What Is It?
BMW's X6 may not have been the original SUV coupe (RIP Suzuki X-90), but it sure kicked off the current craze of swoopy luxury crossovers. Now BMW has revealed the third generation of its big not-a-two-door, the 2020 BMW X6. This new model follows the same formula as previous generations, taking the recently redesigned X5 and adding style while subtracting practicality. After all, why mess with success?
2020 BMW X6 First Look
Bringing the New X5's Updates to BMW's Sports Activity Coupe
What Is It?
The new 2020 X6 grows in width and length, adding 1.6 inches to its wheelbase while shaving 0.7 inch off its overall height. It gets the X5's sharper and more aggressive front fascia. But behind the windscreen, the roof gets a double-bubble treatment before sloping into the long rear hatch. Despite the stretched dimensions, cargo space increases only slightly from the outgoing model, while second-row passenger space also stays about the same.
Two of the new X5's engines will be available in the 2020 X6 at launch: a 335-horsepower turbocharged inline-six and a 523-hp turbocharged V8. BMW claims that the new big-dog V8 X6 — known as the X6 M50i — will make the 0-60 mph sprint in 4.1 seconds, a half-second quicker than the fleetest X6 of the previous generation and just a hair off the pace of the outgoing X6 M super-SUV. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional with the six-cylinder and standard with the V8. The new X6 maxes out at 7,200 pounds of towing capacity, an impressive figure given the model's generally impractical nature.
The new X5's myriad feature updates carry over to the 2020 X6 as well. These include BMW's latest iDrive infotainment system, complete with gesture controls and a new voice assistant; the newest version of BMW's driver assistance and "self-driving" features; new parking assistance features; self-leveling air suspension; rear-wheel steering; and optional swanky glass controls. There's also a bigger panoramic roof that can be equipped with illumination that mimics the stars in the night sky — perhaps you've had a hankering for that sort of thing since BMW Group subsidiary Rolls-Royce introduced it years ago. These updates come with a slight price bump, with the base MSRP growing by $700.
Why Does It Matter?
The luxury SUV coupe segment may be a niche market, but it's also lucrative and hotly contested. It feels like everyone and their uncle has a couple of cut-down crossovers in the portfolio these days. The idea behind these vehicles is that they're "sportier" versions of the traditional luxury SUV, and sporty luxury is supposed to be BMW's bread and butter.
Competitors in the space, such as Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, are at the top of their game right now, and they've been beating BMW at its own game recently. The battle for this segment may not determine massive profits or large volumes of vehicles, but in an increasingly SUV-ified world, crossover coupes are the battlefield for the spirit of sporty luxury.
What Does It Compete With?
Right now, the most notable X6 competitors are the Mercedes-Benz GLE coupe, the newly introduced Porsche Cayenne coupe and the all-new Audi Q8. There's also the Lamborghini Urus, which will go up against the inevitable new-generation X6 M.
That group splits a lot of strengths, offering choices that are both more luxury-oriented and more performance-oriented than the X6. As a brand, BMW used to be the master of fusing those two elements into engaging luxury vehicles, so we'll have to wait and see how the new X6 stacks up against some tough competition.
The redesigned 2020 BMW X6 doesn't mess with the X6 formula, taking the bones of the X5 and adding more aggressive styling to the mix.