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2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by AutoTrader May 2018

Despite its name, the 2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is a sedan in the premium midsize class. But yes, it's one of those "4-door coupes," like the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class.

On a more serious note, this body style, the 2-door convertible and the Gran Turismo hatchback are the only cars in the 6 Series range this year. The 2-door "real" coupe has been discontinued. And more changes are afoot, because an all-new 8 Series model is expected to be phased in soon. All other 6 Series cars are reviewed separately.

Before six becomes eight, however, there's this sleek and 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 completes each package with smooth upshifts or sporty 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 lofty 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 2018?

The optional M Sport bundle now includes carbon fiber trim pieces that were previously exclusive to the high-performance M6 versions, 2-tone 20-inch M alloy wheels become available, and the iDrive infotainment system has been updated to the latest version: 6.0.

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 higher side compared with rivals

How Much?

$82,3950-$93,995

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 Fuel (EPA) estimates fuel economy with rear-wheel drive at 20 miles per gallon city, 29 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. 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/25 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined. With all-wheel drive, it's 16 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is available in 640i and 650i versions. All-wheel drive is a $3,000 option on either variant.

The 640i Gran Coupe ($82,395) comes standard with a turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlamps with automatic high beams, LED fog lights, sport-tuned suspension with adaptive dampers, front and rear parking sensors, a sunroof, keyless entry with push-button ignition, digital instrument cluster, leather upholstery, heated/10-way power-adjustable front seats with lumbar support and driver's-side memory settings, power tilt-telescopic steering wheel, power-folding/heated side mirrors, self-dimming mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, ambient cabin lighting, driver fatigue monitoring, 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, Apple CarPlay, wireless smartphone charging, auxiliary audio input and digital music storage.

The 650i Gran Coupe ($93,995) 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, a 16-speaker/600-watt 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, a sport steering wheel and extensive M interior modifications (including carbon fiber trim pieces and extended Alcantara/leather trim). The Cold Weather package brings heat to the steering wheel and rear seats. And the Executive package includes quad-zone automatic climate control, ventilated front seats and power-closing doors.

Other options include adaptive cruise control, forward-collision mitigation, blind spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance, full color head-up display, night vision, rear-wheel steering (for rear-drive models; adds a little extra agility and makes parking easier), automated parallel parking, 360-degree camera system, adaptive anti-roll bars (called Adaptive Drive) and a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround sound system.

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 grown-ups, thanks to its less rakish roofline. Still, adults of average size can fit in the Gran Coupe's rear quarters.

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. As its name implies, 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 still an immensely satisfying drive in its own right.

Other Cars to Consider

2018 Audi A7/Audi S7 -- The A7's supercharged V6 has enough muscle to please the majority of drivers, 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.

2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class -- Comes with a choice of two wonderful twin-turbocharged V8s. One has 402 hp, the other has 577 hp.

2018 Porsche Panamera -- Absolutely wonderful to drive, luxuriate in and generally tingle with pleasure at the whole experience.

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

Anyone with their heart set on a 6 Series Gran Coupe ought to make a move now, before a new model replaces it. Or perhaps you'd prefer to wait a year or two for an 8 Series. As for engine choices, the 6-cylinder is probably energetic enough for most appetites, but that V8 in the 650i is really something.

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2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe: New Car Review - Autotrader