It's probably correct to start off a 2017 BMW X6 Overview by stating that this vehicle is technically a midsize luxury crossover. However, a quick glance at the exterior styling tells you this is a long way away from your regular midsize luxury crossover. The first generation of the X6 first appeared in the market in 2008 as a 2009 model year, and it was marketed by BMW as what it called a Sports Activity Coupe. But whatever you decided to refer to it as, the X6 was certainly something different and refreshing in what was already becoming a slightly homogenous segment. It took the popular attributes of an SUV, such as the high ground clearance, all-wheel drive, high roof and large wheels and tires, and combined them with the sloping roof stance of a coupe. It was based on the previous generation 5 and 6 Series, and it's fair to say plenty of industry observers questioned what the point of it was.
But that was then and this is now, and a second-generation of the X6 was launched for the 2015 model year as the original proved to be an incredible sales success. It might not be quite as practical as a less-sleek and more conventional SUV or crossover, but buyers absolutely love it and our 2017 BMW X6 Overvie will illustrate how it's now better and even more desirable than ever.
Whether we like to admit it or not the first thing the overwhelming majority of us consider first about any vehicle, is whether we like the look of it or not. The first X6 was a roaring success because of its looks above all else, and the current version is a simply stunning vehicle to behold. There's no getting away from the fact this is a spin-off of the excellent 2017 BMW X5, but the X6 gets a more fluid, sleeker look than the legendary SUV. Large air intakes remind you about the performance credentials and hardware that lurk beneath the suave exterior, while the side gills go to some lengths to reinforce the performance theme even further.
As there's no way BMW is trying to fool anyone into thinking this is a hardcore off-roader, it probably won’t come as much of a shock there's even a rear-wheel drive version of the X6 these days. The entry model into X6 world is therefore the rear-wheel drive sDrive35i, and from there the range goes to the all-wheel drive xDrive35i and then the xDrive50i.
The engine in the xDrive35i and sDrive35i models is the German luxury automaker's familiar 3.0-liter TwinPower turbo inline six-cylinder that develops 300 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque, which is sent to the rear or all four wheel through an excellent eight-speed automatic transmission. This unit gets the X6 to 60 mph from a standing start in a spritely six seconds, and the top speed is 130 mph.
If that's not quite enough for you, the xDrive50i ups the ante by a considerable degree thanks to its 4.4-liter TwinPower turbo V-8, which puts an impressive 445 horsepower and 480 lb.-ft. of torque at your disposal. With 60 mph coming up in a seriously quick 4.6 seconds, there's no denying this X6 is every bit as fast as its styling suggests.
The manufacturer listened to its owners and there's now a bench seat in the rear for three passengers, so this is now a five-seat vehicle instead of the four-seater it started life off as. The roofline doesn't plunge until behind the rear passengers' heads, so it's perhaps more practical than some might have us believe. Leg room is an inch less than you find in the X5, but there's still more room than there is in a 5-Series sedan.