If you’re looking for information on a newer BMW 6 Series, we’ve published an updated review: 2018 BMW 6 Series Review
The 2017 BMW 6 Series is a part of the BMW portfolio that leans more in the direction of luxurious than sporty. It’s not soft, exactly, but more of a grand tourer. It provides effortless power, gorgeous surroundings and a ride that makes an 8-hour drive an attractive proposition. What it doesn’t do is stir the blood through the corners, since there’s no disguising the car’s considerable mass, even with a suspension tuned by some of the best engineers in the business. But it has its own attributes, especially when there’s a big V8 rumbling under the hood.
The 6 Series range also includes a Gran Coupe and an M6 version, but these are reviewed separately.
What’s New for 2017?
Wireless smartphone charging and Wi-Fi are now standard. And the iDrive infotainment system has been updated to version 5.0. See the 2017 BMW 6 Series models for sale near you
What We Like
Fantastic engines; long-distance cruising abilities; high-quality interior; plenty of tech; availability of all-wheel drive
What We Don’t
Less athletic than the BMW badge might imply; cramped back seat; no retractable hard top for the convertible
All 6 Series models come with an 8-speed automatic transmission (using BMW’s distinctive joystick-like shifter). Rear-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive (which BMW calls xDrive) is a $3,000 option throughout the range.
The 640i has a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine making 315 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel consumption for the rear-drive coupe at 21 miles per gallon in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg in combined driving; the convertible returns 20 mpg city/29 mpg hwy/23 mpg combined. All-wheel drive results in 19 mpg city/28 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined with either body style.
A twin-turbocharged V8 in the 650i generates 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. Both the rear-drive coupe and convertible achieve 17 mpg city/24 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined. Adding all-wheel drive adjusts those figures to 16 mpg city/24 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined for the coupe and 15 mpg city/24 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined for the convertible.
Standard Features & Options
The 2017 BMW 6 Series is offered as a coupe or a soft-top convertible in 640i and 650i form.
Both the 640i coupe ($78,595) and 640i convertible ($86,095) come standard with a turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights, LED fog lights, a sport-tuned suspension with adaptive dampers, dynamic cruise control with braking function, rain-sensing wipers, a sport exhaust, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, keyless entry/start, a digital instrument cluster, leather upholstery, 6-way power-adjustable/heated front seats with memory settings for both occupants, a power-adjustable steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, iPod/USB and Bluetooth connectivity, a 9-speaker audio system with a hard-drive-based iDrive infotainment system and a 10.2-in widescreen display, a touchpad-equipped controller knob, digital music storage, navigation, wireless smartphone charging and Wi-Fi. The coupe gets a tilting sunroof, while the convertible has special sun-reflecting leather on the seats and even the steering wheel.
The 650i coupe ($89,995) and 650i convertible ($97,495) add the twin-turbocharged V8, 19-in alloy wheels, a Harman Kardon audio system, 16-way multi-contour power-adjustable front seats and Nappa leather upholstery.
Some of the 650i’s features are available on the 640i as options. Other extras include 20-in wheels, side- and top-view cameras, and a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system. A comprehensive M Sport Edition package contributes aerodynamic tweaks, M-design 20-in wheels, extensive M interior modifications (including extended Alcantara and Nappa leather trim), soft-close doors and ventilated front seats.
The back seat isn’t really big enough for passengers unless those sitting in front don’t mind having their chins close to their knees or have short legs. Even then, headroom is severely limited unless you’re in the convertible with the top down.
Speaking of which, there are no complaints about the vinyl roof’s rapid power operation. It’s important to note, however, that soft tops are vulnerable to break-ins and harsh weather in ways that retractable hard tops are not. Incidentally, the convertible’s heated glass rear window can retract when the roof is up and stay in place as a wind deflector when the roof is down.
The coupe has a reasonable 13 cu ft. of trunk area, while the convertible offers 12 cu ft. with the top up. Folding the top down reduces that space by a couple of cubic feet.
The 6 Series comes with stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, active front head restraints and four airbags (front and front-side). Numerous high-tech safety features are available, including a blind spot monitoring system, lane-departure warning, night vision and a collision-mitigation system with automatic emergency braking. The convertible adds roll bars that pop up automatically in emergencies.
The BMW 6 Series has not been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Behind the Wheel
The first impression is how low the front seats are. They’re not hard to get into, but there’s a definite sports-car flavor here. The standard 6-way power front seats are more than pleasant, but the optional 16-way multicontour seats are so versatile and supportive they’re virtually a must-have.
The gauges on the 6 Series use BMW’s familiar white-on-black numerals, which switch to orange-on-black at night. Interior materials are exceptional, and the dashboard swoops toward the driver, accented by the beautiful 10.2-in iDrive screen. The only real quibble is that the steering wheel seems a bit large for coupe/convertible duty.
The 640i’s inline 6-cylinder brings strong-yet-civilized acceleration. But the main event is the 650i’s spectacular twin-turbo V8, which is so quick at any speed that it makes us almost question the point of the M6. The 8-speed automatic transmission is a perfect partner, upshifting seamlessly and matching revs enthusiastically on downshifts.
Ultimately, though, the 6 Series is too large and heavy to really be considered athletic. Its true comfort zone is on the highway, where it’s serene and planted at all speeds.
Other Cars to Consider
2017 Jaguar F-TYPE — Only has two seats, but is exceptionally capable, smooth and stylish.
2017 Porsche 911 — The current 911 has morphed into something of a GT car, but it’s still much more engaging than the sedate 6 Series. The 6 has the better ride, however.
At this level, you can probably afford whatever version you want. But we will say the multicontour seats are worth the money, and investing in safety features is never a bad idea. Find a BMW 6 Series for sale