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2013 BMW X6 Review

Reviewers appreciate the novelty of the 2013 BMW X6, a four-seat SUV with up to 555 horsepower. However, they say it’s an overall impractical purchase for nearly every SUV shopper.

Test drivers say the X6 performs better than any SUV has a right to. They say that even its base six-cylinder engine provides great acceleration, and that it handles better than most SUVs. However, as a vehicle with such a focus on performance, auto writers say it could do better. They note that its hefty curb weight negatively impacts handling, and that sedans or smaller crossovers with similar cargo capacities can offer better performance. Although the BMW X6 is technically an SUV that comes standard with all-wheel drive, it’s in no way an off-road vehicle. Plus, the X6’s fuel economy isn’t stellar. Base trims get 16/23 mpg city/highway, according to the EPA, and models with larger engines get even worse mileage.

The 2013 BMW X6’s interior may be small compared with other crossovers, but reviewers say it’s well-made and well-equipped. It only seats four, which is unusual for an SUV, and it costs much more than many SUVs that offer more cargo and passenger space. Reviewers do note that BMW’s iDrive system remains overly complicated, a complaint that’s been made about the system since it debuted.

  • "Is this X6 M as pure an expression of M-power as universally lauded cars like the M3? With its nondual-clutch gearbox and considerable heft, the answer is a definitive No. But for swift, civilized transport with an unconventional silhouette, the X6 M goes a long way toward satisfying a question that few, if any, have asked.” -- Popular Mechanics
  • "Marketed as a cross between an SUV and a coupe, the 2013 BMW X6 unfortunately represents a rather poor blend of both. … So, there's the logician's case against the 2013 BMW X6. If that doesn't dissuade you, then we'll simply add that it looks pretty cool in red.” -- Edmunds

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Other SUVs to Consider

If you like the BMW X6’s performance, but want more cargo space, consider the Porsche Cayenne. It comes in a variety of trims with six- or eight-cylinder, gas, diesel or hybrid powertrains, and offers up to 62.9 cubic feet of cargo space. That’s more than the X6. Plus, the Cayenne comes with an interior that’s just as attractive and well-made as the BMW’s, though it’s not as well-equipped.

If your priority is performance, consider the Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon. Reviewers love its aggressive looks, and its cargo capacity is just 1.7 cubic feet smaller than the X6’s. The CTS Sport Wagon can be equipped with rear- or all-wheel drive, an automatic or a manual transmission and either a six- or supercharged eight-cylinder engine. While reviewers say the X6 doesn’t do a good job of being either a sports car or an SUV, they often commend the CTS for excelling at both. Additionally, the V8-equipped CTS-V Wagon’s price significantly undercuts that of the X6 M.

Compare the X6, Cayenne and CTS Sport Wagon »

Details: 2013 BMW X6

The BMW X6 is available in three trims: the six-cylinder xDrive35i, V8-powered xDrive50i and high-performance X6 M. The base model comes with standard features including 10-way power-adjustable heated leather front seats, push-button start, front and rear parking sensors and a power liftgate. Upper trims offer 20-way adjustable seats, heated rear seats, a navigation system and adaptive cruise control.

See the full 2013 BMW X6 specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/19/14

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