An improved mild-hybrid system makes it more sensible, but the X6's exuberant design remains its specialty.
The BMW X6 is the original Sports Activity Coupe, and around 15 years after it arrived, the German automaker can safely say that its once bizarre SUV-coupe concept has been a success. It's been copied by Mercedes with the GLE-Class Coupe and many others, after all. For the 2024 model year, the current X6 has received a host of updates to keep it fresh. Not only does it sport revitalized styling, but the cabin receives BMW's latest Curved Display to bring it in line with other new BMWs. Both X6 engines have been improved and feature mild-hybrid assistance, topped by the 523-horsepower V8 in the M60i. The X5 may still be the big seller in the mid-size luxury segment, but the X6 continues to cater to a smaller audience in search of something more distinctive.
A release date for BMW X6 will likely be in the second quarter of 2023 since it will be going into production in South Carolina in April. It will be coming out at the same time as the upgraded BMW X5, as both are manufactured at the same Spartanburg facility.
The 2024 BMW X6's price begins at an MSRP of $73,900 for the xDrive40i. That's $6,400 more than the equivalent X5 with the same engine and more space, but the X6 does come standard with the M Sport Package. The X6 M60i xDrive with its powerful V8 will cost a steep $93,600 in the USA. In both cases, these prices exclude a destination and handling charge of $995.
There are a couple of X6 rivals, but the main one is the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe. It's positioned above the base X6 with an $81,200 starting price and 429 hp. However, an upgraded 2024 AMG GLE Coupe is on the way later this year. Other competitors include the Audi Q8 and the Porsche Cayenne Coupe.
Slimmer headlights with arrow-shaped daytime lighting elements and the newly standard M Sport Package are the two major updates that have been made to the exterior of the 2024 BMW X6 SUV.
As part of this package, the X6 comes with an octagonal design element below the kidney grille, bold side apertures, and lots of shiny black trim. There are also M-specific side skirts and 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in all-season runflat tires, but wheel sizes of up to 22 inches in size are available. Moving towards the back, the sloping roofline is as before, and that leads to the tailgate area with especially wide taillights featuring an interpretation of the L-shape design that has featured on so many other BMWs through the years.
In M60i guise, the X6 comes with double bars in the grille, M-specific mirror caps in high-gloss black, and quad-exit tailpipes at the back. Here, there is also a black spoiler that adds a further touch of aggression to this V8 model.
There are a range of colors available for the BMW X6, and several are new. Those include metallics like Blue Ridge Mountain, Brooklyn Grey, Skyscraper Grey, and Frozen Pure Grey. For the M60i specifically, Isle of Man Green is a particularly arresting option. A further 40 BMW Individual colors will be available, most likely at an added cost.
The M Sport Professional Package is optional for customers who want to go all-in with the blacked-out look. When specified, the headlights are darkened, the kidney grille surround comes with a matte black finish, and black chrome adorns the exhaust tailpipe trim.
Dimensions for the new BMW X6 SUV are much the same as before. Its length/width/height measurements work out to 195/78.9/66.9 inches respectively, and it has a 117.1-inch wheelbase. The 8.5 inches of ground clearance is more that you'd get in an average sedan, but despite that and standard all-wheel drive, serious off-road excursions are best left to the Land Rover brigade.
At 5,002 pounds for the xDrive40i, this particular X6 is 147 lbs heavier than the equivalent 2023 model. The V8-powered X6 M60 xDrive, meanwhile, weighs 5,300 lbs, a full 185 lbs more than the older M50i.
The base engine in the BMW X6 has received a welcome bump up in outputs. Still a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder unit, its specs are boosted by the latest-generation 48V mild-hybrid system. This sees an eight-speed automatic transmission integrated with an electric motor that contributes 12 hp and 147 lb-ft of torque. The latest six-pot - with enhancements to the camshaft control and ignition system, to mention a few - delivers 375 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, increases of 40 hp/51 lb-ft relative to its predecessor. With the addition of the mild-hybrid system, the system's peak torque rises to 398 lb-ft.
Only available in xDrive all-wheel-drive form, the base X6 will sprint from 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds before reaching a top speed of 155 mph when equipped with performance tires. The mild-hybrid system draws energy from a 48V battery in the energy compartment, and besides providing an extra boost of power, it increases the refinement of the automatic start/stop and coasting functions.
The only other X6 is the M60i xDrive. This uses a newly developed 4.4-liter turbocharged V8 that produces 523 hp and 553 lb-ft. Also paired with an eight-speed automatic and a 48V mild-hybrid system, the M60i's outputs are nevertheless the same as those of the older M50i. Like the X5 equipped with the same engine, the X6 M60i needs just 4.2 seconds to hit 60.
BMW has also directed its focus to the SUV's dynamics. The M60i now comes with Integral Active Steering as standard, whereby the rear wheels can turn in the same or opposite direction as those in front to improve agility and reduce the turning circle at parking speeds. The company also says that lane changes can be more confidently executed at higher speeds because of this system. An M Sport differential and M Sport brakes are also equipped to the M60i.
The upgraded mild-hybrid system in the new BMW X6 suggests that efficiency will improve, but as the SUV is also heavier than before, it could be quite similar. We'll have to wait for the official figures to be published.
For reference, the 2023 X6 xDrive40i returned 21/25/23 mpg city/highway/combined, while the M50i managed 16/22/18 mpg. A 21.9-gallon gas tank is equipped to the X6, so at around 23 mpg combined, the six-cylinder will be able to cover approximately 503 miles.
As with the latest 3 Series, the interior of the BMW X6 now combines the driver information display and touchscreen interface into one unit known as the BMW Curved Display. Here, it's a 12.3-inch digital driver's display and a 14.9-inch touchscreen interface running BMW Operating System 8. It's a more modern look, but fortunately, there are still a few physical controls that have been retained for ease of use on the move.
The inside of the X6 has been effectively jazzed up with new features like an ambient light bar with a crystalline surface structure and LED backlighting. Customers can choose from 15 different colors, and there is a Welcome Light Carpet to make approaching and getting into your X6 quite an occasion - or a source of unsolicited attention. Another interesting design choice on newer BMWs is to conceal the central ventilation outlets, or at least, to slim them down to the point where they're much less visually obtrusive. We've seen this in the new iX and 7 Series, and something similar has been done here in the X6.
Luxurious and supportive seats in the BMW X6 are no surprise, and here, they're trimmed in Sensafin with an attractive quilting decorative perforation. This quilted look is repeated in the second row. Colors like Silverstone, Coffee, Black, and Cognac are available for the seats, along with Tacora Red. Customers can also upgrade the standard front seats to include ventilation and massage functions, but front heated seats are standard.
Other amenities include automatic climate control, a panoramic glass moonroof, a parking assistant, wireless device charging, and a personal eSIM with 5G connectivity. As part of the Driving Assistance Professional Package, the X6 is equipped with a Highway Assistant that allows for hands-free driving along certain limited-access highways at speeds of up to 85 mph. The parking assistance technologies have also been improved. Not only can the car record and store complex maneuvers and park itself, but parking can be handled remotely via your smartphone by standing outside the vehicle.
The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant has also been enhanced, and can proactively make suggestions based on learned driver behavior and preferences. Another advanced piece of tech is the BMW Digital Key Plus, which forms part of the Comfort Access keyless entry system. It negates the need for a normal car key, automatically locks/unlocks the car when approaching/walking away, and is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.
At 27.4 cubic feet, the cargo space in the BMW X6 is inferior to the more conventionally styled X5, but it's still pretty practical. By folding the rear seats down, 59.6 cubic feet are freed up.