2024 BMW X6 M Review and Test Drive

Sports car performance in a stylish SUV.

Front right quarter view of a blue 2024 BMW X6 MPerry Stern


BMW built its reputation on producing premium cars with excellent driving characteristics, and the company flexes its engineering muscles when it adds a high-performance M model to the lineup. While the automaker sells more SUVs than cars, it ensures the driving fun continues regardless of body style or vehicle type, as evidenced by the 2024 BMW X6 M Competition.

The X6 is a midsize luxury SUV and shares a platform and powertrains with the more popular BMW X5, but the X6 has a sportier look and sleek roofline, while the X5 is traditionally boxy. The 2024 X6 lineup gets updated styling, upgraded performance, and new infotainment and driving-assistance technologies for the new model year.

As one of the most potent vehicles BMW offers, the X6 M Competition blends the comfort and utility of a luxury SUV while delivering impressive performance levels. This top-level model boasts more than 600 horsepower, which, when unleashed, supplies outrageous acceleration accompanied by a head-turning V8 roar. It's a remarkable experience for a driving enthusiast — and highly recommended.

There aren't many other vehicles on the road that provide the same mix of luxury, performance, and utility, but the Audi RS Q8, Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe, and Porsche Cayenne Coupe Turbo GT qualify as equals to the BMW.

Rear right quarter view of a blue 2024 BMW X6 MPerry Stern

2024 BMW X6 Prices Span Well Into Six-figure Territory

The 2024 BMW X6 comes in xDrive40i, M60i, and X6 M Competition trim levels, and base prices range from the mid-$70,000s to the mid-$120,000s, including the destination charge to ship the SUV from the Spartanburg, South Carolina, factory that builds it to your local dealership.

For this BMW X6 review, I test-drove the top-level M Competition in Monterey, California. While the list of standard features is extensive, my X6 M Competition came with numerous options. They included Velvet Blue Metallic paint, the Executive Package, M compound brakes with red calipers, a Bowers & Wilkins high-end sound system, and the M Driver's package, bringing the manufacturer's suggested retail price to $146,345, including the $995 destination charge.

BMW provided the vehicle for this X6 review and paid for airfare, lodging, and meals during the evaluation period.

Front seats and dashboard of a 2024 BMW X6 MPerry Stern

Aside From the New BMW Curved Display, Design Changes are Evolutionary

BMW introduced the third-generation X6 in 2020, so the exterior styling updates for 2024 are more evolutionary than revolutionary. Up front, the iconic kidney grille gets horizontal bars on the X6 M, which helps differentiate it from the standard X6 variants.

Slim headlights feature arrow-shaped LED daytime running lights, while the lower air intakes are more prominent for better airflow to the powerful V8 under the hood. The staggered-width 21-inch front and 22-inch rear wheels and black chrome quad exhaust outlets complete the sporty appearance.

As a vehicle with a price approaching $150,000, the X6 M Competition unsurprisingly comes with a luxurious cabin. Full Merino leather covers most surfaces inside, including the seats, door panels, dashboard, and center console. Other areas feature polished carbon fiber, with the headliner and roof pillars trimmed in Alcantara suede. Adjustable multicolor ambient lighting with a unique interactive light bar adds to the interior ambiance.

The new BMW Curved Display is the most significant update to the 2024 X6's interior. Mounted so it appears to float in front of the dashboard, the wide screen houses the 12.3-inch digital instrumentation display and the 14.9-inch infotainment display as one entity, giving the X6 a futuristic look. Not many physical controls remain, but there are still front and rear defroster buttons, a stereo volume knob, and the classic iDrive controller in the center console that works as an alternative interface with the infotainment system.

Side view of a blue 2024 BMW X6 MPerry Stern

Plenty of Comfort to Go Around

Like the rest of the X6 M, the front seats represent an excellent blend of sport and luxury. Covered in soft leather with a stylish two-tone treatment, the M Multi-Function seats feature bolstering for your shoulders, torso, and legs, providing exceptional support and comfort. They're also heated and cooled and offer multiple massage programs, which work well.

The rear seats get the same stylish two-tone leather treatment as the front ones. I thought they would suffer restricted headroom due to the sloped roof line, but that's not true. Instead, they offer plenty of headroom and legroom, with heated outboard cushions and individual climate control zones adding to the overall comfort. The middle seat has decent legroom, but the cushion is stiffer than the outboard seats, making it a less desirable seating position.

Back seats of a 2024 BMW X6 MPerry Stern

BMW's SUV Coupe Is More Practical Than Expected

The X6 M may provide the performance of a sports car, but it still has the space of a crossover SUV. A large center console offers good storage, and there's a cubby below the dashboard with plenty of room for small items and devices. It even has a retractable cover to keep things out of sight. The cupholders are small, but my large water bottle fits securely in the door pocket.

Cargo area of a 2024 BMW X6 MPerry Stern

BMW doesn't skimp on cargo space, either. The X6 offers more than 27 cubic-feet of capacity behind the rear seats. About half is beneath a hard cargo cover that keeps items hidden. To maximize volume, you'll need to remove it.

Fold the rear seats down using releases in the cargo area, and the space expands to almost 60 cu-ft. However, because the X6's roof slopes down at the rear, it's harder to load taller items.

Infotainment screen in a 2024 BMW X6 MPerry Stern

BMW iDrive 8.0 Features an Excellent Voice Recognition System

BMW's latest infotainment system is called iDrive 8.0. It uses tiles to provide access to functions, and you can swipe left or right through the main tiles and configure them to personal preferences. Links to the commonly accessed home, audio, communication, and navigation menus remain static on the left side of the screen for quick access, and you can review all available features in icon form if you wish.

The large 14.9-inch display features clear graphics that are easy to read and navigate. While I primarily accessed the infotainment system via the touchscreen, drivers can also use the iDrive controller on the center console or the sophisticated BMW Personal Assistant using natural voice recognition.

Activate the Personal Assistant by saying, "Hey, BMW." Following this prompt, you can use natural voice commands to complete various tasks. For example, I found a nearby grocery store by saying, "Hey, BMW, take me to a grocery store." The system gave me destination options and then set the navigation system to provide directions to the store of my choice. Using voice commands, I could activate the seat massagers, change the audio source, raise the cabin temperature, and lower the passenger-side window, all with my hands remaining on the wheel and my eyes on the road.

Infotainment screen in a 2024 BMW X6 M showing available appsPerry Stern

Wireless Smartphone Connectivity, Simple Access to Climate Controls

Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard on the X6 M Competition. My Samsung Galaxy S23+ connected quickly and easily via Bluetooth, and the option to run Android Auto immediately appeared on the iDrive 8.0 display. From that point, every time I started the X6, Android Auto loaded and showed as one of the static menu items on the left side of the screen.

Access to the X6's climate controls also requires the use of the screen, with the dual-zone temperature settings located at the bottom of the display with a quick link to open the full climate menu to adjust the fan, airflow, and other settings. I usually find digging into a submenu for deeper climate functions frustrating, but in the BMW X6, access quickly became second nature.

Infotainment screen in a 2024 BMW X6 M displaying safety settingsPerry Stern

Safety Does Not Come Standard on the X6 M Competition

BMW equips the X6 M Competition with several common advanced driving-assistance systems (ADAS) as standard equipment. However, certain features are only available at extra cost, and my test vehicle didn't have them.

The omission of the available adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, lane-centering assist, and traffic-jam assist systems made evaluating them impossible. Most of these items come standard on a $30,000 Honda CR-V, so they should probably come standard on a $150,000 BMW. Among the standard features, the X6's lane-departure warning system proved effective due to its subtle steering wheel vibrations, while the active blind-spot monitoring system made lane changes feel safer.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not evaluated the X6 M at time of publication. But the standard X6 earned the highest rating of Good on most tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, though depending on the trim level, the headlights only earned Acceptable and Marginal ratings.

The engine bay of a 2024 BMW X6 MPerry Stern

New Mild-hybrid Technology Boosts X6 M Performance

The most powerful model in the X6 lineup, the BMW X6 M Competition, features an updated TwinPower turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine that delivers a plentiful 617 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. For the first time in an M vehicle, the powertrain features a 48-volt mild hybrid system, utilizing an electric motor integrated into the eight-speed automatic transmission. Delivering up to 12 horsepower and 147 lb-ft of torque (included in the totals noted earlier), the electric motor provides quicker power delivery at launch and improves overall efficiency at steady speeds.

Unfortunately, despite the new electric assist motor, the X6 M Competition is not a fuel-economy rock star. The EPA rates the 2024 model at 13/18/15 mpg in city/highway/combined driving. While operating this high-performance BMW in various situations, I noted the trip computer indicated just over 14 mpg for a combined average, close enough to call the EPA figures accurate.

For comparison, the X6 xDrive40i, with a respectable 375 horsepower, gets a rating of 23/26/24 mpg. But fuel economy isn't why you buy a BMW X6 M Competition.

Front left quarter view of a blue BMW X6 MPerry Stern

What It's Like to Drive the 2024 BMW X6 M Competition

Like every other BMW M vehicle I've driven, the X6 M Competition doesn't disappoint regarding performance. With grippy, high-performance Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires and a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, the X6 M launches from a standstill with exceptional thrust, reaching 60 mph in a BMW-claimed 3.7 seconds. The shove back into the seat as the SUV gathers speed, combined with the throaty bellow of the V8, is an experience that makes me smile just thinking about it.

The X6 M Competition may have all the trappings of a luxury SUV, but it doesn't take long behind the wheel to realize that this SUV wants to be a sports car. Steering is crisp and precise with excellent response, and the sport suspension keeps the X6 M stable and flat in the turns — an impressive feat given its 5,400-pound curb weight. The massive brakes with vented discs and six-piston calipers up front quickly slow this hefty SUV from high speeds with a consistent and predictable pedal feel.

I took the X6 M down Highway 1 along the California coast, and it was ideal for the scenic, winding, and frequently damp road. I was perfectly comfortable with the seat massagers in action and music playing on the high-end Bowers & Wilkins audio system, and the ride was smooth and relatively quiet. Of course, there was never a lack of power, and I effortlessly passed slower vehicles. And yes, I admit I looked forward to the next slow car because passing was so much fun.

Rear left quarter view of a blue 2024 BMW X6 MPerry Stern

The BMW X6 M Delivers Sumptuous Luxury and Blistering Performance at a Price

BMW M cars have a reputation for delivering an alluring mix of luxury and performance, and the 2024 BMW X6 M Competition is no exception.

As a luxury SUV, the X6 offers a cabin replete with premium materials, high-tech display and infotainment systems, the latest safety features, good cargo space, and a comfortable and quiet ride. But with more than 600 horsepower on tap, powerful brakes, a performance-tuned suspension, and sticky tires, the X6 M Competition also has the soul of a sports car — with driving characteristics to match.

While it's not very fuel efficient and the cost of entry is high, the 2024 BMW X6 M Competition brings great joy to any drive, whether cruising along the coast, blasting onto a local freeway, or carving up a twisty mountain road.

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Perry Stern
I have loved cars and trucks since childhood, and that fascination with anything that drives is just as strong today. As a teenager, I knew I wanted to become an automotive journalist, and during the past three decades, I have driven, written about, and photographed all manner of automobiles ranging from affordable econocars to exotic supercars. With the idea that there is a perfect car, truck, or SUV for everyone, my goal is to help consumers determine the right one for their wants and needs.