2015 BMW X6M Review
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: September 3rd, 2015
Not that you'd be able to tell, but the BMW X6 is all new for 2015. This second-generation swoopy-coupe-roofed SUV-crossover-thing (it defies convention, honestly) is both longer and wider than it was before, yet it weighs about 140 pounds less than it did a year ago. The rear buckets have been replaced with a bench, as well. But perhaps the best thing about the new X6 is what's under the hood of the new X6M - a 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V-8 with 567 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque (12 and 53 more than last year, respectively), mated to an also-new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. It'll hit 60 mph in four seconds flat, and it costs upwards of $100,000, even though the slightly-less-long and more capacious X5M starts in the five-digit range.
It's a car that defies explanation, no matter the question. Why does it look like that? Why is it so fast? Why is it so fancy? But you're not buying this car because you need it; you're buying it because you want it. You're buying it because you want the quickest crossover BMW makes, and you prefer the fastback look. Sure, cargo capacity is garbage, but you've got another car for that (or you just don't care). If you want the best, this is it, whether you're into it or not.
This might be the nicest BMW interior we've ever seen. Not only does the foursome of black leather, red leather, carbon fiber, and aluminum accents give a feeling of sportiness, but all the pieces are wonderfully engineered, as well. Everything you touch, with the exception of the hard-plastic lower B-pillar shroud, is soft and feels quite expensive. Deviated stitching covers the dashboard and the steering wheel to add even more visual flair. The seats themselves are single-piece units without headrests, although the top part of the seat will move back and forth to accommodate drivers of different sizes.
The front-end layout is typical BMW - a low, wide array of switchgear sits just under the infotainment screen, emphasizing visual width. The gauges are traditional physical ones, although there are adjustable parts of the screen on the lower half. Whether you're looking at the dashboard, or pawing the leather seats like a raver peaking on ecstasy, it all feels perfect for the price.
Out back, the rear seats are comfortable, with ample legroom (and, new for 2015, space for three instead of two). However, that swoopy-coupe styling absolutely wrecks cargo capacity, rear-seat headroom for passengers over six feet tall, and any semblance of rearward visibility. That's the price you pay for high fashion, we suppose.
Oh, and the cargo floor that covers the spare tire has its own strut. Talk about attention to detail.
The X6 is one of the most polarizing vehicles in terms of style; it seems like half the world loves it, while half the world hates it. Of course, most of that hate is rooted in logic - why cut off the roof of a perfectly good SUV, giving it an awkward shape (for such a large vehicle) and reduced cargo capacity? Either way, moving up to theX6M doesn't change the overall shape, although it does add plenty of additional curves and angles - there are large fender vents, more aggressive fasciae, and M badges scattered about. We like that BMW added some strength to the side character lines for this second generation, along with connecting the headlights and the kidney grilles. It looks low, wide, and mean, which is exactly what you want out of a crossover that goes like hell.
On the Road
Holy crap. That's all you need to know, really. You can read the specifications below and understand, without even getting in the car, that it's going to disappear like a bullet. And that's exactly what the X6M does. Not only does the engine start delivering torque shortly after idle (we couldn't find any hint of turbo lag), but the eight-speed automatic does a bang-on job of managing the shifts. With the car's settings in Comfort, it'll cruise along with seamless shifts and nary a sound from the 4.4-liter V-8. Move into Sport or Sport Plus, though, and the exhaust note gets louder, the revs rise higher, and the shifts - actually, the shifts remain nigh imperceptible, delivering wave after wave of torque like the beach on a windy day. It's a strange feeling, going this fast in a car this large (it weighs over 5,000 pounds). Thankfully, it never feels out of control, despite all that kinetic energy building up; a quick stab of the brakes at any speed will bring this chariot to a halt, and fast.
Of course, it's not exactly a comfortable ride all the time. Thanks to tiny tire sidewalls and a suspension that, even in Comfort, still errs on the sporty side, you're keenly aware of both the car's heft and the qualities of the road beneath it. That said, no matter the setting, the car corners flat as a pancake, and it never lists or rolls too much in any direction. It's a damn solid car - er, crossover.
For city driving, especially if you like the occasional throttle jab, we suggest the following settings: Engine in Sport, suspension and steering in Comfort, and transmission in 2 (it has three settings, which varies shift points and aggressiveness).
No matter how you drive it, the fuel economy will suck. There's no way around physics.
Trying to explain this car with any degree of rationality just won't work. It's far larger than most of its owners need it to be, it's far more powerful than most of its owners need it to be, and it's more track-capable than most of its owners need it to be. But, then again, many buyers will flock to the X6M as a status symbol, and rightfully so - it's beautiful, powerful, and well-engineered. In many ways, it's the perfect M car; it's just strange to say that about something that isn't a car at all.
Specs & Price
Engine: 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Drivetrain Layout: Front-engine, all-wheel drive
Power Output: 567 horsepower / 553 lb-ft
Fuel Economy (mpg): 14 city / 19 highway
Base Price: $102,100
As Tested: $112,850 (incl. $950 destination)
Driver Assistance Plus Package: Lane departure warning, forward collision warning, automatic braking, blind spot monitor, surround-view camera, speed-limit information
Executive Package: Full LED headlights, soft-close doors, head-up display, heated steering wheel, automatic high beams, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, rear manual side window shades
Individual Options: Automated parallel park assist, smartphone integration, Bang & Olufsen premium sound system, rear-seat entertainment, night vision
• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2015 BMW X6 M, click here: 2015 BMW X6 M.