For My 100th Post, Let’s Talk About The BMW X6 (Which I Tested In Dubai)

This is a big one. This is my 100th post on my site, and I am quite proud about that. What started as simply a learning project on how to use WordPress, has amalgamated to a full-on automotive website, where the only vehicles/news/topics discussed are those that I find interesting, positively or negatively.

100_0586So on this momentous day, let me tell you about the BMW X6 I tested back in December 2009, in a tiny place called Dubai .

Dubai is a trading center for the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), and has over the years transformed itself to become a huge tourist attraction.

But how did it do it?

While Dubai wasn’t blessed with any natural beauty (it was just a desert), however by spending countless billions (some of which it is having trouble paying back now), it has transformed this desert into a surreal place where no one knows the meaning of excess.

Everything in Dubai you see is over the top. It has the world’s biggest mall (Dubai Mall) and the world’s tallest building (Burj Khalifa). It has even changed its geographical landscape by creating offshore islands, a feat you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

While its government is having some financial issues, the place itself doesn’t seem to be lacking any money (at least for now). I mean, just look at the kind of cars roaming around this city, and you get the idea that lots of people here are quite well off.

You’ll see new Bentley’s like you see new Buick’s in Toronto . The Audi R8 might be a very rare sight in most parts of the world, but you’ll see loads of them in Dubai . Lamborghini’s and Ferrari’s are not rare either; no wonder then that a lot of people there look to customizing their already special cars, just so they can stand apart.

100_0589It was also not a surprise then to find every street littered with the BMW X6.

Even after a few years, the X6 is a rare sight in Toronto, but not in Dubai .

I read somewhere that Dubai is the largest per-capita market for the X6, and I could see what they meant. The streets were just littered with these things, even Hamann modified versions of the X6 were a common sight.

Thanks to the excellent people at BMW Canada, I too got to have an X6 when I visited Dubai, just so I could blend in.

I was given the keys to a 2009 BMW X6 xDrive35i model, which means it’s got a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter, six-cylinder motor, that produces 300 hp and 300 lb/ft of torque. Mated to an excellent six-speed automatic gearbox (for 2013, the X6 gets an eight-speed automatic), this motor has no trouble just hurling this 16-foot long, 2,170-kg vehicle.

In fact, it is very surprising how agile and light on its feet (sorry, tires) this vehicle feels. As far as performance and handling is concerned, on the road it feels like a much smaller vehicle, perhaps like a BMW 3-series. This is very impressive. It’s rather like seeing a rhino perform like a horse.

However, not everything is good about the X6. Take the styling for instance. I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but personally I think the design could have been much better. It’s the same story inside, the interior might have all the modern gadgets you might expect from a vehicle like this, but the design is rather dull, very uninspiring. Thanks to its coupe like styling, there is not much headroom for rear seat passengers and the trunk isn’t very commodious either. Plus thanks to the design of it’s rakish A-pillar, I forever kept banging my head every time I got in it.

There are other visible issues too, like the position of the inside rearview mirror, it is right in the middle of its rather small windshield and is very distracting, plus the rear window is very slanted and because there is no vertical piece of glass in the tailgate, rearwards visibility is also poor.

Oh, and thanks to its hefty weight, it drinks quite a lot too, I struggled to get 16-liters/100km.

So it seems that the X6 has tons of flaws, and it does, but don’t write it off just yet.

You see, the X6 should not be seen as a sensible family vehicle, because its not. The X6 is certainly not for those who have small children and hence have to carry strollers and diaper bags.

No, the X6 is for those who perhaps want an all-year round sports coupe, it certainly drives as well as some sportscars and is just about as impractical.

It is for those who are single, or just married, so you aren’t burdened with having to haul around more than yourselves. I don’t think it will appeal to those living on their retirement fund, because the sporty (note: bouncy) ride might not be to their liking.

100_0594So in many ways this $66,800 sport ute is very much like Dubai , not perfect in many ways, but simply incredible in others. My wife, who likes BMW’s and was with me on this trip, liked it, and in the end, that’s what counts most.

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2 Responses to For My 100th Post, Let’s Talk About The BMW X6 (Which I Tested In Dubai)

  1. Rauf Shaikh says:

    Impressive. the car, the racy script and your Maria with you. For only one second I thought you snuck away alone. Noman you have arrived. Where?? your calling as auto journalist. You just ooze out of your script. Mamoon Rauf.

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