2012 BMW X6 Photo
/ 10
On Performance
$30,988 - $45,500
On Performance
The 2012 BMW X6 offers car-like ride and handling with brisk acceleration; in X6 M guise it's well into sports car territory, but in all forms it's undeniably still a large, heavy SUV.
7.0 out of 10
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

It drives like a coupe and has the interior room of a coupe.
Motor Trend

The 2011 BMW X6 delivers an astonishing amount of performance considering its size and weight.

It doesn't matter which you choose, all will put a smile on your face.
Automobile Magazine

It might not be the most efficient package on which to base a hybrid, but the X6 is one of the sportiest platforms yet to gain the ability.
Car and Driver

Tapping technology normally found in hybrids, the 2011 X6 gets regenerative braking that charges the battery only when the car is braking, coasting or decelerating.

Three core versions of the 2012 BMW X6 offer a powertrain combination to suit most tastes--even if the exterior doesn't. Last year's ActiveHybrid X6 is no longer available.

Starting at the least-powerful, the X6 xDrive35i uses a turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine to pump out 300 horsepower and 23 mpg average. All-wheel drive is standard in all X6s, as is an eight-speed transmission--except for the X6 M.

Moving up to the V-8 range, the x6 xDrive50i generates 400 horsepower from a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8. Despite the larger power output, the xDrive50i only suffers a 3 mpg combined gas mileage penalty compared to the xDrive35i.

The wild and insanely fast X6 M uses the same displacement as the xDrive50i, but extracts a massive 555 horsepower from a more highly-tuned, upgraded engine. Due to the huge power output, the X6 M uses a more robust six-speed automatic transmission.

All X6s handle well, their somewhat carlike looks betraying their equally car-like on-road handling. Body roll is present, though much less so in the X6 M, and the eight-speed transmission in non-M models delivers smooth, quick shifts in either automatic or paddle-shifted manual modes.

Acceleration is brisk, steering is direct and natural though sometimes vague in feel, and ride quality doesn't suffer to deliver these qualities--except in the X6 M. The X6 M is more capable than you'd believe possible in an SUV; enabling M Dynamic Mode takes the electronic safeguards to new performance heights while still throwing out a safety line when needed.

Off-road, the non-M X6s are also surprisingly able to traverse moderate terrain, but the expeditions should be left to more focused off-roaders.


The 2012 BMW X6 offers car-like ride and handling with brisk acceleration; in X6 M guise it's well into sports car territory, but in all forms it's undeniably still a large, heavy SUV.

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