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2017 BMW X6 M: New Car Review

If you’re looking for information on a newer BMW X6 M, we’ve published an updated review: 2019 BMW X6 M Review

The 2017 BMW X6 M is not the kind of crossover meant to schlep flat-packs from Ikea. Instead, its job is to provide a deft combination of high-riding style and incredible performance.

Whereas the X5 M looks like a regular SUV on steroids, the X6 M resembles something from a sci-fi movie. And moves like it. There’s no reason why anyone should take a crossover SUV onto a race track, even when it has the sloping aerodynamic roofline of the X6, but this high-performance M version would feel right at home, with speed and composure in equally generous measure. It’s one of those vehicles that doesn’t need to exist, but thank goodness it does.

What’s New for 2017?

The iDrive infotainment system has been upgraded to version 5.0, with touchscreen functionality and updated navigation. The optional Executive package now has wireless smartphone charging and Wi-Fi. And a leather-covered dashboard is now available. See the 2017 BMW X6 M models for sale near you

What We Like

Absurdly powerful twin-turbo V8; sports-car handling in a crossover wrapper; impeccably trimmed cabin; class-leading technology features

What We Don’t

Dubious value relative to the regular V8-powered X6; impractical interior for a 2.5-ton crossover

How Much?


Fuel Economy

A twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 develops 567 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is an 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters (for the option of manual control), and all-wheel drive is standard.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fuel consumption is estimated at 14 miles per gallon in the city, 19 mpg on the highway and 16 mpg in combined driving.

Standard Features & Options

The 2017 BMW X6 M ($103,195) comes as one well-appointed model.

Standard features include 21-inch staggered-width wheels with high-performance tires, adaptive sport-tuned suspension dampers, a rear air suspension, quad tailpipes, an M body kit, adaptive auto-leveling xenon headlights with cornering lights, LED fog lights/taillights, a panoramic sunroof, roof rails, a powered lift gate with hands-free operation (via a foot sensor in the bumper), front and rear parking sensors, a performance-themed instrument cluster with a high-resolution color driver information center, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry/ignition, rain-sensing wipers, hill descent control, a power-adjustable steering wheel with paddle shifters, adjustable drive settings (Driving Dynamics Control), heated/18-way power-adjustable front sport seats (each with memory settings), extended leather upholstery, quad-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth phone and audio, a USB port, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and BMW’s iDrive infotainment system with a 10.2-in touchscreen, satellite radio, HD Radio, navigation and hard-drive MP3 storage.

The optional Executive package adds adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams, wireless smartphone charging, Wi-Fi, soft-closing doors, BMW’s Concierge Services (providing live assistance for making dinner reservations, finding places of interest, etc.), a heated steering wheel, a head-up display, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and rear sunshades.

Additional options include 20-in wheels, a self-parking system, a leather-covered dashboard, a rear-seat entertainment system with twin 9.2-in screens, and a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system. There’s also a Driver Assistance Plus package with advanced safety features (see the Safety section below).

Cargo capacity is 26.6 cu ft. behind the rear seats and 59.7 cu ft. with those seats folded down. Most other vehicles in the 5,200-pound class offer more.


Standard safety equipment includes stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (with automatic collision readiness) and six airbags (front, front-side and full-length side-curtain).

The optional Driver Assistance Plus package adds side-view and top-view parking cameras, blind spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and speed-limit warning. An infrared night-vision camera with pedestrian detection is also offered.

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have put the X6 (M or otherwise) through their crash-test programs yet.

Behind the Wheel

The X6 M uses the same interior layout as the regular X6, which is ultimately derived from the X5. That’s not a criticism, though, as the current X5 and its associates are among the nicest crossovers on the planet. Materials and control quality is superb, with nary a surface or switch out of place, and the dashboard has a sleek, contemporary look. Naturally, BMW has added a number of special features to the X6 for M duty, including incredibly supportive front sport seats and an M-spec gauge cluster with performance-themed digital displays.

Cabin technology is likewise stellar, highlighted by the widescreen 10.2-in iDrive display with its touchpad-equipped controller. There’s a standard Harman Kardon audio system, or an astonishingly crisp Bang & Olufsen system offered as an enticing option. The B & O system, by the way, is one of the few significant features that doesn’t come as standard. If you’re pricing one of these against the xDrive50i, keep in mind that it’s not apples to apples, since many of the X6 M’s standard items cost extra on its lesser sibling.

Rear-seat comfort is quite good (at least in the two outer spots), thanks in part to tilted bottom cushions that provide ample thigh support for longer-legged passengers.

For a 2.5-ton hatchback with a high center of gravity, the X6 M feels impossibly composed. Aided by torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, active roll stabilization and steamroller-sized performance tires, the X6M relentlessly goes where it’s pointed with minimal fuss. The stability control system’s M Dynamic mode even permits some drifting, if you’re so inclined. In more sedate driving, the standard adaptive dampers take the edge off rough urban surfaces despite those theoretically unyielding 21-in tires. Few vehicles inspire confidence on all kinds of pavement like this BMW.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 BMW X5 M — Like the X6 M, only more practical.

2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR — A supercharged V8 generates 550 hp, and the RRS SVR has a chassis to match. An amazing machine.

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe — Arguably nicer styling than the X6 M. Comes with 577 hp as well.

2017 Porsche Cayenne Turbo The Cayenne Turbo remains a true athlete in this segment, although it’s an older design.

Used Porsche Panamera TurboThe Panamera Turbo is a car, as opposed to a crossover, but what a car. And it’s an all-wheel-drive hatchback. A certified pre-owned (CPO) model might be available in the new X6 M’s price bracket.

Autotrader’s Advice

The X6 M is one of many amazing choices available to a buyer who has a budget in the six figures. The advanced driver aids are well worth the money. Find a BMW X6 M for sale


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  1. Crossovers are FWD vehicles. These are SAV’s from the BMW 6 Series people and RWD mainly of it’s 4-wheel drive. Not a Crossover here. 

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