$43,239 - $66,889

2016 BMW X6 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 BMW X6 was new.


Performance: 8.9

The 2016 BMW X6 earns test drivers' praise for its range of potent engines and slick-shifting automatic transmission. Reviewers say the X6 has a composed ride and agile handling, which they say is impressive for its large size. They add that the brakes are strong.

  • "Even the entry-level inline six-cylinder engine provides brisk acceleration. Meanwhile, the V8 engine in the xDrive50i gathers speed with such smoothness and civility that you might actually prefer it to the hot-rod version in the high-performance X6 M model. Beyond that, the X6 delivers a nicely composed and surprisingly serene ride." -- Edmunds
  • "[T]he X6 doesn't lack for anything, performance-wise. It has great acceleration, precise steering, good balance, excellent cornering and a pretty decent turning radius." -- Yahoo Autos (2015)
  • "You really need to spend some time on a track to appreciate how well the X6 drives. Sure, the X6 is just fine on the road, but it's missing that special something that makes you lust after a car. Grabbing the big X6 by the scruff of its neck and wringing it out reveals just how tremendously capable the rolling fashion statement is." -- Motor Trend (2015)
  • "Fitting its anti-SUV nature, the X6 is also a contradiction on the road: Its performance is more impressive than its hefty size and roughly 5,000-pound weight may lead you to believe." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The base 2016 X6 sDrive35i comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that makes 300 horsepower. The xDrive50i is equipped with a 445-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard in all models. According to the EPA, the sDrive35i gets up to 18/25 mpg city/highway, which is about average for a luxury midsize SUV.

The performance-oriented X6 M comes with a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that generates 567 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, and it has an eight-speed automatic transmission. According to BMW, the X6 M has a top speed of 156 mph and can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in four seconds.

The standard six-cylinder engine is refined and generates ample power, critics report, and they say the V8 delivers remarkable acceleration and is quiet when driving down the highway. According to test drivers, the automatic transmission makes smooth, quick shifts.

  • "By far the most memorable aspect of driving the 2016 BMW X6 is the rush of acceleration when you mat the gas pedal. Most drivers will be delighted with the vigor and refinement of the six-cylinder engine in the 35i models. The eight-speed automatic transmission serves up smooth shifts, too." -- Edmunds
  • "Out on the road, the 2015 X6 [xDrive50i] is at heart a highway cruiser. The big, burly V-8 gets the X6 up to speed quickly (BMW says it'll do 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds) with nary a rumble emanating from the quiet exhaust in Comfort mode." -- Motor Trend (2015)
  • "We're also big fans of the xDrive50i's otherworldly twin-turbo V8, which yanks the X6 to 60 miles per hour in a mere 4.6 seconds; it feels right to have a profoundly powerful engine in such a heavy vehicle. Still, the standard inline-6 is no slouch, and it gets significantly better fuel economy." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "Stick it in Sport+ mode and the eight-speed automatic actively encourages these shenanigans, summoning power on tap while shifting quickly to seem unobtrusive." -- AutoWeek (2015)

Handling and Braking

The base 2016 X6 comes with rear-wheel drive and BMW's Driving Dynamics Control, which lets you choose from four driving modes: Sport, Sport+, Comfort+ and Eco Pro. All-wheel drive is available. The 2016 X6 has a cushioned ride, especially in Comfort+ mode, according to test drivers, and they note Sport mode makes the suspension firmer and the steering tighter. Reviewers say despite the X6's large size, it has nimble handling. They report the brakes are strong, though the pedal feels soft, and some say the steering doesn't provide much feedback.

  • "Ride comfort is also a strength for the BMW X6. It delivers a smooth, serene ride over bumpy surfaces, especially if you select the Comfort mode on an X6 equipped with the adjustable shock absorbers. Switching to Sport mode provides a firmer ride that helps the X6 feel more controlled around tight turns." -- Edmunds
  • "On the track, the new X6 feels more responsive and less ponderous than its predecessor in fast maneuvers. … On the road, it's difficult to discern as much of a difference. The X6's suspension is well sorted for its primary mission of taking up to five people in comfort regardless of road conditions." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "Thankfully, the single-piston disc brakes bleed off the speed with ease, although we'd prefer a bit firmer pedal feel. Unfortunately, the X6's electric power steering with its Servotronic speed-sensitive power assistance, falls on the numb side of the scale. It is accurate and nicely weight[ed] (as expected, effort is heavier in Sport and Sport Plus), but it still feels disconnected and isolated." -- Autoblog (2015)
  • "The X6 proved surprisingly nimble through the course. It weaved in and out of the slalom faster than any 2.5-ton machine ought to. Don't get me wrong - the big BMW certainly feels every one of those 2.5 tons, but that mass is well-managed, thanks in no small part to active anti-roll bars." -- Motor Trend (2015)

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