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2009 BMW X6 Page 1

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TheCarConnection.com’s editors consulted a wide range of Web resources to produce our conclusive opinion on the 2009 BMW X6. We also drove the BMW X6 to be able to explain how different reviewers might come up with vastly different opinions and to explain features and qualities other reviewers might not have covered -- and to break ties where reviews didn’t agree.

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BMW says that next year, it will offer the X6 with a new twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter clean diesel engine as well as a Two-Mode hybrid drive system. Either version should help improve the X6’s somewhat dismal fuel economy ratings of 15/20 mpg for the six-cylinder version.

The 2009 BMW X6 is an oddity: a sport-utility vehicle designed to have a coupe-like shape. It’s a derivative of BMW’s successful X5 sport-utility, built alongside it at BMW’s plant in South Carolina.

A novel idea (unless you know the old AMC Eagle), the 2009 BMW X6 strikes us as a good-looking car flawed by its mismatched personalities.

The 2009 BMW X6 comes in two versions: an XDrive 35i, powered by a 306-horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged in-line six, and an XDrive 50i with a 400-hp, 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission offered.

The X6 also entwines a host of electronic aids to make its engine and transmission work neatly with its all-wheel-drive system. Stability and traction control are standard, as is a system called Dynamic Performance Control, which distributes power to the wheels with the most traction. The 2009 BMW X6 also has a host of standard and optional features from curtain airbags to satellite radio and a navigation system.

It’s shocking how well the BMW X6 performs, but the notion of a four-door sport-ute with coupe pretensions is a little odd. The cargo area is greatly diminished, and though it’s fast enough, there’s no mistaking the tall crossover’s unorthodox genetic makeup. With a price tag of $54,000 for the least expensive six-cylinder version, the 2009 BMW X6 seems destined to be a rarity on and off-road.

Other Choices:

If you like the 2009 BMW X6, also consider:

  • Land Rover Range Rover Sport
  • Porsche Cayenne
  • Infiniti FX

Land Rover’s Range Rover Sport marries the styling of the Queen’s Range Rover with more compact dimensions and a much more affordable price tag. The Porsche Cayenne appeals to German sportscar snobs and handles reasonably well for a big SUV. The Infiniti FX50 is the bargain in this group--substantially less expensive than the others even in V-8 form and arguably better looking than all of them.

The Bottom Line:

A novel idea (unless you know the old AMC Eagle), the 2009 BMW X6 strikes us as a good-looking car flawed by its mismatched personalities.

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