$17,580 - $19,895

2012 BMW X6 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2012 BMW X6 was new.


Performance: 8.6

Reviewers love the way the X6 drives. Many say it’s not only car-like, but even sports car-like, which is high praise for an SUV. All trims come standard with xDrive, BMW’s all-wheel drive system.

  • “Once on the road there will be a smile on your face, the power and grip of the X6 is nothing short of spectacular, considering it weighs roughly 5,000 pounds.” -- Motor Trend
  • "The sport suspension smothers pavement imperfections fairly well. Rougher roads bring out unwanted side-to-side body motions and some impact harshness.” -- Consumer Guide

Acceleration and Power

Reviewers agree that for such a heavy vehicle, the BMW X6 has plenty of get-up-and-go with both of its engine options. Buyers can choose from a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six in the xDrive35i or a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 in the xDrive50i. The 35i’s 3.0-liter inline-six makes 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque, and gets 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA. The 4.4-liter V8 that comes with the xDrive50i makes 400 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, while getting 14/20 mpg city/highway.

  • "Acceleration is brisk with either of the available engines (the 300-hp 35i is definitely more than enough).” -- Edmunds
  • "With the 6-speed automatic transmission, xDrive35i and xDrive50i have strong acceleration from a stop and in highway passing and merging. Neither engine shows any noticeable turbo lag.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "You have a variety of engine options for the BMW X6; from the 300 horsepower, 3.0-liter I-6, to the awesome 555-horsepower, twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 found in the X6M. It doesn't matter which you choose, all will put a smile on your face.” -- Motor Trend

Handling and Braking

The BMW X6’s handling is especially sporty for an SUV, with good cornering and excellent grip. However, some reviewers say that its sporty ride may be a downside for shoppers looking for a comfortable commuter vehicle. BMW offers two different sport packages that offer features like run-flat tires, adaptive drive controls and sport seats.

  • "Cornering prowess is impressive thanks to a balanced weight distribution, wide, sticky tires and an all-wheel-drive system with lots of electronic features. The steering is great when going fast, but the effort level is a bit too heavy at low speed.” -- Edmunds
  • "Dry-road grip and balance are very good on X6 models with the sport suspension and 20-inch wheels. On wet surfaces, X6s so equipped become more skittish, with lots of slowing required before entering corners. Some testers find the steering to be too heavy at low speeds. One test X6 suffered from touchy brake-pedal action, making it difficult to stop smoothly.” -- Consumer Guide

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