BMW is synonymous with building the ultimate driving machine. This statement resonates well with the brand’s halo SUV, the X6.
Although the X6 shares the same pedigree with its X5 sibling, it has a character of its own. Its coupé like design was a huge gamble for conservative BMW, so much so it was peerless as it created another niche in the hugely lucrative SUV segment.
Peers in the industry were initially sceptical about the X6, but the sales figures were loud and clear. BMW reaped huge profits and just like the law of progression, the rest followed in tow, with the biggest statement coming from Mercedes Benz, developing the GLE coupe.
Now in its second generation, what has changed?
- 1 BMW aims for 20 per cent of its vehicles to be electric by 2023
- 2 Nissan to launch seven models in Africa to pursue growth
- 3 Slow business for car sellers in May
- 4 More Mercedes Benz sold in April as overall car sales dip in Kenya
The new X6 is redesigned from the ground up. Extensive use of lightweight materials like aluminium and carbon composite has made it lighter without compromising the structural rigidity of the chassis.
The front profile is distinctively BMW: huge kidney grille with tear drop headlamps complete with quadratic ‘angel eyes’ daytime running lights sum up the emotive front design language.
The new X6 is longer and wider than its predecessor, with sculptured contoured lines swooping from the fender all the way to rear wheel arch. The rear profile is easy on the eye with the LED tail lamp motif signature being the highlight.
Enter the cabin and you are greeted with the German definition of sheer luxury. Upfront, the dash has slightly changed: a generous portion of wood and leather has been used to create a bespoke aura of sophistication. The centre console now houses a larger multi-information screen that houses essential functions like climate control, navigation, audio system and vehicle diagnostics.
The driver’s instrument binnacle is fully digital, displaying information with clarity and precision.
The display has three main modes to correspond with vehicle performance mode, pre-selected by the driver.
Mood lighting in the cabin creates a feeling of increased spaciousness, thanks to raised seating positions and a low-set instrument panel with horizontal lines extending into the door trims.
The electronically adjusted front seats with memory function makes the X6 a joy to drive, while the versatile rear seat splits three ways — 40:20:40 — for improved load carrying, and the boot capacity has been expanded accordingly.
The tailgate can now be opened and closed remotely, either by the key fob or from the driver’s seat control and from the driver’s seat.
Beneath the hood lies BMWs superb 2973cc turbo-charged straight-six petrol churning 225kW and 400Nm of torque.
If this doesn’t entice you then you can order a higher dose of BMW torque with the xDrive50i derivative, which spots the same engine, but with three high-pressure M Performance Twin Power turbo boosting power to 332kW and torque to 651Nm.
This power enables the X6 to dash from 0-100km/h in 6.4 seconds before hitting a terminal speed of 230km/h. Its eight speed ZF automatic gearbox enables full exploitation of this engine.
BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system comes as standard in the X6 with a new xDrive status display to tell you exactly which wheels are doing the work. The standard-fit driving experience control switch tunes the throttle and gearbox responses to the driver’s mood; Comfort, Dynamic and Professional adaptive suspension packages and Adaptive M suspension can be specified.
The BMW X6 is simply dripping with technology; the head-up display now projects vivid images and symbols in full colour while the night vision function now detects human and animal targets and highlights them with a dynamic light spot.
The active cruise control’s Stop & Go function now includes braking to a halt, the traffic jam assist has active speed and steering angle control without driver input. For those with parking issues, the X6 has a new parking surround view that gives a 360-degree display, and a new parking assistant to help you park in tight spots with relative ease.
The X6 also is an internet hotspot with Wi-Fi, capable of telling you real time traffic information via satellite navigation and help you browse Facebook, Twitter plus read your email on the go.
The X6 might not offer extreme off-road capabilities like the Range Rover Sport nor blistering on-tar performance like the Porsche Cayenne but its fantastic engine range, bespoke interior and gadgetry makes it a worthy SUV contender to fight it out as the ultimate driving SUV!