BMW X6 M Estate Leasing
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The X6 offers strong performance across the board, a high-quality cabin and lots of standard equipment.
It doesn’t blend agility with ride comfort like its best rivals, and BMW’s own X5 offers everything the X6 does but with more space and practicality.
The BMW X6 is powerful, fun to drive and suitably luxurious, but unless you particularly like the X6’s looks, stick with the superior X5.
There are three diesels and two petrol versions of the X6. The petrols are monumentally fast, but it's the diesels that make most sense. We’d go for the entry-level 30d, which is easily powerful enough to suit most tastes. The 40d and M50d versions are quicker again, but feel strained when pushed hard.
Ride & Handling
The X6 stays impressively flat through corners, despite its hefty kerbweight and tall stance. The M50d gets stiffer suspension than standard models, but while it handles well, it tends to pick up on surface imperfections at low speeds more often than other X6s, even with the suspension in its most comfortable setting. That said, all versions are relatively settled on the motorway. The steering doesn't provide much feedback, but it is accurate.
The V8 petrol 50i is the more refined engine of the lot, because unlike the diesels, it doesn't send any trace of vibration through the pedals or steering wheel when being worked hard. All X6s, however, suffer some wind noise around their door mirrors once you get up to speed, and the test cars we tried also suffered considerable road noise when fitted with 20-inch alloy wheels. Every X6 gets a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Buying & Owning
The X6's list prices are comparable with those of rivals such as the Range Rover Sport and Porsche Cayenne, but the BMW is better equipped. Its engines are average in terms of fuel consumption, but CO2 emissions are competitive, especially the 30d's. The X6 also has strong resale values, so it should be worth a decent amount of its original value when you sell it on.
Quality & Reliability
Although the cabin is finished to a high standard, some people may be disappointed to see certain plastics and switchgear present in the X6 that are also fitted to much cheaper BMWs, such as the 1 Series and 3 Series. BMW hasn't performed well in recent customer satisfaction surveys, scoring well below average for reliability.
Safety & Security
All X6s come with six airbags, a tyre pressure-monitoring system and stability control, as well as an alarm and engine immobiliser. Security experts Thatcham awarded the X6 five out of five for its resistance to being stolen and four out of five for its resistance to being broken into.
Behind The Wheel
You should have no problem getting settled, thanks to a supportive seat with lots of adjustment. Navigating your way around the X6's dashboard is also easy, because there aren't too many buttons to confuse matters. BMW's Professional iDrive system is standard; it's made up of a 10.2-inch colour screen, rotary controller and shortcut buttons placed between the front seats. It remains the best system on sale, combining sharp graphics and simple menus.
Space & Practicality
The X6 has five seats as standard, but the rear bench is better suited to three children rather than three adults, because the middle seat is narrow and shoulder-room is pretty tight. The boot is a decent size, but it'll struggle to take tall items due to the X6's sloped roofline. The rear seats split 40/20/40 and fold almost flat, but the issues with the height of the roof remain. If you often transport bulky items, you'll be better off with a Range Rover Sport or Porsche Cayenne.
Even entry-level SE models come loaded with kit, including sat-nav, heated leather seats, a 20Gb hard drive, front and rear parking sensors, xenon headlights, large alloy wheels and metallic paint. Desirable M Sport models add even larger wheels, electric sports seats and beefier styling, but they're not such good value.