BMW has taken some heat – from here and other sources – for the effort it has taken to introduce an uglified X5. Not only is the X6 odd-looking; but its purpose is still somewhat undiscovered. One might suggest that the X6 is BMW’s answer to the question nobody asked. Or even thought to ask.
Restrict practicality and utility while at the same time making gains in sportiness. Who’s looking for that kind of vehicle? We all asked that question years ago when alternatives to the typical large sport-utility vehicles began to appear. We all learned that there always seems to be someone willing to lose a smidge of usefulness to gain a more sportatious reputation. After all, why did anybody purchase the first-generation X5 when more traditional (domestic) choices were more SUVish?
Apparently for the same reason that some consumers are interested in the X6, rather than the X5. Consider the X5 normal now, in the same vein as the ‘normal’ Porsche Cayenne and ‘normal’ Mercedes-Benz ML. Yup, the X5 is just an everyday crossover/SUV; same as the Infiniti FX and Audi Q7. Who wants normal?
I’ll tell you who doesn’t want normal: the folks who are going to shell out $53,000 on a base X6 xDrive35i. This is the 300 horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.0L six-cylinder; not the naturally-aspirated 3.0L six that the X5 uses. Nonetheless, this six-cylinder X6 battles with the V8 X5 and its 350 horsepower. Battles in what way? Price.
The X6 buyer who chooses to run cheaply, rather than requiring 400 horsepower from the twin-turbo V8 of the xDrive50i ($63,775 with destination), will save only a couple thousand dollars when compared with the V8 X5. At the same time as driving an ugly duckling that’s still trying to find its place in this world. Oh, while also losing space – not only compared with the X5 but with the smallest sibling, the X3, as well.
And another thing. BMW calls the X6 a Sports Activity Coupe. Beyond the straight dorkiness of that, there’s also the opposition to conventional thinking in which ‘coupe’ equals ‘two doors’. Puhleeeeeze.