Monday, May 11, 2020

2020 BMW X6 M50i AWD: The Brand’s Curvaceous Midsize Performance-Oriented Crossover


Highlight: The X6 is available with an optional lighted grille, which can be activated via the keyless remote or a manual switch. 

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $97,195 (Base X6 sDrive 40i RWD Model: $65,295) 

Seating Capacity:


Standard Safety Features: ABS; airbags; a stability control system; SOS emergency assist system; a radar activated cruise control system; automatic high beam headlights; a backup camera; daytime pedestrian protection; frontal collision warning system; a rear cross traffic alert system; and a tire pressure monitor system   

Standard Features 40i: 20-inch tires; an 8-speed automatic transmission; an automatic start and stop feature; an electronically controlled engine cooling system; trailer hitch prewiring; double wishbone front suspension; power folding heated side mirrors; anthracite headliner; cargo cover; leather seats; heated front seats; a 12-inch live cockpit digital instrumentation; navigation system; panoramic sunroof; power tilt/telescopic steering wheel; a keyless entry system; rain sensing wiper system; power tailgate; an automatic interior rear view mirror and driver’s side exterior mirror; and BMW’s 3-year maintenance warranty

Standard Features M50i: 20-inch wheels; 4.4-liter, V-8 producing 523-horsepower; an all-wheel drive system; M sport exhaust system; M sport differential; M sport brakes; blue brake calipers; an adaptive M suspension; an aerodynamic kit; wireless charging; an in-vehicle WiFi system; a 16 speaker Harman Kardon surround sound audio system; SiriusXM; 20-way power front seats;

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: Dynamic Handling Package: integral active steering, adaptive M suspension pro and active roll stabilization Drivers Assistance Pro Package: extended traffic jam assistant and active driving assistant pro Luxury Seating Package: front ventilated massaging seats Parking Assistant Package: parking assistant plus, active park distance control Premium Package: remote engine start, heads up display system and gesture control system; 21-inch wheels; an illuminated grille; glass controls; and adaptive LED with laserlight

Other Trim Levels:

X6 AWD
X6 M

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 205-watt, 9-speaker AM/FM/HD/CD

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

Apple Connectivity:  Yes

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 4.0-liter twin-turbo, 6-cylinder/335-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage: 20-city/26-hwy



What’s New:  The third generation X6 is all-new for the 2020 model year. The X6 is a part of BMW’s family of even number X series crossovers, with the X6 being the big brother (big sister) of the trio, when compared to its siblings the X2 and X4. As a side note, the X3, X5 and X7, which are all the odd numbers in the brand crossover line up look more like blended SUV-types.

Why: BMW’s coupe-like, driver-oriented crossover has been redesign for the 2020 model year. The roomy five passenger vehicle, which BMW refers to as a Sports Activity Coupe, is longer and wider than the outgoing model. This new design gives this crossover a more aggressive stance and profile.

The restyled X6, with its hatchback roofline, is available in a rear wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration, depending upon the trim. To compliment the new look, two powertrains are available, a 4.0-liter, 6-cylinder or a throaty 4.4-liter, 8-cylinder. 

Our test model wore the M50i badge. This meant that our high performance vehicle, with its new more potent 8-cylinder engine, produced a whopping 523-horsepower. This is an increase of about 78-horsepower, when compared to the model it replaced. And with this additional power, the engineering team allows the driver to adjust the exhaust note by simply pushing a button. As a side note, the ability to adjust the exhaust sound note is also available in the 6-cylinder model, when the M sport package is added.

Moreover, there were a number of exterior styling components that BMW utilized to enhance the overall look of our test model. Those exterior styling effects ranged from the air intakes to the grille sides to the twin rear spoilers above the rear hatch glass to the wide rear fender, which blended into the design of the lights embedded into the top of the rear hatch, to the optional lighted signature kidney grille.

In fact, the M50i, which we reviewed, was outfitted with 21-inch wheels and an optional sports package. This package also altered the appearance of our M50i with its shadowline finish, exterior mirror caps and grey exhaust tailpipes. 

To match the look, BMW also made adjustments to the suspension, improving the ride and handling capabilities. One of the many options available was a two-axle suspension system which included automatic self-leveling, which adjusted the ride height at the mere flip of a button. This is a great feature for off-roading, especially for ground clearance purposes.

Inside the cabin, BMW made great strides to make the wide, but highly supportive seating area, what one would expect from a performance-oriented BMW. The theme of the 12-inch instrument panel gauges for 2020, with its computer game like graphics and animation, seemed to be more centered-around the driver. The instrument panel and the infotainment center was large, engaging and interactive. Like in all BMW’s, an iDrive configuration controlled the navigation, audio and ventilation system.

Furthermore, BMW incorporate the latest high tech safety driving aids ranging from a 360-degree camera to a semi self driving steering application to a parking assist system.

But: The height of the curvaceous X6 has been reduced slightly. The rear headroom is also limited for taller adults and kids. Moreover, the curvaceous roofline also impacts rearview for the driver too.

And to our surprise, SiriusXM is only standard on the M50i trim. Go figure?

Furthermore, because of the position of the unmarked switch to activate the heated steering wheel, it took a moment to locate it.

Lastly, the X6 with the 8-cylinder engine, is only available in an all-wheel drive configuration.



Verdict: The third generation X6 is BMW’s take on what a sporty looking crossover looks like, with a coupe-like appeal, when powered by a 6-cyliner or an 8-cylinder engine, while loaded with the latest high tech feature.

The X6 can be quite pricy, depending upon options, pushing the vehicle into flagship pricing range, as it approaches and tips over $100,000 based upon options or for those stepping up to the X6 M, which produces over 600-horsepower.

M50i Competition: Mercedes-Benz GLE AMG

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