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2012 BMW X6

Overview
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2012 BMW X6 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.5

To its credit, in the evolution of its sport-sedan fleet BMW has come a long way. Although some might take issue with the 1 Series sheetmetal when compared to an early 2002, few would argue with the dynamic improvements. BMW's recent foray into the SUV market is something else altogether, and nothing in its lineup is so egregious – to the BMW faithful – as the X6 and its many derivatives - including a 6-cylinder version, a wicked-powerful hybrid model and the 547-horsepower twin-turbocharged X6 M. What the Bavarians describe as the "first ever Sports Activity Coupe" is – in our view – the answer to a question too few have asked. Built atop the BMW X5 platform in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the X6 enjoys the unique distinction of weighing slightly more than the X5, costing significantly more and transporting significantly less. It is – again, in our view – a lose/lose/lose proposition, but then, enthusiasts of the 2002 (or, for that matter, today's 1 Series Coupe) are probably not on the X6 team's marketing radar.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you regard traditional 2-box SUVs as smacking of a minivan or mom-mobile, but still need some balance between people and cargo, the rear hatch and folding rear seats of the X6 provide more utility than a traditional sedan, and the higher hip point of the driver's seat suggests enhanced control in congested environments. Finally, BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive provides enhanced control in rural environs.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you seek an SUV for its practical application in hauling people and/or cargo, the 2012 X6 falls woefully short. Better, we think, to invest in a 3 Series wagon and, with the change, someone's pre-owned Jeep. The X6 suffers from not enough ground clearance for going off-road, and not enough headroom for carrying four to five passengers in real comfort.

What's New for 2012

For the 2011 model year the X6 received both a new in-line-6 and 8-speed automatic transmission. The only significant addition to the 2012 BMW X6 is the availability of a split-folding rear seat, enabling three passengers to sit abreast when, of course, said seat isn't folded. This increases the X6 passenger volume by 25 percent, a nod to practicality you won't find elsewhere in the X6 architecture.

Driving the X6

Driving Impressions The X6 platform benefits from all those well-engineered chassis that went before it. And while it sits higher than a 3 Series or 5 Series sedan, a rigid body structure,...

all-independent suspension and xDrive all-wheel drive effectively mask its oh-so-obvious mass. In point of fact, you'll probably not take note of the X6's basic inefficiency until you stop for gasoline, where its most efficient variant – the ActiveHybrid – won't achieve 20 miles per gallon. The V8 versions are thirsty, but you have the benefit of more urgency. Drink up!

xDrive All-Wheel Drive
If selecting an SUV (or SAV), the vehicle's additional weight should at least be offset by some all-season capability. And few all-wheel-drive systems are more capable than BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive. Despite the additional hardware, the X6 – in most versions – still enjoys an almost ideal 50:50 weight distribution. Even in the Sunbelt, the very occasional rain or snow will only reinforce your purchase decision.

Historically Good Resale
There is absolutely no rational reasoning behind the purchase of BMW's X6. It is an impulse buy, and as such, you should prepare yourself in advance for buyer's remorse. Happily, the X6 should still provide a reasonable return on your investment. If you're leasing rather than purchasing, however, we'd advise a short-term lease, after which you can find a true sport sedan. Or true SUV.

2012 BMW X6 Details
Interior

Inside you'll find traditional BMW strengths in the area of driver ergonomics and - if you can overlook the lack of rear-seat headroom - passenger comfort. The view from the driver's seat is not unlike that of the 6 Series until, of course, you try to view what's behind you in the next lane. Then, the blind spot that is the 2012 BMW X6 fastback profile makes itself known. To its credit, everything is well crafted, and the tighter cabin dimensions convey an intimacy rarely offered in more traditional SUVs.

Exterior
2012 BMW X6 photo

Beauty, we'd agree, is in the eye of the beholder. With that, behold a "sporty" fastback roofline atop an SUV platform. With the end result weighing some 5,000 pounds it becomes hard to fully appreciate the execution when built on such a shaky assumption. To its credit, the X6 is less awkward than Honda's Crosstour, but we're damning the 2012 X6 with very faint praise.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Those with a need for all-season mobility can revel in the addition of xDrive all-wheel drive to all variants of the X6 architecture. With its ability to transfer engine torque the system optimizes control in virtually any road condition. Add to that BMW's attention to on-road dynamics and an extremely rigid body shell, and you have the makings of a 4- to 5-passenger GT. The addition of an 8-speed automatic in 2011 aids in both responsive acceleration and efficient cruising; it is standard on both xDrive35i and xDrive50i.

Optional Equipment

Most significant options are bundled into various packages, and include Active Ventilated Seat Package, Cold Weather, Premium, Premium Sound, Sport/Sport Activity and Technology. Given the X6 mission of combining all-season capability with sports coupe demeanor, we believe one of the two Sport packages goes a long way in enhancing the X6's sport-oriented presence. Among stand-alone options, BMW's Active Steering enhances maneuverability at lower speeds, while the Chateau Nevada Leather (in red) enhances eye appeal at any speed.

Under the Hood

In its entry-level xDrive35i form, the 2012 X6 benefits from the delightful strains of BMW's turbocharged (300 horsepower/300 lb-ft of torque) in-line-6. And despite wonderful performance numbers – a 0-60 time of just over six seconds and an electronically limited top end of 130 – the 5,000 pounds of the X6 will be felt with a full passenger and cargo load. Opt for the xDrive50i and you'll enjoy some 100 more horses and an extra 150 lb-ft of torque, which is probably the sweet spot in the X6 lineup. Both the ActiveHybrid and X6 M offer more go, but they also both start north of $90,000. The xDrive35i and xDrive50i are connected to 8-speed automatic transmissions, the hybrid receives a 7-speed automatic and the "M" makes do with six. But at 150 mph, who's counting?

3.0-liter turbocharged in-line-6
300 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
300 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23

4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8
400 horsepower @5,500-6,400 rpm
450 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20


4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8, dual electric synchronous motors
480 horsepower @ 5,500-6,400 rpm (hybrid mode)
575 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-4,500 rpm (hybrid mode)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/19

4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (X6 M)
555 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
500 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,650 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/17

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2012 BMW X6 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 36 Ratings for the 2008 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    9.6/10
  • Comfort
    9.7/10
    Styling
    9.6/10

LOVE this vehicle! Awesome power AND comfort!

By on Sunday, November 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

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..."

16 people out of 25 found this review helpful

WOW so fun to drive even after a few years.

By on Monday, September 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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."

13 people out of 28 found this review helpful

The BMW X6 is very dependable and I love the car.

By on Sunday, May 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,800

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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."

11 people out of 26 found this review helpful

Simply Amazing!

By on Thursday, February 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,303

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Engine, Comfort, Style, Performance"

Cons: "None"

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."

11 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Power, performance and style

By on Sunday, November 03, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "A muscle SUV that puts fun back into the commute"

Cons: "Speed limit signs, traffic cops"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"At 85 mph the X6 feels like it's going 25. Punch it and the twin turbos throw you back into the seat like your launching from the X15. So much power, so little road. Instant acceleration and the rocket ship is traveling well over a 100 before you can say NASA. This flagship turns heads as it rolls past the sleepy commuters sipping java in the predawn darkness. Superior interior design makes it difficult to exit the vehicle and swagger into the office. It is a muscle car. The exhaust rumbles. Truly the best vehicle I've ever owned. BMW's high end components make this so much better than the typical "mid life crisis" upgrade. Mid life crisis? He'll yes. Do I blow off work, grab the wife and take a drive over Independence Pass passing the Porsche club members on hair pin curves at 85 mph or do I head down I25 to Santa Fe for some art work and a cup of coffee? Now that's what I call a crisis."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Love This Cross Over!!

By on Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

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."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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