The inventor of the coupe-style SUV segment is back with a completely refreshed exterior, a significant power boost and a wide array of high-tech features.
The third-generation 2020 BMW X6 has grown slightly in overall length (+26 mm), wheelbase (+42 mm) and width (+15 mm), while height has been reduced by 16 mm. It’s the brand’s first vehicle to feature the optional illuminated BMW kidney grille, which is part of the daytime running lights and can remain on while the vehicle is in motion.
Said grille is flanked by slim, trapezoidal adaptive LED headlights. Large openings in the front bumper and sharp creases also make the X6 look more aggressive than the outgoing model. The standard 20-inch alloy wheels can be upgraded with 21-inch or 22-inch wheels and performance tires.
Of course, the main thing that separates this vehicle from the more conventional X5 is the roofline, which flows into a double-bubble design towards the rear, ending in extremely subtle twin spoilers above the liftgate. The redesigned, L-shaped LED taillights look super-cool, while the lower bumper integrates chrome exhaust surrounds. The M Sport Package creates an even racier appearance.
The newly developed panoramic roof of the 2020 BMW X6 has an 83-percent larger glass area than on the previous model. The optional Sky Lounge, meanwhile, adds more than 15,000 illuminated graphic points in the roof to produce a display reminiscent of a starlit sky.
A digital key on your smartphone allows access to the cabin, which has been refocused on the driver while at the same time offering superior quality and finish from all surfaces. Vernasca leather (offered in several colour combinations), sport seats and a Sensatec-covered dashboard are standard. The new X6 also features sleek ambient lighting, which includes a welcome light carpet on the ground next to the driver’s door. Optionally, some of the controls including the shifter, iDrive controller, start/stop button and audio volume knob can be made of glass.
The latest generation of the iDrive infotainment system is composed of a high-resolution digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster display behind the steering wheel and a similarly sized centre display—the largest in BMW’s lineup. There’s also a 20-speaker, 1,500-watt Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound system you can select, not to mention temperature-controlled cup holders.
As for cargo capacity, the rear seats can be folded down in a 40/20/40 split to expand the trunk from 580 litres to 1,525 litres.
You Want Power?
The latest iteration of BMW’s turbocharged 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine powers the new X6 xDrive40i. It now produces 335 horsepower (+33) and 330 pound-feet of torque (+35), the latter from just 1,500 rpm, saving nearly a full second when accelerating from 0-100 km/h (5.5 seconds).
The more potent alternative is found in the X6 M50i. It’s a new version of BMW’s twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 rated at 523 horsepower (+78) and 553 pound-feet of torque (+74). Performance enthusiasts will be pleased, even more so with the standard M Sport exhaust system. This model sprints to 100 km/h in just over four seconds, about half a second quicker than its predecessor.
Both X6s rely on an updated eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission for more efficiency. Meanwhile, the xDrive all-wheel drive system sends power exclusively to the rear wheels when added front traction is not required, thus maximizing driving dynamics. A Dynamic Handling Package with active roll stabilization and four-wheel steering is available, plus an Off-Road Package with four unique drive modes.
The standard Active Driving Assistant on the new X6 includes Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Collision Warning, Frontal Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with City Collision Mitigation (which now also alerts the driver if cyclists are detected), Cross Traffic Alert Rear and Speed Limit Information.