Discover The Used BMW X6 Years to Avoid and Worst Problems Encountered

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Are you in the market for a sporty and stylish luxury SUV that delivers on performance and design?

The BMW X6 is a popular choice, offering a coupelike design and smooth performance. However, like any other vehicle, some years of the X6 may have been more prone to issues or recalls than others.

That’s why it’s essential to know which year models to avoid before making your purchase.

By being aware of these models, you can make an informed decision when choosing your next luxury SUV and better ensure that you’re investing in a reliable and high-performing BMW X6.

The 2011 BMW X6 has been noted as less reliable compared to other years.

By avoiding this model, you can rest assured that you’re investing in a BMW X6 that will provide more on average, and with proper care and maintenance, can last you between 150,000 to 200,000 miles.

Now you’ll discover other worst years and best years to buy, among several car purchase and maintenance experts tips!

Before you read the next line, add this trending guide to your reading collection: BMW X4 vs X6 Differences: What’s Right Choice for You?

BMW X6 years to avoid

History and Overview

BMW X6 and X5 Differences

As a fan of the BMW X lineup, you might wonder about the differences between the BMW X6 and X5. Here’s a concise breakdown of their main differences:

  • BMW X6: It’s a stylish, coupé-like Sport Activity Coupé (SAC) with a focus on performance and design.
  • BMW X5: Known as a Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV), it emphasizes practicality and comfort, catering to family-oriented drivers.

While both vehicles share similar platforms, the X6’s design language prioritizes aesthetics over utility.

TIPS: To compliments your research, we published the most reliable BMW engine types, their names and why they’re the best.

Evolution of X6 Over the Years

First Generation (2008-2014)

The BMW X6 debuted in 2008, sharing its underpinnings with the X5. This model was intended to provide a sportier alternative for drivers seeking the utility of an SUV but with a more distinctive style.

Second Generation (2015-2019)

The second-generation X6 appeared in 2015, incorporating BMW’s latest design philosophy and technology.

This is when the car started gaining more recognition for its improved BMW reliability, especially from the 2015 model year onwards. Subsequent models like the 2016 and 2017 versions were praised even more for their dependability.

Third Generation (2020-Present)

The third-generation X6 arrived in 2019 as a 2020 model, bringing major changes to the lineup. It’s designed with advanced technologies and retains high-quality standards.

The 2019-2021 models, for instance, showcase the brand’s efforts in improving the car’s overall reliability and performance.

Throughout its history, the BMW X6 has had its fair share of competition from other BMW models like the X3, X4, and X7.

The X3 is a smaller, more affordable SAV, while the X4 is another Sport Activity Coupé with similar features to the X6 but based on the smaller X3 platform. Read the full BMW X4 problems and reasons for those issues and solutions!

If you’re after a larger and more luxurious option, the BMW X7 is the brand’s flagship SUV, prioritizing comfort and space for a truly opulent experience.

Problematic Years of BMW X6

2011 BMW X6 Common Issues

The 2011 BMW X6 is known for having a couple of issues that could make it a less favorable choice for you. One of the most prevalent problems reported with this BMW model year is the overheating engine.

This could potentially lead to costly repairs and a headache for you as an owner. Another common issue with the 2011 BMW X6 is a persistent Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) light, indicating that the tires may not be properly inflated.

Other Problematic Years

Apart from the 2011 model, there are a few other BMW X6 years that have been identified as potentially problematic for you:

  • 2009 and 2010: These two model years are known to have issues that include diesel engine problems, loose tailgate spoilers, and rattling doors. Broken Isofix mounting points, loss of brake power, and battery issues are also potential problems for these years.
  • 2012 and 2013: The 2012 and 2013 models have been flagged as having similar issues as the 2011 X6, along with additional concerns from consumer feedback and NHTSA statistics.
  • 2020: The 2020 BMW X6 might be concerning for you due to the number of recalls associated with it. With seven recalls in total, it raises concerns regarding the reliability of this particular model year.

It’s essential to consider these problematic years if you’re in the market for a used BMW X6.

Keep in mind that not all vehicles from these years will necessarily face the specific issues mentioned, but it’s good to be aware of potential problems that could arise.

As with any used vehicle, it’s always a great idea to consult a trusted mechanic and review the vehicle’s maintenance history before making your final decision.

Recognizing BMW X6 Common Problems

As a BMW X6 owner or potential buyer, it’s important to be aware of the common problems associated with this vehicle.

In this section, we’ll cover some of the issues you may encounter, broken down into three sub-sections: Engine and Performance Issues, Braking and Suspension Problems, and Interior and Exterior Concerns.

Engine and Performance Issues

Your BMW X6 might face some engine and performance issues, especially if it is a diesel model. One common problem is a defective swirl flap, which can break if not properly maintained.

Overheating can also occur, leading to decreased performance and reliability.

Additionally, be aware of potential issues with the timing chain, which can lead to significant engine damage if not promptly addressed.

As part of routine maintenance, always check your engine’s oil levels and performance to prevent potential problems.

Braking and Suspension Problems

When it comes to your BMW X6’s suspension, you should keep an eye on the air suspension and shock absorbers.

Worn-out components can impact handling, ride quality, and overall driving experience. Additionally, steering system issues may arise, affecting both petrol and diesel models across various production years.

It’s important to closely monitor your braking system to ensure safety and optimal performance. Keep an eye out for brake pad wear and rotor issues, and address any concerns promptly.

Interior and Exterior Concerns

While the BMW X6 is known for its luxurious design and features, it’s not immune to potential issues.

Some common interior concerns include electrical problems, malfunctioning seat sensors, and HVAC system issues. Always keep an eye on these areas to make sure your driving experience remains comfortable.

On the exterior, your BMW X6 may be susceptible to rust issues over time, particularly in areas with harsh weather conditions. Regularly inspect your vehicle for signs of rust and take necessary steps to address any emerging concerns.

By staying vigilant and addressing these common issues, you can ensure that your BMW X6 remains reliable and enjoyable to drive. Always consult a qualified mechanic for any concerns or maintenance needs.

Reliability Ratings and Comparisons

Compared to BMW X5 and X3

When considering a BMW X6, it’s essential to weigh the reliability ratings of similar BMW models, such as the X5 and X3.

The 2019 and 2020 BMW X5 reliable models are known for their improved reliability, with ratings of four out of five stars. This places them in favorable standing compared to the X6.

The BMW X3 holds a similar reputation for reliability. To make an informed decision, compare the specific model year ratings you are interested in to understand any differences in reliability.

How BMW X6 Stacks Up Against Competitors

The BMW X6 faces competition from several players in the luxury SUV market. Let’s explore how it compares to its key competitors:

Audi Q8:

In terms of reliability, the Q8 is on par with the X6, earning an above-average rating. Both models offer a similar mix of performance and luxury, making it crucial to further investigate the specific model years and trims to find the best match for your preferences.

Porsche Cayenne Coupe:

The Cayenne Coupe is known for its powerful performance and distinctive styling. However, its reliability ratings vary across model years.

When comparing the X6 to the Cayenne Coupe, consider the reliability, features, and ownership costs of specific model years to make an informed choice.

Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class:

This luxury SUV has received praise for its comfortable ride, advanced technology, and safety features.

In general, the GLE-Class boasts good reliability ratings, making it a strong contender against the BMW X6. As always, look at the specific model years and trims to determine the best fit for your needs.

To summarize, the BMW X6 faces strong competition from its rivals in reliability ratings.

Be sure to research the model years and compare them to the offerings of the Audi Q8, Porsche Cayenne Coupe, and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class to find the luxury SUV that best suits your needs.

Safeguarding Your BMW X6 Investment

Preventive Maintenance

To ensure the longevity of your BMW X6, it’s essential to keep up with regular preventive maintenance.

Staying on top of routine tasks like oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections will reduce overall wear and tear, and help prevent costly repairs down the road.

Additionally, taking note of any potential issues with used BMW X6 models, especially the 2011 model, can help you stay proactive in addressing any known problems.

Purchasing Warranty and Insurance

Investing in an extended warranty and comprehensive insurance coverage is a great way to protect your BMW X6.

An extended warranty can cover potential repairs for components beyond the initial factory warranty period, providing peace of mind when it comes to potential mechanical difficulties.

Furthermore, quality insurance coverage will help protect you financially in the event of an accident or theft.

BMW X6 Maintenance Cost

While the BMW X6 is a luxury vehicle with high-quality components, it’s important to be aware of the associated maintenance costs.

While the costs of maintenance may be higher than an average vehicle, it’s essential to factor this into your budget. You can expect to encounter expenses such as:

  • Regular oil changes
  • Brake system maintenance
  • Tire replacement and rotation
  • Fluid checks and top-ups
  • Routine inspections and tune-ups

Remember, keeping up with preventive maintenance and being aware of any potential issues with used BMW X6 models will help safeguard your investment and ensure you enjoy your vehicle to the fullest.

BMW X6 Advanced Features and Safety Concerns

Luxurious Styling and Amenities

The BMW X6 offers you a luxurious experience with its sleek design and high-quality amenities.

Inside the cabin, you’ll find premium materials and a wealth of technology features, such as a rearview camera that provides improved visibility when reversing.

Furthermore, the infotainment system is user-friendly and equipped with excellent connectivity options.

For your convenience, the X6 is equipped with a lane departure warning system, which alerts you when you unintentionally drift out of your lane. This safety feature helps you maintain control of your vehicle on long drives or in congested traffic.

Safety Issues and Recalls

While the BMW X6 excels in its luxurious styling and advanced features, it is essential to be aware of any potential safety concerns.

In the past, certain year models have experienced issues, such as the 2011 BMW X6, which had issues with overheating engines, and persistent TPMS light issues affecting tire safety and performance.

When it comes to safety features, the X6 is equipped with multiple airbags designed to protect you and your passengers in the event of a collision.

Additionally, the advanced braking system ensures optimal stopping power and control, inspiring confidence on the road.

However, recalls are not uncommon for any vehicle. It’s always a good idea to visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website or other such sources to verify if there are any existing recalls for the specific year and model of the X6 that you’re considering.

This will help you stay informed about potential issues and make sure your vehicle remains in safe and reliable condition.

What to Expect from Future X6 Models

In the upcoming BMW X6 models, you can expect to see advancements in performance, efficiency, and technology.

One notable development is that BMW might expand their electrified lineup, drawing inspiration from models such as the X5 xDrive45e and X3 xDrive30e.

This means that you may witness the introduction of a plug-in hybrid or even a fully electric X6 in the future.

The potential shift towards electrification will not only enhance the efficiency of the vehicle but also maintain BMW’s commitment to sustainability.

The future BMW X6 models could also be built on the versatile CLAR platform, which allows for a seamless integration of various powertrains.

This advanced platform provides impressive rigidity and lightweight construction, ensuring improved handling and agility in your X6.

When it comes to performance, keep an eye out for the ALPINA XB7, a high-performance edition likely to take inspiration from the luxurious and powerful M850i xDrive.

This will enhance the driving experience and elevate the X6 into a new realm of performance and luxury.

Lastly, BMW may address the concerns of oil consumption in the future X6 models by refining the engine and implementing advanced technologies.

This will lead to a more dependable and efficient vehicle, allowing you to enjoy your BMW X6 to the fullest without any added worries.

BMW X6 Competitors

In this section, we will briefly compare the X6 with four of its closest rivals: the Volvo XC90, Audi Q8, Range Rover Velar, and the BMW X5.

Keep in mind that each vehicle has its own unique features and quirks, making it crucial to consider these comparisons before making a final decision.

Volvo XC90

The Volvo XC90 is a luxurious SUV that competes with the BMW X6 in terms of performance, comfort, and style.

Its spacious interior and advanced safety features make it an excellent choice for families. However, the XC90’s fuel economy might not be as impressive as the X6, especially when comparing the hybrid versions.

Audi Q8

Audi’s Q8 offers bold styling and impressive performance, making it a worthy competitor to the BMW X6. With a comfortable and elegantly designed interior, it provides a luxurious driving experience.

However, one common issue Q8 that both vehicles share is their relatively high price compared to other SUVs in the same class.

Range Rover Velar

The Range Rover Velar is another luxury SUV that competes with the BMW X6. It boasts a sleek design and off-roading capabilities, making it a versatile option for those with an adventurous spirit.

While the Velar’s interior is stunning and comfortable, it may not provide as much rear headroom as the X6.


Interestingly, one of the BMW X6’s main competitors is from its own family: the BMW X5. The X5 offers a more conservative design and greater cargo space, making it a practical choice for those prioritizing functionality.

Although the X5 and X6 share many features, you may find it worthwhile to compare their interior space and design, as well as their performance, to determine which model best suits your needs.


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