2015 BMW X6 Preview

Jeff Youngs | Jun 12, 2014
  • Enhanced performance
  • Improved fuel economy
  • Upgraded technology
  • Added functionality
  • More luxurious interior
  • Built in South Carolina


BMW has redesigned the X6 Sports Activity Coupe for the 2015 model year. The 2015 BMW X6 is essentially a BMW X5 equipped with a 5-door fastback body style, and at launch will be offered with a choice between a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine and a twin-turbocharged V-8 engine. A rear-drive version of the SUV is also available for 2015.

Exterior Features

BMW says that the redesigned 2015 X6 features "even more extroverted design." The same side character line treatment that debuted on the smaller BMW X4 is evident in the new X6 model's flanks, one each emerging from the front and rear fender swells and sweeping back toward the rear of the vehicle.

Aerodynamics are improved, according to the manufacturer, now measuring 0.34 Cd, and the new X6 is lighter while retaining what BMW says is a "near" 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution. BMW installs standard LED fog lights and LED taillights on the 2015 X6, and buyers can replace the standard HID headlights with adaptive LED units that also include automatic high-beam operation.

Customers select between 19- and 20-in. aluminum wheels, and the M Sport Line option package adds appropriately racy bodywork in an attempt to convey greater performance capabilities. An xLine option package is also available, adding a more rugged look to the new X6.

Interior Features

The new BMW X6 is equipped with "4+1" seating, meaning that it is best used for transporting four people, but can accommodate one extra person in the rear seat when necessary.

Rendered with what BMW characterizes as horizontal structures and layered surfaces, the cabin can be trimmed in a variety of wood, aluminum, and gloss finishes. Black panel instrumentation and a Dynamic Digital Instrument Cluster are standard, along with BMW's iDrive technology with a 10.2-in. display screen. All 2015 X6 models are equipped with leather, heated front seats, power sunroof, and ambient lighting in driver-selected white, blue, and classic BMW orange colors.

The rear seat is a 40/20/40 split-folding design, and when raised the X6 supplies 20.5 cu. ft. of cargo space. Fold down all three sections of seatback and maximum cargo capacity measures 53.9 cu. ft. A power tailgate with a soft-close feature is standard, and when the optional Comfort Access keyless entry system is added as an option the tailgate features hands-free opening and closing by waving a foot under the rear bumper.

Optional Features

In addition to choosing between standard, xLine, and M Sport trim packages buyers can upgrade the 2015 BMW X6 with aluminum running boards, larger wheels, and a Dynamic Handling package containing Dynamic Performance Control with torque vectoring, Dynamic Damper Control, active roll-stabilization system, and a self-leveling rear suspension. Active Steering is also available for the new X6.

To increase the cabin's luxury quotient, select from the available Interior Design packages. Additional upgrades include a navigation system with touchpad input, Bang & Olufsen premium surround-sound audio system, rear-seat entertainment system, soft-close side doors, Cold Weather package, a Parking Assistant that steers the vehicle into parallel parking spaces while the driver operates the pedals and transmission, and Panorama View front and rear cameras designed to show traffic approaching from the sides of the vehicle.

In addition to these options, BMW offers several safety- and technology-related extras, detailed below.

Under the Hood

The least expensive version of the 2015 BMW X6 is the rear-drive sDrive35i. If BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive (AWD) system is desired, buyers will need to upgrade to the xDrive35i or the xDrive50i.

Models with "35i" in their name are equipped with a turbocharged, 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine generating 300 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 300 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,200 rpm and 5,000 rpm. Choose an X6 marked "50i" and be rewarded with a twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V-8 engine cranking out 445 horsepower from 5,500 rpm to 6,000 rpm, and 480 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,000 rpm to 4,500 rpm.

Both engines are paired with an 8-speed sport automatic transmission that includes launch-control technology and paddle shifters mounted to a standard sport steering wheel. Additional standard features include fuel-saving automatic engine start/stop, regenerative brakes, and an Auto Hold braking function.

BMW's Driving Dynamics Control system allows the driver to switch between Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ driving modes. Select Eco Pro in order to maximize fuel economy and the system's software calibrates throttle response, transmission shifts, and other vehicle systems to deliver the best gas mileage. A coasting function is active in this mode, operational between 30 mph and 100 mph. A Proactive Driving Assist instructs the driver as to when to release the accelerator pedal to increase fuel economy, and the navigation system programs the most efficient routes.

Additionally, BMW says the new X6 has a lighter xDrive AWD system, one that reacts quicker to driving situations.


Every new 2015 BMW X6 is equipped with a free 10-year subscription to BMW Assist services, including BMW Assist eCall with an Urgency Algorithm that automatically conveys to rescuers the severity of the collision in which the X6 has been involved.

Optionally, owners can choose driver-assistance packages containing a reversing camera, active and passive blind-spot detection systems, active and passive lane-departure warning systems, and an active cruise control system with stop-and-go capabilities ranging up to 130 mph. The new X6 is also available with Night Vision designed to identify pedestrians and animals, a collision-warning system with pedestrian detection, and active braking.


The standard BMW Assist services system includes features such as remote vehicle unlocking and stolen-vehicle recovery, while standard BMW Apps provides access to social media platforms and Internet radio stations. Options include BMW ConnectedDrive Office, BMW Online, concierge services, and more. The X6 can also be fitted with a head-up display with a greater range of functions than before, as well as front and rear park-distance control technology with a 360-degree surround-view feature.
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