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BMW X6 xDrive50i
6/10

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Road Test

BMW X6 xDrive50i

Driven May 2009

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It's tempting to side step the obvious cliché about how gloriously pointless the X6 is, but there's an unavoidable fact - it's silly enough to make you feel like a bit of a cock. And in that respect this 408bhp V8 is the worst of the lot.

There's no doubt the xDrive 50i is quick - very quick - and as you barrel through traffic, barking at fellow road users and fulfilling their every expectation of you as a selfish, tree-hating prat, there's no way you can avoid wondering why anyone in the world wants a fast-coupe-4x4-thing that's good on the road.

But the problem with trying to condemn this X6 is that it's really excellent at what it does. It'll crush some seriously quick sports cars, sit four with real indulgence and isolate you from the world in a way you start to wish every car did.

Highlights include the high driving position, a sense of go-anywhere capability and ride comfort that for the class is exceptional. And BMW's chassis tech - active anti-roll bars and a bafflingly clever rear diff - makes it a pleasure to drive fast.

So, dismiss the 50i as a waste of time/resources if you will, but BMW confidently pitches it as a nimbler X5 for the SUV fan who wants a coupe with a bit of space and real performance. And there's an even hotter X6M on its way, too, so whatever the market is for this car, it definitely exists. If that tickles your fancy, then go for it. Just be absolutely sure you can't make do with the cheaper diesel.

Paul Regan

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