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- Highs Simply incredible performance for its size, elegant and high-tech interior, no shortage of desirable standard equipment.
- Lows Seeing out back can be challenging, firm ride will offend sensitive types, the X5 M has more interior space for less money.
- Verdict While not without compromises, the X6 M combines a distinct coupelike profile with transcendent SUV performance.
The only way onlookers miss the 2022 BMW X6 M is if the unusually styled, ungodly powerful SUV rockets by in a blur. With a 600-plus-hp twin-turbo V-8 powertrain teamed with a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system for max traction, the probability of this hefty M-powered machine appearing and disappearing in a flash is high. Meanwhile, its passengers will be cosseted by a cushy and lavishly appointed cabin. Unfortunately, brittle bodies won't appreciate its harsh ride, and its sloping rear roofline sacrifices storage space versus the squarer BMW X5 M. While BMW started the polarizing fastback SUV trend with the original X6, imitators such as the Porsche Cayenne Coupe and Mercedes-AMG GLE-class have joined the party. The 2022 X6 M might not be everyone's cup of high-octane tea, but this is one mid-size luxury SUV that's likely to garner attention and guaranteed to elicit excitement.
What's New for 2022?
The 2022 X6 M receives extremely modest changes. These include the addition of enhanced Bluetooth technology on every model and the subtraction of wireless device charging from the list of standard features. Other small changes include the new Dravit Grey metallic exterior paint, Silverstone Extended Merino leather upholstery, and revised option packages.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
It's hard to fathom how less practicality can command a higher price. Still, the 2022 X6 M costs $3500 more than its squareback counterpart, the X5 M. We prefer the less expensive body style, but the X6 certainly attracts more attention. Regardless, the Competition package is a must-have. Not only does it bring 617 horsepower—17 more than normal—but it has better standard equipment too. This includes a sport-tuned exhaust, an exclusive Track mode, and 22-inch rear wheels (versus 21-inchers). The Competition package also brings fancier leather upholstery and knee padding on the center console to reduce punishment during hard cornering.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Gifted with the same raucous engine that powers the BMW M5 sedan, the X6 M is motivated by a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8. It makes 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque in its natural state and 617 ponies with the Competition package. The engine hooks up to an eight-speed automatic transmission that feeds a dynamic all-wheel-drive system. This drivetrain can be told to distribute power to all four wheels for maximum traction or have most of it sent rearward for sharper handling. In addition to its selectable drive modes, including customizable settings that can be activated via steering-wheel-mounted buttons, the X6 M even features adjustable brake-pedal feedback. The BMW also has standard adaptive dampers and a set of 21-inch wheels, but a pair of 22-inchers can be fitted out back (they're standard on the X6 M Competition). We've driven the X6 M Competition and lauded its lightning-quick acceleration, staggering cornering grip, and strong, fade-free brakes. While it rode smooth and steady on the highway, its large wheels and stiff springs contributed to a rocky ride on uneven roads.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The X6 M is rated at 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway. These ratings are identical to the X5 M. Since we haven't been able to test either Bimmer on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, we can't evaluate their real-world efficiency. For more information about the X6 M's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Sportiness and luxuriousness collide inside the X6 M, which boasts carbon-fiber accents and standard leather upholstery. There's also no shortage of high-tech features thanks to a 12.3-inch fully digital gauge cluster and a large head-up display. Those are accompanied by niceties such as ambient interior lighting, massaging front seats with heated and cooled surfaces, heated rear seats, and more. Interior cubby storage is highlighted by a coverable bin below the center stack and a useful center-console bin. While its coupelike profile doesn't affect how comfortable it is for front- and back-seat passengers, the sloping roofline does reduce visibility out back as well as cargo space. The traditional X5 M provides 34 cubic feet behind the back row while the X6 M has only 27 cubes.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A large 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system adorns the center of the dash on the X6 M. It uses BMW's latest iDrive software and can also be operated via hand gestures, voice commands, and a center-console-mounted rotary controller. The standout standard features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Harman/Kardon sound system. Looking for an even more powerful stereo? A Bowers & Wilkins setup can be had for extra coin.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Every X6 M has copious driver-assistance technology such as blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as well as additional options. For more information about the BMW's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control and stop-and-go technology
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
BMW's limited and powertrain warranty is identical to alternatives from Audi and Mercedes-Benz. It also provides better complimentary scheduled maintenance compared with both brands, but it's still not as good as Jaguar's coverage.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for three years or 36,000 miles
2020 BMW X6 M
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
X6 M, $109,595; X6 M Competition, $118,595
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
268 in3, 4395 cm3
600 or 617 hp @ 6000 rpm
553 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm
Wheelbase: 117.0 in
Length: 195.0 in
Width: 79.5 in
Height: 66.6–66.7 in
Passenger volume: 100 ft3
Cargo volume: 27 ft3
Curb weight (C/D est): 5400 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 3.6–3.7 sec
100 mph: 9.0–9.1 sec
¼-mile: 12.0–12.1 sec
Top speed: 155–177 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 15/13/18 mpg