One of the biggest drawbacks of the BMW X6--once you’ve learned to live with its awkward styling and steeply reclined roof--is its limited four-seater capacity. Remember, this is a vehicle that nearly matches some seven-seaters in size yet BMW chose to go with a 2+2 seating configuration, clearly emphasizing its coupe-like qualities.

Now, almost three years after the vehicle was first launched, BMW has added a fifth seat to the X6 by designing an optional split-folding rear bench. The extra seat replaces the storage unit in the rear center of the four-seater model. The five-seater X6 is also optionally available in Nevada and Exclusive Nappa leather as well as BMW Individual Merino leather, encompassing the entire color range.

Note that the fifth seat option is not available on the BMW ActiveHybrid X6 but is on the high-performance X6 M.

Other changes to the X6, which also apply to the X5 SUV, include new 20 inch light alloy wheels, the addition of an eight-speed automatic with paddle-shifters and the availability of BMW Apps as part of the BMW ConnectedDrive package.

BMW Apps enables owners of an Apple iPhone to stay in touch with social sites such as Facebook and Twitter while in the car, as well as receive radio stations from all over the world, irrespective of the car's location, thanks to a web radio function.

The new options will be available this spring.