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2017 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe: New Car Review

If you’re looking for information on a newer BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, we’ve published an updated review: 2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe Review

The 2017 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is not a coupe in the traditional sense. Meaning, it doesn’t have one passenger door on either side. But it does have a roof that tapers down to the trunk at a sharper angle than that of a regular sedan. It’s the styling conceit known as the "4-door coupe" which sets the Gran Coupe apart from its 2-door 6 Series compadres.

So in reality, it’s a 5-seater sedan. A sumptuous sedan with a choice of two excellent engines. It’s based on the same platform as the regular 6 Series, which is closely related to the previous generation of the 7 Series.

A little more about those engines — the 640i Gran Coupe’s silky turbocharged inline 6-cylinder pairs formidable thrust with excellent fuel economy, while the 650i Gran Coupe’s twin-turbocharged V8 is gloriously powerful, yet so refined that it’s almost silent in normal operation. The 8-speed automatic transmission ties each package together, with smooth upshifts or racy rev-matched downshifts.

Additional strengths include a well-appointed cabin and a "bullet train" feel at high speeds that every big-buck BMW has these days. The handling falls a bit short of the standard set by previous BMWs, but for anyone who wants a 4-door coupe with power and luxury to spare, the 6 Series Gran Coupe might be just the thing.

What’s New for 2017?

BMW’s iDrive infotainment system has been updated to version 5.0. Wi-Fi and wireless smartphone charging have joined the list of standard equipment. See the 2017 BMW 6 Series models for sale near you

What We Like

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

What We Don’t

Somewhat uninspiring to drive for a BMW; small trunk; restricted rear passenger space; priced on the high side compared with rivals

How Much?

$80,795-$92,195

Fuel Economy

Every BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission that includes a launch control mode. Rear-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive (BMW calls it xDrive) is optional.

The 640i has a turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine that develops 315 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel economy with rear-wheel drive at 20 miles per gallon in the city, 29 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg in combined driving. Adding all-wheel drive yields 19 mpg city/28 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined.

The 650i enjoys a twin-turbocharged V8 with 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. With rear-wheel drive, fuel consumption is 17 mpg city/24 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined. With all-wheel drive, it’s 15 mpg city/24 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2017 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe comes in 640i and 650i versions. All-wheel drive is a $3,000 option on either variant.

The 640i Gran Coupe ($80,795) comes standard with a turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlamps with automatic high beams, fog lights, sport-tuned suspension with adaptive dampers, front and rear parking sensors, sunroof, keyless entry with push-button ignition, digital instrument cluster, leather upholstery, heated/8-way power-adjustable front seats with lumbar support and driver’s-side memory settings, power tilt/telescope steering wheel, self-dimming mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, rearview camera, iPod/USB and Bluetooth connectivity, 9-speaker audio system, and the hard drive-based iDrive infotainment system with a 10.2-in widescreen display, navigation, HD/satellite radio, Wi-Fi, wireless smartphone charging, auxiliary audio input and digital music storage.

The 650i Gran Coupe ($92,195) adds a twin-turbocharged V8 engine and a few extras, such as 19-in alloy wheels, 16-way multi-contour power front seats with passenger-side memory settings, 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and upholstery of finer leather.

Some of the 650i’s extra features are available on the 640i as options. And there are several options packages. The M Sport package adds aerodynamic tweaks, higher top speed (150 miles per hour instead of 130 mph), M-design 19-in or 20-in wheels, dark chrome exhaust tips, sport steering wheel and extensive M interior modifications (including extended Alcantara and leather trim). The Cold Weather package brings a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats. And the Executive package includes quad-zone automatic climate control, ventilated front seats, power-closing doors and a full color head-up display.

Other individual options include adaptive cruise control, night vision, rear-wheel steering (for rear-drive models; adds a little extra agility and makes parking easier), automated parallel parking, 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround-sound system and adaptive anti-roll bars (called Adaptive Drive).

Trunk space is a useful 13 cu ft.

Safety

Standard safety equipment includes 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 also available in the Driver Assistance Plus package, including blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, pedestrian detection, multi-angle camera system, and a forward-collision mitigation system with automatic braking.

This vehicle has not been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Behind the Wheel

Although the 6 Series Gran Coupe is based on the previous 7 Series platform, it has its own cabin design, starting with low-slung front seats that give it a sporty feel. Interior materials are absolutely top-notch in both cars. The sleek dashboard swoops dramatically toward the driver, accentuating the coupe experience. The 650i’s standard multi-contour front seats are sublime.

Predictably, rear passenger space is limited. Even the 5 Series has more room for adults, thanks to its less rakish roofline. Still, adults of average size can fit in the Gran Coupe’s rear quarters, which is more than can be said for the 2-door 6 Series.

The 6 Series Gran Coupe is a highly capable handler, but it’s also four 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 roads where the curves are long, fast and sweeping. The Porsche Panamera and Audi A7/S7 are more athletic, but the Gran Coupe is an immensely satisfying drive in its own right.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 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 when the roads become more interesting.

2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class — Comes with a choice of two wonderful twin-turbocharged V8s that bookend the Gran Coupe’s V8 in terms of output.

2017 Porsche Panamera — Absolutely brilliant to drive. A new (second) generation has debuted for 2017.

Used Aston Martin Rapide — The V12-powered Rapide will take everyone’s breath away, including the driver’s. You can find a nice used Rapide if you look hard enough. Depreciation is your friend in this case.

Autotrader’s Advice

As long as there’s adequate rear passenger space for your needs, then it’s impossible to make a bad choice.  

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