BMW Sport Utility Vehicles

An Overview of the BMW SUV and Crossover Family

2016 BMW X4. Photo (c) BMW NA

BMW wants to rewrite the book on SUVs – including what we call them. BMW calls their sport utility vehicles and crossovers “SAVs” – sport activity vehicles. The lineup includes the X1, a subcompact crossover; the X3, a compact crossover; the X4, a sporty compact crossover; the X5, a mid-size crossover; and the X6, an unclassifiable crossover/sedan/wagon. Here's a brief rundown on the BMW SUV lineup, along with links to some reviews and photo galleries on


First introduced in the 2009 model year, the X6 is a swoopy-styled track shoe of an SUV, long and low and shaped like an oversized sedan. It received a makeover for the 2015 model year, and enters 2016 unchanged. It is available with a 3.0 liter twin-turbo inline 6-cylinder engine (300 hp/300 lb-ft of torque) or a potent 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 (445 hp/480 lb-ft of torque), rear-wheel or all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. EPA estimates fuel economy at 18 city/25 highway for the I6, 15/21 for the V8. Prices start at $59,800 and go up to $74,500, plus options.

X6 M

When an X6 just isn’t enough, you can opt for the over-the-top X6 M. BMW’s M performance upgrades take the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine up to 567 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, cranked through the same eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive. The X6 M guzzles fuel at at rate of 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway. Prices start at $102,200 plus options.


Introduced for the 1999 model year, the X5 was BMW’s first SUV. X5 had a makeover in 2007, and another for the 2014 model year. Four engine choices for 2016: 3.0 liter inline 6-cylinder (300 hp/300 lb-ft of torque); 4.8 liter V8 (445 hp/480 lb-ft of torque); and a 3.0 liter inline 6 twin turbo diesel (308 hp/413 lb-ft of torque); 2.0-liter twin-turbo inline 4-cylinder and 111-hp electric motor (308 hp system total/260 lb-ft of torque). The EPA estimates fuel economy at 18 city/24 highway for the gas I6; 15/21 for the V8; and 24/31 for the diesel. Hybrid mileage TBD. Eight-speed automatic transmissions drive the xDrive All-Wheel Drive system (six-speed in the diesel). Prices range from $53,900 for the I6 sDrive35i to $57,700 for the diesel to $62,100 for the hybrid xDrive40e to $70,700 for the V8 xDrive50i, plus options.

X5 M

BMW let the M performance group loose on its large crossover, and the result is a hot rod SUV with a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 that’s tuned to produce 567 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. X5 M gets an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, and is capable of scooting from 0-60 in 4.0 seconds flat. EPA estimates are 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway, and prices start at $98,800.


The newest addition to the BMW X lineup is the compact crossover X4, which is essentially a fastback version of the X3 – a mini X6, if you will. Available with either a 2.0-liter twin-turbo inline 4-cylinder engine (240 hp/260 lb-ft of torque) and a 6-speed automatic or a 2.0-liter twin-turbo inline 6-cylinder engine (300 hp/300 lb-ft of torque) and an 8-speed auto. Both models get all-wheel drive. The 4-cylinder xDrive28i is rated to achieve 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway, and starts at $45,250, while the 6-cylinder xDrive35i is rated to achieve 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway for $49,700.


Introduced for the 2003 model year, X3 is BMW’s compact crossover vehicle, sharing many styling cues with X5. X3 got a makeover for 2011, growing by 3.1" in length and 1.1" in width. It returns for 2016 with three available powertrains: a twin-turbo 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder tuned to produce 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque in the X3 sDrive28i and xDrive28i; a twin-turbo 3.0-liter DOHC inline 6-cylinder that puts out 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque in the xDrive35i; and a diesel-powered 2.0-liter twin-turbo inline 4-cylinder engine good for 180 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque in the xDrive28d . The xDrive all-wheel drive system is standard, with an 8-speed automatic transmission the only available gearset. EPA estimates are 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway for the 35i and 28i; 27/34 for the diesel. Prices start at $28,950 for the 28i, $46,800 for the 35i and $42,450 for the 28d, plus options.


Covering all of the bases, BMW introduced the sub-compact X1 series in 2013. Available in only one configuration for 2016, the X1 xDrive28i comes with a 2.0-liter twin-turbo inline 4-cylinder engine (228 hp/258 lb-ft of torque) with an 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The EPA estimates that the X1 can travel 22 city miles on a gallon of gas/32 miles of highway driving per gallon. Prices start at $34,800.