BMW 6-series Gran Coupe review

Jethro Bovingdon
9 May 2012
Verdict:

We drive the new 6-series Gran Coupe, BMW's Mercedes CLS and Audi A7 Sportback rival, in 640d high performance diesel trim

Evo Rating: 
Price: 
£63,900
For 
More fluid than 6 Coupe, more fun than a 5-series, quality, looks
Against 
Pricey, body control a little floaty at times, a bit wide

What is it?
 
The BMW 6-series Gran Coupe, the company’s long-awaited Audi A7 and Mercedes CLS rival. We’ve driven the 640d, the high performance, twin-turbo diesel version, with a UK price of £63,900.
 
Technical highlights?
 
This 640d has all the toys – Dynamic Damper Control (continuously variable damping), Adaptive Drive (active roll bars), Integral Active Steering (rear-wheel steer). Toggling between the different driving modes - ECO PRO, Comfort+, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ - should change its character markedly, yet the 6-series is comfortable, effortless and well balanced in all.
 
What’s it like to drive?
 
It always feels like a big car and it’s ‘sporting’ rather than genuinely sporty, but it goes like stink, sounds terrific and can be hustled along at a terrific rate of knots. Better still, it has balance and doesn’t seem to understeer at all – the optional rear steer serving up just a little bit of yaw on the exit of most corners and the excellent stability control keeping everything tidy and driving forwards.
 
Somehow the Gran Coupe feels more agile and more fluid than the two-door on which it’s based and the price premium of £1815 represents good value. It’s a lot more fun than a 5-Series, too. The ride is very supple (I actually think it’s a bit more Merc than BMW, but then I’m an old fashioned BMW fan), refinement is excellent, even the rear-wheel steering system seems more natural, more intuitive. Plus it’s got plenty of room in the back and the boot is massive.
 
How does it compare?
 
The BMW 640d Gran Coupe feels more special than its two natural rivals, the Mercedes-Benz CLS350 CDI and Audi A7 BiTDI Quattro, but then it’s around £10,000 more expensive. Closer on pricing is the Porsche Panamera diesel, but it’s down on power and performance compared to the Beemer.
 
Anything else I need to know?
 
The 3-litre TwinPower 640i petrol is even better, with finer body control, sharper throttle response and a zingy howl in place of the 640d’s bassy roar. It’s got a little more power at 316bhp, a whole heap less torque – 332lb ft at 1300-4500rpm – and carries 40kg less, a still substantial 1825kg. At £61,390 it’s also cheaper and still does 35.8mpg. If you don’t do mega miles then it’s well worth a look. And if you’re an incurable petrol man then there’s always the £70,650, 444bhp 650i…

Specifications

Engine In-line 6-cyl, 2993cc, twin-turbo, diesel
Max power 309bhp @ 4400rpm
Max torque 465lb ft @ 1500-2500rpm
0-60 5.4sec (claimed 0-62)
Top speed 155mph (limited)
On sale Now

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