The Inside

The X6's cabin is something of a dichotomy. The severe dashboard angles and technology-laden center console — which features a joystick-style gear selector for the automatic transmission and the iDrive control knob — might be intimidating to some drivers, but the rich, upscale materials like wood, aluminum and soft leather invite you in a way that the design might not.

The front sport seats, however, are quite comfortable. They feature wide bottom and backrest cushions, include adjustable thigh support, and are covered in leather and suedelike Alcantara.

Climbing out of the driver's seat is more of a chore than it should be; in order to swing your left leg out to reach the ground, you have to clear a wide rocker panel that without fail rubs against your pants, even when you're trying to avoid it. This has always been a problem with the X5, especially in dusty regions and on road-salt-covered winter roads.

Most SUVs have a bench seat in the second row, but the X6 has two bucket seats, so its maximum seating capacity is just four. There's a center console between the rear seats that has cupholders, storage bins and a 12-volt power outlet. There's decent legroom in the backseat, but the X6's sloping roof noticeably encroaches on headroom. The rear door openings and the position of the bucket seats make graceful exits difficult.

Another downside of the X6's coupelike shape is poor rear visibility; the rear window is a mere slit in the rearview mirror.

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