2018 BMW X6 M Expert Review

4.0 Overall Score
Performance 4.4 Comfort 3.8 Styling 3.9 Value 3.8

Editor's Overview

The 2018 BMW X6 M is the high-performance version of the standard BMW X6. This M variant picks up where the xDrive50i ends, tweaking the turbocharged V8 engine to make 567 horsepower and optimizing everything else for maximum potency. At over $106,000, the enhancements don’t come cheap, though it’s still less than the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe.

You'll Like The 2018 BMW X6 M If...

The X6 is already a uniquely styled, nonconformist SUV. If you want that <i>and</i> a massive helping of horsepower and performance upgrades, the 2018 X6 M is your vehicle. With standard all-wheel drive, you can even justify it as your winter vehicle, while its rear hatch and cargo area make it a decent hauler.

You May Not Like The 2018 BMW X6 M If...

Beyond its polarizing design, on a utility level the X6 M has less interior space than its X5 M performance SUV sibling. If only horsepower figures matter, the Mercedes-AMG 63 S GLE Coupe has a few more. For off-the-line performance, a Porsche Cayenne Turbo is faster, and the all-electric Tesla Model X is faster still.

What's New

Changes are minimal for the 2018 BMW X6 M. Among them is an updated version of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system, including its navigation.

Interior Features

As with the standard X6, this high-performance M version has a 2-row/5-passenger interior. This one, though, is outfitted with finer extended Merino leather upholstery, a leather dashboard and Alcantara headliner. Front passengers are treated to big, plush seats and a good view out, but rear passengers -- especially taller ones -- may experience a lack of headroom due to the sloping roof. That roof also creates large blind spots for the driver. We like the high-resolution 10.2-inch central display that shows navigation, audio info and more. It can be controlled via touch or the iDrive rotary controller and surrounding keys.

Exterior Features

BMW doesn’t call the X6 an SUV, but rather a “Sports Activity Coupe.” There’s something to this more than marketing-speak. With its sloped roof yet raised ride height and cargo hull accessed by a liftgate, the X6 combines attributes of both a grand touring coupe and an SUV. The X6 M ups the performance attitude with large 21-inch wheels, quad exhaust outlets, M rear spoiler and shadowline exterior trim.

Driving Impressions

The X6 M takes the standard X6’s physics-defying mentality and pushes it to the next level. Pure acceleration is enthralling. With the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 pumping out 567 horsepower, you’ll keep up with sports cars between traffic lights as this performance-luxury-crossover SUV hits 60 mph in just over four seconds. More impressive is the stiff grip of this nearly 5,200-pound hauler. BMW’s M performance engineers have enabled this beast to feel athletic in corners despite its considerable heft. It all feels like a lesson in contrasts, which is true for the X6 as a whole. Just don’t race a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk or a Tesla Model X up the onramp. We’ve done 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds in Jeep’s 707-horsepower bruiser, while Tesla’s all-electric SUV can get there in a mind-bending 2.9 seconds.

Pricing Notes

The 2018 BMW X6 M has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just over $106,000. That’s a $27,000-plus premium over the standard V8-powered X6, the xDrive50i, and over $42,000 more than a base X6 sDrive35i. The standard V8 X6 is no slouch, so at nearly $30,000 more, you’re paying a hefty price for the X6 M’s enhanced performance and exclusivity. Still, the X6 M is nearly $7,000 less than the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe. It’s also less than the new Porsche Cayenne Turbo, which comes in around $125,000. A Tesla Model X, meanwhile, ranges from roughly $87,000 to $140,000 depending on the desired power and range. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying. The X6 M’s resale value is expected to hold up relatively well, and slightly better than its Mercedes-AMG GLE Coupe rival and the Tesla Model X.

Notable Equipment

As the top dog in the 2018 X6 lineup, the X6 M comes very well equipped out the door. In addition to all the performance upgrades, there are 18-way power-operated and heated front seats, high-end leather interior, 4-zone climate control, and power-operated hands-free tailgate. The X6’s infotainment system includes a 10.2-inch display, the latest iDrive 6.0 system with updated navigation, and a 16-speaker/600-watt harman/kardon audio system. Like other new BMWs, the X6 M high-performance-crossover SUV includes Ultimate Care, a complimentary maintenance program good for three years/36,000 miles.

Notable Options

The X6 M’s sole main package, Executive, bundles a plethora of features including ventilated front seats, soft-close doors, head-up display, heated rear seats and steering wheel, surround-view cameras, wireless phone charging and in-vehicle Wi-Fi. It also includes active safety and driver-assist features like lane-departure warning, active blind-spot detection, and frontal-collision warning with automatic emergency braking. A la carte options include Apple CarPlay compatibility (but not Android Auto), a high-end Bang &amp; Olufsen audio system, rear-seat entertainment system and night-vision system. Also tantalizing is the M Driver’s Package that includes a 1-day high-performance driving class at a BMW Performance Center in South Carolina (the state where the X6 is made) or in California.

Favorite Features


For all its high-performance headlines, the X6 is still a BMW, and a $100,000-plus one at that. That means the inside is cocooned in fine leather, boasts savvy technology and offers impressive safety features.


In addition to being able to open the X6 M’s liftgate via a button on the remote, you can also do it with a wave of your foot. It’s a convenient feature when your hands are otherwise preoccupied carrying groceries or gear.

Under the Hood

The heart of the BMW X6 M is a twin-turbocharged V8 that makes 567 horsepower. It sends that power to all four wheels via BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system. This, too, has been M-tuned for greater performance. The same goes for the 8-speed automatic transmission. Ironic as it may seem, this engine has a start/stop feature that shuts down the engine at idle to save fuel. So if you come to a stoplight and the engine shuts off, this is totally normal. Restarts are quick but can be frustrating, especially in heavy traffic. Thankfully the system can be defeated with the press of a button.

4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8

567 horsepower @ 6,000-6,500 rpm

553 lb-ft of torque @ 2,200-5,000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19 mpg

Editors' Notes

The 2018 BMW X6 M is the high-performance version of the standard BMW X6. The X6 M picks up where the xDrive50i ends, tweaking the turbocharged V8 engine to make a rip-roaring 567 horsepower. The result is a high-end hauler that does 0 to 60 mph in a physics-defying 4.1 seconds. Beyond added power, this ultra X6 gets the BMW M treatment that massages the chassis, transmission, all-wheel-drive system and other components for the highest performance. As with the standard X6 (reviewed separately), this M version blends a coupe-like body with the ride height and enhanced cargo capacity of an SUV. Rivals are few, but the Mercedes-AMG 63 S GLE Coupe technically has more power, while the all-new Porsche Cayenne Turbo is faster.

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