Buyer's Guide

2021 BMW X6
Select a Different Model (4 Available): M
Fuel Economy $ 13 / 18 mpg
Cargo (Std/Max) 27/60 cu.ft.
Seating (Std/Max) 5/5
Horsepower 600@6,000
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  • High-quality interior
  • Monstrous X6 M
  • Roomy cabin


  • Overly complex iDrive infotainment
  • Stiff M suspension
  • Oddball looks

BMW created the midsize fastback luxury SUV segment with the debut of the original X6 for the 2008 model year. Numerous imitators have come in the years since—including the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, Audi Q8, and Porsche Cayenne Coupe—but the BMW remains the original. The German automaker introduced a fully redesigned model for 2020.

What's New

  • Android Auto and SiriusXM satellite radio now standard
  • X6 xDrive40i now integrates a 48-volt mild hybrid system
  • Remote start and ventilated seats now standard on X6 M50i
  • Luxury seating package now standard on X6 M50i
  • Off-Road package no longer available on X6 xDrive40i

What We Think

The hunchbacked X6 is a mixed bag. In our 2020 SUV of the Year testing, we declared the new generation to be far and away the best version of the X6 BMW has built, inspiring confidence and legitimizing its healthy price tag. Although it still represents a compromise compared to the X5 in terms of interior space, the cabin is deceptively roomy, and the cargo area was plenty large enough to help one staffer move between apartments.

Our interior review applauded the X6's available rich Merino leather and mix of metal detailing, although plastic seatbacks and manual cargo area seat controls detract from the experience. We also took some issue with the iDrive infotainment system, which strongly encourages the use of distracting gesture controls. The whole interface is a bit too complicated for its own good.

If you seek performance in your midsize luxury SUV, the X6 M is a riot. It won a comparison against the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S thanks to its twin-turbo V-8 with over 600 hp, impressive balance, and confident handling, although it didn't manage to nab the top spot in our Super SUV comparison. We did mention it rides very stiff. The GLE was just as competent, but the X6 is more fun. That's kind of the story here; if you have the extra cash and dig the look, the X6 is a whole lot like the X5, just a little more likely to bring a smile.

Performance and Fuel Economy

The X6 can be ordered with an inline-six or a V-8. Six-cylinder models feature standard RWD and optional AWD, while those with the V-8 are AWD only, and there are multiple states of tune for the V-8. Regardless of engine or trim, every X6 engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic.

Model: X6 sDrive40i (RWD), X6 xDrive40i (AWD)
Engine: 3.0-liter turbo I-6
Horsepower: 335 hp
Torque: 330 lb-ft
Efficiency (city/highway): 21/25-26 mpg
Acceleration (0-60 mph): 5.2 seconds

Model: X6 M50i
Engine: 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8
Horsepower: 523 hp
Torque: 553 lb-ft
Efficiency (city/highway): 16/22 mpg
Acceleration (0-60 mph): 4.1 seconds (mfr. est.)

Model: X6 M
Engine: 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8
Horsepower: 600 hp; 617 hp (Competition package)
Torque: 553 lb-ft
Efficiency (city/highway): 13/18 mpg
Acceleration (0-60 mph): 3.3 seconds


The X6 specifically hasn't been tested by the IIHS, but we expect that it would perform similarly to the mechanically identical X5 that's a 2019 IIHS Top Safety Pick and earns an overall four-star safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars). (Read more about the X5 here.)

In terms of driver-assist active safety, BMW includes its Active Driving Assistant as standard, which means all models get forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Selecting the Driving Assistance Professional package adds lane keep assist, automatic lane change, adaptive cruise control, and lane centering.

Cargo Space and Interior Room

The X6 seats five, with more headroom up front but less in the rear than the Audi Q8. Cargo volume measures 27.4 cubic feet behind the rear seat and 59.6 cubic feet with the seats folded down, again slightly less spacious than that Audi. Interior headroom and cargo space are compromised compared to the X5 with which the X6 shares all but its sloping roof and unique rear hatch.


Every X6 comes standard with a 12.3-inch instrument cluster display and a matching 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Apple CarPlay, navigation, and (new for 2021) Android Auto are also standard. A 10-speaker audio system is fitted to the base model, but a 16-speaker Harman Kardon setup is available as part of an option package on 40i cars or standard on higher trims. A 20-speaker Bowers & Wilkins system is optionally available on the M50i and X6 M.

Key Competitors:

Engine Name
Engine: V8 Turbo 4.4 Liter
Transmission Name
Transmission, M Steptronic 8 Speed Automatic Mode Select with Manual Mode (M8HP76)
Luxury Utility
Standard MPG
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Unleaded Premium
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IIHS Best Pick
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Not Rated
Amount Description Expiry Date
$3250 BMW announces a Military Program for cash customers. 12-31-2021
$500 BMW announces a Military Program for customers who Lease/OwnersChoice/Retail Finance/Select Finance through BMW Financial Services that is good towards a purchase or lease of select models. 12-31-2021
$0 1.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - BMW announces APR rates on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 06-30-2021
$1000 BMW announces Lease/APR Credit on select models for eligible College Graduates. 01-03-2022
$0 2.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - BMW announces APR rates on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 06-30-2021