THE RIDE: Four-door, four-passenger 2008 BMW X6 xDrive35i sports activity coupe.
DOWN THE ROAD: What's that, you might very well ask? BMW says the X6 can accommodate four but has the versatility of a sports activity coupe. All new for 2008, the muscular-appearing but extremely nimble X6 can scoot from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 6.5 seconds. I have to give kudos to BMW's exclusive xDrive and Dynamic Performance Control for giving the X6 razor-sharp handling under imperfect conditions.
TECH & PERFORMANCE: A 3.0-liter inline-6 cylinder twin-turbocharged engine cranks out 300 horsepower at 5800 rpm and 300 pounds-feet of torque at 1400 rpm. It is coupled to a 6-speed automatic transmission with the choice of paddles on the steering wheel or manual shifts. BMW's xDrive varies power between the front and rear axles while adjusting to conditions on the road. Dynamic Performance Control helps steer the X6 by directing torque to either of the rear wheels. This is a tremendous help during sharp corners or quick turns. A rack-and-pinion steering, plus large 13.7-inch ventilated front and 13.6-inch rear disc brakes are further proof of the vehicle's stability capabilities.
LOOK & FEEL: The front fascia boasts the traditional BMW kidney grille flanked by eye-catching dual round bi-xenon headlights with fins in black and fairly large air intakes. The L-shaped rear light clusters, split up by the trunk door, prove the true mettle of BMW designers. The iDrive knob to control the navigation, entertainment, communication and climate systems is simple to use. Knee pads on the sides of the center console are helpful during off-road conditions. Metal shimmer on the rotary knob, door openers, gear shifter knob and brackets within the air-conditioning vents showcase a classy look. Ditto for wood trim in ash grain on the instrument panel, doors and center console.
SAFETY FIRST: Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag with rollover protection, four-wheel antilock brakes, dynamic stability control, Hill Descent Control, antiskid system, front seat active-head restraints, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights are some of the standard features.
OUT THE DOOR: $52,500, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges.
BY THE NUMBERS: Tires, 255/50R19 run-flat; wheelbase, 115.5 inches; length, 192 inches; weight, 4,894 pounds; fuel capacity, 22.5 gallons; highway, 20 mpg; city, 15 mpg.
WHY DIG IT: For a sports activity coupe that weighs nearly 5,000 pounds, the X6 displays tremendous power. Buyers looking for a mix of performance and comfort for four cannot afford to pass on this bimmer.