About 2015 BMW X6

The BMW X6 is redesigned for 2015. Although it looks much the same as last year’s model, the sheet metal is, in fact, new and this luxury crossover is slightly longer, taller and wider. Its updated interior includes standard five-passenger seating, a much-needed increase in room for rear passengers and a wealth of the latest electronic features. For those who don’t need all-wheel drive, there’s now a six-cylinder X6 model with rear-wheel drive, while every AWD model enjoys a slight increase in fuel economy. The optional V8 gets a power boost.

The 2015 BMW X6 is a midsize crossover styled to resemble a coupe, although it has four doors and seating for five as standard. Unlike BMW’s X5, it does not have an optional third-row seat. There are three primary models: the rear-wheel-drive sDrive 35i and the all-wheel-drive xDrive35i and xDrive50i. The high-performance X6 M model returns later in 2015.

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For 2015, the X6 sDrive 35i and xDrive35i have a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine that develops 300 hp and 300 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard for the sDrive 35i, and all-wheel drive is standard for the xDrive 35i. Both models use an eight-speed automatic transmission. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 22 mpg combined for the sDrive 35i and 21 mpg combined for the xDrive 35i. During Edmunds performance testing, the xDrive35i went from zero to 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds, which is a quick time for the segment.

Every 2015 BMW X6 includes stability and traction control, antilock brakes, automatic brake drying, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. Also standard is the BMW Assist emergency communications system, which provides automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle recovery and on-demand roadside assistance. Other safety features that are optional or standard (depending on the trim level) include a rearview camera, blind-spot and lane-departure warning systems, a forward collision warning and mitigation system with pedestrian detection, sideview and around-view parking cameras and a night-vision system. During Edmunds performance testing, braking performance was excellent, as an X6 xDrive35i with summer tires came to a stop from 60 mph in 108 feet, which is much shorter than other luxury SUVs and even on pace with some high-performance sports cars.

The X6’s interior has always been a strong suit, and the redesigned cabin for 2015 is even nicer than before. With a Jumbotron-sized 10.2-inch screen positioned at the top of the center dash, an all-new electronic gauge cluster and rich-looking upholstery and trim throughout, BMW hasn’t cut any corners when in here. The slick and attractive iDrive interface works well for controlling and adjusting all of the X6’s systems, though in our experience it typically takes a few more clicks and twists of the control knob to get what you want; some rival systems are easier to use. Front-seat passengers will welcome both the X6’s exclusive padded knee bracing along the center console (a feature the X5 doesn’t have) and the deep door pockets for oversize drink bottles and other supplies. Perhaps more important is the extra legroom and headroom in the backseat, which now seats three across in the standard configuration. Getting in and out of the backseat can be a bit of an event, too. The sloping rear roof forces most adults to duck down pretty low to climb in, while also maneuvering around the arch for the rear wheelwell.

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BMW’s insistence on performance suspension tuning and high-end hardware help the 2015 BMW X6 bridge the gap between a taut sport sedan and a large, high-riding crossover. The X6 has a smooth ride over bumpy surfaces but it can also be switched to Sport mode for a stiffer, more taut driving experience. Handling and steering are acute  but there is minimal feedback through the steering wheel. The X6 can be driven quickly, but it isn’t a very rewarding experience. One of the clearest realizations of the X6’s size occurs on challenging back roads, where you discover that the X6 is neither small nor light. However, your sense of the 2015 X6’s considerable size will quickly be erased by the brilliant performance from both the inline six-cylinder and V8 engines.