First Drive: 2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6 Page 2

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2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6, Bal Harbour, Florida

2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6, Bal Harbour, Florida

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Overall, BMW quotes fuel efficiency 20 percent better than a non-hybrid X6 with the same V8 engine and equivalent performance. The EPA rates the 2010 ActiveHybrid X6 at 17 mpg city / 19 mpg highway, whereas the standard X6 xDrive 50i comes in at 13 mpg city / 18 mpg highway.

The six-cylinder X6 xDrive 35i gets 15 mpg city / 21 mpg highway, but it's slower than the V8 models, and its combined mileage of 17 mpg is still less than the hybrid's combined 18 mpg rating.


The X6 is somewhat polarizing; people either love it or hate it. It's like few other cars on the road, that's for sure.

While it shares much of its understructure--and a factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina--with its X5 sport-utility sibling, the profile of the X6 is distinctly different.

BMW calls it a "sports activity coupe," which translates to SUV ride height and all-wheel-drive capability, but with only four seats, a fastback roof line, and far less cargo capacity.

We initially didn't like the X6, and plenty of people still feel that way. But after spending a day with the ActiveHybrid X6, either the shape is growing on us or we've simply gotten over the shock.

2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6

2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6

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Ride and Handling

In TheCarConnection's review of the BMW X6 line, we lauded the "handling magic" created by the Dynamic Performance Control system. It integrates stability control into the all-wheel-drive control, sending varying amounts of power to each wheel to help with stability.

That system is carried over unchanged into the ActiveHybrid X6, which remains a smooth-riding and tenaciously grippy vehicle. Especially, as our review said, for a vehicle that's "still a big, heavy SUV."

And the 2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6 is heavier yet, with the battery pack, transmission, and power electronics imposing a weight penalty of more than 400 pounds.  The total curb weight listed by the maker is 5,688 pounds, or almost 3 tons.

2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6

2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6

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The 2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6 is priced at the top of the X6 range, with a base price of $88,900 plus a mandatory $825 destination charge totaling $89,725 before any options.

While that's more than $20K higher than the base X6 xDrive 5.0i, BMW's Tom Salkowsky pointed out that the typical X6 sells with enough options to take it to $80,000.

The 2010 ActiveHybrid X6 comes with roughly 20 standard features that cost extra on non-hybrid X6 models, including leather seats and trim, heated seats, four-zone climate control, heads-up display, rear-view camera, auto-closing doors and power tailgate, and 20-inch 'Aero' wheels.

A heavy hand on the list of 10 different options could push the price over $95,000. They include active ventilated seats, a rear-seat entertainment package, and an enhanced sound system. Sport seats and 19-inch wheels with all-season tires are no-cost options.

2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6, Bal Harbour, Florida

2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6, Bal Harbour, Florida

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Fans of BMW's launch control mode, which provides maximum acceleration for a driver who puts the X6 into 'Sport' mode, brakes to keep the car stationary, and then revs the engine before releasing the brake, will be pleased to know it's present on the X6 ActiveHybrid too.


It's far from inexpensive, but BMW has managed something almost no other maker can claim: The company has built a hybrid vehicle, with the far better fuel efficiency that entails, that doesn't "feel" or behave like a stereotypical hybrid.

While the market has been skeptical of performance hybrids in the past--think the short-lived Honda Accord Hybrid--we suspect BMW will find buyers for the small numbers of the ActiveHybrid X6 that they're likely to build.

High Gear Media drove a manufacturer-provided vehicle to produce this hands-on road test. The manufacturer also provided airfare, lodging, and meals during the course of this test.

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Comments (9)
  1. Wow, thats pathetic. Ford already gets 20mpg with a V6 Twin Turbo and GM managed 22 city with a freaking TAHOE! Between the looks and the mpg, epic fail BMW. Ugly inefficient car.

  2. Apples and Oranges. Why compare a Tahoe or Ford Fusion to a PERFORMANCE SUV(or SAV... whatever)?
    Besides, isn't BMW the most green car company? They have their 50mpg diesel. Based on their goal of making a big, heavy vehicle that: looks good, is fast, handles well and the gas bill won't kill you - I call that a win.
    Please don't get on a podium and take things out of context like a politician.

  3. $95,000 after realistically all is said and done!!! For a Taureg-looking SUV, the engine/electronics/etc really better be the major leap forward you describe as that is some pretty hefty coin for an SUV. Have no doubt BMW has done a fantastic job with this one. Again, just thinking that may be getting close to the upper limit even for the segment this car is clearly aimed at.

  4. I love the look of the X6 - you have to see one to know what it looks like. It rides so much higher than a sedan so it really looks like an SUV up close, and a beautiful one. While mileage is not a major consideration for me, 12 mpg for the 5.0 is too low and the 3.5 does not have enough horse power. The ActiveHybrid solves the mileage issue and I love this car!

  5. Agree. Epic Fail.
    For the money you can buy TWO
    Ford Taurus SHOs and get same 0-62 times and much better fuel consumption (17/25MPG),
    AWD and a higher seating position with a massive trunk.
    I tried hard to justify another Bimmer but my money is going elsewhere.

  6. Yeah yeah... I can see how this is cool, but check this out. Goss132
    Now THAT is awesome!

  7. Beemerboy: You assume that a Taurus SHO could be on the same level as any BMW - lets not forget the SHO is still a Ford, and for a bit more than the SHO you could get a 3-series that would offer better handeing, ride, and similar performance.
    I do agree the price for the X6 is out of my range but I would not compare the car to any offering by the "Big 3." BMW sells expensive sports vehicles and I think BMW acomplished its goal and kept with the "Ultimate Driving Machine" principles.

  8. Mark... That has got to be the best looking EV I've seen. Very nice. Thanks for posting! I wonder how much the Goss132 EV will cost. A mid-size, and with that kind of style. As long as it can get me to work and back; who cares, but will NOT be paying any more than 40K for an EV. Though Goss132 has me thinking about it.

  9. Cory... just added the SHO to my stable.
    The 3 (or any BMW) would out slalom the SHO on a very tight winding road, but the SHO is surprisingly nimble with a decent turning radius given it's size and weight. It also cost less and can still keep up with the 335xi while running 87 octane. Not bad at all.
    For 99% of my driving, the SHO offers a more satisfying ride. Amazing power when needed, good fuel economy, way more comfort, most advanced music/phone interface (Ford Sync) I have ever test driven, and the radar cross alert warning system (along with cooled/massaging seats)is simply not available on any 3 series. Maybe the new 5 series may justify the price difference.
    As far as "SHO is still a Ford"... Let's just say that my BMW service manager and I know each other very very well (and a check of any BMW forum will show others have had similar experiences).
    Ford has come a long way in the dynamics department. Apparently their quality has also been improving. Time will tell how well it does in the quality department.

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