2012 BMW X6 xDrive35i
From the beltline down, the 2012 BMW X6 has all the expected characteristics of a crossover ute -- rugged styling, elevated ride height and all-wheel drive. But all this has been capped by a sloped roof line that suggests speed. Three inches shorter than the traditional X5 sport-utility with which it shares a platform, the X6 does indeed handle a bit better when you're driving fast. But just as with any coupe, there are compromises in the overall package, notably rear seat space and cargo capacity in this case.
The 2012 BMW X6 delivers an astonishing amount of performance considering its size and weight. Cornering prowess is impressive thanks to a balanced weight distribution, wide, sticky tires and an all-wheel-drive system with lots of electronic features. The steering is great when going fast, but the effort level is a bit too heavy at low speed.
Acceleration is brisk with either of the available engines (the 300-hp 35i is definitely more than enough). Braking power is remarkably strong and fade-free, especially considering this big Bimmer's heft. And despite the X6's athletic tuning, ride comfort does not suffer. In everyday driving, the cabin keeps road and wind noise to a minimum, while the suspension soaks up road imperfections with ease.