2015 BMW X6 first drive

Posted by Black Duc On Monday, October 13, 2014 0 nhận xét

2015 BMW X6 first drive

Now in its second generation, the BMW X6 is more efficient and even better to drive - but just as brash

BMW X6 review
Agile handling has always been a strength of the BMW X6 
Not so many years ago, big 4x4s were under attack. The green-leaning considered Sloan Square-roaming off-roaders to be the ultimate form of earth-baking indulgence, their occupants vilified as unthinking, planet-wrecking Chelsea tractor drivers. And then the snows came. Britain was iced white, and suddenly a big, robust and unstoppable four-wheel drive didn’t look quite such a silly choice.
Their sales have kept on growing ever since, criticism of them reducing to little more than a murmur. And that even applies to the BMW X6, one of the most indulgent of them all. Not because it was any bigger or heavier, but because this curious, five-door coupe of a 4x4 was promoted as a four-seater, and because there’s something slightly absurd about trying to build a sports car out of a vehicle with the height of a decent garden shed.
But the X6 didn’t just attract criticism. It attracted buyers, too - almost 260,000 of them since 2008. If you’re unfamiliar with the arithmetic of car manufacturers’ production runs (entirely understandable) then believe us when we tell you that this is a pretty big number for a specialised, high-end machine like this.

The engine in the M50d produces 381bhp - enough to get it to 62mph in 5.2sec
Its sales even surprised BMW, which discovered that this 4x4 primarily designed for America, where it is built and where its scale seems more reasonable, was proving just as much of a draw for customers in China and Europe. And that’s why it has had no hesitation in producing a second-generation version.
Although some engines from the previous model reappear in this version, all have been upgraded and installed within an all-new body, which carries a redesigned interior. The X6 now carries more equipment but weighs no more than the outgoing model, plus it can be ordered with optional features such as a self-parking system, night vision assistance and a traffic jam assistant that allows the car to automatically edge along behind the vehicle in front. And it will also seat five adults as standard, in contrast to the previous model, whose back bench was shaped to seat four unless otherwise specified.
BMW is currently offering four engine options with this new X6, three of them diesel, one a petrol, with more to come, including a hugely powerful X6 M model and a hybrid. Tested here is the ultimate, sports-oriented diesel, badged X6 M50d. This £66,915 machine comes with a triple turbo (you read that right) six-cylinder engine, an eight-speed automatic gearbox and the pulling power of a small railway shunter. Yet it will return an official 42.8mpg – think 30-35 in the real world – with emissions of 174g/km, which isn’t bad considering its 2.2-tonne bulk and overtaking potential.

The BMW X6 has a classy interior with logically arranged controls
Even more impressive is the M50d’s way with bends. The coupe-like roofline, subtly aggressive nose and substantial wheels signal a sporting mission, while a less obvious clue is the pair of elegant kneepads sprouting from the centre console. These provide the driver and front passenger with additional bracing when the X6 is performing athletic cornering manoeuvres and as it turns out, they’re not inappropriate.
The M50d comes with so-called adaptive M Sport suspension, which firm up considerably in the Sport mode to limit body-roll. Spend the best part of £3000 and the X6’s resistance to body-roll can be further bolstered with the Dynamic adaptive package, which includes active bodyroll control and a rear axle that distributes the engine’s power to the rear wheel with the most grip, the result being still greater agility and a resistance to lean that’s remarkable given this car’s height. It’s a package well worth having if you’re a keen driver, although it’s a shame that you must pay more; this sporting X6 should really have it as standard.
With it fitted, the X6 produces briskly fluent progress through a succession of twists, your enjoyment stemming as much from the BMW’s poise as the unlikeliness of a car this big displaying such balletic composure. The accuracy of the rather weighty steering helps, although you won’t feel much of the topography beneath via its unnecessarily fat rim.
If the M50d’s handling is fluent, the ride proves less so, its 20-inch wheels jolting noticeably over sharper bumps. On Britain’s battered roads it’s likely to turn turbulent at times. That’s a contrast to the luxuriantly calming ambience of the X6’s interior, which proves extraordinarily quiet at speed. You’ll hear the diesel when you work it hard – although the sound is far from unpleasant – and there’s a whisper of wind noise around the front doors, but on the smooth roads of the US test route, the car was often library-quiet.

It might use a diesel engine, but the X6 M50d sounds good when you accelerate
It’s also very classy, the aura of subtle luxury heightened by the pleasing sweep of the well-ordered dashboard, the finely crafted wood and aluminium décor and a very readable infotainment screen.
Space in the rear is unexpectedly generous given the X6’s coupe-like roofline, although it’s disappointing to discover limited foot-room, the front seats too bulky to allow your shoes to snuggle beneath them. But that back seat will seat three, and boot space is pretty generous seats up or folded down – there’s a vein of practicality running through this X6, despite its sporty ambitions.
The essential recipe for this sporting off-roader remains unchanged, though. It’s big, it’s ostentatious, it’s fast and it’s a lot more agile than it looks. It’s also well finished, and useful. For the moment, this is BMW’s ultimate four-wheel drive X model. Get ready, though, for the still bigger X7 in 2016.
BMW X6 M50d
Tested: 2993cc six cylinder turbodiesel, eight-speed automatic gearbox, four-wheel drive
Price/on sale: £51,145-£66,915
Power/torque: 381bhp @ 4000rpm/546lb ft @ 2000rpm
Top Speed: 155mph
Acceleration: 0-62mph in 5.2sec
Fuel economy: 42.8mpg EU Combined
CO2 emissions: 174g/km
VED band: H (£290 for first year, £205 thereafter)
Verdict: Combines excellent performance with impressive handling, plus it’s very civilised and more practical than it looks. Styling too brash for some, though.
Telegraph rating: Four stars out of five
Range Rover Sport SDV6 HSE, priced from £61,250
Well short of the BMW’s grunt, and the far pricier V8 diesel also falls short, but its style will be more appealing to many.
Porsche Cayenne V8 S Diesel, priced from £42,990
More cylinders than the BMW, if slightly less power, the Cayenne is similarly good to to drive, more practical and much cheaper.
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