It could be argued that the 2019 BMW X6 M is a triumph of engineering over common sense. For example, does a premium midsize crossover/SUV really need to pack 567 horsepower from a twin-turbocharged V8?
Why put a sport suspension in something this big and heavy? Taking a normal crossover/SUV onto a racetrack would be absurd, but this high-performance M version of the X6 (the regular X6 range is reviewed separately) would feel right at home, with speed and composure in equally generous measure.
And surely an SUV is supposed to be practical rather than employ a sloping roof line. No one would dream of loading this thing with furniture. The X6 M resembles something from a sci-fi movie. And moves like it, providing a deft combination of high-riding style and incredible performance. It makes us glad that BMW’s engineers won and common sense came second.
What’s New for 2019?
Apple CarPlay smartphone integration becomes standard. So does blind spot monitoring, speed limit information, plus an array of aids known collectively as the Active Driving Assistant that includes forward-collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, City Braking and lane-departure warning.
The revised optional Executive package now includes a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, soft-close doors, manual sunshades, adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams, a head-up display, side-view/top-view cameras, Parking Assistant (a partially autonomous parking function), wireless charging and Wi-Fi. See the 2019 BMW X6 M models for sale near you
What We Like
- Insanely 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
- Android Auto not available
A twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 develops 567 hp 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 (AWD) 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 combined.
Standard Features & Options
The 2019 BMW X6 M ($106,695) comes as one well-appointed model.
Standard features include 21-in staggered-width wheels with high-performance tires, adaptive sport-tuned suspension dampers, rear air suspension, quad tailpipes, M body kit, adaptive self-leveling xenon headlights with cornering lights, LED fog lights/taillights, a panoramic sunroof, roof rails, a powered lift gate with hands-free operation, front/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 including a leather-covered dashboard, quad-zone automatic climate control, ambient cabin lighting, a self-dimming rearview mirror and driver’s-side exterior mirror, forward-collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, speed limit warning, Bluetooth phone/audio, a USB port, Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, a 16-speaker/600-watt Harman Kardon audio system and BMW’s iDrive infotainment system with a 10.2-in touchscreen, satellite/HD radio, navigation, real-time traffic updates and hard drive MP3 storage.
The optional Executive package adds adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams, Parking Assistant, wireless charging, Wi-Fi, power-closing doors, a head-up display, side-view/top-view cameras, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats and rear sunshades.
Additional options include 20-in wheels, an infrared night vision camera, a rear seat entertainment system with twin 9.2-in screens, a day’s tuition in high-performance driving and a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system.
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 this 5,200-lb 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).
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.
Behind the Wheel
The X6 M uses the same interior layout as the regular X6. That’s not a criticism. Materials and switchgear quality are superb, with not a surface or control 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 instrument 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 as an enticing option.
If you’re pricing one of these machines against the X6 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 AWD, active roll stabilization and steamroller-sized performance tires, the X6 M heads relentlessly 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
2019 Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR — A supercharged V8 generates 575 hp and the RRS SVR has a chassis to match. An amazing machine.
2019 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe — Arguably nicer styling than the X6 M. Comes with 10 more hp than the X6 M.
2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe — Yes, a new, fastback-style variant of the Cayenne, making it more of a direct rival to the X6 range.
Used Porsche Panamera Turbo — The Panamera Turbo is a car, as opposed to a crossover, but what a car. And it’s an AWD hatchback. A certified pre-owned (CPO) model might be available in the new X6 M’s price bracket.
For people who want the absolute newest models, here’s something to ponder. The X5, on which the X6 variants are based, entered a new generation for 2019. So we can reasonably assume that a fresh X6 is on the way, followed by an M version. This might be 2021, so there’s still something of a wait. If a 2019 X6 M is desired, we won’t stop you. Find a BMW X6 M for sale