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NewNiceMrMe

2013 (63) BMW X6 40d xDrive review

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I thought this was due as the X6 has now reached 8,000 miles after 8 months.  It is also years since I wrote a proper review.

 

MrsMe is actually doing a few more miles in it with school runs and the like than we expected, but the mileage will drop a little as summer approaches.

 

The X6 was the replacement for our X5 50i and a big change in doing so.  Moreso in engine than anything else. 

 

To begin, the spec we opted for was fairly lengthy on the options and as follows:

 

The 40d with its 306 hp engine

Alpine white with Oyster Nevada leather

20" 336 style alloys (they were a £1,160 option but definitely the best choice in my view)

Dynamic package (high gloss exterior, electric sports seats, anthracite headlining)

Media package (professional Nav, USB audio, BMW assist online

Internet

Voice control

Enhanced bluetooth

DAB

Loudspeaker system professional

BMW Apps interface

Powered boot operation

Aluminiun running boards

Roof rails matt silver

Windscreen shade band

Electric glass sunroof

Sun protection/privacy glass

Reversing assist camera with top view

Lumbar support driver and front passenger

Seat heating front

Rear view mirror digital compass

Air conditioning with four-zone (front and rear) control

Third seat in rear

Extended interior light package

Side view cameras (front)

Speed limit display

 

So it was quite a hefty list but doing the deal in tandem with my 5 series purchase meant we secured a very healthy discount (around 19% or thereabouts).

 

What do we think to it now?

 

Well it is a very, very capable vehicle.  The engine, as I have said many times on here, is a work of art mechanically and sounds nothing like you might expect a diesel too.  It has a serious amount of pull and seemingly endless shove from the torque.  It wants to go from the off and it is actually quite difficult to drive in a reasonably sedate manner.  It just likes to be opened up.

 

However, the mpg on the car (and this is a first for BMW in my experience) is nothing like they claim.  We're averaging 25.9.  According to BMW, with our mixed mileage, we should be much closer to 32-34 mpg.  This isn't unique to us though.  The general accuracy of the X6 40d mpg claim is doubted by about a third of owners from what I've seen online.  We didn't buy the car for mpg though and having gone from the 50i V8 Twin Turbo it is obviously a lot more economical.  It should be better though.

 

It terms of driving I have been surprised by two features of it.  Firstly, it feels completely different to the X5.  I didn't expect this, but the handling of the car is in another league altogether.  It is a car you could genuinely throw around with complete confidence.   It seems to have levels of grip that I would never have imagined from a car of this size, and it feels incredibly well planted.  The steering is good although as with all BMW's nowadays it doesn't offer the feel that they used to.  I can't say it needs to in the X6, and it is the same in the 5 series.

 

If you were to push the X6 around a country lane against the 5 series, taking the power differential out of it, there is no doubt whatsoever that the X6 would obliterate the 5 series in handling.  It would leave it standing.  It is that proficient.

 

Cabin space is very good and the rear is transformed through the Third Seat option.  You free up a lot of space/legroom in opting for this although it brought about a 5 month waiting time for the car (something they didn't tell us).

 

Technology in the car all works well although it should be noted that the X6 is what you might call 'last generation'.  In other words it has the dash of the BMW's from 6 years ago and not the new style layout.  We only tend to feel this when going from the 5 series (new generation) to the X6 when the car layout inside can feel a little dated.  We prefer the 5 series dash without question.  It is much fresher and classier, but the X6 dash is very functional with all the tech hidden behind it.  You can still do 75-80% of the things you can with the 5 series dash configuration, but there's no doubt it isn't as good.

 

The seats are superb, as usual with BMW. 

 

The suspension is excellent.  It is a firm ride but not uncomfortably so.  It has a habit of bouncing hard on bad bumps, but it absorbs potholes well.  It's a little strange in that respect but you get the return in the handling.  We wouldn't change the suspension characteristics anyway and it is certainly better balanced in ride than the X5 was. 

 

The car shrinks around you.  It feels much smaller than it is (it is huge in reality) when you're driving it and that's something we love.  It has all the hallmarks of a hot hatch in that respect.

 

Boot space is severely compromised through the rear hatch design but it still has plenty of storage.  It has never caused us an issue anyway.

 

The sunroof was something I wasn't bothered about but MrsMe insisted on it and it does add light to the cabin (especially as it has the anthracite headlining).  The combination of all the options give us an excellent equipped car that will do pretty much anything we decide to ask of it, but there is one option in particular that is simply brilliant....

 

...it is the front side-view cameras.  I wish I could get these on the 5 series.  These are the wing mounted cameras that look left and right at junctions if there are parked cars obstructing your view.  They're a genuinely fantastic option that we use a lot more than we would have ever anticipated.

 

The 360 top view camera thingy is useful for parking and we had that in the X5.  It was a no-brainer in a car like the X6 where rear visibility is less and it isn't the easiest of cars to reverse into a parking bay.  The option makes it much easier.

 

The brakes are very good with no nose-dive like the X5 had a tendency to exhibit.  That's probably down to the improved suspension more than anything else but they bite early and bite hard when you want them to.

 

In all, it is a superbly engineered car that we think looks very good in this specification.

 

So, we're entirely happy with it?

 

Well no.  That might come as a surprise with all of the above, but there is something we just can't quite put our finger on.  It might be the last generation dash.  It might be the disappointing mpg compared to what should be expected.  It isn't the looks, we like it.  It isn't the options, we think we went to town on them and are glad we did.  It isn't the engine performance.  We just have an ever so slight doubt about whether or not we should have bought something else.  We could have had a very good and almost new full-fat Range Rover for the same kind of money and I do think MrsMe has a desire for one of those that we'll have to resolve in the future. 

 

If we were buying now, 8 months on, we'd be unlikely to go for the X6.  The replacement is due in 2015 but we'll stick with this for a good couple of years yet (not to do so would be silly and it'd be a superficial change above all else when the car is so good).

 

I like the car.  MrsMe likes the car.  We just don't love it.  It is largely flawless in what it does.  Odd really.

 

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Thorough Review and interesting conclusions for anybody considering the X6.

It's not a car I'd ever contemplate, purely on size as it's quite a beast!!

Well done though for posting up the Review.

Edited by TP27

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What's it like on winter tyres?

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What's it like on winter tyres?

 

 

TSN needs to know +++

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Winter tyres?  MrsMe can drive, so there's no need for them. :grin:

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Winter tyres?  MrsMe can drive, so there's no need for them. :grin:

MrMe - loyalty is your biggest asset !!!!!

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I didn't have them on the 5, and we didn't even have them on our eldests A1.

 

Winter tyres, pah.

 

Did anyone struggle this winter?  Even on slicks? :roflmao:

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I didn't have them on the 5, and we didn't even have them on our eldests A1. Winter tyres, pah. Did anyone struggle this winter?  Even on slicks? :roflmao:

We've enjoyed a relative heat wave, most of wintertime !!!!

I expect a couple of feet of fresh snow, mid July. It'll reaffirm the notion of Global Warming as a means to extract huge volumes of taxable cash from us all.........

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Well we've done our bit for the environment by dispensing with 9.5 litres of V8 petrol engines and acquiring 5.0 litres of diesel engines. :roflmao:

 

The CO2 emissions from our household fleet is now about half what it was 2 years ago. :grin:

Edited by NewNiceMrMe

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Well we've done our bit for the environment by dispensing with 9.5 litres of V8 petrol engines and acquiring 5.0 litres of diesel engines. :roflmao: The CO2 emissions from our household fleet is now about half what it was 2 years ago. :grin:

I was interested during the week at the News reports and the hype about CO2.

Given that the biggest pollutant of CO2 are human beings, how come Western Governments aren't advocating historic Chinese style population control.............that'd get the Environmental lobbyists going!!!

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Some environmentalists have suggested that.

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Some environmentalists have suggested that.

Wonder what it'd do locally too from a Council Tax point of view?

Huge engine, taxed with Fuel Duty and VED charges - so you "pay your way".....

Family with four, five, six kids........amazing drain on local Council resources but no additional burden , through Council Tax banding etc....

Gets you thinking........

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We have a big issue in the UK - the feckless are breeding for profit, whilst the middle classes aren't breeding because it's too expensive.

 

We're doomed.

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Nice review, shame you don't love it but at least you like it. I wonder if its because the X5 is such a well rounded car or that you are a bit bored of the 4x4 BMWs?

 

They are doing an X7 soon maybe go for that I'm sure it will be huge and very luxurious. 

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Good write up. I would put money on the fact that (as you allude to) one of the reasons you don't love it is the fact that the dash and interior are from a previous generation to your 5 Series.

I think it is the same with me and the 6 and the Q5. It feels a bit thick compared to the intelligence of the BMW.

I can see them as dogs: One is the bright eyed retriever that responds to your every command instantly. The other is a doting dog that sits by your side looking longingly at you and eventually bothers to get up from the fireside when you insist it does. It serves its purpose but not as well as the other.

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Oh god no.  The X6 is a much better car than the X5, I have no hesitation in saying that.

 

The X5 was good, but despite being a very well rounded car that handled well, it couldn't touch the X6 in handling and ride.

 

It's not that we're bored with them either.  We didn't want to wait for the new X5 (we could have ordered and had one by the time this arrived) because MrsMe wanted something different but didn't want to lose the build quality and other elements the X range and BMW give. 

 

As I say, it is a very good car indeed.  Maybe excellent.  We just don't love it.

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Good write up. I would put money on the fact that (as you allude to) one of the reasons you don't love it is the fact that the dash and interior are from a previous generation to your 5 Series.

I think it is the same with me and the 6 and the Q5. It feels a bit thick compared to the intelligence of the BMW.

I can see them as dogs: One is the bright eyed retriever that responds to your every command instantly. The other is a doting dog that sits by your side looking longingly at you and eventually bothers to get up from the fireside when you insist it does. It serves its purpose but not as well as the other.

 

I think this is closer to it.  Because the dash is the same as the X5 was (albeit more tech behind it in the 2013 X6) it is almost certainly a factor.

 

The 5 series dash technology with the MFD is something very special, and it wouldn't even begin to compete with that.  However, if the X6 had the standard new 5 series dash it'd still be a big plus.

 

The technology integration, despite not being as refined or feature packed as the 5, is still leagues above Audi.  We did look at the Q7 but it was antiquated in technology compared to the X6, never mind the 5.

 

I'm sure other X6 owners might think I'm being very harsh.  I don't think I am.  It's just that, as stupid as it sounds, when we drive the X6 we do just that.  It is a mode of transport.  When we go out in the 5, especially at night with the soft red lighting inside and the dash and tech, it feels special even though it's just a 520d.

 

I think some of this stems from the fact I can't get anything like as enthusiastic about cars as I used to.  To me now they're just, well, cars.  I also think I could be accused of having far too high expectations.  I'd take that criticism completely. 

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Some environmentalists have suggested that.

 

I suggest we start by neutering enviromentalists. +++

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Nice review there Chris and it makes me want another one.

 

Everyone poo poo'd mine when I got it, calling it a pointless vehicle... fact is, non of them had driven one, so I ignored it all.

 

They are genuinely fantastic cars, very different to the X5's even though they share so many common parts.

 

To say I'd have another is testament really, I never have the same car twice, but this and an E92 M3 are the two cars I would.

 

 Glad you're both enjoying it still... and 25.9mpg isn;t THAT bad  :D

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