The 2021 BMW X6 40i is completely new for the 2021 model year, adopting many of the features, styling touches, and powertrains from the still-new and more traditionally-shaped X5. There’s an M50i version of the X5, too, but we’re focusing on its slick and less practical sibling. Especially, the M50i, which has BMW’s powerful 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 that makes 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. It’s not the most powerful version of that engine, but it’s more than enough in a vehicle this big. BMW pairs the torquey V8 with the smooth ZF eight-speed automatic, and since it’s the M50i, it also gets the M Sport exhaust as standard equipment.
There isn’t much debate in the office about the engine (it’s fantastic), but there’s plenty of controversy surrounding the styling. BMW kept the same general shape as the X6 before it, but it’s different enough to warrant a re-evaluation of the SUV coupe argument. When compared to the X5, and X6 loses 6.5 cubic-feet of cargo space behind the second row and 12.7 cubes when the second row is folded flat. That’s a significant loss, but the bigger loss is in the practical room, as the X6’s cargo area isn’t as square and luggage-friendly as the X5’s is. There’s also more rear legroom in an X5 (1.7 inches) and more rear headroom too (1.2 inches). With those compromises in mind, we’ll shift to pricing. The base price of a 2021 BMW X6 40i is $66,645, but ours stickered at $79,645 after options. Good work keeping it under six digits, BMW. For $3,350 we got the “Full Merino Leather,” ensuring that most surfaces were covered by the especially high-quality BMW leather. The $2,600 Dynamic Handling package added the adaptive suspension, active anti-roll bars, and four-wheel steering.
The $1,700 Driving Assistance package added BMW’s traffic jam assistant and the “Active Driving Assistant Pro” that’ll take over completely at low speeds. A Premium Package for $1,250 adds a remote engine start, a head-up display, and gesture control. Appearance-wise, ours had $1,900 22-inch M alloy wheels and the $500 illuminated kidney grille. Nearly $100,000 is a lot of coins to spend for a crossover, but at 4.1 seconds to 60 mph, there’s a whole lot of performance that comes along for the ride. Associate Editor Byron Hurd: This was my first time in BMW’s sport “activity” coupe, and I had mixed feelings.
- 3.0L I-6 Engine
- 8-spd w/OD Transmission
- 335 @ 5,500 rpm Horsepower
- 330 @ 1,500 rpm Torque
- Rear-wheel Drive type
- ABS and driveline Traction control
- 1st and 2nd row exterior express open/close sliding and tilting glass Sunroof
- 20″ silver w/painted accents aluminum Wheels
- Front air conditioning, dual zone automatic
- Driver and front passenger heated-cushion, heated-seatback Heated front seats
- AM/FM/HD/Satellite-prep, seek-scan Radio
- 1st row LCD monitor
- Keyfob (all doors) Remote keyless entry
- Front Fog/driving lights
- Heated mirrors
- Windshield wipers – rain sensing
- Vernasca leather Seat trim
- Driver and passenger Lumbar support
- Navigation system
- Park Distance Control Parking assist