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Avg. Price Paid:$45,035 - $51,899
Original MSRP: $59,600 - $70,200
MPG: 16 City / 23 Hwy
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2012 BMW X6 Review

Review Last Updated: 10/9/13

These scores and this review are from when the car was new.

Though reviewers love driving the 2012 BMW X6, they question its purpose. It’s a high-performance SUV with a sports-car price tag and limited utility.

Critics can’t figure out what type of vehicle the BMW X6 is, but after driving it, they’ve decided that they don’t care, and call it one of the best-handling, most fun-to-drive SUVs on the market. However, test drivers emphasize that those looking for practicality or value should look elsewhere. “We set out to determine what the BMW X6 is, and this is our answer: It’s a fully capable, beautifully finished, and superbly comfortable four-place sports car with a trunk big enough for almost any adventure and the ability to tow up to three tons of what won’t fit inside,” says Car and Driver.

The BMW X6 is a vehicle test drivers love, but shoppers may have a hard time justifying a $60,000 purchase. Though its base trim costs $11,700 more than the BMW X5, it has less cargo space and can seat only four (a fifth seat was added as a $350 option this year). The X6’s suspension is tuned tightly to make it sporty, but some test drivers say that makes it uncomfortable as a daily driver. The ActiveHybrid X6 adds $30,000 to the base price and makes 100 more horsepower than the base X6, but it gets worse fuel economy than the base model. And the X6’s 2.5-ton curb weight cuts down on any fuel economy that could have resulted from the turbocharged, direct-injected six-cylinder engine.

However, if you’re in the market for a fun-to-drive SUV with loads of interior amenities and aren’t constrained by a budget, reviewers say you won’t find anything better than the X6. It takes corners like a pro, and the upgraded V8 engine blasts it to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. Plus, it comes stuffed to the gills with standard features like front and rear parking sensors, a power liftgate, leather upholstery and adaptive cruise control. To some shoppers, the X6 will make no sense at all, but to others, it’s an ideal combination of track star and people-hauler.

Other Luxury SUVs to Consider

If you’re in the market for a practical SUV, the BMW X6 definitely isn’t it. But, you can still get a fun-to-drive, luxury midsize SUV with plenty of space for your family for a class-competitive price. The BMW X5 has an optional third row of seating, and its 75.2 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity easily beats the X6’s 59.7 cubic-foot maximum. Plus, the base X5 starts at $47,200, which is $11,700 less than the base X6.

If you’re attracted by the BMW X6’s lifted-back coupe styling but think its starting price is too high, check out the Acura ZDX. It’s a similar coupe-like SUV with an emphasis on performance, but its MSRP is just a hair more than $46,000. That means it costs less than the X6 by about $12,900. Plus, the ZDX comes standard with five seats, which is one more than the BMW X6.

Details: 2012 BMW X6

The 2012 BMW X6 comes in three trims: the base xDrive35i, the top-of-the-line xDrive50i and the ActiveHybrid X6.

The base xDrive35i trim starts at $58,900 and comes with a turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine. Its standard features include 10-way power-adjustable leather front seats, a power tailgate, front and rear parking sensors and a 10-speaker audio system with AM/FM radio, CD player and iPod integration.

Upgrading to the $69,500 xDrive50i will cost you $10,600 more than the base trim’s price, and replaces the six-cylinder engine with a turbocharged V8 powerplant. You’ll also get 20-way power leather front seats with three-stage heating, but little else is different from the base trim. The audio system, interior upholstery, comfort and convenience features and safety technology remain the same. The ActiveHybrid X6 costs a whopping $88,900 and gets only marginally better fuel economy than the xDrive50i on which it’s based, despite its $19,400 premium. It also adds soft-close automatic door operation, four-zone climate control and a premium sound system that includes a six-disc DVD changer.

Not much has changed for the X6’s 2012 model year. BMW did address reviewers’ complaints that the 2011 X6 only seated four, so this year’s model gains an optional fifth seat for an extra $350.

  • "The … X6 is longer and lower than the new X5, seating only four. But what the sporty X6 loses in seating and storage, it gains in performance.” -- Left Lane News
  • "X6 is a study in compromises. It accelerates and handles like a sporty coupe, but it will never be as agile due to its sheer size and heft. Its hatchback design makes it slightly more versatile than a sedan, but X6 is neither as roomy nor as comfortable as a sedan or SUV.” -- Consumer Guide
  • “With barely enough room for four and even less cargo space it's difficult to see where the X6 fits and even more difficult to figure out who would need let alone want something like this.” – Motor Trend

Next Steps: BMW X6

  • Search used BMW X6 for sale (486 listings)
  • Calculate monthly payment and apply for a loan
  • See Luxury Midsize SUVs rankings