Styling

With the X6, BMW takes aim at a model that's been relatively unchallenged in the SUV segment: the Infiniti FX. The FX is a true performance SUV — it shares its platform with the Nissan 350Z sports car — and it delivers a relatively engaging driving experience. Like the X6, it looks more like a coupe than an SUV, though both have four doors.

The X6 shares a number of design cues with the automaker's X5 SUV, like a large twin-kidney grille, pointy headlights and a scalloped hood. The X6, however, strikes a more aggressive look thanks to large ports and mesh inserts in the front bumper (see a side-by-side comparison with the 2008 X5).

When you look at the two of these models from the side, however, the similarities quickly fade. While the X5 had the traditional shape of an SUV, the X6's roofline angles downward over the backseat, and it keeps dropping all the way to the back of the vehicle, giving the X6 coupelike styling with a twist. The twist is that this is one big vehicle, and many coupes aren't. The massive back end of the X6 gives it a hulking presence that seems a little excessive, and the rear bumper height also makes it difficult to load cargo. Regardless of whether you like it or are of my wife's opinion, the X6's styling makes you choose a side.

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