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BMW X6 Performance

The 2015 BMW X6 impresses reviewers with its responsive automatic transmission and ample power, especially the V8-powered xDrive50i model. Test drivers say the X6 has a comfortable ride and nimble handling for its size. They think its steering is well-weighted but numb, and mention that although the brake pedal feels soft, the brakes themselves are strong.

  • "However, the X6 does deliver great performance from its stout inline six-cylinder and V8 engines. … Beyond that, the X6 features a taut suspension and impressively responsive handling for a vehicle of this size." -- Edmunds
  • "You really need to spend some time on a track to appreciate how well the X6 drives. Sure, the X6 is just fine on the road, but it's missing that special something that makes you lust after a car. Grabbing the big X6 by the scruff of its neck and wringing it out reveals just how tremendously capable the rolling fashion statement is." -- Motor Trend
  • "When paired with a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission, the X6 doesn't lack for anything, performance-wise. It has great acceleration, precise steering, good balance, excellent cornering and a pretty decent turning radius." -- Yahoo Autos

Acceleration and Power

The rear-wheel drive BMW X6 sDrive35i and all-wheel drive X6 xDrive35i are powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine that produces 300 horsepower. The X6 xDrive50i has a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 that makes 445 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. A base X6 returns an EPA-estimated 19/27 mpg city/highway, which is better than the fuel economy of a number of rivals.

The high-performance X6 M is powered by a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 that produces 567 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. BMW says the X6 M has a top speed of 155 mph and estimates that it accelerates to 60 mph in 4 seconds.

Reviewers think the base six-cylinder engine should be plenty powerful for most drivers, but say that the V8-powered xDrive50i model has very impressive acceleration. They like that the V8 has a great engine note and appreciate that there is little engine noise when cruising at highway speeds. The eight-speed transmission is responsive, reviewers add.

  • "The historically snappy turbocharged six-cylinder should be enough for most, especially since the steep premium for the X6 xDrive 50i is due almost entirely to the engine under the hood. Then again, what an engine: Plant the throttle on an open road and it seems the 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 wouldn't be out of place in a locomotive, as it propels the X6 with supreme authority regardless of the driving situation." -- Edmunds
  • "The twin-turbo V8, which is remarkably smooth and puts out a wondrously deep growl under acceleration without any piped-in engine noises, effortlessly brings the X6 to speed between the short straights." -- Autoblog
  • "Stick it in Sport+ mode and the eight-speed automatic actively encourages these shenanigans, summoning power on tap while shifting quickly to seem unobtrusive." -- AutoWeek
  • "Out on the road, the 2015 X6 is at heart a highway cruiser. The big, burly V-8 gets the X6 up to speed quickly (BMW says it'll do 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds) with nary a rumble emanating from the quiet exhaust in Comfort mode." -- Motor Trend

Handling and Braking

The X6 sDrive35i has rear-wheel drive, and all other X6 models have all-wheel drive. Auto journalists say the 2015 X6 rides comfortably, and most are impressed with its agile handling despite its size and weight. They say its brakes are strong but complain that the pedal feels a little too soft, and add that the steering is well-weighted but lacks feedback.

  • "The X6 proved surprisingly nimble through the course. It weaved in and out of the slalom faster than any 2.5-ton machine ought to. Don't get me wrong - the big BMW certainly feels every one of those 2.5 tons, but that mass is well-managed, thanks in no small part to active anti-roll bars." -- Motor Trend
  • "Generally the X6 provides a more sporting ride and handling balance than most European luxury SUVs." -- Edmunds
  • "On the track, the new X6 feels more responsive and less ponderous than its predecessor in fast maneuvers, though the differences are probably more related to the electronic tuning than the modest 75-pound weight loss. On the road, it's difficult to discern as much of a difference. The X6's suspension is well sorted for its primary mission of taking up to five people in comfort regardless of road conditions." -- Left Lane News
  • "There's finally some weight in the steering, in these modes, but it's still a numbing experience. The brakes are slightly spongy, but very powerful if you ever need to get into them." -- AutoWeek
Review Last Updated: 8/28/15

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