BMW X6M, motoring review: It guzzles fuel and looks awful, yet this super-SUV is great fun

In design terms, this car is the ultimate two-fingered insult to city-car drivers and the electric car owner

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Price: £93,070
Engine capacity: 4.4-litre V8 petrol
Power output (bhp @rpm): 567 @ 6,000
Top speed (mph): 174
Fuel economy (mpg): 25.5
CO2 emissions (g/kg): 325

As a rule, I try not to review petrol-powered SUVs, especially not ones with V8 engines and emissions figures that would prompt a string of heart-attacks at Greenpeace HQ.

This particular beast, the latest BMW X6M, arrived rather early in the morning at my flat and it wasn't until the next day that I realised that instead of the more frugal diesel version, a mix-up had led BMW to deliver me the world-ending petrol version of this unorthodox looking car.

The real problem with it, environmental concerns and fuel bills apart, is that surely very few members of the British car-driving public are in the market for a £93,000 petrol-powered truck-coupé thing. As well as the price tag, this is also a car designed for places where petrol costs significantly less than £1.20 a litre (the best I managed during my test was an average of 23mpg).

Not that all of this means the X6M is necessarily a bad car. Its V8 engine is as delightful as it is monstrous and the X6M will hit 60mph from a standing start in just a fraction over four seconds, before topping up (if you pay to remove the speed limiter) at 174mph. And, thanks to all sorts of black magic with anti-roll systems, torque vectoring and huge bespoke tyres, you can hammer around corners at frankly improbably speeds. What's really impressive, though, is the way that (thanks to its four-wheel-drive) it just propels off the line and goes where you point it.

But the wind noise on the motorway is near intolerable and the ride isn't as smooth as you would hope for given its cost.

Then there's the massive elephant in the room: this car is hideous. I rarely pass style judgements on cars, assuming most car buyers have their own eyes, but the styling sins here are so egregious that they can't pass without comment. Just look at it again – in design terms, it is the ultimate two-fingered insult to city-car drivers and the electric car owner.

My real problem with it, though, is that despite my initial disgust at the X6M's looks and its woefully economy, I actually found myself quite liking the brute. What does that say about me?

Thankfully, I won't have to review another one of these for a while; I wouldn't want to ask that too often.

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