2020 BMW X6 M Competition (car review)

THE 2020 BMW X5 M Competition is an absolute monster of an SUV. But this is different. The 2020 BMW X6 M Competition is the sleek, streamlined and sporty model that doesn’t just stand out from the crowd, it is the crowd.

The X6 M Competition has a sporty exterior, with a slick back, giving it a streamlined appearance. But the first thing that smacks you in the face is the optional white interior.

As if eating something greasy and saucy in a vehicle worth $200,000 plus wasn’t scary enough, the added touch of the striking white leather simply intensifies that fear.

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The styling is blingy but elegant, forcing you into your Sunday best even if it is for a drive to the shops. And although the colour shifting light bars are not a main feature, they need mentioning, as mood lights are littered in every corner of the car.

It makes for a particularly striking night time driving experience, as it’s extremely calming and perhaps (even if it was a placebo effect) offers a more comfortable drive. Combine this with the Harman/Kardon audio system, and it could calm the fussiest passenger.

There’s even a custom ‘experience mode’ in the BMW iDrive system that can alter sounds, ambient light, air conditioning and more, for certain moods.

Cool gadgets and wizardry ensure the BMW shines in the everyday driveability. Adaptive cruise control allows a top speed to be set that can vary based on the traffic ahead, decreasing the chances of a rear end situation.

This, combined with lane assist, allows the X6 M to pretty much drive itself (with your hand on the steering wheel) on those boring, long freeway drives. It can distinguish speed limit signs, allowing cruise control to be updated with the push of the button.

The X6 M also features faultless safety features like being able to recognise an obstacle, whether a car, human or something else, and come to a halt using the impressive spaceship sized brakes (unlike other cars with this feature that can only slow down).

Spend enough time driving around with such technology and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. It adds to not only the safety of other road users, but traffic flow as well, with less accidents occurring on the road.

The iDrive 7.0 operating system also features in the X6 M Competition, and is quite possibly one of the best in-car systems offered to date, with high definition LCD screens across both the infotainment system and instrument cluster.

The user-friendly satellite navigation system is another standout. There’s no struggle when inputting an address, whether it be via the rotary dial, the trackpad on top of the dial, or the voice prompting system.

It seems simple, but a good vehicle navigationsystem is still a battle for many manufacturers. The iDrive system also features wireless Apple CarPlay, voice control, Wi-Fi, driver profiles, email, an application store and much more.

The winning attribute for us though is not the flashy screens and applications, but the head-up display. Flicking through songs and radio station lists is effortless when its projected onto the windshield, and there’s no excuse to look down either.

You can of course also view current speed, a rev counter in M mode, and a warning if the speed limit has been exceeded, all in your direct line of vision.

The X6 M Competition drives via a 4.4-litre twin turbo V8 powerplant, producing an eye watering 460kW and 750Nm. This sort of power probably has no use in a street car, especially in a country with a maximum speed limit of 110km/h.

But we kind of don’t care. The impressive engine and gearbox combination can get to the traditional speed benchmark faster than the time it will take you to crack an egg, at 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds.

Taking the vehicle onto a road or a track with no speed limit, the X6 M will achieve a top speed of 290km/h, which is a terrifying thought given how sizeable the big fastback SUV actually is.

The Competition pack also adds an Active M differential, the active system changes the aggressiveness of the diff lock based on the style of driving and can vary the wheel speed on each side as required.

Lower end sports cars rely on a mechanical locking system which only responds to the input of power through the driveshaft, but the BMW system uses driving torque, individual wheel speeds, transverse acceleration, driving speed, steering angle and yaw rate.

BMW describe the result of their active M differential as “superior traction combined with maximum control”.

The correct degree of lock allows the driver to quickly sense the traction limit of the rear axle and supports them in finding the best accelerator position. In their words “maximum driving pleasure is guaranteed”.

“The continuous fine-tuning of the locking mechanism to the driver’s requirements, to the road surface and to the driving situation enables confident and easy-to-control driving in all conditions, right up to the threshold.”

This component is a commonly overlooked segment in a performance car, it completely changes the way this 2.3 tonne SUV tackles the corners, allowing it to feel like a sports car and not just a family chariot.

Its 8-speed transmission features Drivelogic – allowing the driver is able to choose the aggressiveness and speed of the shifts, depending on what mode is selected. This also includes the launch control system which doesn’t need to be prompted with any setup.

Just press the brake and the accelerator at a complete stop for instant face melting power. It should be noted that like the X5 M Competition, the X6 M version also only uses a torque converter, and not a dual clutch setup.

It is a real shame for a car of this level of performance, but it will save on clutch replacements derived from launch control over usage, which could become a bit of a habit when next to a hoon at the traffic lights.

We also concede that it’s a lot of money to be spending on an SUV, but considering the way BMW can build a 2.3 tonne SUV to perform like a sport car, with tons of space and the practicality of a family vehicle, it’s priceless.

The BMW X6 M Competition is on sale now for $213,900 (plus on-roads) and is available in Alpine White, Ametrin Metallic, Black Sapphire Metallic, Carbon Black Metallic, Donington, Gray Metallic, and Manhattan Green Metallic.

It can also be had in Marina Bay Blue Metallic, Mineral, White Metallic, Tanzanite Blue II Metallic and Toronto Red Metallic.

Our 2020 BMW X6 M Competition was supplied by BMW Australia. To find out more, contact your local BMW dealer.


Drive experience
Exterior styling
Interior look and feel
Technology and connectivity
Family friendliness
Value for money


Pros - easy to drive despite the power; great sound system; incredible technology; exhaust sounds amazing.
Cons - it costs more than its X5 M Competition sibling; uses a torque converter rather than a sportier dual clutch auto.
Zane Dobie
Zane Dobie
Restoring cars has been a hobby of Zane's for many years. As a result, he's gained an extensive appreciation for the mechanical components of cars and motorcycles, and the differences changing them can make to performance.


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<strong>Pros -</strong> easy to drive despite the power; great sound system; incredible technology; exhaust sounds amazing.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> it costs more than its X5 M Competition sibling; uses a torque converter rather than a sportier dual clutch auto.2020 BMW X6 M Competition (car review)