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2019 BMW 6 Series Review

The 2019 BMW 6 Series makes it into another year with fewer models in its range. All that’s left is the 4-door Gran Coupe and the hatchback Gran Turismo, or GT. Plus the M6 Gran Coupe version, which is reviewed separately. As the 2020 BMW 8 Series phases in, the 6 Series badge lives on in two distinctly different beasts.

The 2019 6 Series Gran Coupe is a luxury midsize sedan with a sleek roof. The 640i Gran Coupe’s 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 it’s almost silent in normal operation.

Additional strengths include a well-appointed cabin and a "bullet train" feel at high speeds. The handling falls somewhat 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.

The 6 Series Gran Turismo is a midsize premium hatchback with a raised ride height. Almost a crossover, but not quite. As such, it either misses the wagon/hatchback or crossover marks, or hits a new target somewhere in between. Perhaps this is the future and current crossover drivers are realizing that while they like the raised driving position, it doesn’t have to be quite so high and they might welcome better body control instead.

Tastes will differ, but it’s not crazy to say that the styling of the 6 Series GT is more elegant than its 5 Series predecessor. Its flanks are made a little more interesting with the inclusion of the "hockey stick" design detail that’s similar to the 5 and 7 Series.

Sophistication, passenger and cargo space, a spaceship-full of technology, and excellent driving manners are all part of the 6 Series GT’s distinct charm.

There is another variant. The Alpine B6 xDrive Gran Coupe. Alpina is an independent operation that specializes in tuning BMW vehicles. They’re usually more powerful and more desirable than BMW’s own wonderful M versions. They’re available through BMW dealerships with a full new car warranty. The B6 has 40 more horsepower than its M6 counterpart.

What’s New for 2019?

The convertible version has been discontinued. Apple CarPlay smartphone integration becomes standard (12-month subscription). There’s also been some shuffling of optional equipment. See the 2019 BMW 6 Series models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Fantastic engines
  • Long-distance cruising abilities
  • High-quality interiors
  • Plenty of tech
  • Availability of all-wheel drive
  • Amazing Alpina B6 model

What We Don’t

  • Less athletic than the BMW badge might imply (Alpina excepted)
  • No Android Auto smartphone integration
  • Restricted rear passenger space in the Gran Coupe

How Much?

$71,295-$125,395

Fuel Economy

All BMW 6 Series variants come with an 8-speed automatic transmission that has smooth upshifts or sporty rev-matched downshifts, launch control mode and steering wheel-mounted paddles. Rear-wheel drive is standard in the Gran Coupe, with all-wheel drive (BMW calls it xDrive) on the options list. AWD is standard in the Gran Turismo and the Alpina B6.

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

The Environmental Protection Agency Fuel (EPA) estimates fuel economy with RWD at 20 miles per gallon in the city, 29 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg in combined driving. AWD yields 19 mpg city/28 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined.

A twin-turbocharged V8 in the 650i Gran Coupe generates 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. Consumption with RWD is 18 mpg city/26 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined. Adding AWD means 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined.

The 2019 BMW Alpina xDrive B6 has that same turbocharged V8, but boosted to a magnificent 600 hp and 591 lb-ft of torque. The EPA puts fuel consumption at 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined.

The 640i xDrive Gran Turismo employs a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder making 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. Consumption is 20 mpg city/28 mpg hwy/23 mpg combined.

Every model has an engine stop/start feature.

Standard Features & Options

The 2019 BMW 6 Series is offered as a Gran Turismo or a Gran Coupe.

The 2019 BMW 640i Gran Turismo ($71,295) comes with a lot of standard equipment, including 19-in alloy wheels, adaptive full LED headlights with automatic high beams, LED daytime running lights/fog lights, heated/power-folding side mirrors, puddle lamps, selectable driving modes, self-leveling rear air suspension, rain-sensing wipers, heated/10-way power-adjustable front seats with lumbar support and driver’s-side memory, a 12.3-in configurable digital driver information display, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry/ignition, a panoramic moonroof, ambient cabin lighting, a hands-free lift gate, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, dynamic cruise control, front/rear parking sensors, a universal garage door opener, BMW’s iDrive infotainment system with voice control, navigation, a 10.2-in high-resolution touchscreen, Wi-Fi, 205-watt/12-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay integration, satellite/HD radio, two USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity and wireless device charging. There’s also BMW ConnectedDrive (traffic updates, concierge service, onboard apps).

Standard driver-assistance features include forward-collision mitigation with daytime pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, active blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, and driver fatigue/focus monitoring. Buyers may also select active cruise control (which can sense two vehicles ahead) with stop/go and traffic jam assistance, front cross-traffic alert, night vision with pedestrian detection, and remote control parking.

The Luxury Seating package brings BMW’s excellent 20-way multi-contour front seats, with ventilation, massaging function, and memory settings.

A new Premium package includes a head-up display, gesture control, soft-closing doors, active parking assistance and a 360-degree camera system.

The Dynamic Handling package consists of an active suspension — adding a Comfort Plus setting to the driving modes along with an air setup at the front and greater body roll control — and rear-wheel steering.

Other options include 20- and 21-in alloy wheels, a heated steering wheel, Nappa leather upholstery, powered rear side window sunshades, a 600-watt Harman Kardon surround sound system, a 16-speaker/1,400-watt Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system, and a rear-seat entertainment system with dual screens.

There’s 31 cu ft. of luggage space behind the rear seats, which split and fold in 40/20/40 fashion. When folded, maximum cargo volume is 65 cu ft., making the GT comparable with midsize crossovers.

The 2019 6 Series Gran Coupe is available in 640i and 650i versions. AWD is a $3,000 option.

The 640i Gran Coupe ($82,495) has 18-in alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlamps with automatic high beams, LED fog lights, a sport-tuned suspension with adaptive dampers, front/rear parking sensors, a sunroof, keyless entry/ignition, a digital instrument cluster, leather upholstery, heated/10-way power-adjustable front seats with driver’s-side memory settings, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power-folding/heated side mirrors, self-dimming mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, ambient cabin lighting, driver fatigue monitoring, and the iDrive infotainment system with a 10.2-in widescreen display, navigation, HD/satellite radio, Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, wireless smartphone charging, auxiliary audio input, digital music storage, Bluetooth, USB port and a 9-speaker audio setup.

The 650i Gran Coupe ($94,095) adds 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, a higher top speed (150 mph 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.

Other options include adaptive cruise control, forward-collision mitigation, blind spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, night vision, rear-wheel steering, automated parallel parking, a 360-degree camera system, adaptive anti-roll bars (called Adaptive Drive) and a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround-sound system.

The 2019 BMW Alpina xDrive B6 Gran Coupe ($125,395) has the most power, AWD as standard, and builds on the 650i’s specs with an Alpina sport suspension, exhaust system, aerodynamics, 20-in alloy wheels, and instrument cluster.

Trunk space is a useful 13 cu ft.

Safety

The 6 Series comes with stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, active front head restraints, and a full complement of airbags. It has not been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nor by the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Behind the Wheel

Thanks to the raised ride height (compared with a conventional sedan) entering and exiting the 6 GT is easy and dignified. The standard seats are perfectly comfortable, while the optional 14-way multi-contour front seats belong in any conversation about the best car seats in the world.

BMW excels at making engines, especially inline-6 units. This one is refined and rapid in equally generous measures (0-to-60 mph in 5.1 seconds is quick for a family hauler), while the transmission is linked to the navigation for smart shifting actions.

The GT also excels in rear passenger comfort. The bottom cushions provide plenty of thigh support and the seats can recline. There’s enough space for three adults back there and every occupant should enjoy the hushed cabin.

Some will prefer a lower center of gravity, but others will appreciate the commanding view of the road. That said, the GT is no slouch when things become curvy, displaying remarkable cornering composure for something of this size and weight. The GT also shines on the highway. The optional 21-in wheels will affect ride quality, though.

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 top-notch. The sleek dashboard swoops toward the driver, accentuating the coupe experience. The 650i’s standard multi-contour front seats are sublime.

Rear passenger space is limited. The 5 Series has more room, thanks to its less rakish roofline. Still, adults of average size can fit in the rear quarters.

The Gran Coupe is a highly capable handler, but it’s not a car that feels nimble in tight corners, although the B6 is superior in this respect. As its name implies, the Gran Coupe is really more of a grand tourer, a phenomenal high-speed cruiser that’s also at home on roads where the curves are long, fast and sweeping.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Audi A7/S7 — A German premium midsize hatchback, but this one has a conventional ride height, so the handling can benefit. All-new for 2019.

2019 BMW X6 — Not as roomy as the 6 Series GT, but falls into the "non-conformist crossover" category, by virtue of the sloping roof.

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe — More of a rival for the X6, but the GLE crossover SUV now offers this variant with a "4-door coupe" design and a range of strong engines.

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class — All-new for 2019 with cutting-edge drivetrains. A strong rival to the Gran Coupe.

Used Porsche Panamera — For the price of a new 6 GT, a used Panamera could be immense fun with plenty of luxury. Look at Porsche’s certified pre-owned (CPO) program.

Autotrader’s Advice

The 2020 BMW 8 Series coupe and convertible might be more intriguing. Otherwise, the demands met by the GT are markedly different to those met by the Gran Coupe, so it really is buyer’s choice. Find a BMW 6 Series for sale

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