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2018 BMW X6: What You Need to Know

US News & World Report - Cars logo US News & World Report - Cars 11/12/2018 U.S. News & World Report
a car parked on the side of a road: 2018 BMW X6© BMW of North America, LLC 2018 BMW X6

The 2018 BMW X6 is all about enjoyment, with potent engines, a superb cockpit, and dynamic, sports-car-like handling. With its cramped cargo area and back seat, this midsize SUV isn’t very practical, which is partly why it finishes near the bottom of its class. 

Is the BMW X6 a Good SUV?

The BMW X6 is a good SUV, though it is really more of an enlarged sports sedan than a sport utility vehicle. As with many BMWs, the X6 is high on driving enjoyment, with powerful engines and sharp handling. The sloping roofline gives it a sporty look as well. The cabin uses lots of high-quality materials and a high-tech infotainment system. However, the rear seats and cargo hold are smaller than in many rivals, meaning the X6 may not be up to the task if you need a family vehicle.

Should I Buy the BMW X6?

The X6 is a great choice for drivers that prioritize fun behind the wheel. However, it finishes fairly low in the class rankings, so you can likely find better options. The Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE Coupe and the Porsche Cayenne are similarly athletic rivals with higher class rankings. Buyers that prefer to focus passenger and cargo space should look at rivals like the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90 instead of the X6.

Compare the X6, GLE, and Cayenne »

Should I Buy a New or Used BMW X6?

The current X6 generation was launched for the 2015 model year, and it has undergone few major changes since. The 2017 model introduced wireless device charging and a Wi-Fi hot spot. The 2018 model makes a rearview camera a standard feature. 

You can potentially save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used car instead of a new one, though be aware that older models may not have as many features. If you're interested in a used model, be sure to visit our overviews of the 2016 BMW X6 and 2017 BMW X6. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 X6 »
We Did the Research for You: 18 Reviews Analyzed

Our 2018 BMW X6 review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 18 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision. Our X6 overview includes applicable data and reviews from every year of the current generation, which includes the 2015 through 2018 model years.  

Why You Can Trust Us

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Jobs, Best Hospitals, and Best Colleges to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. We've been ranking and reviewing the Best Cars since 2007, backed by a team with more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. To keep favoritism out of the picture, we maintain a separate advertising team and decline expensive gifts and trips from car companies.

How Much Does the BMW X6 Cost?

For 2018, the new BMW X6 base model starts at $62,950. That's a high price for a luxury midsize SUV, and it's about $6,000 more than a base BMW X5. Other X6 trim levels include the X6 xDrive50i ($77,700) and the X6 M ($105,100).

For great savings at your local BMW dealer, check out our U.S. News Best Price Program. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our BMW deals page.

BMW X6 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: BMW X6 or Mercedes-Benz GLE?

The Mercedes-Benz GLE offers one of the poshest interiors in the class. Ample passenger space, opulent materials, and a rich array of standard features are among its best traits. You can get the GLE as a traditional SUV (the more practical choice) or as a four-door coupe similar to the X6 (the sportier choice). Performance varies wildly. If athletic handling or a powerful engine are important to you, either skip the GLE entirely or opt for one of its AMG-badged iterations. If you want a luxurious SUV that’s also practical, pick the Mercedes over the BMW.

Which Is Better: BMW X6 or Porsche Cayenne?

The Porsche Cayenne finishes near the top of our luxury midsize SUV rankings, and it is one of the most athletic SUVs in the class. The Cayenne’s options list includes five authoritative engines, indulgent interior upgrades like Alcantara upholstery, and an adjustable air suspension system. This is one of the pricier SUVs in the segment, however, and adding upgrades quickly grows the already steep price. 

Which Is Better: BMW X6 or BMW X5?

You can stay within the BMW brand and make off with an SUV that's less expensive and has more space inside by opting for a BMW X5 instead. This midsize SUV, available in both 2-row and 3-row versions, has more space inside than the X6. Additionally, the X5 comes with the same six-cylinder and V8 engine choices as the X6, but it also offers turbodiesel and plug-in hybrid powertrain options. Unless the sleek styling of the X6 speaks to you, the X5 is a better buy.

Compare the X6, GLE, and Cayenne »

X6 Interior

How Many People Does the X6 Seat?

The X6 has five seats, but its back seat is more cramped than most luxury midsize SUVs'. The sloped coupelike roofline cuts into rear-seat head space, and the X6 has less rear-seat legroom than most rivals. You're in luck if you plan to use only the front seats, though. These are comfortably cushioned and offer many seat adjustments.

X6 and Car Seats

The X6 has two full sets of LATCH child-seat hardware on the rear outboard seats. Each set includes a top tether anchor and two lower anchors. 

X6 Interior Quality

The X6’s interior boasts high-quality craftsmanship and materials. Leather upholstery and poplar wood trim is standard, and first-class upgrades such as Nappa leather, aluminum trimmings, rear window sunshades, and soft-close doors are available.

X6 Cargo Space

The cargo hold in the X6 isn't the smallest in the class, but it's close. There is only 26.6 cubic feet of storage space behind the seats. You can fold the 40/20/40-split rear seats to reveal up to 59.7 cubic feet of cargo space. The raked roofline further restricts hauling options, though the power liftgate is convenient.

X6 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The X6 features a 10.2-inch display and navigation, along with the usual items like Bluetooth and a USB port. The infotainment system's iDrive interface takes some practice, but it's fairly easy to learn, and gives you flexible options for connecting more than one device. Ample tech options are available, including user favorites like Apple CarPlay and a Bang & Olufsen surround-sound system.

Read more about interior »

X6 Performance

X6 Engine: Plenty of Power

No matter which X6 model you pick, you'll get a hearty turbocharged engine and a refined eight-speed automatic transmission. Horsepower ratings start at 300 (for the sDrive35i's six-cylinder engine) and go up as high as 567 (for the X6 M).

X6 Gas Mileage: Typical for a Midsize SUV

Fuel economy with the X6 sDrive35i is on par with most class rivals. It gets an EPA-estimated 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. The V8-powered models get 14-15 mpg in the city and 19-21 mpg on the highway.

X6 Ride and Handling: Sport-Tuned

It looks hulking and overweight, but the X6 handles more like a nimble sports sedan than a cumbersome SUV. The standard suspension system does a good job of keeping the ride comfortable while limiting body roll, but the available Dynamic Damper Control is even better. Plus, it gives you the ability to select between Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ driving modes.

Read more about performance »

X6 Reliability

Is the BMW X6 Reliable?

The 2018 X6 has a predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power. That’s among the top scores for this class and slightly above average for a new car. 

BMW X6 Warranty

BMW covers the 2018 X8 with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty.

Read more about reliability »

X6 Safety

X6 Crash Test Results

The BMW X6 has not undergone crash test analyses by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

X6 Safety Features

The X6 comes standard with rain-sensing windshield wipers, a rearview camera, and front and rear parking sensors. Other available safety features include adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go traffic assist, a 360-degree camera, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, city collision warning, pedestrian detection, adaptive LED headlights, automatic high beams, a head-up display, speed limit information, active park assist, and a night vision camera with pedestrian detection.

Read more about safety »

Which BMW X6 Model Is Right for Me?

BMW separates its X6 versions into three trim levels, assigning a different engine to each. Selecting between these depends on your budget (approximate prices span between $63,000 and $105,000) and your performance preferences (horsepower ratings range from 300 to 567). Note that moving up in trim level grants very few interior upgrades. BMW remedies this by offering a multitude of packages and stand-alone options with every trim, though you have to add each carefully, as they can quickly increase your purchase price.

For the best value, we recommend the base X6 sDrive35i. This is the only rear-wheel-drive model in the lineup. (You can add all-wheel drive for $2,300.) It's nicely equipped inside, with leather seats, navigation, a moonroof, and a power liftgate among its standard inclusions. For extra flair, you can add goodies like ventilated, 20-way power-adjustable front seats; Apple CarPlay; advanced driver assistance systems; and wireless charging for smartphones.

BMW X6 sDrive35i and X6 xDrive35i

The entry-level X6 trim comes in two versions: the rear-wheel-drive X6 sDrive35i ($62,950) and the all-wheel-drive X6 xDrive35i ($65,250). Powering both is a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. Leather seats (with heated, 14-way power-adjustable front seats), dual-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, a power tailgate, push-button start, a proximity key, a rearview camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and front and rear parking sensors are all standard. The infotainment system includes BMW's iDrive infotainment system, a 10.2-inch touch screen, navigation, nine speakers, Bluetooth, a USB port, and HD Radio.

BMW X6 xDrive50i

The X6 xDrive50i gets more power by upgrading from a six-cylinder engine to a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8. This all-wheel-drive SUV also features 20-way power-adjustable contoured front seats, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, satellite radio, and four-zone automatic climate control. Pricing starts at $77,700.


The range-topping X6 M ($105,100) takes everything up a notch, starting with its 567-horsepower V8 engine. Other highlights of this performance SUV include sport-tuned all-wheel drive, suspension, and brake systems; 18-way power-adjustable front seats; upgraded leather upholstery; aluminum trim; a leather-wrapped dash; a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system; a hands-free power tailgate; and M-specific interior and exterior styling elements.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local BMW dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our BMW deals page.

See 2018 BMW X6 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The fun-to-drive BMW X6 emphasizes athletic performance over day-to-day practicality. It’s a good pick if you desire sports-car-like handling in an SUV package. Among its many standout qualities is a sumptuous and high-tech cockpit, a suite of commanding engines, and a high level of refinement throughout. Before you buy, make sure the small back seat and cargo area don't short you on the space you need.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

Read the full 2018 BMW X6 review on U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.


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