Hence the brand’s high hopes for a second generation line-up that adds a dash of maturity to this car’s extrovert mix. It’s sleeker, more practical and more efficient. Yet it keeps in character by offering more power and astonishing dynamic prowess. In short, you’d like one.
Whether anything weighing up to 2. 2-tonnes and measuring over 1. 7-metres in height can ever defy the laws of physics enough to match BMW’s description of this model as ‘a driver’s car’ is another question, but there’s no doubt that body control really is excellent for a vehicle of this kind.
An ‘Adaptive Dynamic suspension’ package gives you ‘Active Roll Stabilisation’ to reduce body lean through the bends. Plus ‘Dynamic Performance Control’ that shifts torque between the rear wheels through any given corner, depending on where it’s needed.
This package can be ordered separately – or combined with either ‘Adaptive Comfort’ or ‘Adaptive M’ suspension packages that give you self-levelling rear air suspension to improve the ride and ‘Dynamic Damper Control’ so you can stiffen or sharpen that ride to suit the road you’re on and the mood you’re in.
Does it all work? To a point. Ultimately, all of the various systems deliver what they set out to achieve. With the Active Roll system fitted, it’s especially astonishing to throw this car through a set of bends and marvel at its composure.
The styling of this model remains distinctively X6: that is, after all, why people like it – or at least why some people do.
With the rear hatch open, you’ll find yourself having to lift your bags over quite a high sill but once they’re inside, you’ll find a reasonable 580-litre of cargo capacity on offer.
Where you might be expecting problems, is when it comes to a seat in the rear. That sloping rear roofline has to tell somewhere and, sure enough, the really tall may well feel a little cramped. Still, BMW has contoured the roof to make the best of what’s on offer and as a result, averagely-sized adults should be quite comfortable.
For front seat passengers the previous generation model was already very nice to sit in but here, things feel more up-market still, with some lovely use of leather and very high quality plastics.
You sit slightly lower than you would in a conventional large luxury SUV, which accentuates the sportier feel, gripping a lovely tactile wheel through which you glance instrumentation that’s a model of class and clarity.
With fuel savings of up to 22% over its first generation predecessor, this MK2 model X6 deals head on with the accusation that big SUVs carry with them big running costs. To prove the point, let me run a few numbers past you concerning the car I'm driving here, the X6 M50d. Here’s a 381bhp two-tonne luxury 4x4 that get within a sniff of a Porsche 911 GT3 over a standing kilometre, yet can seat up to five people and return 42. 8mpg on the combined cycle. Emissions? This car delivers 174g/km – which makes it nearly 50% cleaner than a rival Range Rover Sport 4. 4 SDV8. It’s another world.
This car is an opinion-divider - and probably always will be. That won’t worry BMW though. Rather than filling a niche with this X6, the Bavarian maker has instead created one tailor-made for its approach to driving dynamics and product development. Rivals may try and copy the concept but ultimately, there’s nothing quite like this car.
Of course, you’ll still need to be a very individual kind of buyer to want one – someone who thinks a bit outside the box. A rebel? Maybe not so much this time around. This second generation X6 is a slightly more mature, acceptable choice than its predecessor, still extrovert but a tad less in-your-face.
In increasing numbers, the motoring public seem to love the ‘Sports Activity Coupe’ concept. Proving of course that nothing succeeds like excess.