$13,312 - $14,228

2009 BMW X6 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2009 BMW X6 was new.


Performance: 8.8

The 2009 BMW X6's trump card is its sports car-like performance, which is especially unique considering that it's an SUV. All trims come standard with BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system.

  • "It will come as little surprise that the X6 is a very good driver. It has much more in common with a sport sedan than with any SUV, with typically BMW traits: direct steering, strong brakes, firm damping, and superb body control." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "What separates the X6 from others of its ilk is that it really backs up the claim to be what BMW likes to call a Sport Activity Vehicle, with performance numbers well beyond the realm of reasonable for ordinary SUVs. Looking at the data, you can see that the X6 matches up with the much-lauded 335i." -- Road and Track
  • "Underway, the X6 is an opulent experience for four adults. Power is fluid and seamless, while handling and control is more like a precision tool in the grasp of an experienced craftsman. Spirited cornering is virtually flat at even elevated speeds." -- Minneapolis Star Tribune

Acceleration and Power

The base xDrive35i model features a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine, while the xDrive50i comes with a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8. Test drivers offered praise for both engines. According to the EPA, the X6 xDrive35i should net 15/20 mpg city/highway, while the xDrive50i nets 12/18 mpg.

  • "Six-cylinder or V8, any X6 has strong acceleration from a stop and in highway passing and merging. Neither engine shows any noticeable turbo lag. BMW estimates for 0-60 mph acceleration are 6.5 seconds for the xDrive35i and 5.3 seconds for the xDrive50i." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The six-speed transmission is a slick shifter, either as an automatic or manually shifted with paddles on the steering wheel." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • "This twin-turbo 6 is such a smooth, delectable source of motivation that it could be used to power a dentist's drill and you'd be happy to climb into that chair and pry open your mouth." -- The New York Times
  • "The X6 xDrive 50i is smooth and stealthy fast. Triple-digit speeds come so easily, the X6 could be citation machine for the lead-footed. On highways, the X6 cossets you in such style and comfort, it feels, well, kind of slow. Then you look down and find you're doing double the speed limit." -- Motor Trend
  • "When I say the X6 drives like I car, I don't mean that it's car-like -- I mean it drives almost exactly like a car. I drove the X6 on highways, back roads, and wet and dry racetracks, and aside from a slight on-center numb spot in the steering, the X6 feels like a very tall BMW 3-series. Amazing." -- About.com

Handling and Braking

The 2009 X6 features a double wishbone front suspension, lightweight multi-link integral rear suspension, engine-speed-sensitive power steering and four-wheel anti-lock ventilated disc brakes -- all contributing to a fun, sporty ride, according to critics.

  • "The X6 is quiet and rock-steady at high speed, with nicely tuned speed-variable power steering and big, capable brakes. The SUV delivers the fun and feel of a sport coupe through twisting mountain roads and absorbs bumps admirably in city construction zones." -- Detroit Free Press
  • "Despite a curb weight past 5200 pounds, the X6 xDrive 50i often handles like a much smaller vehicle. Ride is a combination of traditional BMW firmness with a bit of the roll you get with tall vehicles." -- Motor Trend
  • "I can't help comparing it to a modern fighter jet that is so unstable that a computer is required to keep it flying straight. The X6 goes straight just fine, but throw it into a corner and a bunch of computers finesse the car's attitude to make sure you hit your apex. The result is a truly precise and dynamic ride that doesn't fail to impress." -- Road and Track
  • "[W]hile its incredibly fast and has ridiculous levels of grip, the steering is almost totally numb, so it takes time to develop faith in the chassis' ability." -- Jalopnik

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