2015 BMW X6 M – First Look and Review
Misunderstood. That’s the one word that seems to best characterize BMW’s behemoth M cars, the X6 M and mechanically identical X5 M. The launch of these models at the end of the last decade did raise eyebrows among purists but BMW has sold almost 20,000 M SUVs (excuse me, SAVs) since 2009, nothing to snicker at with a base price of around $100,000.
The X5 and X6 Ms are back, and they are even more true to the spirit of BMW M than the last time around. “With the first generation, there were some compromises,” a product manager told journalists gathered at the cars’ launch. “The new SAVs were designed to make the M3 or M5 owner immediately feel at home,” he added. While the exterior doesn’t seem to differ much from the previous generation – the most noticeable changes are larger 21” twin-spoke wheels (up from 20″s in the previous generation), a deep, rising crease in the rear fender, new front and rear fascias, and a functioning rear spoiler – it’s what’s inside that counts the most.
INSIDE THE 2015 X6 M
Open the door and you’ll find Aragon brown Merino leather 18-Way Power M Multi-Function racing-style bucket seats (with headrests adorned with embossed M logos) that feel as if BMW’s traditional Comfort Seats were sent to both graduate and racing school. Adjust the articulated upper backrest and thigh support and off you go.
The remainder of the interior is equally M specific. The instrument cluster features red needles and white background lighting, the steering wheel has two programmable M-specific buttons (up from one in previous models), and the center display screen has an M Drive menu.
The cluster shows the selected gear, system status (engine response, Dynamic Damper Control, and M Servotronic), and M Drive mode.
Finishing touches include the anthracite Alcantara headliner, what BMW calls “aluminum trace” trim, a leather dashboard, and knobs and buttons that are in just the right place with just the right feel, with the (admittedly minor) exception of the flip-down sunglasses holder, which had a somewhat more pedestrian feel to it.