2018 BMW X6 Expert Review

4.0 Overall Score
Performance 4.4 Comfort 3.8 Styling 3.9 Value 3.8

Editor's Overview

Part SUV, part sports coupe, the 2018 BMW X6 is an automotive amalgamation that stands out from the crowd. Based on the X5 midsize-luxury SUV, the X6 is less practical but more stylish thanks to its sloped roof. Starting around $64,000, its design comes at a premium but is still less expensive than the Mercedes-AMG GLE Coupe.

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

If you want a nonconformist sport-utility vehicle that’s more sport than utility yet still boasts BMW’s luxury and performance credentials, the 2018 X6 remains a standout. With an ample 8.3 inches of ground clearance and optional all-wheel drive, the X6 is also a worthy winter-weather hauler.

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

With its signature sloping roof, cargo space and rear sightlines take a back seat to style in the X6. Unlike the X5, there is no 3rd-row option, and BMW prices this “Sports Activity Coupe” higher than the X5. Mercedes’ AMG-finessed GLE Coupe rivals, meanwhile, win the horsepower war.

What's New

There are only minor changes for the 2018 BMW X6. Among them are updates to the iDrive infotainment system, upgraded navigation and new wheel options.

Interior Features

While the X6’s exterior lines are a departure from other BMWs, its interior will feel familiar to BMW buyers. As with the X5, the front seats are roomy and the seating position is high, providing driver and passenger a good view out front. A wide armrest/stowage bin separates the driver and passenger seat, and centered prominently in the dash is a 10.2-inch screen that controls navigation, audio and other functions via touch or a rotary dial and surrounding keys. Unlike the X5 that can seat up to seven with an optional third row, the X6 maxes out at five passengers, and those in back might feel more cramped due to the reduced headroom. Thanks to folding seats and its hatch design, the X6 has some cargo-carrying practicality, but not as much as the more squared-off X5.

Exterior Features

Take one look at the 2018 X6 and you’ll probably come to one of two conclusions: You’ll like it or won’t. BMW took a risk when it introduced the X6 nearly a decade ago, and for some it was and remains a head-scratcher -- a coupe-like design with four doors and a rear liftgate, all lifted like an SUV. For its 2nd-generation revamp a few years ago, the basic contours remained but the skin got nipped and tucked, resulting in even more style. The X6’s most distinctive feature is its sloped roof. Whereas the X5 has the blocky profile of a traditional SUV, the X6 has a tapered top that evokes a stylish coupe. Some could argue the X6 lets you have your cake and eat it, too, by marrying a vehicle with the design of a grand touring coupe and the utility of an SUV.

Driving Impressions

The X6 isn’t just an amalgamation in the way it looks. The same is true of the experience behind the wheel. Counterintuitive as it may seem, the BMW X6 is one dynamic performer. First, it’s fast. The 6-cylinder models can do 0-60 mph in a commendable six seconds flat. Step up to the V8-powered xDrive50i, and you can hit that number in 4.6 seconds -- right up there with high-powered sports cars. Beyond impressive straight-line performance, the X6 has respectable cornering ability for such a large and heavy vehicle. One differentiator between the BMW X6 and Mercedes-AMG GLE Coupe is that you can get the X6 in rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) vs. just AWD in the Mercedes. This is relevant because some sports-car purists want a rear-drive car. It also enables the BMW to undercut the Mercedes’ starting prices by about $7,500. When not trying to imitate a BMW M3, the X6 has comfortable highway manners. Two things to be aware of are its massive rear blind spots and the engine’s start/stop system, which cuts power at idle to save fuel. At least the latter can be remedied by disabling that feature with the press of a button.

Pricing Notes

Factoring in the $995 destination fee, the 2018 BMW X6 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just shy of $64,000. Stepping up to the all-wheel-drive X6 xDrive35i puts you over the $66,000 mark, and going further still to the V8-powered X6 xDrive50i will run you over $78,000. These are just the starting points. With options, these figures can swell by thousands. All-in, a V8 X6 can surge past the $100,000 mark. At its starting price, the X6 begins several thousand dollars higher than its X5 sibling but below its most like-minded rival, the Mercedes-AMG GLE Coupe that starts over $71,000. The all-new Porsche Cayenne, meanwhile, starts directly in line with the X6 all while nailing the performance/utility equation. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their X6. The BMW X6’s resale value has historically held up quite well.

Notable Equipment

The 2018 X6 comes in two major forms: the sDrive35i/xDrive35i and the xDrive50i. The first two are 6-cylinder models with either rear- or all-wheel drive, while the last one comes with a V8 and AWD. The 35i variants come with Dakota leather upholstery, power tailgate, 14-way-power front seats, rearview camera with front and rear parking sensors, 3-stage heated front seats, universal garage-door opener, dual-zone climate control, and power-adjustable steering column. The X6’s standard infotainment system bundles a 10.2-inch touch-screen display with complementary rotary dial and key controls, navigation, and 9-speaker/205-watt AM/FM/CD/HD Radio audio system with Bluetooth connectivity and USB input. New BMWs come with Ultimate Care, which provides complimentary maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles.

Notable Options

All-wheel drive is standard on the 2018 X6 xDrive35i and the X6 xDrive50i. That top-line model also boasts a more powerful 4.4-liter turbocharged V8 engine, 20-way-power front seats, upgraded 16-speaker harman/kardon audio system and 4-zone climate control. Numerous options are offered across trims, including Apple CarPlay smartphone integration (but no Android Auto), driving-assist packages that include features like active blind-spot detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and automatic emergency braking. Other amenities include ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, wireless phone charging and in-car Wi-Fi, and night-vision assist with pedestrian detection. Performance options include a rear-axle air suspension with dynamic damper control.

Favorite Features

NONCONFORMIST NATURE

The X6 has the design and attitude of a maverick, yet is wholly part of the BMW brand portfolio. It’s also a progenitor, spawning the smaller X4 and X2, along with rivals from other brands.


BANG & OLUFSEN SOUND SYSTEM

If your ears can appreciate an audiophile sound system and your pockets are deep enough to spend an extra $4,500, this high-end 16-speaker audio system aims to make sonic journeys as memorable as your actual ones.


Under the Hood

You have a choice of two engines in the 2018 X6. The sDrive35i and xDrive35i use a turbocharged inline 6-cylinder, with “sDrive” designating rear-wheel drive (RWD) and “xDrive” meaning all-wheel drive (AWD). If you want the potent, turbocharged V8, step up to the xDrive50i. All models use an excellent 8-speed automatic transmission, and all also feature an auto stop/start function that stops the engine in situations such as traffic lights where it would otherwise idle. The start-ups can be jarring and, if frequent, annoying. Thankfully it can be disabled with the touch of a button. As with other BMWs -- and most luxury cars for that matter -- be ready to spend extra for premium gasoline.


3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 (sDrive35i, xDrive35i)

300 horsepower @ 5,800-6,400 rpm

300 lb-ft of torque @ 1,200-5,000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg (RWD), 18/24 mpg (AWD)


4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (xDrive50i)

445 horsepower @ 5,500-6,000 rpm

480 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,500 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 mpg

Editors' Notes

Think of the 2018 BMW X6 as the more vivacious, less practical sibling of the X5. Whereas the BMW X5 midsize-luxury SUV prioritizes hauling people and gear, the X6 favors a sportier nature and design flair with its coupe-like form. This blending of a high-riding premium-crossover SUV with a sports coupe may seem strange, but the X6 has found success among laissez-faire buyers and a newer German rival in the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. The X6 packs a turbocharged 6-cylinder or V8 engine, and can be had in even more powerful form as the X6 M (reviewed separately). Form over function has a price in the X6. At nearly $64,000, the X6 starts over $6,000 beyond its X5 brother.

Road Test Video Reviews

2018 BMW X6 Owner Reviews

4.79
19 Reviews
84% 11% 5% 2 star 0% 1 star 0%
Leave your review

Would you recommend this vehicle?

(Select your rating)

The 2018 BMW X6 is a fastback SUV in three main configurations

The 2018 BMW X6 features a standard rearview camera and an updated iDrive system. The rest of the vehicle remains the same. The 2018 BMW X6 is a fastback SUV in three main configurations. The X6 sDrive35i has a turbocharged six-cylinder engine (300 horsepower, 300 pound-feet of torque) and rear-wheel drive. The xDrive35i has the same engine but with all-wheel drive. At the top of the range is the all-wheel-drive xDrive50i and its turbocharged V8 (445 hp, 480 lb-ft). Standard equipment is similar on each, and a variety of option packages are available to further deck out the X6. Engine and transmission performance are big positives for the X6. It's pretty quick for the class, and the engine and transmission are smooth operators. Unfortunately, the steering communicates little back to the driver.

- Johnny S

The X6 comes standard with stability control

The X6 largely shares the X5's dashboard and control layout. That's a good thing. The digital instrument cluster is crisp and comprehensive, with a rapid refresh rate that enables the needles to keep up no matter how quickly the vehicle is accelerating. BMW has created a vaguely coupelike feel with the X6's slightly lower seating position, but there's still a commanding view of the road, along with world-class comfort and support with the available multicontour front seats. The iDrive infotainment system has improved steadily over the years. The X6 gets the top grade, with a beautiful widescreen display, navigation, hard-drive music storage and an advanced controller with touchpad functionality.

- William W

The top perks of BMW x6 and more.

The vehicle runs very smoothly and has the ability to accelerate when needed. The car also has the ability to turn into convertible when the weather turns nice outside. This allows my family and I to enjoy the nice weather when it is nice and have a closed car when it is not nice. . In addition, the cars interior design is flawless and keeps the rider entertained, focused and uses the most updated technology to enhance all safety features for optimal reliability. I would drive this car everyday to work for about 30 minutes each way and have never had a problem at all.

- Daniel H

BMW the perfect power car.

I love my, I love the sound of the engine, the smooth ride. I have 3 kids, so I need something roomy and spacious but also powerful because I am a heavy foot driver. It has all the bells and whistles from heated and massaging seats, to a gorgeous panoramic roof, that make night drives through the city so much fun. The entertainment and Audio system is to die far, it feels like I am in the theatre the sounds is crisp and clear with a lot of bass. The rear seats recline, and the truck area is spacious.

- Andrea C

Done excellent good very good done excellent good very good done excellent good.

Done excellent good very good done excellent good very good done excellent good very good done excellent good very good done excellent good very good done excellent good very good done excellent good very good done excellent good very good done excellent good very good done excellent good very good done excellent good very good done excellent good very good done excellent good very good done excellent good very good.

- Cesar R

White x6 is fun to drive!

Interior color fades fast. There is a high gas usage. Very comfortable and very reliable. Fast and fun to drive. Can't always get phone calls but live where there is bad service. I don't really know what else to review, I have not had the car for very long. Only a few months. When she is clean boy does she shine nicely though.

- Lucas L

Just a little about my BMW x6.

I just got the car 2 weeks ago it only had 15k miles on it. My BMW x6 is fully loaded with custom interior. So far I have nothing but love for my x6 it is spacious for my two kids and fits all of my equipment it the back comfortably. If I start having issues or problem I will add it into the comments.

- Juan F

Nice car but little breathing space.

The car overall is nice. It does fit 6 people but my biggest issue is that even though it can fit 6 people, there's no space. You still feel cramped inside. Other than that, it's fine. I like that there's a camera to help you back up and see if you're too close to a vehicle or if there's a car nearby.

- Cassandra C

Driving BMW’s all year long baby.

Everything is great about my car! I love my car I have always dream of having this car. Now that I have this car I'll always keep up with it the performance is great everything I dreamed off.

- I B

Pretty conformable design and comfort

Very comfortable and attractive van to be in the city or make family trips, I quite like the design I would not exchange it for anything just for the following year I would buy a newer one

- Ronald R

Leave your review