BMW X6 M Review

2012 BMW X6 M Exterior

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If you assumed the realities of global warming and the recent worldwide economic meltdown would put an end to automotive excesses, the BMW X6 M offers fire-breathing proof of just how wrong that expectation would be. That's because this luxury SUV is over the top by just about every measure you can name. The performance-themed X6 M struts with a 555-horsepower V8, a specialized suspension, stronger brakes and grippier tires on an SUV that already trades practicality (it only seats four and has a meager cargo capacity) for sleeker styling.

If you're looking for a rational reason to buy a BMW X6 M, you won't find one here. That's because there isn't one. Other sports cars or sport sedans are better performers, while any number of luxury SUVs are more practical. But there's no denying that the X6 M is also one of the most impressive feats of automotive engineering sold today.

Current BMW X6 M
The BMW X6 M is a four-passenger high-performance SUV that's offered in a single trim level. Power comes from a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that cranks out 555 hp and 501 pound-feet of torque. With a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, this powertrain is capable of sending this 5,300-pound truck from zero to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds -- quicker than a BMW M3.

The X6 M isn't all engine, however, as BMW has made a number of modifications to make this heavy SUV handle more like a sport sedan. Standard 20-inch wheels and performance tires help, but it's the special sport-tuned suspension with adaptive dampers that delivers amazing handling prowess while at the same time maintaining a livable ride. Its power steering system adapts effectively to both sporting occasions and parking lots -- we actually prefer it to the communicative but heavy steering of the standard X6. On a tight road, however, no amount of athleticism will be able to hide just how big the BMW X6 M really is.

As a high-end BMW, the X6 M still gets the usual complement of luxury features like parking sensors (a must given the X6's compromised visibility), adaptive automatic bi-xenon headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, auto-dimming mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, BMW's iDrive controller, a navigation system with real-time traffic and a 16-speaker audio system. The options list includes automatic high-beams, a head-up display, keyless ignition/entry, a multiview parking camera, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats.

Unlike the regular X6, the M version does not offer an optional three-person rear bench, meaning it can only seat four people. Add that to less maximum cargo capacity (60 cubic feet) than the typical compact crossover and you get something that provides all the weight and size of a big SUV with only a portion of the utility. Obviously, most car-buying logic doesn't apply here, but the similar BMW X5 M offers pretty much identical performance but without the loss of SUV versatility.

Used BMW X6 M Models
The BMW X6 M debuted for the 2010 model year and has carried on unchanged since.

Read the most recent 2014 BMW X6 M review.

If you are looking for older years, visit our used BMW X6 M page.

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