By KBB.com Editors
With the 2009 X6, BMW has created a new category that falls somewhere between crossover utility vehicle and sports coupe. The German automaker calls the four-seat, four-door-with-a-rear-hatch the "world's first Sports Activity Coupe" and the vehicle certainly is the only player in this new segment, at least for now. The X6 offers room for four adults and a long list of advanced technology that is highlighted by an all-wheel-drive system that not only transfers torque front to rear, but side to side and to individual wheels to produce the best acceleration. It's hard to pinpoint competitors for this segment-blurring vehicle, but they can include such players as the Porsche Cayenne, Infiniti FX50 and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, not to mention the forthcoming Acura ZDX.
The 2009 BMW X6 will appeal to those looking for a sporty all-wheel-drive crossover utility vehicle and who don't need room for more than four people or loads of cargo. The vehicle's dramatic styling may also appeal to those who like to make a grand entrance everywhere they go.
Although the X6 is equipped with a very capable all-wheel-drive system, it's not meant to be taken on the road less traveled. And, with only four seats inside, people-hauling abilities are severely limited. If you need a vehicle that can fit more than four and capably off-road, you might be happier with the Land Rover Range Rover Sport.
For 2009, the BMW X6 carries over largely unchanged. However, it does see some adjustments to its equipment packages, with the automatic tailgate added to the Premium Package and heated rear seats now included in the Cold Weather Package.
Driving Impressions The BMW X6 offers excellent ride control, though the optional sport suspension may be a bit stiff for many. Despite a curb weight of about 5,300 pounds, the 400-horsepower V8...coupled with all-wheel drive offers astounding acceleration: BMW claims 0-60 mph in less than 5.5 seconds. On the race tracks where we sampled theX6 we had previously driven many cars, and the BMW X6 xDrive50i's speed at the end of the straightaways rivaled that we recorded in a 1999 Porsche 911. However, the X6's all-season tires and higher center of gravity produced a radically lower level of cornering and stopping power than did the Porsche, as even BMW's extremely advanced all-wheel-drive system can't help when you enter a turn too fast. The BMW X6 xDrive35i, which is about 400 pounds lighter, provides more than adequate acceleration – about 6.5 seconds 0-60 mph – and handled better on the track.
The BMW X6's spacious interior and cargo capacity separate it from two-door coupes and four-door sedans. The X6 can comfortably carry four full-sized adults and plenty of gear for an active outing.
Some say that there's no such thing as too much horsepower, but the 400-horsepower produced by the xDrive50i's 4.4-liter V8 comes close to proving them wrong. Torque is 450 pound-feet at just 1,750 rpm.
The 2009 BMW X6's interior is an intentional mix of varying shapes. These sometimes blend into one another and sometimes stop abruptly. While it's an artist's dream, it's also appealing to those who aren't styling aficionados. However, function follows form as several of BMW's controls are non-intuitive and awkwardly positioned. Case in point: we found ourselves constantly flashing the high beams when we wanted to cancel the cruise control. The multi-function and oft-criticized iDrive is definitely becoming more user-friendly, but still might frustrate folks who want to quickly find a song on their MP3 player.
BMW aspired for "sexy" styling in the 2009 X6, and the vehicle certainly boasts among the spiciest exteriors of all in the automaker's lineup. From the front, the vehicle looks every part the crossover, but focus beyond that and suddenly you're faced with a design that people are sure to love or hate. With a sweeping, plunging roofline, four doors and a rather bulbous rear-end, everything past the first two doors looks a bit like a coupe that tried to swallow an SUV.
Perhaps the most advanced all-wheel-drive system in production is the highlight of the 2009 BMW X6's standard features. The "intelligent" xDrive all-wheel-drive system transfers torque from front to rear and side to side to help put all that horsepower to the pavement. The rear differential moves torque between the rear wheels to help the car turn or remain stable in emergency maneuvers. Also standard is a six-speed automatic transmission with F1-like paddle shifters.
The biggest choice for 2009 BMW X6 buyers is between the V8 and in-line six engines. For most, the six offers more-than-adequate power. The X6 xDrive50i is also available with a sport package that offers 20-inch wheels fitted with high-performance tires, electronic damping control and sport seats. Other options include a navigation system with or without a rearview camera, an automatic tailgate that can be stopped at several positions to avoid impacting low garage roofs, a premium sound system and satellite radio.
Both the 2009 BMW X6's 4.4-liter V8 and its 3.0-liter in-line six feature two turbochargers and variable valve timing. Both engines also have high-pressure direct-into-the-cylinder fuel injection. This allows the computer to squirt exactly the right amount of gas at the precise time to produce the best fuel economy, lower emissions and, when the driver demands, abundant power. The V8 makes a peak of 400-horsepower and tops out at a large 450 pound-feet of torque at a low 1,750 rpm, while the six produces a more-than-ample 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. BMW says its technologies allow the V8's horsepower to remain constant from 5,500 to 6,400 rpm and the torque to be unchanged from 1,750 to 4,500. They say the six accomplishes a similar feat.
3.0-liter in-line 6 Turbocharged
300 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
300 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20
4.4-liter V8 Turbocharged
400 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
450 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18
By Bill on Sunday, November 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun stylish comfortable stable all-weather driving"
Cons: "23mpg in 2011 no bluetooth media only phone"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Have owned this car for a year now and I still love driving it and find myself staring at it as I walk up to it in the parking lot... It is large yet sporty. It has all the incredible creature comforts that I now will never be able to live without... (heads up display, heated and cooled seats through perforated leather). No it is not a fuel efficient car (23mpg has been my experience) but that is not what you buy this vehicle for. This car is all about style, comfort, power, and confidence in all weather conditions. My vehicle is a 2011 and I actually looked into getting a 2015 but they are not offering the blue exterior!! I have the Monaco Blue exterior with aluminum running boards, inside is the sand beige perforated leather interior. I get a lot of positive comments on the look of the car and the idea of a newer model is very tempting but I cannot give up the blue color..."
27 people out of 44 found this review helpful
By ddg on Monday, September 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "So unique, few on the road"
Cons: "So unique, attracts unwanted attention."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Even after traveling on business for week i always look forward to arriving at the car lot for my 1 hour plus commute home. it is so much fun to drive and typical BMW fashion, feel the road."
23 people out of 42 found this review helpful
By L on Sunday, May 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,800overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Price is fair and a very rich feeling car."
Cons: "My Arthritis unfortunately is getting worse"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love the SUV, but my needs have changed due to my health. In the event it's a great sexy looking car."
17 people out of 34 found this review helpful
By csydware1 on Thursday, February 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,303overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Engine, Comfort, Style, Performance"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I will start by saying this is the forth BMW that I have owned and if you are an owner of a BMW you likely enjoy performance as I do. This SAV still brings a smile to my face and actually makes me want to get up in the morning to drive in to work. Many have already stated some of these facts so excuse me if I become redundant. The sound that comes out of the exhaust when you give it just a little gas has my male neighbors salivating. I unknowingly caused quite the talk when I pulled up in the driveway. It is a deep but not overbearing rumbling tone. On the highway (or on the way to it) It sounds like a well tuned beast. I have plenty of room inside for myself and three passengers to sit comfortably as well as a cargo area that is larger than most any sedan. I opted for the Premium sound as I love music and I am so glad I did. You have not lived until you are listenning to crisp clear surround sound while this machine is accellerating past sports cars. I also opted for the Sport package as I do on any BMW. This provided me with the 20" Dunlops in which I have had no problem with what so ever. I upgraded to the X6M wheels and just switched out the original 20" wheels. The treadwear is much better than I thought as well. I never turn off DSC so I am not spinning tires like a teenager. After 7300 mile and right at 6 mths. These tires still look brand new. The 4.4ltr Twin Turbo AWD V8 is fenominal. There is literally no turbo lag as this SAV is propelled well into 3 digit numbers. I was a bit concerned that I would be bored with the 8speed automatic as I have always owned manuals... Oh was I wrong. To my surprise when you put this car into manual mode and begin shifting it emulates a standard all the way down to the slight dip as if you are going in on the clutch but only faster. The comfort level is a one seat fits all.. Trust me when I tell you that everying on that seat is adjustable. You WILL find your sweet spot. I have been eyeing this car since 2008 when I bought my 335i so I had a lot of time to do a lot of research and also let BMW work out all of the kinks. I am soo happy that I was able to put this SAV in my garage and I am sure my wife is happy that I have stopped talking about it a bit."
12 people out of 20 found this review helpful
By Sam on Tuesday, October 29, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Stealth feeling..... but classy in it's own way!"
Cons: "Need over head sunglass holder"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love this machine! This cross over is fast, tight in the turns and when you step on it there's no dead spot!I have the middle level so it nicely loaded with enough features, including the full back seat. Only thing i like to see BMW do is put in a over head sun glass holder. It surprising how my daughter's 17 thousand dollar Ford Focus has one! I been after BMW for years on this issue being this isn't my first BMW. I came from the X5 to the X6 and there identical inside for exception of the roof tapers down in the back a little so less head room for tall passengers. I get all kinda of great complements on my X6! Plus there's not a 100 thousands of then at ever intersection."
8 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By Nikki on Monday, April 22, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Extremely fun to drive"
Cons: "Pricey for upkeep"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"If you want exclusivity, this is it. I have 2012 xDrive35i. It's nice. Bought it without even test driving it. Built it online and had it delivered to me. Rides great. The tires, yes you will pay for new tires every 6 months. If you go to BMW it's around $1500 for rear (315/20s) and $11-1300 for front (275/20s). I went to BMW Performance Center in SC and they said you can get non run flats for better price like Michelins. That's what I'll do my next set of tires. I have been told I have a heavy foot, but even my mother (who tells me to slow down) does 80 in this car automatically. Be careful with the speed. Overall, nice luxury, if you have the money otherwise just an expensive car for the drive. Easily gets dings due to construction material. Windshield gets knicks easily too. Very safe car. It earned its stripes one day I had to make a quick maneuver to avoid a bad driver going around a curve. It handled well and did not rollover. I receive many compliments from the average driver and car enthusiasts. Mine is Vermillion Red. I will get extended warranties."
18 people out of 22 found this review helpful