High price, fuel economy, off-road ability, rearward visibility
The X6 is what you get when you chop the top off an X5. It is dubbed the world's first "Sport Activity Coupe," which unfortunately abbreviates down to "SAC." While still technically a 4WD, the new-for-2009 X6 comes in two models, namely the XDrive35i and the XDrive50i, both being powerful high-end models, in keeping with its exclusive nature. It is therefore powered by either a 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-6 or a 4.4-litre turbocharged V8, both mated to 6-speed manually-shiftable automatics. The X6 gets a new all-wheel drive system, without low-range gearing, but improving on-road handling. Redesigned to be shorter in height than its practical sibling, the X6 offers seating for only four in its chop-top cabin. A whole host of features include standard bi-xenon headlights, BMW's controversial iDrive computer, 19-inch alloy wheels, run-flat tyres, tyre-pressure monitor, 10-way power front seats, and new leather colour schemes. Other available features include active steering, automatic tailgate, adaptive headlights, rear-mounted DVD system, reverse-view camera, satellite-navigation, four-zone air-conditioning, and bigger rims. Standard safety features include front, side and side head airbags, and crash-activated front-seat headrests, as well as stability control, ABS and a fancy new driving aid called Dynamic Performance Control.
Mechanically fine, but lots of random electrical issues reported, such as faults with glovebox motor failure, instrument panel failure, ambient-light sensor failure, and unexpected radio resets. Take "check engine" warning seriously, as it could mean anything, from a defective fuel-filler cap, to worn-out sensors, to injector failure, with all problems not affecting all owners. Keep a lookout for electrical problems. Make sure the power steering gear and water pump have been replaced. BMW has identified a number of N63 V8 engine components with high failure rates, including timing chains that stretch and snap, leaking crankcase ventilation and fuel lines, as well as malfunctioning fuel injectors, mass airflow sensors and vacuum pumps, fixed under warranty. May need oil top-up between services. EfficientDynamics fuel-saving systems cause short battery life, may require battery change on every service interval.