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2016 BMW X6 – M-Sport 40D -Northcliff Auto BMW Full Review




Picture the biggest oke in the gym (Vernon Koekemoer), with a heart of Nelson Mandela and poise and the nimbleness of Mohammed Ali. That’s what we are talking about with the new BMW X6!!!

We had the privilege once again to test a really top notch BMW, the BMW X6 – 40 d. I expected that people would shun away, confused at the malls of Joburg, why is this car so big? Why is the rear window so small? Jeremy Clarkson tested the first model, and proved that it couldn’t make it up a wet hill – at slow speed, without sliding backwards in a now treasured old episode of Top Gear. Let`s be very clear up front about all this whining nonsense. The BMW X6 is an amazing car! The people complaining about it 99% of the time have never driven it, and may not know anyone personally who owns this kind of Sports Activity Vehicle.

I will be honest with you, If I had to pay for this car ( and this will happen in the near future), I would not care a hoot, about what anyone else thinks about the car, or about BMW Drivers in general, or about the economy, or Jacob Zuma. All I would care about with this car, is how it makes me feel as a Driver. BMW is a driver-focused brand. Toyota, Nissan and Ford have really started to make some amazing cars, in a similar way, but the “seat of the pants” stuff, the “POPO-Meter” is the determined by the well-tuned ass of a German Engineer – driving thousands of kilometers in testing, before sharing the car with the BMW board, with what has to be a hit. 250 000 People and more have already decided to purchase this car all around the world. And while the BMW 3 series, especially in SA has a very important space in the BMW stable to provide its water and lights bill, and to enable R 6 Billion forward investment into SA for the X3 manufacturing at Plant Rosslyn, the BMW X6 is really in a class of its own, apart from anything else I have ever driven!

Driving the X6 immediately gives you a sense of peace and calm so amazing, that I actually managed to reduce my heartrate just jumping into the car. That measurement thanks to my trusty Samsung Note 4 – which by the way, is a really great phone! The interior is plush, the plastics and overall appearance of the leather and stitching is really sublime. I sometimes feel that BMW interiors are a little Spartan compared to luxury Merc or simplified Feng Shui Audi, but ultimately, no matter what you are doing, or where you are going to in life, or in the X6, one value comes to the fore, and that is the sporty yet very comfortable drive. Honestly, the drive is not much different to any other BMW in terms of handling, except in its elevated position, you will be able to see the parking attendants outside the Joburg Zoo in Parktown, a long time before you nearly bump into them.

Right  – down to business…..

The Upside

  1. The Drive

It soaks up bumps so well, that hardly even the ANC NEC would have a problem with its overall behavior. In fact, if I could sponsor a car for someone deserving of a little praise and thanks, I would personally buy this car for Thuli Mandonsela, to make sure she can deliver justice and righteousness in the peace and luxury of the BMW X6 which I think she deserves. The drive is sublime. The interior is calming, and not once did anyone I spoke to about this machine, say anything bad about the drive. The engine in the test car we had is the sublime 4.0 Diesel, with 620 NM of torque. That kind of torque is enough to change you from 702 straight to Power FM, for a more balanced view. Did we drive off road, not at all. I am sure this SAV is more than high enough to clear the cobbled stones at your favourite lodge in Magaliesburg, or on your farm/plot in the KZN Midlands. The car feels solid to drive, but nimble enough to change lanes quickly in an emergency maneuver. The driver aids we recently tested on the 7 series were not available in the model I had (M Sport Model), but you can add many additional features to include extras, just watch the total Price.

  1. Technology

BMW is at the cutting edge of innovation in most of the new high end models coming out. Thanks to the week we had in the BMW 7 series and X6, there is a very good chance our next family car has:

  1. Connected Drive – allowing BMW to send you directions directly to the car, when you are lost, looking for a petrol station or your kids are crying for a Mc Donalds Number 7 on a Friday evening before going to the movies. The concierge staff are friendly, you hit the button, it dials a lady or man in Spain, and they help you immediately with whatever you need from finding a restaurant, to directing you to a fuel station.
  2. Heads up Display – this has to become a feature in all cars, not just BMW, as it keeps your eyes on the road ahead, while you can find the name of your contact by scrolling through a list using your thumbs on the steering. The display is bright and clear all day long, and it helps you monitor your speed, plus directions at the same time from the navigation, meaning less stops when travelling to a new destination.
  3. Office – the X6 had an office function which linked my messages and emails to the car. The car is then able to read my messages like an assistant, and I can get messages pop up while I drive, in case a meeting is cancelled as I drive to it. It is amazing, I hope this feature makes its way down to all the BMW 1 and 3 series cars. I know many lawyers, junior accountants, Account Managers and independant consultants who spend their lives on the road, and would love this feature to be available right now!!!

The sound in the car was provided by Harmon Kardon. I personally think it could be improved. Being a person very fussy about audio, I am sure that there is a better specified option to purchase. Even in Pro Logic 7, I still think BMW and Harmon Kardon could do better for the price.

  1. Space 

The front cabin is an amazing place to be. As always the main controls are still slightly angled towards the driver. I like the buttons and tactile feeling of the window closing mechanism. The click of the I-Drive and even the beautifully crafted gear change lever. I especially like that they have moved the bootlid button to the drivers side switch cluster, on the right. Really handy! The lines and curves, the electronic display and the clean interior lines – with a line of light between the dash and lower cabin are sublime. Being part Indian and Chinese, I sometimes buy things purely based on lighting features. This extends into all the man gadgets I don’t need, but the X6 thin blue line of light in the dash and front cabin, is the main reason I would buy the X6 right now. Apart from all the other thing`s I mention here. Go and look at that light at night, and tell me if you don’t fall in love! People will say that I am being unreasonable, but then entire world has gone bonkers. Leave me and my light alone!



  1. Downside

Big tyres – heavy expense in the near future. With the Rand getting beaten like an ugly currency stepchild and with many reasons not to purchase such an expensive car looming, if we could pay close to the R 20 000.00 a month installment for this car, a big part of the budget annually would be for new tyres. With 620 NM of torque – with great power, comes great responsibility. I didn’t once feel the urge to push this car, and as such would see the tyres lasting to 50 000 km`s. Also on average of 7.6 l/ 100 km`s what you don’t pay for in tyres, you will get back in very reasonable economy. That 7.6 l is based on in town, bumper to bumper traffic, over 24 km`s per day. On an open road, we could get that down much more, especially with cooler weather heading to the Berg in a month from now.

Space – the rear seats are a bit cramped, especially if you have a tall driver in the front. The boot is not as big as you may need to fit things in for your family. This car then is great for people who have children already out of the house, or who need to cover long distances for work in absolute peace and quiet.

Also, this car is very big and wide, so consider this if the car is meant for anyone in your family who hates parking in cramped spaces. I ended up ensuring my car was 200 metres away from anyone else. With something this precious nobody wants a little bump on the door from anyone else.

  1. Target Acquisition Price

There is someone out there considering the BMW X6 right now in South Africa. With 14 000 local visitors, we can only assume at least 1 of you is out to get a new SAV or SUV very soon. The BMW X6 we had on test, is just over R 1 .1 Million. That is a lot of money, the installment is as much as your Bond or more, but what you need to consider is that this car is amazing. The price, the features of comfort, the looks and stares you often get driving such a beautiful car, are all things that you will be okay with, if the new X6 is high up on your list of things to aquire. For the ladies I know who drive the Range Rover Evoque, this specific car has very high appeal. With only 3% of people on the JSE director level boards, we have some time to wait for more ladies to buy the X6.


Huge thanks to Shaiba and Nicci from Northcliff Auto BMW


Northcliff Auto
Shaiba Ebrahim
New Vehicle Sales Executive
11 Cresta Lane, Corner Judges & Arbour Roads Cresta Johannesburg, 2194
Tel: +27 11 772-9800
Dir: +27 11 772 9876

Fax: 086 683 4355
Mail to:

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