2008 BMW 6 Series Review | Edmunds.com

2008 BMW 6 Series

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
BMW 6 Series Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.8 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 360 hp @ 6300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 BMW 6 Series

  • Though not the most exclusive choice for a luxury coupe or convertible, the 2008 BMW 650i more than makes up for it thanks to responsive performance, an exacting interior and a less-than-typical price.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Seamless acceleration from refined V8, nimble handling that belies its proportions, smooth and quiet ride, elegantly crafted interior, ample trunk space in the coupe.

  • Cons

    Limited rear seat room, controversial styling, iDrive system still too complex for some.

  • What's New for 2008

    There are a few changes in store for the 2008 BMW 6 Series coupe and convertible. The previously optional SMG (sequential manual gearbox) transmission has been dropped in favor of a new sport-oriented automatic transmission. Other changes include freshened exterior styling, a new lane departure warning system, a USB adapter for an iPod or MP3 player, and a tweaked version of iDrive for improved user-friendliness.

Full 2008 BMW 6 Series Review

What's New for 2008

There are a few changes in store for the 2008 BMW 6 Series coupe and convertible. The previously optional SMG (sequential manual gearbox) transmission has been dropped in favor of a new sport-oriented automatic transmission. Other changes include freshened exterior styling, a new lane departure warning system, a USB adapter for an iPod or MP3 player, and a tweaked version of iDrive for improved user-friendliness.

Introduction

For most people, purchasing a large luxury coupe or convertible is entirely an act of passion and indulgence, and right or wrong, outward appearance can make or break the deal. Compared to the sleek offerings from rival manufacturers Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar, well…let's just say the 2008 BMW 6 Series has a great personality. If there is such a thing as a sleeper among the entries in the big-ticket touring class, this is it. Only when you've taken the time to become fully acquainted with its pure driving dynamics, innovative use of technology and lower price of entry does the 6 Series' true beauty become apparent.

In its fifth year of production, the rear-wheel-drive, four-passenger BMW 650i coupe is based on the same platform used for the 5 Series sedan. But BMW aims the 6 Series higher. It has but one engine available, a 4.8-liter V8. Not a single body panel is shared with the sedan, and the front and rear suspensions are likewise calibrated for the 650's lower ride height and sportier intentions. To keep its weight in check, aluminum is used extensively for the suspension, hood and doors. Thermoplastic front fenders and a composite deck lid do their high-tech best to keep the 6 Series feeling spry, though this is still essentially a 4,000-pound car.

BMW equips its 6 Series well in terms of equipment, and you'll find but a handful of features that are optional. Convertibles use a fully lined folding soft top rather than a retractable hardtop, but it's a sophisticated design capable of keeping interior noise to sedanlike levels. The glass rear window opens for ventilation when the roof is up, and can be raised to act as a wind buffer when the top is down. If you don't want to go the convertible route, the 6 Series coupe feels nearly as airy, thanks to its large glass roof section. The glass is too large to slide open, but you can tilt it up slightly for ventilation.

Among high-dollar touring coupes and convertibles, the 2008 BMW 6 Series is easily one of our top recommendations. However, for buyers chiefly interested in style and opulence, the sleeker Mercedes-Benz CL550 and Jaguar XK/XKR will prove more satisfying. The same goes for the highly regarded Mercedes SL550 roadster. For enthusiast types who care about the drive above all else, the smaller Porsche 911 is likely the better choice, as it easily outhandles this plus-size Bimmer coupe.

Yet these cars are all more expensive than the 6 Series. And while cost concerns are seldom of primary concern in this segment, when a car strikes that near-perfect compromise between coddling its passengers and thrilling its driver that the 2008 BMW 650i does, such a value proposition is hard to ignore.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

Available in both coupe and convertible body styles, the 2008 BMW 650i comes with a healthy complement of standard features including 18-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, leather upholstery, 12-way power front seats with driver memory, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker CD audio system with iPod integration and a regular auxiliary audio jack. The convertible has a power soft top with a power retractable rear window.

Two distinct option packages are available: Sport, which brings 19-inch alloy wheels, enhanced exterior trim and sport seats to the table; and Cold Weather, with heated seats and steering wheel. Other options include active steering, adaptive cruise control, upgraded leather upholstery, a surround-sound audio system, HD and satellite radios, a head-up display and keyless ignition/entry.

Powertrains and Performance

Motivation for both the rear-wheel-drive 650i coupe and convertible is provided by a 4.8-liter V8 rated at 360 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque. Shifting duties are carried out by either a six-speed manual or BMW's new six-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and downshift rev-matching.

Safety

Standard equipment includes front seat-mounted airbags, front knee airbags, active front head restraints and full-length side curtain airbags (coupe only). Also standard are antilock disc brakes, stability control and a subscription to BMW Assist emergency telematics. Convertibles come with a rollover protection system. Optional safety features include a night vision system that uses a thermal imaging camera to spot potential obstacles in the road up to 1,000 feet ahead, and a new lane departure warning system.

Interior Design and Special Features

Although elegant, the 2008 BMW 6 Series cockpit has a somewhat austere feel compared to its competitors. Still, everything's set up perfectly for driving, with BMW's familiar orange-lit analog gauges dead ahead, a thick steering wheel grip and supportive seating. BMW's iDrive control system reduces button clutter to a minimum, making for a clean dash design but confusing operation of many controls, even with the addition of this year's "shortcut" buttons.

Thanks to its generous dimensions and a panoramic glass roof in the coupe, the 650i feels spacious for two, but four adults make for a tight fit. Both cars have an easy-entry feature to ease access into the backseat, but only the convertible's is power-operated. Trunk space measures 13 cubic feet in the coupe and a still healthy 12.4 in the 650i convertible (10.6 when the top is down), and both cars have a pass-through to accommodate longer items.

Driving Impressions

For a vehicle so laden with technological comfort and safety features, the 6 Series maintains a remarkably direct and visceral driving experience. Although not as nimble as the smaller 3 Series coupe, the 2008 BMW 650i is a very capable performer when driven hard. The Active Roll Stabilization system keeps the big coupe flat around corners, and the lightweight suspension does its part to maintain traction and soak up the bumps without diluting the lines of communication. Regardless of transmission choice, you're sure to enjoy the 650i's 4.8-liter V8. Like every BMW engine we've ever experienced, this V8 is silken and anxious to rev. Although there's a nice surge of power toward the top of the tachometer, there's plenty of torque available at any rpm.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Headsup fabulous

by on
Vehicle: 2008 BMW 6 Series 650i 2dr Convertible (4.8L 8cyl 6M)

This is one sweet automobile. So responsive, amazing comfort in the driver's seat ( great lumbar and head support). And the headsup display is invaluable - what a car. Can't wait to really get it on the road for a trip. Love it, love it, love it.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

650 convertible 2008

by on
Vehicle: 2008 BMW 6 Series 650i 2dr Convertible (4.8L 8cyl 6M)

I had the 650 for 12 months and I regret getting it: Too much money for what you get. I paid $90K+, includes: conv, auto, sports pckg, head-up display is an absolutely stupid option, convenience key is not necessary and HD radio that never worked right; dealer said it works best in the city but not in the suburbs where I live, thx and heated seats. I could have gotten a better car for $90K or a great car at a much lower price but not $90K+ for 360 HP. This is my 3rd BMW; I have a 01-740i and a 05-330cic; both are great but the 650 at this price level is a disappointment, not only in lack of HP but in technology/computer etc. Take your time, compare and shop wisely before you commit to a 650.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Fun to drive

by on
Vehicle: 2008 BMW 6 Series 650i 2dr Convertible (4.8L 8cyl 6M)

I have had lots of cars in my life, including MBs, other BMWs, a Porsche but none have been more fun to drive or more luxurious. The 6spd manual is terrific and the sport mode just adds a little more sports car feel. The iDrive complaints I've heard don't register with me. In less than a day, my phone was working with bt, I was using voice commands and the navigation system. This car is a head turner and all the gadgets are fun to play with, including the convertible top. I also like the throaty sound, especially in sports mode. There is no question that the backseat is next to useless but I intend to use this car as a two-seater any way.




What a beauty

by on
Vehicle: 2008 BMW 6 Series 650i 2dr Convertible (4.8L 8cyl 6M)

This is by far my favorite car. The handling and power are outstanding. With the top dropped, my passion for driving fast can be fully realized. I would highly recommend this car to anyone who enjoys open air driving.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

What a kick

by on
Vehicle: 2008 BMW 6 Series 650i 2dr Convertible (4.8L 8cyl 6M)

Got an '08 Sapphire Black convertible with saddle leather. Awesome to drive. Extremely responsive steering and brakes. Doesn't feel like the heavy car that it is. Ample power and acceleration through all gears although could be quicker off the line. First time user of iDrive and find it to be much more intuitive then car magazine editor's complaints. Fuel economy is better then expected. Getting 26+ mpg on highways with 18 in city driving. Interior noise is also better then expected. The back panel window really cuts down on both noise and turbulence. Only complaint is that the rear speakers seem to be under amped and some navigational clumsiness between iDrive commands.




Can't believe it is mine

by on
Vehicle: 2008 BMW 6 Series 650i 2dr Convertible (4.8L 8cyl 6M)

Custom made for me, in Germany this year. It is truly beautiful. I ordered the saddle color seats. It is truly the best choice in convertibles and when the top is up and your on the highway so quiet you think you are in a hardtop.



Talk About The 2008 6 Series

2008 BMW 6 Series Discussions See all Started By

tagman
tagman
07-10-2008
units/ prev.yr.: 24,115 / +1.4%) and the BMW 6 Series Coupé (5,048 units/ prev.yr.: 4,741 / +6.5%). In June BMW delivered 121,576 automobiles to its customers and, thus slightly failed to reach the s...


manybmws
manybmws
08-10-2005
I went up to NH yesterday to test drive some cars in this order:...


manybmws
manybmws
08-11-2005
I went up to NH yesterday to test drive some cars in this order:...



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 15
  • cty
/
  • 22
  • highway
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