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2008 BMW X6

2008 BMW X6 Road Test Review - Exceptionally Stylish Coupe

by Jeff Voth

The timing for the launch of the all-new 2008 BMW X6 is interesting to say the least. Gas prices continue to skyrocket with no end in sight. Consumers are flocking to buy smaller, more fuel efficient cars, trading in trucks and SUV’s at an alarming rate. Crossovers are a must-have for soccer moms and dads in North America and if it isn’t a hybrid, the price better be outstanding.

2008 BMW X6 Front View
2008 BMW X6 Front View

Why did BMW choose this as the optimum time to introduce the X6? It’s fair to say they didn’t expect the market to be in such a state of upheaval. But in reality, the timing probably could not be more perfect. Billed as a “Sports Activity Coupe,” how could you resist having it all and driving it too?

When I asked a BMW representative who their target market is for this vehicle, he shrugged his shoulders and stated the market will define itself. This was an unusual answer, especially given the 60,000 units per year sales target for the BMW X6. Looking at the vehicle, however, it is easy to see why BMW doesn’t know exactly who the buyer will be.

At the heart of the 2008 BMW X6 beats your choice of either an inline 6-cylinder or 90° V8 engine.

The X6 xDrive35i features a 3.0L turbocharged 6-cylinder engine producing 300 hp @ 5800-6250 rpm and developing torque of 300 lb.-ft at 1400-5000. Acceleration from 0-60 mph takes a mere 6.5 seconds. Top speed is rated at 150 mph.

Equipped with a 6-speed Sport Automatic transmission with Adaptive Transmission Control, Sport and Steptronic Manual shift modes, plus steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, the X6 xDrive35i achieves 15 city/20 highway mpg.

The more powerful 4.4L V8 engine of the X6 xDrive50.i produces 400 hp at 5500-6400 rpm. Torque is equally strong; 450 lb.-ft at 1750-4500 rpm. Quick on its feet, acceleration takes a measly 5.3 seconds to reach 60 mph. Similar to the X6 xDrive35i, top speed is limited to 150 mph with the Sport Package. Fuel economy numbers are not available for the xDrive5.0i at this time. Approximate driving range for both models is expected to exceed 425 miles on a full tank of premium unleaded fuel.  

A host of features provide a suspension package worthy of the finest sport coupes available at any price.

2008 BMW X6 Hatch
2008 BMW X6 Hatch

X-Drive all-wheel drive showcases Dynamic Stability Control, Brake Fade Compensation, Start-off Assistant, Brake Drying, Brake Stand-by with Dynamic Traction Control and Dynamic Brake Control.

If that doesn’t take your breath away, a double wishbone setup defines the front suspension, while the rear features a lightweight multi-link design. The alloy wheels are 19” star spoke with 255/50 run flat all-season tires.

Engine-speed sensitive power steering means getting around town or traversing backroads is effortless. Possessing the legendary feel for the road that defines BMW, the X6 truly is the embodiment of a sports coupe with SUV capability. Alter egos of the world unite; your Batmobile from Spartanburg, S. C. has arrived in grand style.

Both the exterior and interior styling are sure to be a conversation starter. Outside, the 2008 BMW X6 showcases 4-door accessibility featuring a sloping rear quarter coupe silhouette. The typical BMW twin kidney shaped grille with Xenon adaptive headlights suggests superior presence on the road. The side profile appears somewhat chunky, while rear overhang brings the design to an abrupt end.  

2008 BMW X6 Interior
2008 BMW X6 Interior

Inside, the new X6 is pure substance and style. Seating is reserved for a maximum of four, with no option for a rear bench seat. All seats are extremely comfortable, with entertainment options that include front and rear DVD, 16-speaker HD surround sound and iPod/iPhone USB integration. Electronic climate controls allows for maximum air adjustment. Twin active-charcoal micro-filters reduce pollutants and dust. Driver’s and passenger side front air bags with advanced technology along with front and rear seat head protection mean safety is a priority in the BMW X6. Trunk space is excellent, especially with the rear seats folded down at 59.7 cubic feet.

The market appears ready for a unique vehicle such as this. Possessing the qualities necessary to attract new buyers looking for something different, the 2008 X6 xDrive35i and X6 xDrive50 offer attractive alternatives. For many, a Sport Activity Coupe may be hard to resist, particularly when it bears the name BMW.   

Features and Specifications:
Wheelbase: 115.5 inches
Overall length: 192.0 inches
Overall width: 78.1 inches
Transmission: 6-speed Steptronic with paddle shifters
Steering: Speed-sensing powers assist
Brakes: 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS
Fuel economy, city/highway: 15/20
MSRP: $53,275- $63,775

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