The BMW X6 has never been a shrinking violet, looking like a particularly cheesed off bodybuilder. This new third-generation version ups the aggression even further with a grille the size of a small public park and properly angry headlights that combine to make it look like it’s ready to chomp through whatever gets in its way in the outside lane.
But that’s not all, because that mahoosive grille can be specced with illumination. It lights up when locking and unlocking the car, but the driver can turn it on manually as well – even when driving. Which won’t look at all terrifying as it comes charging out of the gloom on a dark night.
As you’d expect, the X6 has grown a bit – up to five metres long and two metres wide – including a wheelbase stretched by 42mm, freeing up some useful extra interior space. That includes a vast boot of 580 litres with back seats up or 1,530 litres with them folded down.
Under the bonnet are a pair each of petrol and diesel engines. Both diesels are 3.0-litre straight-six units, the twin-turbo xDrive30d (265hp) and the quad-turbo M50d (400hp). On the petrol front, there’s the 3.0-litre, straight-six, twin-turbo xDrive40i (340hp) or the 4.4-litre, twin-turbo V8 M50i (530hp).
Which one you go for depends on how often you want to visit a petrol station. Even the 30d gives more than adequate performance with a 0-62mph time of 6.5secs. Obviously, the M50i is quickest, reaching 62mph in just 4.3secs.
All engines drive through an eight-speed automatic gearbox and xDrive four-wheel-drive.
Whichever engine provides the power, there’s some heavy-duty chassis tech to contain the two-ton mass. Adaptive dampers, active roll stabilisation and active steering all comes as standard. Air suspension and an off-road pack are available as options. Standard wheels range between 19in and 21in – 22s are optional.
Inside, there is the usual selection of infotainment, connectivity, driver assistance and safety tech, along with two massive display screens. And that’s before you get to the loooong options list featuring such delights as a panoramic roof and a rear-seat infotainment system that’ll keep the kids quiet for hours.
An entry-level 30d Sport will set you back £59,340, while the top of the range M50i costs £76,870.
The X6 has never been everyone’s cup of tea, yet BMW has managed to sell over 400,000 of them since 2007.
By Graham King