Flash Drive: 2008 BMW X6
This 2008 review is representative of model years 2008 to 2013.
By Staff of MSN Autos
BMW’s new X6 is an interesting vehicle that combines the roofline of a coupe with the body of an SUV, in theory to create a sportier SUV. BMW already has a sporty SUV in the X5, and even though the X6 is 2 inches wider and 3 inches lower than the X5, when you get behind the wheel it still feels like a big SUV. The X6 xDrive35i is powered by BMW’s sweet twin-turbocharged inline-6, which is fabulous in the 3-Series but feels really taxed hauling all this weight around. The X6 definitely has the feel of a BMW, but the steering is uncharacteristically vague on-center. While it’s not as nimble or engaging as expected from BMW, it still handles admirably for a nearly 5,000-pound machine. The steep slope of the roofline compromises both headroom and visibility for rear-seat passengers as well as cargo space. The X6 seems to be more about style, with form taking precedence over function. – Mike Meredith
The BMW X6 just doesn’t make any sense to me. It looks like it should be a cross between a sensible rugged off-road SUV and a curvaceous sports car with good on-road handling. Sadly it’s not. The interior has less space than the X5 on which it is based, it lacks the true moves of a sports car, yet offers the lousy fuel economy of an SUV. Clearly BMW hasn’t had much luck with their first “crossover” vehicle. Admittedly, the X6 does corner better than any other SUV I’ve tried, with minimal body roll and a great ride, but it’s not good enough to encourage truly spirited driving. Commuting to work in the X6 just made me feel silly. BMW would be fine just sticking with the X5, for it is far more practical but only slightly less sporting. – Paul Hagger
There’s no question that BMW has driving dynamics down pat. Get behind the wheel of this new X6 and it handles like a car half its size and weight – it hugs the corners and offers impressive acceleration. But though this BMW excels in driving, it lacks in design. I don’t remember a recent model from the Bavarian automaker that took my breath away with its beauty, and unfortunately X6 is no exception. The sleek roofline would look perfect on a sport sedan, as would the big 20” alloys with high-performance rubber, but the proportions seem wrong on the X6 – it’s like a sport sedan that’s too thick around the middle. The X6 is a big vehicle, but inside there’s only seating for four, although cargo space is plentiful. If you’re looking for a powerful SUV that stands out from the crowd, the X6 definitely fits the bill. – Perry Stern