BMW’s E71 X6M is expensive and thirsty but delivers an epic drive. It’s also much better value than it once was... Words: Guy Baker. Photography: Various.
Market Watch BMW X6M E71
t would be fair to say that the 2010-2014 E71 BMW X6M isn’t exactly a favourite among BMW enthusiasts. Many feel it shouldn’t sport that hallowed M badge at all – what with it being a turbocharged, four-wheel drive, SUV Crossover. But the Munich maestros believe they know best and there’s no disputing that the 'world’s fastest crossover' has garnered popularity in the USA.
Not for the shy or retiring, the styling is an acquired taste and the four-seat X6M nowhere near as practical or capacious as its equally-fast X5M sibling. Nor is it any good off-road. You’ll also do well to better 14mpg in urban rush hour traffic. And these are the main reasons why – on this side of the pond at least – the X6M didn’t prove a huge success with buyers. But that has led to a pretty dramatic fall in values, leaving prices for the earliest E71 cars sitting precariously below the £20,000 barrier. And at this price some brave buyers are being tempted.
The six-speed auto X6M is certainly ludicrously fast, safe, refined, very well equipped and surprisingly comfortable. And it handles brilliantly for such a bulky vehicle. But compared to more trim alternatives it’s far from nimble on tighter UK B-roads making it harder to fully exploit that 4396cc twin-turbo V8’s 547hp. You can storm to 62mph in just 4.7-seconds though - thanks to a whopping 502lb ft of torque form just 1500rpm and the X6M really does blend the best aspects of a coupé and an SUV – albeit with a few compromises to be made.
The quick-shifting M Sport automatic transmission works well though, with aluminum pull-style paddles on the steering wheel, and M Dynamic Mode which comes with launch control. Using the M button you can adjust the dynamic stability control, electronic damper control and power. And all cars also boast Adaptive Drive suspension, with self-levelling rear suspension, 20-inch or 21- inch M Sport alloy wheels and a sophisticated version of BMW’s head-up display.
Replaced by the F16 model in 2015, prices for good examples start at £19,000 - with low-mileage late-plate cars fetching closer to £26,000. Values are most affected by mileage and provenance, rather than age – so a low mileage older car can be worth more than a higher-mileage late-plate example.
The safest place to buy your X6M is undoubtedly at a BMW dealership and you will find a handful of examples for sale, like this Carbon Black 2009 car at Halliwell Jones BMW in Chester (halliwelljones.co.uk). With just 44,000 miles and the option of an extended warranty this car’s comprehensive spec includes 20-inch M Double-spoke alloys, an Ivory White Nappa Leather interior, Professional Media, Comfort Access, a reversing camera, a powered tailgate and electric memory seats.
The asking price is a pretty reasonable £19,980, which is a close match to that of another Carbon Black X6M we spotted at independents Buy4Less UK in Leatherhead Surrey (buy4lessuk.co.uk). This 2010 car is a little younger than the main dealer example in Chester but comes with a much higher mileage (94,358-miles) although it does possess a full service history and a similarly impressive spec. So, things like Climate control, cruise control, BlueTooth, electric black leather memory seats, Professional Media with Sat Nav and 20-inch M Sport alloys are all included. Many cars were originally specced in Carbon Black and our third example – like our first – comes with contrasting Ivory leather.
A newer 2011 61-plater at Peterborough-based Car Firm (carfirm.co.uk) it has covered a more typical 63,000-miles and is stickered at £22,500. However we’re pretty sure you could knock a grand off that with haggling, which represents decent value for an X6M with a plush spec including electric heated memory seats, full leather upholstery, front and rear parking sensors plus a reversing camera, Professional Media, Comfort Access and a powered tailgate.
The E71 X6M has suffered some reliability issues – so a full BMW service history and a decent warranty covering the engine and electrical items are vital prerequisites. And A quick test-drive trip to your local BMW technician will confirm that all software updates relating to the iDrive system and transmission have been loaded onto the X6M you’re considering buying, and that any recall work has been carried out.
Would-be buyers should look out for weak batteries (which can cause a lot of electrical issues), leaky radiators and water pumps, coolant dripping onto the turbochargers, lose bolts on the rear differential, blown injectors, misbehaving steering, tired alternators, oil leaks, blown turbos, worn shocks and leaking air suspension bags. And bear in mind that wide 20 and 21-inch tyres are expensive!
BMW Car retail price guide
Good: £19,000 to £23,000
Special editions: None in the UK
Recent BMW X6M E71 auction prices*
Model Transmission Reg Year Mileage Sale Price
X6M Automatic 2009/59 115,041 £11,000
X6M Automatic 2011/11 69,051 £18,200
X6M Automatic 2011/61 44,157 £19,300
X6M Automatic 2012/62 39,007 £22,750
X6M Automatic 2013/13 67,174 £20,900
X6M Automatic 2014/14 36,125 £27,000
*Sale prices of good-condition examples sold recently at British Car Auctions
James Sohl at Renaissance Classic Cars (www.renaissance-classics.co.uk), Grant Darling at James Paul (www.jamespaul. co.uk), the BMW Car Club of Great Britain (www.bmwcarclubgb.uk), British Car Auctions (www.bca.com), Silverstone Auctions (www.silverstoneauctions. com), www.bimmerforums.co.uk, Redish Motorsport (www.redish-motorsport.com) and Glass’s Guide (www.glassbusiness.co.uk).