The new BMW X6 Diesel Estate is a hefty, aggressive looking SUV that’s fun to drive and fairly economical.
One thing it isn’t for a BMW is pretty, but inside there’s no arguing with the amount of luxury on offer. It’s got plenty of road presence and it is indeed its unusual, one-of-a-kind styling that will appeal to buyers who want something a bit different.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 BMW X6 Diesel Estate review.
BMW is a well-established global brand, to find out more about their history read our summary here.
Overview of the BMW X6 Diesel Estate
On the Road
The X6 is as heavy as it looks, and tips the scales at just over 2,000kg. However, it disguises its weight well and it certainly doesn’t feel intimidating to drive. That said, it doesn’t drive quite like a much smaller sports car, despite BMW’s claims to this end. The brand would surely have to be home to a team of NASA scientists to make that happen.
However, they’ve disguised its weight as best they can. Moreover, it’s no heavier than last time, which is a bonus.
Its tyres are absolutely massive and they offer plenty of grip, while its suspension is set up to resist body roll in bends. Active Roll Stabilisation further helps to keep body roll in check, and the only time you’ll notice any is if you change direction sharply.
Unusually for a BMW, the car lacks steering feel (despite coming with electric steering) but it’s still fairly responsive.
There are four driving modes to flick through, starting with Eco Pro and ending with Sport+, with the former saving you pennies at the pump and the latter priming the car so that it’s more engaging.
In terms of the engines, the 3.0 diesel model is expected to account for the bulk of sales. It develops 254bhp and has a 0-62 time of 6.7 seconds. It’s economical, refined, and has a good amount of pulling power.
That said, you’re not exactly spoiled for choice. The only other diesel model in the range is the explosive M50d model that’s powered by the same 3.0-litre straight six engine. With power topped up to 376bhp and a 0-62 time of 5.2 seconds, it’s going to seem excessive to most buyers.
It’s also a noisy, beast of an engine and we get the impression that BMW may have gone a bit too far with this one. The 3.0d should be enough to satisfy all your needs.
BMW X6 Diesel Estate Interior, Design and Build
The X6 has a cabin that will be familiar to anyone who’s stepped inside a modern BMW. It affords the driver excellent visibility, its seat and steering wheel offer plenty of adjustability, and insulation is good.
One advantage of choosing the M50d model is that it gets adjustable suspension that lets you switch the car’s settings from sporty to comfort.
The driver-focused dashboard will please enthusiasts, and the cockpit has a very cosy feel to it. All models come with BMW’s excellent iDrive infotainment system, which is accompanied by a 10.25” screen. This means button clutter isn’t an issue, and the dashboard is clean, stylish and benefits from some very suave, top-notch trims that are great to look at.
The cabin is peppered with soft-touch plastics, and all models come with ambient lighting and leather upholstery.
Is the BMW X6 Diesel Estate practical? Last time around, it could only accommodate two adults in the back but there’s now room for a third passenger, with BMW removing the two individual rear seats in favour of a bench. Leg and headroom is decent, but the coupe body limits headroom in the back.
Storage spaces are useful and include a lidded area between the driver and passenger seats, while the boot measures 580-litres. That means there’s an incredible 75-litres more boot space than last time. It could have been more but for the sloping roofline, and if you fold the rear seats you can increase it to 1,525-litres. It’s not the most user-friendly of boots, however.
Equipment and Safety of the BMW X6 Diesel Estate
Standard kit across the range is good, with the entry-level model getting xenon headlights, heated seats, automatic lights and wipers, sat-nav, an 8-speed automatic box, a digital radio, the brand’s Professional multimedia system, Dakota leather seats, USB interface, a 20GB hard drive and Bluetooth.
The M Sport models add twin exhaust pipes, a few styling tweaks, an M Sport steering wheel, 20” alloys and adaptive M Sport suspension.
In terms of how safe the car is, it hasn’t yet been crash-tested by Euro NCAP. However, we have no concerns over its safety, and its standard kit includes tyre pressure monitoring, electronic stability control, airbag’s, adaptive cruise control, as well as front and rear parking sensors.
Optional safety kit includes pedestrian detection, night vision and a 360-degree camera.
How reliable is the BMW? Read our honest and unbiased summary of BMW reliability here.
Costs of the BMW X6 Diesel Estate
Prices for the new car start out from £36,710 and rise to £52,195. For more information on our leasing deals, check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, the X6 will be a rank outsider if running costs are a priority of yours. The xDrive30d model manages to return 40.9mpg, but this is the cheapest things get and it’s hardly an attractive number. CO2 emissions, meanwhile, are as high as 183g/km of CO2, and the car has a 37% BiK rating – which is the highest there is.
Insurance isn’t good either, with the smallest diesel sitting in group 45 out of 50.
The M50d diesel model, meanwhile, returns 36mpg at best.
Pros and Cons of the BMW X6 Diesel Estate
Excellent body control
For such a powerful car, body control is excellent.
A Marmite car
It’s not pretty and some buyers will love it while others will hate it.
The basic diesel engine covers the 0-62 sprint in 6.7 seconds, while the M50d model can do it in almost 5.0 seconds.
Expensive to run
This is likely to be a deal breaker for some of you. No diesel model can return better than 40.9mpg economy, and that’s only possible on a “good day.”
Not very practical
Its Coupe body contributes to poor rear headroom and an overall lack of space.
BMW X6 Diesel Estate vs Mercedes GLE Coupe vs Porsche Macan Diesel S
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 BMW X6 Diesel Estate review.
BMW X6 Diesel Estate vs Mercedes GLE Coupe
The new Mercedes GLE Coupe is big, bold and fast, and has a massive boot.
It’s also sporty-looking, but here’s the caveat: It doesn’t drive like a sports car. It’s too big for that, once again the laws of physics have got in the way. Despite being billed as a Coupe, it’s an SUV-come-Coupe, and it doesn’t hide its weight too well.
True, the GLE takes corners with confidence, but that’s more to do with the sheer amount of grip provided by the tyres than anything to do with the chassis.
All models are paired up with a 9-speed automatic transmission as standard, and it’s a smooth and pretty responsive ‘box.
In terms of the engines, our top pick is the 350d model. It’s powered by a 3.0-litre engine, develops 255bhp and has an awesome amount of pulling power from down low in the rev range. It’s a superb engine that suits the easygoing nature of the car and can complete the 0-62 dash in 7.0 seconds flat.
It is, however, the only diesel engine available but we think it offers a better blend of economy and performance than the petrols. That said, it isn’t cheap to run. It returns 39.2mpg economy and emits 187g/km of CO2. Its BiK rating of 37%, moreover, is high, as is its insurance group of 45, and it’s unfortunate that Mercedes aren’t offering their cheaper 250d engine with the GLE.
Inside, the interior is well-built and looks smart enough. Mercedes have held it to the same high standards as the standard GLE, and the dashboard is good to look at and logically arranged.
That said, design-wise, the GLE’s cabin falls short of expectations. There are certainly more stylish interiors in the Mercedes canon and it misses out on a number of advancements. Compared to other Mercedes models, the GLE Coupe looks a tad dated.
The brand’s COMAND infotainment system is all present and correct at least, and it comes with 3D mapping and full internet capability.
Is the Mercedes GLE Coupe practical? It’s probably as spacious as you’d expect a car like this to be. Upfront, the driver has plenty of room to get comfortable, and the steering wheel adjusts for reach and angle. Getting into the front is easy, although big wheel arches make accessing the rear a bit trickier.
Once installed in the rear, passengers should be happy enough with the amount of legroom on offer, but the sloping roofline does eat into headroom.
The boot, meanwhile, measures 650-litres, which makes it significantly bigger than the BMW.
BMW – £36,710 – £52,195
Mercedes – £53,475
BMW X6 Diesel Estate vs Porsche Macan Diesel S
The new Porsche Macan Diesel S is easily one of the best large cars to drive ever. It’s refined, spacious and looks fantastic.
The Macan Diesel S model sits in the middle of the range. It’s powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 engine that develops a titanic 335bhp and boasts 580Nm of torque. The 0-62 sprint is covered in 6.3 seconds and top speed is 143mph.
Power delivery is smooth, there’s plenty of punch available, and the car feels genuinely quick.
In terms of the way the Macan drives, there’s nothing to complain about. It holds the road like a boat holds the water, four-wheel-drive is standard, and as well as being capable on-road, the Macan is no slouch off-road. It’s not quite a Range Rover, but it isn’t far off.
The steering is accurate and well-weighted, and body lean is minimal. Ride quality is top-notch, too.
Running costs? The S Diesel is the shining star in the Macan range in this respect, returning as much as 46.3mpg economy while emitting 159g/km of CO2. Compare this to the equivalent petrol model, which returns 33mpg at best and emits over 200g/km.
Inside, air suspension is an optional extra well worth adding if you want a super cosseted ride, but even without it the standard suspension does a decent job of smoothing out poor road surfaces.
Other than that, insulation is good and, despite all its power, the Macan is a relaxing place to be.
Interior quality is good, with the materials looking robust and durable enough to stand up to whatever your family throws at it. Design-wise, the Macan’s dashboard has sporty touches that are contrasted with moments of elegance, such as the clock that sits above the air vents and sat-nav.
Overall, it’s a very classy interior but is the Porsche Macan Diesel S practical? Space up front is excellent, and even in the rear, there should be enough room for three adults to get comfortable back there.
Headroom is the biggest concern, and specifying the panoramic sunroof makes things worse. There’s also no option of a third row of seats, but there are plenty of storage solutions here and there.
The boot, meanwhile, measures 500-litres which is not as generous as the BMW.
Porsche – £45,915 – £69,505
Verdict of our 2018 BMW X6 Diesel Estate Review
It’s not often that you get a BMW that polarises people, but the X6 is pretty niche. There’s no doubting that it’s a powerhouse car that’s rich in luxury, but its rakish looks won’t be universally loved, while its high running costs and the fact that it doesn’t get a smaller engine will be off-putting to some.
For anyone who wants something different, however, the powerful BMW X6 Diesel Estate is an interesting choice.