£59,535 - £72,500 Price range
32 - 52 MPG
The reviews of the latest BMW 6 Series are generally quite positive, with the consensus being that it’s a thorough improvement over the previous car.
The critics like the great – if limited – choice of engines, and the impressive refinement and excellent range means that is possesses the qualities needed to be both a great GT and a sports coupe. However, don’t go expecting it to be the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’, as thrills are rather infrequent from behind the wheel.
As you’d expect from a premium GT car, the cabin of the BMW 6-Series is quite a nice one – some critics thought it wasn’t particularly stylish to look at, but it’s solidly built out of good quality materials, and the controls are well laid out and mostly easy to use.
Space is also decent, with more than enough room up front for the driver and the person riding shotgun, and the boot is also, at 460 litres, a usefully large size. However, despite being nearly five metres long, taller passengers may feel a bit cramped in the back seats, thanks to the less than satisfactory amounts of leg and headroom.
Being a sports orientated coupe, the 6 Series does appear to be a well sorted car when it comes to handling and dynamics. Body roll is well contained, it handles fairly well and quite a few critics were impressed with the responsiveness of the steering and brakes.
However, they were far more impressed with it as a long distance cruiser – many thought that the ride quality was very good indeed, and the cabin is well insulated from wind and road noise. The eight speed automatic gearbox was also the subject of praise, as it suits the car’s more relaxed traits.
There are, though, some areas where the 6 Series isn’t quite as satisfactory when you’re behind the wheel. Quite a few testers reckon that, despite its sporting intentions, there are rivals that are more entertaining to drive. Even the ride isn’t exactly class leading, so dynamically it is a little bit of a letdown. There are also complaints regarding a poor visibility – especially out the back – thanks to the thick pillars.
There aren’t that many engines on offer in the 6 Series – there’s only a pair of petrols and a diesel in the range – but thankfully they all appear to be fantastic. Praise has been given to their smooth and refined nature at cruising speeds, yet all are capable of impressive performance stats and decent fuel economy. Each engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which is also praised, with one critic describing it as “superbly fast-acting.”
BMW expects most people to opt for the 640d diesel, as it’s just as quick as the similarly priced petrol model yet can return over 50 mpg. However, if you don’t particularly want your German GT car to come with a diesel, then there’s always the smooth yet rather rapid 640i and 650i petrol powered models. And, of course, the super powerful M6 is always a (slightly unhinged) option…
As you’d expect from a car that’s set to account for a huge proportion of overall sales, the diesel powered 6 Series appears to be a very good overall product. The critics like the seamless and effortless pace, along with the car’s sporting attributes and its impressive fuel economy and emission statistics.
Being a twin-turbo 3.0 straight six with 310hp and a mighty 465lb/ft on tap, the 640d certainly isn’t wanting for speed – the claimed 0-60 time of 5.5 seconds is almost identical to the V8 petrol model’s, and is restricted to 155mph. The critics also reckon it sounds very nice for a diesel motor, with a gruff growl present when you work your way through the revs.
Of course, being an oil burner, it’s the refinement and economy figures that are the main highlights. Most of the testers state that, despite its sporting nature, the diesel motor works best as a smooth and relaxed cruiser, and is fairly quiet when you’re just pootling along. It’s also hugely economical for a car with this level of power and performance – BMW claim an impressive 51 mpg is possible on the combined cycle, and the 149g/lm of CO2 emissions means it only costs £130 a year to tax.
Lots of the critics say that the M Sport option isn't worth getting as it makes the ride too firm and doesn't suit the car's character. Pricing for the 640d is competitive and you shouldn't have to spend too much on options, it comes with heap of kit.
However, despite its pace and handling qualities, it’s far from being the most engaging 6 Series to drive – if you want a more engaging experience, it’s worth looking at the petrols. However, none of the BMW’s main rivals come with a diesel option, so if you want a fast yet relatively frugal GT car, then the 640d should go straight to the top of your shortlist.
The reviews generally say the 640i has another great BMW engine, but just like the other versions, it's just not engaging enough.
It may be the entry level model in the range, but the critics suggest the 640i model isn’t the inferior relation in the 6 Series family. They like its eager yet quite smooth and efficient engine, along with the car’s enticing breadth of abilities and its low asking price when compared with the other variants.
As the starting point in the range, the 640i certainly has its appeal – though not exactly affordable, it’s still competitively priced, is quick enough for most people and isn’t too expensive to run. Overall, it’s a good all-rounder with a great engine, but it’s worth noting that the 640d model is just as fast in the real world yet is noticeably cheaper to run.
It’s by no means a cheap car, but after the recent demise of the Jaguar XK to make way for the smaller, sportier F-Type, there aren’t currently any cars on the market that offer a direct comparison. The Audi S5 is significantly cheaper, but is a little smaller and a less involving drive than the BMW. Above the Beemer’s price point, cars like the Porsche 911 and Maserati Gran Turismo offer more performance, style and badge prestige to justify their cost.
Going some way towards justifying the high purchase price, the 6 Series comes with a decent amount of standard kit, such as a stop/start system and adaptive cruise control that can slow the car down by itself. Add any further options and things start to get very pricey indeed, though. Being a BMW, residual values are fairly good.
If you’re interested in the 6 Series coupe, but are put off by the lack of space for rear passengers, then Gran Coupe model may be an option. It’s slightly longer than the 6 Series, has an extra pair of doors, and the extra length arguably makes it a more elegant-looking car.
Overall, the new BMW 6 Series is a very capable car that works brilliantly as a grand tourer. It’s by no means the most exciting car of its type to drive, but there’s no denying the appeal of its qualities as a cruiser, and it is usefully cheaper than quite a few noticeable rivals.
There are other GT cars on the market that offer a more engaging drive or a more desirable badge and image. However, few are as well rounded as the BMW 6 Series, and despite the ‘dynamic deficiencies’ it’s definitely worth considering if you want a comfy coupe cruiser.