, the market has swelled with rivals – some more visually successful than others – and BMW has expanded its own range with the smaller X4 to capitalise on the demand for these cars.

That's not a surprise. With more than 400,000 X6s of all types sold, it's easy to understand why rival manufacturers have tried to build their own alternatives to the X6. The most convincing alternatives are the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, the Porsche Cayenne Coupe (at a higher price point) and Britain's own Range Rover Velar. With the third-generation X6 on the way, you might be able to bag yourself an example of this - the outgoing X6 - with a healthy discount.

What is a BMW X6?

It's a full-sized SUV closely based on the previous BMW X5 that's finished off with a dramatic coupe-style rear end. BMW has ensured that the X6 is a driver's car that genuinely fun to drive, and you can genuinely hustle it along A- and B-roads in a most un-SUV way. What this ability does mean is you can cover miles with surprising pace and stability, with a huge margin of safety.

Increasing your speed is made even easier with the standard-fit eight-speed automatic gearbox, though you’ll need to add the optionally available adaptive damping systems to take full advantage of this car’s performance and grip.

The range is nice and simple. Even in the ‘base’ 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel found in the X6 xDrive 30d M Sport you’ll enjoy plenty of power. The 0-62mph dash takes just 6.7 seconds thanks to 260hp and 560Nm of torque. There's also an xDrive 40d M Sport and the M50d, with the latter being a genuinely quick car for your money. For that car the 0-62mph sprint takes just 5.2 seconds. And the mid-range punch is equally ferocious.

If you're buying used, the star of the range for keen drivers is the now-discontinued 4.8-litre V8 petrol. Its 455hp allows the same benchmark sprint to be delivered in just 4.8 seconds. It also sounds the best, though you’ll have to face an official 29.1mpg (NEDC and real-world sub-25mpg) economy. By contrast the pair of diesels offer 47.1mpg or 42.8mpg. We'll talk about the unfeasibly fast X6 M in the Engines section of the review...

BMW X6 (2014) dashboard

Equipment and practicality

The BMW X6 is a premium vehicle, aimed at people with plenty of money and an emotional reason for choosing one over the more practical X5 instead. It mixes impressive levels of standard equipment with tempting optional extras. At a price.

There's only one model trim to choose from these days – the M Sport, with the old SE and M Sport Edition versions being canned in 2018. The M Sport is well equipped – you get 19-inch wheels, leather seats, sat-nav, DAB radio, cruise control, LED headlights and climate control as well as a raft of safety systems. Expect this roster of equipment to be expanded with the third-generation X6, due in the UK in 2020.

But for all its emotional appeal, this Sports Activity Coupe isn’t all style and no substance; the X6 will still happily hold five adults – that sloping rear roofline isn’t as restrictive as you might think it would be – and the boot is a pleasantly useful 580-litre space.

Should you buy an X6? Does it still the cut the mustard as it heads towards the end of its life? Read on to find out more in the Parkers full review.

BMW X6 2014 rear view

BMW X6 rivals