The second-generation BMW X6 has arrived in Australia with more equipment and improved performance countered by higher pricing.
BMW has not messed with the proportions, however, which remain part SUV and part coupe. The design is polarising, but given about 260,000 of the first-generation car were sold worldwide, there’s clearly a demand there.
From launch BMW will offer three variants, the xDrive30d, the xDrive50i and the flagship M50d with its triple-turbo diesel. The entry petrol xDrive35i and the xDrive40d will arrive in early 2015.
The xDrive30d kicks off the range as before, but costs about $5000 more than its predecessor at $115,400 plus on-road costs. This is also $15,000 more than the related and more practical X5 xDrive 30d.
Under the bonnet is a 190kW/560Nm 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel (up 10kW/20Nm) with claimed fuel consumption of 6.0 litres per 100 kilometres, or 19 per cent better than before. It also goes from 0-100km/h about one second faster than the old car at 6.7sec.
The xDrive50i now costs $151,600, about $1500 more than before. Its 4.4-litre turbo V8 petrol gets 330kW/650Nm (up 30kW/50Nm), uses 22 per cent less fuel with a claimed figure of 9.7L/100km, and can take the car from 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds, 0.6sec faster than the old model.
The range-topping (until the X6 M arrives, that is) M50d retains the familiar 280kW/740Nm tri-turbo diesel from the old car, but gets a 14 per cent efficiency improvement, and now uses a claimed 6.6L/100km. At $157,900, it’s about $1200 more than before.
All get an eight-speed automatic gearbox with paddles on the steering column. All models have all-wheel drive (and big 275/40 front and 315/35 rear tyres) with a fully variable torque-split between the front and rear axles.
Driving modes that adjust the throttle, gear and steering responses feature on all models, while higher up the range you get adaptive dampers and rear air suspension.
BMW has added extra equipment in return for the price rises. The xDrive30d gets additions such as adaptive LED headlights, lane departure warning, collision warning and pedestrian warning with “light city braking function”, as well as a built-in SIM that dials a BMW call centre in an accident.
All variants also get a surround-view camera and a head-up display. A 10.25-inch screen handles all camera, multimedia and navigation duties.
A step up into the BMW X6 xDrive50i and BMW X6 M50d models adds Driving Assistant Plus, which has adaptive cruise with stop-and-go functionality, automatic parking, four-zone climate control, a Harman/Kardon surround sound audio system with DAB+ tuner and metallic paint.
The dimensions of the X6 are similar, though this one is 32mm longer at 4909mm. The rear seats split 40/20/40, and cargo space grows to 580 litres with them in place, and 1525L with them folded flat. This is 75L more than the last X6, but still 70L/345L less than an X5.
BMW offers a three-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, and its CBS system uses sensors to monitor all vehicle data (and the way the car is driven) to modify the service plan to suit the car.
The new X6 will get a new rival in the form of the conceptually similar Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe from the second half of 2015.
BMW X6 pricing (plus on-road costs):