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2013 BMW X6 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 BMW X6 was new.


Performance: 8.3

Reviewers are surprised by the 2013 BMW X6’s performance, saying it’s great for an SUV. However, some think that its curb weight detracts from its handling and braking abilities. They say the X6's acceleration is among the fastest in the class. Test drivers are especially impressed by the X6 M.

  • "The 2013 BMW X6 delivers an astonishing amount of performance considering its size and weight." -- Edmunds
  • "The weird but intimidating X6 continues to be a surprisingly delightful vehicle to drive, especially in extra-power M guise." -- Car and Driver
  • "All of this makes for a fleet 4x4 that can't quite compete against BMW's other M cars for outright agility but otherwise makes a surprisingly entertaining case for itself." -- Popular Mechanics

Acceleration and Power

The BMW X6 xDrive35i comes standard with a 300-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, while the xDrive50i comes with a 400-horsepower, turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine. The X6 M comes with a different version of the 4.4-liter V8 engine that makes 555 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. According to the EPA, the base X6 with the six-cylinder engine gets 16/23 mpg city/highway, which is above-average for an all-wheel drive luxury crossover. The V8-powered X6 gets 14/20 mpg city/highway, and the X6 M gets 12/17 mpg city/highway.

Reviewers say the BMW X6 has plenty of power, even the base model with the 300-horsepower six-cylinder. But while they may like the 35i, they absolutely love the V8 models. Still, shoppers looking for better fuel economy from their performance SUV may want to consider a crossover like the Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid, which gets 20/24 mpg city/highway from its 380-horsepower hybrid powertrain, according to the EPA.

  • "Acceleration is brisk with either of the available engines (from the xDrive35i and the xDrive50i)." -- Edmunds
  • "The X6 M is a fire-breathing misfit that, despite its curb heft of 5324 pounds, can launch to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds." -- Popular Mechanics

Handling and Braking

All X6 models come standard with all-wheel drive. Reviewers are impressed with the X6’s handling, saying it drives much better than most SUVs. They say it doesn’t have nearly as much body lean as most other SUVs, and they add that the brakes are particularly strong. The X6 M is even more impressive, with larger brakes and a more sport-tuned suspension that improves handling even further. Still, the BMW X6 doesn’t drive like a sports car, and test drivers report that its substantial curb weight undermines its handling.

  • "Cornering prowess is impressive thanks to balanced weight distribution, wide tires and an all-wheel-drive system with lots of electronic aides. The steering is great when going fast, but the effort level is a bit too heavy at low speed. However, don't be fooled into thinking this is a sport coupe that simply has the height of an SUV. It's big and heavy, and it's hard to escape that feeling when a winding road narrows." -- Edmunds
  • "The X6 M's commendable handling would be even more impressive if its center of gravity were lower. And unlike alternatives like Land Rover's Range Rover, the Bimmer has virtually no off-road capabilities to speak of, despite its elevated stance." -- Popular Mechanics

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