Full 2014 BMW X6 Review
What's New for 2014
Aside from some minor changes in options packages, the 2014 BMW X6 is unchanged.
BMW labels its 2014 X6 a "sport activity coupe." And indeed, sleek "coupelike" styling is all the rage lately. But while this design can be impressive on a sedan, the results are less satisfying when applied to an SUV like the X6.
If you're interested in the 2014 BMW X6, it shouldn't be born from a desire for functionality or a truly invigorating drive. The X6's low, sloped rear roof restricts rear headroom and greatly decreases cargo room compared to other midsize crossover SUVs. Now, there is no denying that the X6 handles remarkably well for such a large, heavy vehicle. It also moves with authority thanks to its turbocharged six- and eight-cylinder engines. But is it as fun to pilot as a traditional sport coupe or sedan? Hardly.
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT and 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport aren't exactly "practical" purchases, but these sport-tuned SUVs are certainly more useful for families than the X6. And if style and performance are really your top desires, the Audi A7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS deliver something truly different from the norm and are far more coupelike in their look and feel than the X6.
So, there's a strong logical case for buying something other than the 2014 BMW X6. But maybe you just like the look of the thing. And that's OK by us. At that point, we'll simply suggest that it looks pretty cool in red.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 BMW X6 is a midsize crossover SUV with coupelike styling. It seats four people standard, and an optional middle rear seat increases capacity to five. There are two models: xDrive35i and xDrive50i.
The xDrive35i comes standard with 19-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, foglamps, auto-dimming mirrors, a sunroof, a power liftgate and front and rear parking sensors. Inside you get dual-zone automatic climate control, heated 10-way power front seats (with four-way power lumbar), driver memory settings and leather upholstery. Electronics features include the iDrive interface, Bluetooth connectivity, BMW Assist emergency communications and a 10-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.
The xDrive50i adds a more powerful engine, 16-way "multicontour" front seats with adjustable bolsters and a navigation system. The upgraded seats and nav system are optional on the xDrive35i.
Available on both trim levels, the Premium package adds keyless ignition and entry, four-zone automatic climate control, rear- and top-view parking cameras, manual rear side sunshades and, on the 35i, the navigation system. Opting for the Luxury Seating package gets you ventilation and massaging for the multicontour seats. The Cold Weather package adds a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats.
For more equipment you can choose the Technology package that includes a sideview parking camera, a head-up display and automatic high beam control. The Dynamic Handling package adds an adaptive suspension and enhanced speed-sensitive steering. The Premium Sound package includes satellite radio and a 16-speaker sound system. The BMW Individual Composition package increases the color choice selection and also includes a leather-trimmed dash and multicontour seats (xDrive 35i).
The Sport Activity package gets special 19-inch wheels, darkened exterior trim and sport seats. The M Performance package is similar but gets the 20-inch wheels, performance tires and a sport steering wheel.
Other stand-alone options include LED headlights, a lane-departure warning system, power soft-close doors, running boards, adaptive cruise control, extended leather trim, a rear-seat entertainment system and the BMW Apps suite of Internet-based smartphone features.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2014 BMW X6 xDrive35i comes with a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine that produces 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission are standard on every X6. BMW estimates that the X6 35i will go from zero to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 20 mpg combined (17 city/24 highway).
The BMW X6 xDrive50i gets a 4.4-liter turbocharged V8 good for 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. BMW says it'll hit 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. At the gas pump you're looking at 17 mpg combined (14/21). If this sort of power still leaves you wanting, there's also a 555-hp X6 M that is covered in a separate review.
Every 2014 BMW X6 includes stability and traction control, antilock brakes, automatic brake drying, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. Also standard is the BMW Assist emergency communications system, which provides automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle recovery and on-demand roadside assistance. Optional safety equipment includes a lane departure warning system and sideview, rear- and top-view parking cameras.
In Edmunds brake testing, an X6 xDrive35i came to a stop from 60 mph in a very short 111 feet.
Interior Design and Special Features
From the front seats, the 2014 BMW X6 is nearly identical to the outgoing X5 upon which it is based, though sportier seats and a cushioned design for the center console (protecting knees during aggressive cornering) are unique to the X6. In BMW fashion, the materials are top-notch and everything is put together beautifully. The iDrive interface works well for controlling and adjusting all of the X6's systems, though in our experience it typically takes a few more clicks and twists of the control knob to get what you want; some rival systems are easier to use.
The X6's sloped roof line is, of course, the whole point of the vehicle, but it does reduce rear headroom by a few inches compared to the X5. In standard form, the rear seat has a large center console and accommodates just two passengers; you can opt to have a three-person bench instead. The outboard rear seats are reasonably comfortable, but they lack any sort of adjustment.
The dramatic roof line also cuts into the cargo area. Cargo capacity is sufficient for occasional hauling, with a decent 25 cubic feet with the seats up, but with the rear seats stowed, the X6 holds only 60 cubic feet, which is below average for a midsize luxury crossover SUV.
The 2014 BMW X6 provides impressive performance. Acceleration is brisk with either of the available engines, and the X6 has high handling limits when you're charging around turns. But you'll never forget that this is still a big and heavy vehicle, especially if you're driving on narrow, winding roads. In normal driving, though, the X6 is plenty comfortable. Wind and road noise are at a minimum and the suspension does a great job of soaking up road imperfections.