2008 BMW X6 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 BMW X6 SUV

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BMW X6 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L Inline 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 300 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 BMW X6

  • The 2008 BMW X6 combines sports-carlike performance and styling with some SUV-like utility. It's an intriguing combo, but the X6's expensive price and lack of real versatility makes it an unusual dud from BMW.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Capable handing, comfortable and roomy front seats, sophisticated new traction/stability technology, optional burly twin-turbo V8.

  • Cons

    Hefty curb weight considering its sporting mission, somewhat cramped rear seating, limited cargo space, inflated price.

  • What's New for 2008

    The BMW X6 is an all-new model for 2008. Despite having a name numerically higher than the X5, the X6 isn't any bigger. Instead, this four-person, performance-themed crossover features coupelike styling, a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system and a potent range of engines.

Full 2008 BMW X6 Review

What's New for 2008

The BMW X6 is an all-new model for 2008. Despite having a name numerically higher than the X5, the X6 isn't any bigger. Instead, this four-person, performance-themed crossover features coupelike styling, a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system and a potent range of engines.


In the past, BMW didn't exactly rush in to follow the trend toward larger, more family-friendly vehicles. Like a fashionable latecomer to a cocktail party, the German automaker launched the BMW X5 a few years into the SUV craze. But when the tide turned and the market clamored for scaled-down utility, BMW was ready with the nimble X3. And now that the crossover has found its way into the lineup of practically every marque in the auto industry, the German automaker steps up to bat with the X6, a four-passenger "Sports Activity Coupe" that BMW hopes will entice customers looking for the superior handling of a sport sedan with the space and functionality of an SUV. And just to clear up any potential confusion: Yes, BMW is calling the X6 a coupe, but that's just pure marketing, as it really does have four doors.

Underneath the crossover's controversial styling lies the capable, athletic handling BMW is known for. The all-wheel-drive X6 shares the same platform as the X5, with some major differences. Perhaps most significant is the X6's new, optional 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. It makes 400 horsepower (just a bit shy of what the new M3 puts out) and a beefy 450 pound-feet of torque that peaks as early as 1,750 rpm and doesn't waver until 4,500 rpm. Right now, this is the only BMW you can get with the twin-turbo V8. And it's probably just as well; with a curb weight of nearly 5,300 pounds for the V8 version, the X6 needs the power.

If the BMW X6's weight doesn't shock you, the sticker just might. The X6 starts in the mid-$50,000 range, with the V8 version starting at $8,500 more than the V8-powered X5 4.8i. And for that price premium, you get less rear passenger room and cargo space than the X5. We're hard-pressed to find direct competitors for the X6 save for the '09 Infiniti FX50, which also offers coupelike styling, V8 power and sporty handling -- starting at a few thousand dollars less than the six-cylinder X6. The Range Rover Sport, as well as the Porsche Cayenne S, are priced comparably, but both have more of an SUV look and lack the X6's lower profile. For those willing to fork over considerably more dough for a midsize crossover that's still smaller than the average midsize SUV, the 2008 BMW X6 might make sense. But for everyone else, we'd suggest looking elsewhere.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 BMW X6 comes in two trim levels: xDrive35i and xDrive50i. Both trims come standard with a moonroof, 19-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers, leather upholstery, power front seats with driver memory settings, parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control and the iDrive multimedia interface. Also standard is a 12-speaker audio system with a CD/MP3 player and an auxiliary audio input.

Naturally, one can further equip the X6 with a variety of options. The Technology Package adds a voice-activated navigation system with a rearview camera and real-time traffic information. An optional Sport Package adds Adaptive Drive (which adds increased control over body roll) and bumps the wheel size up to 20 inches. The Premium package adds BMW Assist and auto-dimming mirrors. The Active Ventilated Seat Package includes perforated power front seats equipped with fans that blow air underneath passengers.

The optional upgraded sound system includes iPod and USB adapters, as well as a six-disc DVD changer. Some ŗ la carte options include soft-close automatic doors, a power liftgate, running boards, a head-up display, active steering, HD radio and satellite radio.

Powertrains and Performance

The AWD 2008 X6 xDrive35i uses a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-6 that makes 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. BMW claims it goes from zero to 60 mph in the low 6-second range. The xDrive50i's 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 packs a 400-hp punch with 450 lb-ft of torque. BMW estimates its 0-60 time to be 5.3 seconds. Both engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control.


Standard on the 2008 BMW X6 are stability control, hill descent control, antilock disc brakes and active front head restraints. Also included are front-seat side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags. In the event of a rollover, a standard rollover sensor, integrated with the stability control system, activates both the curtain airbags and the seatbelt tensioners. The X6 also uses Dynamic Performance Control (DPC), a new torque distribution system that actively redirects power to each of the four wheels as needed to help with traction and directional stability.

Interior Design and Special Features

The interior of the BMW X6 is nearly identical to that of the X5, at least up front. The gauges, shift lever and center console are the same in appearance and quality in both models. The X6 gets standard leather upholstery and a sport steering wheel, as well as luxurious little touches such as cushions on either side of the center console to help protect knees. It is the rear passengers, however, who will bear the brunt of the X6's sweeping profile. A large center console restricts the backseat to two passengers, and the lower roof line knocks headroom down about 2 inches, which, for very tall passengers, turns the roof into a headrest. Legroom is adequate, but still feels somewhat cramped compared to the X5. That said, the seating is comfortable and supportive and measures up to the quality of other BMWs. Cargo space is sufficient at 60 cubic feet with the split rear seats folded down, but keep in mind that the X5 offers nearly 75 cubic feet by comparison.

Driving Impressions

Handling is one of the X6's most impressive attributes. In early testing, we found the crossover surprisingly agile. Steering is quick and cornering produces very little body roll. Braking is responsive, and the tires, combined with the all-wheel-drive system, provide plenty of grip. The only quibble is that the Dynamic Performance Control can be invasive and make the car feel a little jerky during demanding driving. Overall, however, the 2008 BMW X6 is a solid all-around performer.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

5.0 vs 3.5 no comparison

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW X6 xDrive50i 4dr SUV AWD (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 6A)

We test drove the 3.5 and loved the styling. The car handled and had acceptable acceleration but felt heavy. When looking at the weight, I knew that having the 5.0 engine would make all the difference in the world. Well when I went down to test drive itÖ words canít describe it. Many people say ďI donít get itĒÖ I can tell you, get behind the wheel and you ďWill Get It!Ē. I know itís not for everyone and honestly, that was a whole level beyond why I wanted it. In the three months Iíve had it, Iíve only seen 3 on the road. I canít count the FX, MLís, RXís, and Cayenneís. There is a sense of exclusivity that comes with owning one. If you donít like attention, donít by an X6.

Awesome for foursome

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW X6 xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A)

Got every available option on my X6, and I am loving it! Don't confuse this car with an SUV; it is a Sports Activity Coupe with room for any foursome (golf, tennis, skiing, or dating)and all the accompanying equipment (clubs, rackets, skis, and luggage). My grandson can even watch movies in the back seat! Just got mine back from BMW Collision after rear ending a Cadillac sedan. Awesome collision safety behavior from the car with only frontal damage while the Cadillac regretfully was demolished. The repair by BMW looks amazing!

Bmw x6 x-cellent

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW X6 xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A)

Having owned the Range Rover Supersport supercharged and Audi q7, I can say that this car exceeds all of these on every front for driving pleasure and fun without giving ground, except for serious off roading. The twin turbo is very responsive and returns good mileage. Handling is incredible for a car of this type. Space is very good at 6'4" no problem in finding a very comfortable seating position, even the back seats are good for a 6' person. Overall very solid just what you expect.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Bmw x6 a hit !

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW X6 xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A)

A great look and glad we bought instead of Infiniti FX35, which is likely a good car. Outside lines turn heads, interior is comfortable. Can go to the snow. Hwy mileage is 22+, around town is low 15. Very fast for 6 cyl. Very solid. We own 06 Denali, so don't expect it to tow, haul huge loads, etc. We are new empty nesters and this car fits our needs very well and better for us than X 5. Rear view has not been a problem for us. took couple in back seats and they said they were comfortable. Great car!

Flashy headache

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW X6 xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A)

Sure, it gets attention, but I wish more attention had been given to practical design. It's nearly impossible to see out of the rear window making reverse a dangerous exercise. The rear view camera display states to "never rely solely on camera" when that's exactly what the driver must do. Side vision is also hampered by the steep drop off of the front fenders--the driver can't tell see the outboard edge of the car. The liftgate has two opening heights, but getting past the low one is fiddly at best, making loading anything back there a long reach into a shallow slit opening. Super- expensive tires. People will look at you, alright, but I'd rather the car be more user friendly.

A definite head turner

by on
Vehicle: 2008 BMW X6 xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A)

This is my 3rd BMW, but my first new BMW and will not be my last. I have never been in a vehicle that has turned more heads and make even other luxury car owners smile and give me the "Big Thumbs Up!" The Interior is nice and roomy, the controls are logically laid out, and the car is just a dream to drive.

Talk About The 2008 X6

2008 BMW X6 Discussions See all Started By

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Gas Mileage


  • 15
  • cty
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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