• John Marques

BMW X6 - The Original Coupe SUV

Remember when SUV coupes were a novelty? It all started in 2007 with the X6 and the model enters its third generation reaching the half a million sales mark.

Aesthetically the sleek X6 distinguishes itself from a previous generation with a strong visual language combining all different panels, even shallower angle windscreen, and a wider overall shape are the first differences one can't miss. Nowadays BMW’s messaging is all about grilles: the bigger and more dramatic the better - this is where my favorite aesthetic feature comes along: the Iconic Glow Kidney, a set of LEDs that illuminate the grilles as you drive along at night.

Power choice is straightforward: a six-cylinder diesel with the two fuels (40i and 30d) and then more powerful ones with a few M chassis mods (M50i and M50d). That hot petrol is a V8, the diesel a straight-six with four turbochargers.

It might weigh two and a quarter tonnes with no-one on-board, but its top of the range model with 530bhp can still impel SUV forward at an impressive time of 4.3 seconds from 0 to 100.

The driver-assist and lane-keeping systems are at a high level and work pretty smoothly. The interfaces for switching and configuring them are also pretty straightforward after you’ve used them once. All the controls and iDrive systems are as per other recent BMWs and my favorite bit of tech in the car has to be its heads-up display available as an extra in all of BMW's top range.

Despite the low roof-line, this is still a big car, and luxurious in the back as well as the front. The seating position is high and imperious and the seats super-comfy. The boot can fit 530-litre, plus a large hidden compartment beneath.

Among its peers, the X6 has the most striking design along with great powertrains and mostly excellent cockpit ergonomics.