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Expert Rating

BMW X6

Our unique Expert Ratings combine scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites to give you a definitive rating on every new car

Expert Rating

Summary


The first BMW X6 launched in 2008 and was claimed by its makers to be the first ‘sports-activity coupe’ – effectively taking the mechanics of the large X5 SUV and enclosing them in a more aggressive body shape with a heavily sloping rear roof line.

After an initial flurry of interest and debate around the relevance of a liftback-style large SUV, the X6 has settled into more of a niche role in the BMW line-up. The current model is the third generation, unveiled in Germany in late 2019 before arriving in the UK in early 2020.

Generally regarded by reviewers as a significant improvement on its predecessors, the current X6 comes with petrol engines offering either 245hp or 390hp, or with diesels of 210 or 250hp, matched to all-wheel-drive transmissions. There are no hybrid or plug-in hybrid versions currently available, and none are expected anytime soon.

The X6 has been a polarising model ever since the first model was launched, and the new model does nothing to change that. Taking a large premium SUV and making it more aggressive, more expensive and less practical is something that will only ever appeal to a limited number of people. There is a market for those who can afford it and really, really like it, and they will very much enjoy the X6 while the rest of the population shakes its collective head in dismay.

As of August 2021, the BMW X6 holds an Expert Rating of 64% based on 14 reviews, which is a smaller data set than we would normally expect for a BMW. It appears that BMW has been rather restrictive in which publications have been allowed to review the X6 – or that journalists are simply not interested in it.

The X6’s score is a long way behind that of its X5 sibling, which currently holds an Expert Rating of 77% (based on double the number of reviews) and is regarded as one of the top large SUVs on the market. It’s also the lowest score we have for any model in the BMW range.

The car’s polarising nature is reflected in comments from reviewers. Honest John says that it is not as useful as an X5 “and people will make assumptions about you.” Others concur, Parkers describing it as a car “for those who want to stand out from the crowd,” while Auto Express says it’s “either the perfect interpretation of the sports SUV format or a needlessly heavy and aggressive vehicle”.

The steeply raked rear roof line does come with some compromises, with rear seat headroom and luggage capacity lagging behind the more practical X5. But it’s not as bad as many expect, Auto Express again commenting that the third-generation X6 has liberated more rear interior space than the previous models.

The interior generally impresses reviewers, especially the equipment levels and the standard of fit and finish, Carbuyer highlighting digital displays along with quality materials and standard leather upholstery.

On the road, the BMW X6 is described as competent without being as exciting as it should be, given its powerful engines and sporty pretentions. “Other SUVs do that better,” says Top Gear, highlighting a lack of feedback through the steering wheel. Carbuyer comments on the X6’s big engines; “it’s as fast as a hot hatch.”

X6 highlights

  • Surprising interior space
  • Mildly sporty, competent drive
  • Potent engines
  • Quality cabin with lots of tech

X6 lowlights

  • Less practical than X5
  • Exterior styling is polarising
  • Less exciting to drive than looks suggest
  • Expensive for its class

Key specifications


Body style: Large SUV
Engines: petrol, diesel
Price: From £62,435

Launched: Winter 2019/20
Last updated: Summer 2021
Replacement due: TBA


Media reviews


Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

Auto Express

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Autocar

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Car

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Car Keys

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Carbuyer

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Carwow

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Company Car Today

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Eurekar

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Fleetworld

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Honest John

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Parkers

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Top Gear

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What Car?

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Safety rating


No safety rating

The BMW X6 has not been crash tested by Euro NCAP. Although the mechanically-identical X5 SUV was tested and awarded a five-star rating in 2018, this rating does not carry over to the X6.

The changes to the roofline and pillars from X5 to X6 will inevitably alter the way that the car performs in a side impact, meaning that the X6 would need to be either partially or completely tested separately to be rated. If this happens, we will publish the results here.

Eco rating


No eco rating

The BMW X6 has not been lab tested by Green NCAP. This is a new initiative, launched in 2018 as a sister organisation to Euro NCAP. As yet, very few new cars have been tested for environmental impact by Green NCAP, and inevitably the testing programme was halted in early 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic.

Ultimately, the X6 is a big, heavy SUV powered by large petrol and diesel engines, so it’s unlikely to do well in environmental testing. If Green NCAP selects the X6 for assessment, we will publish the results here.

Awards


Trophies, prizes and awards that the BMW X6 has received

2021

  • What Car? Awards – Best Coupe SUV

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the BMW X6, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Audi Q8 | Maserati Levante | Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe | Porsche Cayenne Coupe | Range Rover Sport

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Want to see how this car ranks against its rivals?

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