Our favorite driving team duo of Holly Reich and SékouWrites are back. This time they test drove the 2011 BMW X6 for UPTOWN. Story reprinted on UptownMagazine.com and below.
Football, fashion, socks on the floor—there are several things that men and women often see differently. So we asked car aficionados SékouWrites and Holly Reich to weigh in on BMW’s new sports activity coupé.
There isn’t a bonding experience quite like the family road trip. So, when BMW’s brass laid out a challenge during my X6 M test-drive in Florida (“Why not try to set a record for most miles driven on a loan?”), we made it a family affair. Every day, one of us would chart a new course, from local destinations, like golf courses and outlet stores, to farther reaches, such as a cousin’s wedding in Savannah. Through all the miles we racked up, the X6 M impressed each of us for different reasons. For me, the trademark comfort and speed of a typical BMW were second only to the gadgetry. I loved the automatic windshield wipers and the fact that the car accessed my cell phone’s address book, making it easier to return phone calls while on the road. My stepmother appreciated the precision of the navigation system with realtime traffic info, especially since we were often driving in parts unknown. And Dad liked the fact that people kept stopping to look at it. The stares were for good reason. Classified as a four-person vehicle despite its large size, the X6 M looks like an SUV in the front, but its rear, which is slightly raised over huge 20-inch wheels, gives it the attitude of a race car. It drives like one, too. One of our adventures was driving the X6 M on the racetrack at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Family not included. –SékouWrites
The BMW X6 M is a boy’s car. With seating for four, the all-wheel-drive SAC (sports activity coupé), replete with 20-inch wheels and high-performance tires, doesn’t just look virile—it is. That aside, the X6 M has a fastback shape that doesn’t sing BMW. In fact, my doorman asked what kind of hybrid it was. Yet it drives like a BMW. This baby accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. There are also three power modes: sport, for a quicker throttle response and energized shift changes; drive, for relaxed driving and better fuel economy; and manual, where the transmission can be shifted using either the shift level or the steering wheel–mounted shift paddles. BMW’s four-wheel-drive system, xDrive, improves traction and maximizes handling (like oversteering and understeering) for all road conditions with an advanced technology that BMW can explain to you later. And, of course, the X6 M is designed to muscle around corners with BMW’s standard Adaptive Drive and Dynamic Performance Control. Beyond that, the cabin of the X6 M is outfitted with merino leather upholstery, M class sport seats, a thick-rimmed steering wheel for better gripping, a two-way glass moonroof, an illuminated instrument panel that mimics BMW’s super sports cars, and the more intuitive (yay!) fourth-generation iDrive Control with an 8.8-inch display. –Holly Reich
BMW X6 M STATS:
POWER: A 4.4-liter 32-valve twin-turbocharged V-8 engine
MPG: 12 city/17 hwy
BELLS & WHISTLES: Dual-zone climate-control system (available four-zone system for the second row passengers); leather and heated front M sport seats; Bluetooth wireless connectivity; HD radio and voice-activated navigation system; and a 600-watt, 16-speaker audio system with two under-seat subwoofers all come standard.
MAIN ATTRACTION: The X6 M is literally in a class of its own (i.e., a four-person Sports Activity Vehicle). In lieu of a backrow middle seat, BMW added a divider with drink holders and storage space. In a pinch, someone could sit on it, but they wouldn’t be happy about it.
PRICE: From $89,200