2008 BMW X6
The Perfect SUV - If You're Batman

We Like: Twin-turbo kick (plenty even with the six) and physics-defying
We Don't Like: Cramped cabin, lousy cargo room, at-times punishing ride.

Probably no vehicle in this year's field generated more buzz-pro and con-than the X6. "Considering its heft, this bad boy handles really well on the pavement," writes Floyd. "Useless but somehow cool," notes Stone. "Feels like a cheetah disguised as a brick," adds Kiino.

BMW's new SUV without the "U" doesn't really know what it is. It's big and immensely heavy (nearly 5000 pounds), yet seats only four (sort of) and offers limited luggage space in back. It's pricey enough to char your American Express Black Card: more than $63K as-tested with the twin-turbo six and easily a good $10 grand more for a similarly optioned twin-turbo V-8 xDrive 50i. It rides tall like an off-roader, but would prefer not to get dirty. Visibility is limited, particularly to the rear. The sport-biased chassis will hammer your backside if the tarmac picks up any lint.

And yet...on the right road the X6 performs as if it never heard of Sir Isaac Newton. 5000 pounds? So what? Even with the "base" twin-turbo six, the X6 whooshes to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds (engine and six-speed auto flow and fly like a champion figure-skating pair).

Handling prowess can be breathtaking; more than one driver remarked that the X6 Hoovered through turns "easily 10 or 15 mph faster than anything else." Yes, the X6 has its charms. Someone with silly money and few common vehicular needs-say, Batman-would enjoy an X6 as a fourth or fifth car.

This BMW makes zero sense for anyone else. There is no "utility" in its mission profile. None. "Sport" it can do-but not as well as even other machines wearing the propeller badge. As Lassa writes: "Give me a 335i sedan with six-speed manual and the $10K savings." And even many of its "cool" features disappoint. The transmission lever is overly fussy. And "the backup camera is absolutely lousy," notes Loh." Grainy, noisy, useless at night. The Japanese made better systems two generations ago."

Then Loh really warms up. "I'm a red-blooded, meat-eating male, but even I can't stomach the waste this vehicle represents."
- Arthur St. Antoine


2008 BMW X6
Base price range $53,325-$63,825
Price as tested $63,825 (xDrive 35i)
Vehicle layout Front engine, AWD, 4-pass, 4-door SUV
Engine 3.0L/300-hp/300-lb-ft DOHC twin-turbo I-6
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Curb weight (dist f/r) 4985 lb (50/50%)
Wheelbase 115.5 in
Length x width x height 192.0 x 78.1 x 66.5 in
0-60 mph 5.9 sec
Quarter mile 14.5 sec @ 93.7 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 111 ft
Lateral acceleration 0.87 g (avg)
MT figure eight 26.4 sec @ 0.66 g (avg)
EPA city/hwy econ 15/20 mpg
MT observed fuel econ 13.2 mpg
CO2 emmisions 1.15 lb/mi
RATINGS
Engineering ****
Design **
Interior/functionality *
Performance *****
On-road refinement ***
Off-road ability **
Value *
BOTTOM LINE
"Apparently," writes Lassa, "This is the ultimate small-penis compensation machine