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2015 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader December 2014

The 2015 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is a 4-door version of the 6 Series coupe, and it's a pretty special car. Just take a look at what's under the hood: If there are two better all-around engines that are offered in the same luxury car, we've yet to find them. The 640i Gran Coupe's smooth turbocharged inline 6-cylinder pairs formidable thrust with excellent fuel economy, while the 650i Gran Coupe's twin-turbocharged V8 is insanely powerful, yet so refined that it's almost silent in normal operation. The 8-speed automatic transmission ties the whole package together, serving up buttery upshifts or racy rev-matched downshifts when requested.

Additional Gran Coupe strengths include a lovely cabin and a bullet-train feel at speeds that just about every high-buck BMW boasts these days. If it weren't for the styling, which we find less daring and cohesive than that of the Mercedes CLS, we'd have virtually nothing to criticize. The Gran Coupe's handling does fall a bit short of the "ultimate driving machine" standard set by previous BMWs, but for folks who simply want a 4-door coupe with power and luxury to spare, the 2015 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe might be just what they need.

What's New for 2015?

The 2015 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe adds a few standard features, including a digital instrument cluster, a touchpad iDrive controller and launch control.

What We Like

Wonderful engines; superb high-speed composure; top-quality interior; plenty of technology; available all-wheel drive

What We Don't

Somewhat uninspiring to drive for a BMW; small trunk

How Much?

$79,250-$90,550

Fuel Economy

Every BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission that includes launch-control functionality. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and xDrive all-wheel drive is optional.

The 640i boasts a turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine rated at 315 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy with rear-wheel drive is 20 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Adding all-wheel drive (640i xDrive) yields 20 mpg city/29 mpg hwy.

The 650i upgrades to a twin-turbocharged V8 with 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. Environmental Protection Agency ratings with rear-wheel drive are 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy for both body styles, and adding all-wheel drive yields 16 mpg city/24 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The 2015 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is offered in two trim levels: 6-cylinder 640i and 8-cylinder 650i. All-wheel drive (xDrive) is a $3,000 option on either trim.

The 640i Gran Coupe ($79,250) comes standard with a turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlamps, fog lights, a sport-tuned suspension with adaptive dampers, front and rear parking sensors, a sunroof, keyless entry with push-button ignition, a digital instrument cluster, leather upholstery, 10-way power front seats with lumbar support and memory settings, a power tilt-telescopic steering wheel, auto-dimming mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, iPod/USB and Bluetooth connectivity, a 9-speaker audio system, and the hard-drive-based iDrive infotainment system with a 10.2-in widescreen display, digital music storage, a navigation system and a rearview camera.

The 650i Gran Coupe ($90,550) adds a twin-turbocharged V8 engine and a few extra perks, such as 19-in alloy wheels and 20-way multicontour power front seats.

Some of the 650i's extra features are available on the 640i as options. Other options include adaptive cruise control and a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system. There are several options packages, most notably the M Sport package, which adds aerodynamic tweaks, a higher top speed (155 miles per hour), unique M-design 19- or 20-in wheels, LED headlights, a high-gloss shadow-line trim, dark chrome exhaust tips, a sport steering wheel and extensive M interior modifications (including extended Alcantara and leather trim).

Although the 6 Series Gran Coupe is based on the 7 Series platform, its cabin is unique, starting with the low-slung front seats that give it an unmistakably sporty vibe. The 650i's standard multicontour front seats are sublime in every way, and interior materials are absolutely top-notch. The sleek dashboard swoops dramatically toward the driver, accentuating the coupe experience.

Predictably, back-seat space isn't close to that of the 7 Series. Even the 5 Series (another spawn of the 7 Series platform) has more room for adults, thanks to its less-rakish roofline. Still, full-size humans can fit in the Gran Coupe's rear quarters, which is a lot more than we can say for the 2-door 6 Series. Trunk space is unchanged from the 2-door model at 13 cu ft.

Safety

The 2015 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe comes with stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, active front head restraints and eight airbags (front, front-knee, front-side and full-length side-curtain). Numerous high-tech safety features are available, including a blind spot monitoring system, lane-departure warning and a forward-collision-mitigation system with automatic braking.

Behind the Wheel

The 6 Series Gran Coupe is somewhere between the 7 Series and the 2-door 6 Series in terms of athleticism. It's a highly capable handler, no doubt, but it's also 4 inches longer than the already sizable 2-door 6 Series. It's not a car that feels nimble in tight corners. True to its name, the Gran Coupe is really more of a grand-touring car, a phenomenal high-speed cruiser that's also at home on winding roads as long as the curves aren't too sharp. We'd give the award for the ultimate driving machine to the Porsche Panamera or Audi A7/S7 in this class, but the Gran Coupe is an immensely satisfying drive in its own way.

Other Cars to Consider

Audi A7/Audi S7 -- The A7's supercharged V6 has enough urge for most tastes, but the S7 has a delicious twin-turbocharged V8 that might be worth the stretch. Both the A7 and S7 have a nimbler feel than the BMW in spirited driving.

Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class -- The CLS comes with a choice of two wonderful twin-turbocharged V8s that bookend the Gran Coupe's V8 in terms of output. We love the sheet metal's boldness, too.

Porsche Panamera -- The Panamera isn't a beauty in the eyes of most beholders, but it's absolutely brilliant to drive.

Used Aston Martin Rapide -- If you want to turn heads all over town, there's the V12-powered Rapide, and then there's everything else. Let depreciation be your friend. You can find a nice used Rapide if you look hard enough.

AutoTrader's Advice

The phenomenally fast, yet impeccably refined, 650i Gran Coupe is our pick of this litter. It's a fantastic all-around luxury ride.

Find a BMW6-Series Gran Coupe

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2015 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe: New Car Review - Autotrader