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Looking for a new vehicle with a combination of sporty mannerisms and luxury elements? If so, the you might want to check out the 2021 BMW X6. This X6 is the second entry into the vehicle's third generation, which was introduced onto the market last year.
2020 saw a lot of improvements made to the X6, ranging from upgraded engines (which improved the vehicle's 0-60 mph time by about half a second) to a number of tech updates. The M model was also introduced in the spring, providing buyers with an even more powerful engine option.
There are a lot of things to like about the 2021 BMW X6. All of the engine options provide strong acceleration. The base turbocharged engine - a 3.0-L 6-cylinder - generates 335 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque. Paired with an 8-speed automatic, the sDrive40i comes with rear-wheel drive while the xDrive40i is all-wheel drive. Either way, you get a powerful engine. But if that isn't enough, you can opt for the M50i, which has a 4.4-L V8 that produces 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. This engine is significantly more powerful, to be sure, and the trim level it is on comes with even more features.
Naturally, there are some disadvantages to owning the 2021 BMW X6, mostly due to its design. Cargo space is limited by the steeply sloping roofline, which also cuts down on outward visibility. That means drivers will have to rely more heavily on the rear-view camera and blind spot monitoring system than they might prefer. Also, this sloping roofline seriously limits rear seat head space for taller passengers.
Is the new X6 the right vehicle for you? Perhaps you ought to consider which trim level will best suit your needs before passing by the X6. Here is a closer look at the sDrive40i, xDrive40i, M50i, and M trim levels. Be sure to read through to the end of this trim level comparison as we will there announce which X6 trim we think is the best buy.
Compare the 2021 BMW X6 sDrive40i vs xDrive40i - What is the Difference?
Let us start this trim level comparison review off by pitting the two variants of the base trim against one another. The sDrive40i and xDrive40i are essentially the same save for their drivetrains. The sDrive40i is a rear-wheel drive variant while the xDrive40i is all-wheel drive. This means a few components will be different, but on the whole, they predominantly share the same features.
As already mentioned, both of these variants are powered by a 3.0-L twin-turbo inline-6 cylinder engine that gets 335 hp. There is a mild EcoBoost 48-volt hybrid system included with the engine. Driving Dynamics Control gives the vehicle SPORT, ECO PRO, and COMFORT drive modes. The 8-speed automatic transmission has Sport and Manual shift modes, Drivelogic technology, Launch Control, and shifter paddles mounted onto the steering wheel. Other mechanical specs include automatic start-stop, brake energy regeneration, and electronic throttle control.
On the outside of the X6 base trims, you will find sophisticated details galore and a style that speaks to BMW's emphasis on sport with this vehicle. It rides atop standard 20-inch V-spoke wheels that come with all-season tires. The heated side mirrors are power-folding, and you can take your choice of non-metallic body paint options. At the rear, you will find chic chrome exhaust tips. Satin aluminum trim can be found around the entire exterior too.
The inside is just as athletic and upscale as the outside, and it boasts a fair amount of comfort. The Vernasca leather upholstery is nicely paired with an anthracite headliner and SensaTec dashboard, meaning you get a lot of soft touch surfaces. The cargo area is even fully furnished with velour carpeting and comes with a trunk release. There is some lovely high-gloss wood trim in fineline stripe brown, floor mats, and a cargo cover.
Technology is something that BMW does not skimp on in the X6 models. Both the sDrive40i and xDrive40i come with smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, BMW ConnectedDrive Services, BMW TeleServices, and remote software upgrade capability. On top of that, BMW includes the Connected Package Professional. This bundles features like real-time traffic data, on-street parking info for certain cities, remote services, concierge services, and the Connected app. Navigation and natural-speech voice recognition come with the Intelligent Personal Assistant, which is part of this suite.
As far as audio technology goes, you of course get an anti-theft AM/FM stereo, HD radio with multi-cast FM station reception, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and a 10-speaker 205-watt digital HiFi Sound System.
Instrumentation features on both variants include a leather-wrapped 3-spoke sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, dynamic cruise control, a display for the outside temperature, a tire pressure monitor, a rear window defroster, a vehicle monitoring system, and Live Cockpit Professional. With the latter, there is a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster as well as a 12.3-inch infotainment screen. The iDrive 7.0 infotainment system is equipped and comes with a touchpad controller. You also get two USB ports, 8 programmable bookmarks, cloud-based navigation, and Bluetooth connectivity.
As you might reasonably expect, there are a ton of luxury features to be found, providing you with an abundance of creature comforts. These two variants of the X6 have Advanced Vehicle and Key Memory, an engine start/stop button, and front seats that are 16-way power-adjustable with 4-way power lumbar support, 2-way power-adjustable side bolsters, and 2-way manually-adjustable head rests and thigh support. The rear seat is 40/20/40-split folding, and there is a panoramic moonroof overhead with dual panels. The windows are one-touch power up/down and have an anti-trapping feature.
Other standard creature comforts include a power adjustable steering column, a power tailgate, rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic climate control, a front seat center console with an arm rest and USB-C port, adjustable multi-color ambient interior lighting, privacy glass, a universal garage door opener, 3-stage heating on the front seats, a locking glove box, and the Travel and Comfort System (which offers an array of BMW accessories).
Standard security features make up a lengthy list, as well they should. Drivers and their passengers are protected by features like the rear-view camera, front and rear sensors for Park Distance Control, and an anti-theft alarm for the vehicle's own protection. Additional safety features include automatic high beams, adaptive brake lights and full LED headlights, LED fog lights, and programmable daytime running lights. A roll-over sensor will trigger the airbags to release in the event of a roll-over, and BMW eCall Assist provides emergency communications through Emergency Request and a notification that alerts in the event of a collision.
Compare the 2021 BMW X6 xDrive40i vs M50i Trim. What is the difference?
Taking it up a notch, there is the M50i. As already mentioned, the M50i comes with a more powerful engine. This 4.4-L V8 matches up two turbochargers and variable valve timing . Upgrades to the mechanical specs include an M Sport exhaust and M Sport differential. All-wheel drive is standard, so you get hill descent control like you do on the xDrive40i. Tacked onto this list are electronically controlled dampers on the M Sport adaptive suspension and blue calipers on the M Sport brakes.
Outside, you will see more distinctive features that speak to the M50i's upscale sporty status. This vehicle is equipped with 20-inch M star-spoke bi-colored wheels with all-season run-flat tires. The exterior trim gets switched to Shadowline and Cerium Gray, and an aerodynamic kit is added. On top of all that, there are some metallic paint options to choose from on the M50i.
The interior is adorned with more upgraded trim and upholstery. Aluminum Tetragon trim gets swapped in, and connectivity gets a boost with a 3 GB/3-month trial of the WiFi Hotspot system. A 16-speaker 464-watt Harman Kardon premium sound system also gets inserted into the mix.
Up front, the seats are both 20-way power-adjustable and are multi-contoured. 4-zone climate control comes standard with automatic air re-circulation and a micro-filter. The M50i has the Comfort Access keyless entry system with a hands-free trunk lid opener. The front seats gain ventilation, and a wireless charging pad becomes a standard feature as well.
The M50i is treated to a massive array of different safety features, building upon what is already included in the sDrive40i and xDrive40i. The M50i comes with the Active Driving Assistant bundle. This suite of advanced driver aids includes forward collision warning, lane departure warning, speed limit data, and a blind spot monitoring system. The Active Protection System is standard as well, providing an extra buffer of security in the event of an accident. This system detects potential crashes as they are about to occur and braces the vehicle for impact. It does so by tightening the pretensioners on the seatbelts, activating the post-crash braking feature, and closing the moonroof and windows.
Compare the 2021 BMW X6 M50i vs M Trim Level. What is the difference?
One of the hottest designs to hit BMW in recent years is the M. This high-performance sport vehicle is basically in its own class. The X6, along with multiple other BMW models, come with M variants. The X6 M is nothing short of breathtaking for those who love sports cars.
The X6 M is powered by a 4.4-L twin-turbo V8 engine that delivers a whopping 617 hp and can zip from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 3.8 seconds. It can be equipped with the optional Competition Package, and the racetrack-ready engine cooling system works well at regulating temperature. An 8-speed M STEPTRONIC transmission comes with it, and all-wheel drive is standard.
On the outside, you will see that there is a rear diffuser and M specific rear spoiler that directs air flow. The vehicle has 21-inch wheels up front and 22-inch wheels in the back. There are four exhaust tips, an M double-bar kidney grille, special M side mirrors, and high-gloss black accents.
Inside, there are plenty of upgrades as well. The Virtual Cockpit has some M-specific configurations in it, such as a rev counter. An optional Driving Assistance Professional Package gives the M active lane keep assistance and enhanced traffic jam assist.
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Which Trim to Choose?
Most drivers will be satisfied with the base sDrive40i or xDrive40i. Depending on where you live and the types of inclement weather you face, the xDrive40i's standard all-wheel drive might be the better option. It only knocks the fuel economy down ever-so-slightly and provides a lot of extra traction and stability control.
If your budget is basically unlimited, give the new M variant of the X6 a test drive. You might find yourself falling in love with its immense power and insanely good looks. It is absolutely the cool kid on the block right now and is worth the cost to upgrade if you can swing it.
However, we really like the M50i. It provides a nice middle ground between the other variants. It offers more power than the base trims without the price tag skyrocketing like it does on the M. The M50i balances power with a plethora of creature comforts. The tech is spot-on, and it has a refined driving performance that is sure to thrill buyers.
• Compare the 2020 BMW X6 Trim Levels