2014 BMW X6 Review
By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating:
What's New for 2014
2014 marks the final year for this version of the popular BMW X6 – an all-new model is scheduled to debut in 2015. Not that the current X6 is tired or outdated in any way. Far from it. The X6's SUV classification should be taken with a grain of salt, however, as it's not terribly well suited for off-roading and its raked rear end negates what could be a useful cargo bay. But, if you're an urban dweller who prefers performance to practicality, BMW's 2014 X6 has much to offer. Standard all-wheel drive graces a lineup comprising three distinct trims, including a 555-horsepower twin-turbocharged M model. You can wait for the all-new 2015, or land a 2014 now, either way we think you'll be quite happy with your purchase.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you're looking for a vehicle that touts unique styling, impeccable handling and audacious power, you can't go wrong with one of the BMW X6 triplets for 2014.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you're looking for something that not only says you've arrived, but can do so for a lot less money, Jeep's Grand Cherokee SRT8 delivers sizzling performance without the added expense. Families with big needs might be happier in a 3-row SUV like the Audi Q7.
The BMW X6 receives a few minor changes for 2014, chiefly the addition of a universal garage door opener and a rearview mirror with a compass as standard equipment on the xDrive5.0i. The X6 M receives standard carpeted floor mats.
Driving the X6
To say the 2014 BMW X6 has benefitted from years of BMW performance sedans and coupes would be an understatement. Big as it is, the X6 can take its rightful...
place next to the best 3, 5 or 6 Series car when the tarmac diverges from straight line to serpentine. The X6's all-independent suspension and xDrive AWD (all-wheel drive) keep its oh-so-obvious bulk in check, and its impressive engine lineup motivates the X6 forward in varying degrees of hyper acceleration. If the X6 has one drawback, you'll find it every time you go to fill up, which will be quite often as even the most docile xDrive35i barely attains a 20-mpg combined city/highway fuel economy rating.
XDRIVE ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
Few all-wheel-drive systems are more capable than BMW's xDrive AWD. Despite the additional hardware, the 2014 BMW X6 enjoys an almost-ideal 50:50 weight distribution. Even in the Sunbelt, the very occasional rain or snow will only reinforce your purchase decision.
The M treatment is usually always a winner and in the case of the X6 it combines raw power and truly impressive handling with styling that is both distinctive and sensuous. An M3 is fine when it's a party of one, but those with bigger needs shouldn't be left out in the cold, and the X6 M ensures they wont' be.
2014 BMW X6 Details
BMW excels when it comes to driver and passenger ergonomics and the 2014 BMW X6 is no exception. Rear-seat headroom could be better, but that's to be expected given the X6's low roofline. 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 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.
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 2014 X6 SUV with very faint praise.
Those with a need for all-season mobility should enjoy the standard xDrive AWD, a system that has the ability to transfer engine torque thus optimizing 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. An 8-speed automatic delivers responsive acceleration and efficient cruising. Of course, features such as Adaptive xenon headlights, 10-way power front seats, a 2-way power glass moonroof, Dynamic Cruise Control, and a 205-watt 10-speaker audio system are also part of the standard equipment roster.
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 BMW X6's 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 2014 X6 benefits from the delightful strains of BMW's turbocharged (300 horsepower/300 lb-ft of torque) inline-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. The X6 M offers more go, but starts north of $90,000. The xDrive35i and xDrive50i are connected to 8-speed automatic transmissions, while the "M" makes do with six. But at 150 mph, who's counting?
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 (xDrive35i)
300 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
300 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 mpg
4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (xDrive50i)
400 horsepower @ 5,500-6,400 rpm
450 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/21 mpg
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: 13/17 mpg
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