By Teddy Field
To understand the two oddballs in this car comparison, you must first understand the psychological premise of Contingency Anxiety. A term used to rationalize big, expensive purchases that you may never need. Like an off-road capable luxury…coupe (2013 BMW X6), or a massive convertible Barbie car (2013 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet). You may never actually need to venture off road, or let the top down to work on your salon-tan. But if you do, you can.
Purchasing a vehicle that has rarely needed capabilities, tends to give the customer a ‘can do’ feeling. Go anywhere, do anything, the sky’s the limit! Such automotive invincibility appeals to a lot of people, especially those in a higher income bracket. BMW sells thousands of SUVs each year, to people afflicted with Contingency Anxiety. And it’s a profitable business too. Each of their $50k+ soft-roaders can be fitted with all manner of expensive options, and that usually results in $10k-$30k of additional revenue per vehicle.
So if you had more money than sense, what SUV should you buy? Let’s get to the car comparison and find out.
2013 BMW X6
The idea behind the BMW X6 was to create an off road vehicle that looked like a sport sedan, and drove like one too. It was the sort of car that…no one had asked for. BMW fanboys weren’t jacking up M5’s and ‘goin to the mud hole’. But the success of the radical Mercedes CLS (the car that basically started the 4-door coupe thing) had proven that buyers were ready for something different. And BMW was about to give it to them.
Although you probably wouldn’t guess, the 2013 BMW X6 has near-perfect 49.8/50.2 weight distribution. Granted, this thing weighs 2.5 tons, but it doesn’t feel that heavy when you pitch it into a curve. The standard 4-wheel independent suspension does a good job of hustling this big bruiser through the twisties. But the stiff ride is spinal torture in the city. Spending an additional $4,300 on the Dynamic Handling Package will get you self-adjusting shocks, active sway bars, and 4-wheel steering. This setup is even more impressive in the bends, and the ride is a lot more tolerable too.
Part of what makes the 2013 BMW X6 so good on the road is BMW’s excellent xDrive All Wheel drive system. Except here, the otherwise lumbering Sport Activity Coupe gets the torque-splitting differential from the 2013 BMW X5M. This hunk of mechanical wizardry sends torque to the outside wheel as you go through a curve (the computer reads sensor data to recognize a curve), effectively slingshotting the big Bimmer through said curve. The experience is rather impressive…sort of like riding atop an elephant wearing jet-powered roller skates.
The downside of that tenacious lateral grip, is the delicacy with which you must approach non-pavement situations. The 2013 BMW X6 can go off road in the same way that Oprah can pole dance. It can be done, but it’s not recommended.
On the inside, the 2013 BMW X6 is typical BMW, with acres of fancy materials, and all the latest electronic gadgetry. The standard backseat only accommodates 2 (there’s a drinks tray between them), but a three-place bench is available for a fee. The low-slung roof means that rear visibility and headroom are a bit ‘lacking’. However, the hatchback design allows plenty of room for all your golf bags.
Under the hood, you can order the 300-hp 3.0L Turbo-6 (315-hp with the M Performance pack), a 400-hp 4.4L V8 (430-hp with the M pack), or a 550-hp nuclear bomb. However, the 2013 BMW X6M has no off-roadability whatsoever.
2013 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet
Okay, you have a boyfriend named Ken, a million pairs of shoes, and you actually know what time ‘brunch’ is served. What do you drive? Why a 2013 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet of course!
Designed for those few people who can’t decide between a convertible and an SUV, the CrossCab offers a…taste of both. Let the massive cloth top down, and 3 of your closest friends can worship the sun, on the way to the tanning salon. There’s plenty of trunk space for all your accessories…I mean shopping. And the 265-hp 3.5L V6 (mated to a CVT) has more than enough oomph to get you to that hair appointment on time.
The 2013 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet comes fully loaded with heated leather thrones, AWD, a big touchscreen, and a dash mounted easy-release button for the passenger seat. Upgraded leather, and navigation are the only available options.
Overall, the 2013 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet is pleasant driving beach cruiser for those who just can’t make up their minds.
Car Comparison: 2013 BMW X6 vs. 2013 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet
|SPECIFICATION||2013 BMW X6||2013 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet|
|Fuel Economy||16/23 xDrive35i||17/22|
|Suburban Snob Factor||5 / 10 Camrys||5 / 10 Camrys|
|NHTSA Ranking||Top Safety Pick = N/A||Top Safety Pick = N/A|