Every week, wheels.ca selects a new vehicle and takes a good look at its entry-level trim. If we find it worthy of your consideration, we’ll let you know. If not, we’ll recommend one – or the required options – that earns a passing grade.
We’re kicking off the new year with a large-and-in-charge SUV, one found in tonier parts of the country and in front of more than a few McMansions on the outskirts of town. It’s worth noting the BMW X6 shares much with its cousin, the X5, though BMW charges $4,300 extra for the privilege of owning a vehicle with less cargo space. The mind reels.
Nevertheless, your author prefers the look of an X6, packaging be damned. The least expensive model wears a heady $83,500 sticker price to go with its slinky styling choices. This will net the xDrive40i trim, powered by a 3.0L turbocharged six-cylinder engine making 335 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque. Despite being the entry-level engine, this mill is no slouch, flinging the X6 to highway speeds from rest in about 5.5 seconds. Upgrading to the 4.4L twin-turbo and its 523 ponies is a $14,000 proposition. Popping for the 600hp X6 M will damage your wallet even further. Speed costs money – how fast do you want to go?
There are a host of $0 paint options on the xDrive40i, as there should be on a machine costing nearly 90 large, including the tasty Flamenco Red Metallic shown here. These 20-inch alloy wheels shod with all-season run-flats are standard, though you can thumb yer nose at friends with 21’s as a stand-alone option for just $500. A so-called M Carbon Exterior bundle is offered at $1,550 and appends the X6 with carbon-style addenda on its side mirrors and rear spoiler, should you feel the need.
A neat half-dozen interior colour options are offered at no charge, including this tasty Coffee Perforated Vernasca leather. It looks markedly similar to that which is included in a costly $4,900 Full Merino Leather package – we suggest pocketing that amount and the neighbours will never know the difference. This aluminum mesh-effect trim is standard kit but it can be replaced with old-school poplar grain wood if you’re the type who wears a smoking jacket to work. Carbon fibre accents are available for a thousand smackers.
What We’d Choose
BMW is more than happy to load up style-focused vehicles like the X6 with extra options, (rightly) assuming that some of these purchases are driven by the heart instead of the head. They are not wrong. However, if one opts for pricey packages like the $9,200 Premium Enhanced package (soft close doors, 4-zone climate, air suspension) or the $13,700 Premium Excellence group (further adding a Harmon Kardon sound system and other interior jewelry), one might as well pop for the more powerful X6.
What does deserve your attention is the $2,950 xOffroad Package which bundles the excellent air suspension with an M Sport differential. The former will provide a pillow-like ride, while the latter will accurately mete out power to the drive wheels, improving its ability to handle both performance-focused pavement maneuvers and that pile of snow at the end of your driveway. And, because your author is an irritating Type A individual, he will point out that customers can spec an illuminated front grille for just $500 as a stand-alone option.
Large-and-in-charge? You betcha.