2018 BMW X6 Driving Impressions

Ride quality is firm, and the X6 suspension controls body motions well. The electronic steering doesn’t give the driver the road feel that BMWs of the past transmitted.

Each engine, including the base model’s six-cylinder, is strong and willing, promising stimulating performance. Admirably smooth, the 3.0-liter delivers sufficient thrust to satisfy most drivers.

Still, the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 in the xDrive50i sends the pleasure quotient up a notch, helped by the prompt-shifting 8-speed transmission. Acceleration to 60 mph takes place in a brisk 4.7 seconds. Because the fashionable X6 tends to make a statement rather than merely provide lavish transportation, a V8 seems more appropriate for its mission, though gas mileage sinks significantly.

The X6 M delivers thunderous vigor when wanted, with its 567-horsepower V8 always waiting patiently for opportunities to leap into action. With its heftier anti-sway bars and special air suspension, the X6 M handles nearly as well as many lower-riding sports sedans.

Ranking as the most popular model, the six-cylinder xDrive35i is EPA-rated at 18/24 mpg City/Highway, or 20 mpg Combined. The rear-wheel-drive sDrive35i does a hair better, at 18/25/21 mpg. Despite its bountiful power, the X6M isn’t as thirsty as might be expected. Hardly frugal, though, it’s EPA-rated at 14/19 mpg City/Highway, or 16 mpg Combined. In all models, a stop/start system can shut the engine off at traffic lights.

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