Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The petrol engines in the BMW X6 - the 35i and the 50i - are twin-turbo units with breathtaking urgency and instant acceleration. The larger engine is actually a 4.4-litre V8 that produces 408bhp - BMW badges it as the 50i as the extra turbo gives it the power output of a 5.0-litre engine.

All models come with a six-speed automatic gearbox as standard (there's no manual available) which can be operated by a nifty joystick gear selector mounted on the centre console or paddleshift gear changes on the steering wheel. For total BMW X6 performance go for the M version that comes with an amazing 555bhp 4.4 V8 twin-turbo engine, which will get from 0-62mph in just 4.7 seconds to give the M5 saloon a run for its money.

Diesel engines

The most popular engine choice is the excellent 30d - this uses the same engine as the 3.0d in the X5. With surging performance and an eager, punchy nature, it's a hugely enjoyable engine to exploit. It's not slow either with a 0-62mph time of 7.5 seconds while economy is 38.2mpg - impressive for a four wheel drive car that weighs more than two tonnes.

For more speed, the 40d has a twin-turbo version of this engine, replacing the previous 35d model, and offers 306bhp and 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds. Quickest of all the diesels is the mighty 50d model with a triple-turbo version of the same 3.0-litre engine that delivers 381bhp and acceleration from rest to 62mph in a mere 5.3 seconds.

Parkers recommends

While the performance of the more powerful X6 models is giddying, it’s the 30d that makes most sense for running costs and it still delivers plenty of pace.

For what is essentially a lowered 4x4, the X6 handles surprisingly well. The car feels agile and quick to respond to the steering inputs, though the optional Active steering and Adaptive Drive systems help by speeding up response and keeping body roll to a minimum. To assist with cornering BMW has fitted Dynamic Performance Control, a system that helps put power to the rear wheels with the most grip.

This helps ‘drive’ the car around the corner by channelling more power to the wheel with the most grip. As the X6 is fitted with sports suspension the ride is firm but not uncomfortable, however the BMW is best suited to swooping A-roads and swallowing big distances in comfort. That's not to say it isn't enjoyable to drive along twisty back roads and the powerful brakes certainly earn their keep when hauling the car down from speed.