2009 BMW X6 xDrive50i Car Review Video

We recently took the 2009 BMW X6 xDrive50i for a test drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains while visiting BMW’s Spartanburg manufacturing plant. Our Publisher, Charlie Romero, was quite impressed with this new segment, saying that the X6 could be the best-handling SUV from BMW. He even went so far as to say it handled better than a standard 5 Series.

The X6’s great handling may have something to do with BMW’s intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive technology, which is a standard feature. The 2009 X6 is also the first vehicle in the world to offer Dynamic Performance Control for unique agility, tracking stability, precision, and traction abilities. Dynamic Performance Control allows the engine to apply torque to each of the wheels as needed, with a gauge in the front dash to show how the power is being applied and distributed.

The new X6 is very quick, coming with two gasoline engine choices. The xDrive35i is powered by the inline-six cylinder with twin turbo technology that produces 300 horsepower at 5,800-6,250 rpm and 300 lb-ft of torque at 1,400-5,000 rpm. We tested the X6 xDrive50i that has the V8 with twin turbo and direct injection. This brand-new engine produces 407 horsepower at 5,500-6,400 rpm and 442 lb-ft of torque at 1,800-4,500 rpm. Both engines are mated to the same 6-speed tranny that is in the X5. Paddle shifters, in addition to the electronic shifter, are standard in conjunction with the 6-speed automatic transmission. These shifters, however, are dual action paddle shifters, meaning that you can downshift or upshift on either side.

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The X6 has the same wheelbase as the X5, though the exterior design is a bit deceiving, giving the illusion that the X6 is shorter than the X5. This wheelbase has a very sharp turning radius making ingress and egress from parking spaces an easy task. The exterior design of the new X6 is meant to maximize on aerodynamics but that design does not hinder the very aggressive styling. The X6 has a sporty stance thanks to the muscular wheel arches and bulging fenders at the front and rear of the vehicle, making up some of the unique proportions and lines that are clearly visible from the side view of this SAC. Function, in addition to aggressive styling, was also taken into consideration when designing the X6. Numerous air intakes are built into the front fascia, with every styling feature having a purpose like cooling the turbochargers.

The interior of the X6 is clean and futuristic, leaving out unnecessary fluff. It is crafted with high-quality materials like the dark wood-grain in our tester and double-stitched leather on the dash. The cockpit of the X6 has a seating position more like that found in a sports coupe while the rest of the vehicle keeps the unique utility features of a SUV. Like most SUVs today, the rear hatch closes with the touch of a button. The storage area is already outfitted with hooks to secure cargo, giving the driver typical trunk capacity by today’s standards. The backseat passengers each have separate seats and climate controls, unlike the X5’s SAV’s bench seating. Even Charlie, at 6’3”, fit in the back with enough space for comfort during a day’s-long road trip.

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For those who are looking to customize their purchase, the X6 has numerous upgrade options from HD radio, Satellite radio, Nappa leather, dark wood or bamboo trim, navigation, and running boards to name a few. The package options include: rear climate, premium sound, cold weather, active ventilated seats, sport, and technology. However, be prepared for those options to add up. Base price will start around $63,900, hopefully topping out in the ballpark of $75,000 with the addition various options.

If the estimated fuel economy ratings of 13 mpg in the city and18 mpg on the highway is not that appealing you can wait for the hybrid drive, which will be available in 2009.

Click here for more 2009 BMW X6 photos.

5 comments

  1. Am I the only one to wonder what exactly is the point of this vehicle?

    I own four BMWs, including an X5. The X5 is a “sport activity vehicle” in that it can tow a camper trailer (up to 6500 lbs) take kayaks on the roof, and haul a dog in the back.

    And yes, I do all those things with my X5.

    But the X6…. Well, you can’t get the dog in the back for starters (at least not a retired greyhound). Kayaks on the roof? I suppose so, but where is the luggage rack? I suppose the towing capacity is the same as the X5, so it is useful there.

    But other than that, I just don’t get it. They took a useful vehicle and took its greatest use (the large cargo area) OUT – leaving us with a gas-hungry SUV (13 mpg?) introduced at an inopportune time. I mean, this thing will be as popular as a Hummer! People will be thowing rocks at it!

    And BMW and Mercedes have to STOP calling four-door cars (or trucks) “coupes”. This thing is about as “coupe” as my Ford Pickup (at least THAT has two doors!).

    If want something sporty that hauls four people in comfort, the BMW 5-series or M5 fits the bill nicely. This thing gives you the gas consumption and handling of the X5 with the interior room of a 5-series sedan.

    I just don’t get it. And I suspect the market won’t get it either. I don’t see this as a big seller for BMW. But I guess time will tell.

    As a BMW shareholder, I am disappointed that the company wasted valuable engineering time on this project.

    1. Well at this time I think it’s safe to say as a BMW shareholder you will be very happy. All the 2008’s sold out, some folks had to wait months to get them. I think the market got it.

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  3. This is the fifth BMW I’ve purchased. I did not expect to buy it–talk about poor impulse control–it was black with blacked out windows and triple black interior. It looked nasty and I wasn’t into nasty. But I made the mistake of asking for a test drive. Wow.

    I don’t care that it looks like a Pontiac Azteca that went to designer school. I don’t care that it doesn’t make sense. I don’t care that the rear camera is vital for successfully backing up. There is a viseral responce that makes thinking receed into the distant background.

    I traded a 335xi for this. I live on a remote wilderness country road, driving 20 miles each way on it, every day. It is the kind of road the motorcycle clubs cruise on the weekend, one with more deer than cars; winter time is constant rain, it snows 5-6 inches 5-6 times each winter, and this road is the last one in the county to get plowed… so I wanted an all wheel drive vehicle.

    I drove this road yesterday (it’s summer); on one curve with a posted 35mph sign, I traveled through the curve with only moderate awareness and no concerns, then as I started to accelerate out of the corner, I looked down at the gages, and realized I was already going 68 mph! I had truly expected to see 35-40 mph on the speedo. This is not a trivial miscalculation. You could get hurt by mistakes like that.

    5000 pounds at 90 mph leaving the roadway and plunging 50 feet into a cold mountain stream is not a mistake that I want to make. I don’t know where the limits are on this vehicle, and I don’t know that I really want to find out. I’ve never driven something this big, this hard before.

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