The 2017 BMW X6 M isn't an SUV. Yes, it sits up high like an SUV. It's brawny like an SUV. And it's bigger than it needs to be like an SUV. But then there's the tail that slopes down and virtually wipes out the cargo room — unlike an SUV. And in the engine bay is a twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V8 that screams out of BMW's M division with 567 horsepower. That's not an SUV powerplant.
Give BMW credit. The company doesn't call the X6 M an SUV. To BMW the X6 is a "Sports Activity Coupe" and the M part is just more of everything. What sport? What activity? What coupe? Hey, not all vehicles have an appeal that can be rationally ordered in a list.
Throw the X6 M on a test track and the performance is flat astounding. Think a zero-to-60-mph time of about 4.0 seconds, think road holding that approaches a full 1g on a skidpad and brakes that could stop the rotation of the planet. And it weighs over 5,000 pounds, too.
The horsepower number gets the headlines. But the real trick to this monster's abilities is a combination of the 553 pound-feet of torque it produces down low in the engine's rev range, the eight-speed automatic transmission that makes sure all that torque is available and the all-wheel-drive system that splits all that torque up between the four wheels for maximum thrust. Finally, the simply enormous 285/35R21 front and 325/30R21 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires it wears help, too. The X6 M rides like the performance machine it is. Not like the softie that many buyers may prefer.
But what holds the X6 M back most profoundly is that sloping roof and its compromised cargo-carrying ability and rear-seat headroom. BMW, though, has an answer for that in the form of the X5 M, which is many ways the same vehicle with a more practical roof line. And although the X5 M has a higher roof, it carries a sticker price a few thousand bucks lower.
Vehicles this big, heavy and powerful aren't destined to get great fuel mileage. So the X6 M's 16 mpg combined (14 city/19 highway) EPA fuel economy rating doesn't come as a surprise. And compared to, say, a Gulfstream business jet, that’s a great number.
If you want something like the X6 M there are a few alternatives. And there's no better way to research them all than to use the tools here on Edmunds. Don't hesitate to ask our advice either. We'll get you hooked up with a solid deal from a great dealer.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.