2009 BMW X6 XDrive50i

By Jonathan Spira on 1 December 2008
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I was a bit conflicted about the BMW X6, given its weight and size.  croppedx6But with the X6, BMW answers the question of what happens when you build an SUV that handles like a sports sedan.  First, you call it a Sports Activity Coupe, even if it has four doors (the low roofline helps although it limits visibility). Then you endow it with a low center of gravity and a lot of technology.  And then you drive it.

Dynamic Performance Control (DPC) monitors yaw, speed, steering input, and lateral forces and then distributes power to the rear wheels to optimize agility, stability, and traction.  The result: incredible handling for a 5,000-pound car.

The X6, with standard xDrive all-wheel drive, comes with a choice of a 3.0-liter inline six or a 4.4-liter V-8, both twin turbo charged.

Inside, as one would expect in a BMW, everything is perfectly positioned: the steering wheel, seats, climate control knobs, even the new electronic shifter (which I’m slowly getting used to).  There are copious amounts of room for front and rear passengers; indeed, rear passengers get individual seats with a center console and armrest.

The X6 is also the first BMW that allows the driver or a fellow business traveler to use Google to send destination(s) to the car’s satellite navigation system (the feature will be standard for almost all 2009 BMWs); one additional click and the car calculates the route.

2009 BMW X6 xDrive50i
Base price/price-as-tested $
Drivetrain Front engine, all-wheel drive
Engine 4.4-liter/400 hp/twin- turbocharged 32-valve V-8
Transmission 6-speed Sport Automatic with paddle shifters
Curb weight (lbs) 5269
Wheelbase (inches) 116.9
Length x width x height (inches) 192.1 x78.1  x 66.5
0-60 mph (seconds) 5.3
EPA city/highway fuel economy (mpg) 13/18

–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.

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