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2006 New Car Model Guide, Model Guide, New Car Reviews, BMW Cars, Trucks, & SUVs


2006 BMW New Car Model GuideBMW of Germany builds incomparable performance machines in an extensive line of sedans and coupes, station wagons and sport-utility vehicles, plus several drop-tops. The 2006 fleet culminates with a stunning re-do of flagship 7-Series full-size sedans. Also new is the next generation of designs for compact-class 3-Series sedans and sport wagons. Sleek 6-Series coupes and convertibles are rebadged as 650i models to reflect a larger V8 engine aboard.

BMW 7 Series
2006 BMW 7 Series

A face-lift marks BMW's full-size 7-Series luxury/performance sedans and with it comes two powerful engines. Models include the V8-powered 750i and stretched 750Li, plus V12 versions of 760i and 760Li. These line-topping cars bring sophisticated electronics governing power production and vehicle stability, and dazzling interactive voice commands for operating navigation, climate and communication equipment.

Updated 7-Series models project a new kidney grille with revised fascias fore and aft plus xenon high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps. Also evident on the body are refined lines and more chrome highlights. The V8 engine employed by 750i and 750Li expands in displacement from 4.4 to 4.8 liters to deliver 360 hp. The 12-cylinder engine for 760i and 760Li carries forward with a 6.0-liter aluminum plant that develops 408 hp and features BMW's Valvetronic system plus fully variable bi-VANOS camshaft controls. Both engines mate with a six-speed automatic with shift-by-wire technology.

BMW 6 Series
2006 BMW 6 Series

Mid-size 645Ci models -- a hardtop coupe or soft top convertible -- switch to a new name as the 650i due to a new powertrain with engine Start/Stop button. The 4.8-liter V8 generates 360 hp with transmission choices including a ZF six-speed electronic automatic with Steptronic manual mode. High-tech hardware includes Active Roll Stabilization (ARS) to reduce body roll and optional Active Steering Control (ASC) that can vary the steering ratio to match a driver's style and pavement conditions.

A plush cockpit features articulated bucket seats and trimmings in leathers and hardwoods. There are luxurious appointments and power controls with memory settings, plus electronic tools like BMW's computerized iDrive controller. The coupe carries a vast panorama glass moonroof but the convertible gets a one-button automatic mechanism to fold the lid into a slot behind the cabin and seal it with a rigid metal tonneau cover.

BMW 5 Series
2006 BMW 5 Series

BMW's mid-size cars grow for 2006 with three new all-wheel-drive (AWD) models. There are two sedans labeled 525xi and 530xi and a five-door sport wagon as the 530xi. Rear-wheel-drive (RWD) sedans include the 525i, 530i and top-trim 550i. Six-pack power increases with in-line-six engines gaining Valvetronic variable valve lift. For 525i and 530xi, the plant delivers 215 hp, but for 530i and 530xi output climbs to 255 hp. Deluxe 550i sedan with the new V8 off the 7-Series runs to 360 hp.

All 5-Series cars for 2006 incorporate the engine Start/Stop button also found on 7-Series sedans. All also provide the spectrum of BMW mechanical systems for performance and safety, including Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) that can correct potentially dangerous car movements when wheels slip laterally. This year, BMW upgrades the DSC equipment by adding Brake Fading Compensation, Brake Standby, Brake Drying, plus Start-off Assistant.

BMW 3 Series
2006 BMW 3 Series


The 3-Series string of compact cars from BMW includes four-door sedans, a five-door sport wagon plus two-door coupes or convertibles. First ashore for 2006 are the next generation of designs for 3-Series sedans and sport wagon. The 325i and 330i sedans of 2006 ride on an expanded RWD platform with longer wheelbase and wider track to enhance chassis dynamics and hone handling traits. Revamped six-cylinder engines are dropped into these cars, including a lightweight 3.0-liter plant for 330i rated at 255 hp and a version for 325i scoring 215 hp. New AWD versions with BMW's xDrive system are the sedans 325xi and 330xi, plus the 325xi sport wagon offering AWD exclusively. These compacts also carry a load of sophisticated electronic vehicle controls adapted from BMW's 5-Series sedans, such as DSC with added features and the Head Protection System (HPS) air bags.


The compact-class coupe and convertible from BMW in 2006 extend issues of 2005 but add three new shades to the palette of body paints -- Quartz Blue, Monaco Blue and Deep Green. A new power rear sunshade goes on the option sheet for the coupe, and the convertible's folding ragtop offers motorized power movement.

BMW M Series
2006 BMW M Series

A line of ultra performance cars from BMW continues with the M3 coupe and convertible, but a new M5 model arrives with massive firepower. Nomenclature for the series uses the alphabetical designation of M, as in muscle. The number 5 signifies BMW's mid-size 5-Series car based on the new 550i sedan, and a 3 represents the 3-Series coupe and convertible.

All of the thrust for new M5 stems from a 5.0-liter V10 that blows the doors off with 507 hp and massive torque through a seven-speed sequential manual gearbox (SMG) that brings both automatic and manual shift programs. BMW projects the zero-to-60 acceleration time for this new super car to clock in around four seconds and change. M3 coupe and convertible pull from a 3.2-liter in-line-six that knocks down 333 hp. Leather upholstery is now standard for the 2006 M3 coupe.

2006 BMW X5

BMW's X5-Series of sport-activity wagons repeat as the X5 3.0i and X5 4.4i but with an onboard computer now standard equipment. Both versions look remarkably like one of BMW's big sports sedans, only jacked up with a wagon's cargo compartment at the tail. Both also contain BMW's smart xDrive AWD system. Infinitely variable, the device can direct the engine's power to whichever axle, front or rear, has the best traction bite. It works with the computerized four-wheel Dynamic Stability Control (DSC-X) mechanism and a traction control system that can correct potentially dangerous skid movements.

X5 splits into two models based on powertrain. X5 4.4i gets a 4.4-liter V8 worth 320 hp with a six-speed automatic. X5 3.0i has a 3.0-liter in-line-six netting 225 hp with Steptronic automatic or standard six-speed manual. New 18-inch V-spoke wheels come with the optional sport package for X5 4.4i.

2006 BMW X3

This compact-class SUV goes by the alphanumeric tag of X3. Think of it as a raucous sports car with a wagon's boxy utility bay. A forceful in-line six-cylinder engine fits in front of the four-door passenger compartment that comprises two rows of seats for five riders and the cargo bay accessible through a roof-hinged tailgate. X3 stocks the xDrive electronically controlled AWD mechanism. Off pavement, X3 adds another device called Hill Descent Control (HDC) to keep all wheels firmly planted on a steep slope.

For power, BMW puts a 3.0-liter engine in X3 3.0i with 225 hp through a sporty ZF six-speed manual or five-speed Steptronic automatic shifter. X3's cabin is impressive in design and content with standard features in 2006 including an onboard computer. Packages load additional gear, such as the premium package with Panoramic Roof or sport package with body color on side skirts and bumpers.