Loved by some and deemed pointless by others, the BMW X6 has earned itself a rightful place in the controversial BMW basket alongside the 2002 7 Series and others.
Despite the moaning, this crossover that thinks it's a coupé has still exceeded BMW's sales expectations and now it's been treated to a mid-life nip and tuck. While these latest models have been on the local price list since April, the first units have just arrived in South Africa.
While the exterior design mods are subtle, the big excitement comes in the form of a monster diesel model with three turbos. As part of BMW's M Performance wing that slots below the traditional M Division, the new M50d's tri-turbo six-cylinder motor is credited with 280kW but the real talking point is its 740Nm torque output. According to BMW you can expect a 5.3 second 0-100km/h sprint and (when driven sedately) average fuel consumption of 7.7 l/100km.
At the other end of the compression ignition spectrum is BMW's 225kW/600Nm 3-litre that's badged 40d and those with a penchant for petrol can opt for a 225kW/400Nm straight-six 35i, 300kW/600Nm V8 50i or the 408kW/680Nm M Division maniac for which there exists a definite soft spot within IOL's offices despite the fact that it is probably one of the most pointless vehicles on the planet.
While the latter is fitted with a six-speed M Sport autobox, the rest of the engines in the X6 range are mated to a new eight-speed sports automatic transmission. Naturally, all models have xDrive permanent all-wheel drive.
SPOT THE CHANGES
As for the design changes - although it's not easy to spot the differences, BMW talks about “precisely modified details” at the front, including higher-mounted fog lights, redesigned 'kidney grille' and optional LED headlights (bi-xenons are standard).
New LED taillights are standard though. Rounding off the changes that you can see are a new range of exterior paints, 19-inch alloy wheels and the option of Vermilion Red interior leather.
As before, and as much as this sounds like a joke, you still have to tick the options book to get a three-seat rear bench instead of two bucket seats.
Since you're opting for such a mad means of transport, you might as well go all the way with BMW's M Sport package, which brings 20-inch M alloys, BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line, M door sill cover strips and various M division-style interior components, including an Alcantara/Nappa leather trim combination.
The new X6 is also bang up to date on the gadgets front, offering smart phone and music player integration and a glut of available driver assistance systems like Lane Departure warning, Speed Limit Info, a camera that offers side, rear and top views and a head-up display.
xDrive 35i - R800 418
xDrive 40d - R853 669
xDrive 50i - R993 206
M50d - R1 064 182
X6 M - R 1 398 528