2013 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe 640i Sedan (3.0L 6-cyl. Turbo RWD 8-speed Auto)
Driven On 6/5/2012
Perhaps trying to be all things to all people doesn't work for driving enthusiasts like us, but a mixed bag of dynamics kept us from fully endorsing the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe. Comfort, Interior, and Quality remain very good in comparison, even among its competitive peers.
PerformanceSadly, this new generation of BMW sedan mixes too much software with its hardware. The results are good on paper, but sometimes lacking the nuanced "feel" for which BMW was once known.
Perhaps it's the car's mass, but our testing revealed that compared to competitors the 640i is sluggish to 60 mph (5.7 sec), but gets with the program once underway.
The very definition of powerful brakes, the 640i stops short, straight, and repeatedly, showing excellent fade resistance. Pedal feel is medium-firm with intuitive response.
Our test car had BMW's notoriously polarizing "Active Steering" option. We feel it utterly removes the feel and response BMW spent decades perfecting. We'd opt out.
Our test car also had optional active stabilizer bars that keep the car unnervingly flat while cornering. We'd say test drive one with and one without before ticking the box.
Selecting "Sport" harmonizes engine and transmission operation. Brakes are outstanding. "Active" steering and suspension options degrade drivability, particularly for enthusiasts.
ComfortThe BMW 640i is built for front passenger comfort. In that aspect, this car is a benchmark. Cramped rear seats lower the overall score.
Front seats are highly adjustable and accommodate a wide variety of sizes. Rear headroom is less than in some competitors with similar coupe-like shape.
Exceptionally compliant ride with none of the impact harshness you might expect with short-sidewall tires.
One of the quietest cars we've tested at a 70 mph cruise.
InteriorThe 6 Series Gran Coupe offers all the interior goodness of a BMW sedan, but is somewhat compromised by the trendy, coupe-like shell.
iDrive controller evolves, improves, yet still confounds some. Technophobes need not apply. Other controls are self-evident and close at hand.
The rear doors are small, so ingress/egress is problematic. Only count on four total seats, not five. Large front doors allow easy entry.
Typical in this niche group of sedans masquerading as coupes. Traditionally shaped/proportioned sedans are always better. Rear buckets only accommodate two.
Rear head restrains, sloping roof, and narrow rear glass conspire to challenge rearward visibility. Standard parking sensors and camera help tremendously. Otherwise, typical sedan.
Trunk space is generous at 16.2 cubic feet, and the split-folding rear seat folds down to increase cargo capacity. There is also a trunk pass-through between the rear seats.
ValueThis is a tricky score for the Gran Coupe because the base MSRP is unquestionably high, even among similar cars from other manufacturers, yet the expected quality, warranty, and features are included.
Build Quality (vs. $)
There are few cars built as well as this BMW, however, the price for the 6 Series Gran Coupe starts at over $75,000 and only goes up.
The list of standard equipment on the base 6 Series Gran Coupe is extensive and generous, to say the least. At least it arrives essentially "loaded."
Tick just one or two option package boxes and the Gran Coupe is suddenly a $100,000 sedan. We can think of more practical options for that serious amount of money, but few better.
There are much more powerful V8 sedans that earn nearly the same fuel economy as the six-cylinder 640i which returns 20 mpg city/30 mpg hwy/24 mpg combined.
With its basic 4 year/50,000 mile warranty (includes roadside assistance), BMW offers compelling and competitive terms, but not outstanding.
BMW provides 4 years/50,000 miles of free scheduled maintenance. There are more generous programs in the business, but just two. Nearly benchmark.
Fun To DriveAs driving enthusiasts, we're sad to report that BMW has taken a detour with the gorgeous Gran Coupe, particularly if you opt for the supposed performance-enhancing options.
Pleasant, capable, and it produces feelings of 'specialness' that few cars do these days.
The prettier, less talented, and more expensive sister to the otherwise handsome, useful, and relatively frugal BMW sedan.
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