Used 2013 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe
Edmunds' Expert Review
Although the 2013 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is a little late to the coupe-styled luxury sedan market, given its combination of performance and practicality it looks as if it was worth the wait.
There's a relatively new segment in the premium luxury car world, an automotive oxymoron known as the four-door coupe. Essentially a four-door sedan with a lower, sleeker roof line, this odd breed offers sexier styling with the practicality of four doors. For 2013, BMW has jumped in with the 6 Series Gran Coupe. Although BMW refers to it as a 6 Series (to further drive home the "coupe" association), it's essentially a 5 Series sedan wearing a sharper suit. That said, being 4.4 inches longer than a 6 Series coupe, the Gran Coupe provides easier access to its roomier rear quarters.
The 640i Gran Coupe sports a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 while the 650i Gran Coupe packs a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8. Either way performance is strong and, in the case of the 640i Gran Coupe, so is fuel efficiency – BMW estimates it will achieve 24 mpg in combined driving. As expected, the Gran Coupe also boasts BMW's dizzying array of technology and safety features and is well-equipped to do battle with its few competitors.
Among its rivals, there are the similarly sleek Audi A7, Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and Porsche Panamera. Any of them will provide a spirited drive along with plenty of comfort for road trips. However, the 2013 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is the priciest of the lot -- even the "entry-level" 640i can top $100,000 when one goes crazy with the expensive options packages.
Much like the rest of this bunch, the BMW is more of a "grand tourer" than a sport sedan/coupe. Of course, with a name like Gran Coupe, that shouldn't come as a surprise. But it's worth noting that car enthusiasts expecting BMW's traditionally engaging handling dynamics will likely be disappointed – at least near the performance limits.
Overall, the Gran Coupe hasn't really raised the bar in the coupe-styled luxury sedan segment. But there's no doubt it's still a desirable car. For this grouping, a purchase decision will likely come down to which one's overall design, driving position and luxury features best suit your preferences.
Trim levels & features
The 2013 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is a four-door sedan with coupelike styling. Three trims are offered: 640i Gran Coupe, 650i Gran Coupe and 650i xDrive Gran Coupe. The latter two will be introduced later in the year.
Standard on the 640i Gran Coupe are 18-inch wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, adaptive xenon headlights, LED foglamps, automatic wipers, parking sensors, power-folding mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, a sunroof, 10-way power front seats (with four-way lumbar adjustments and memory functions), leather upholstery, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, auto-dimming mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control and a rearview camera. Electronic features include Bluetooth, a navigation system, voice controls, the iDrive electronics interface and a nine-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio, a USB/iPod interface and an auxiliary audio jack.
The 650i differs with a V8 engine, while the 650i xDrive also has all-wheel drive.
A variety of packages are available. The Driver Assistance package features side/top-view cameras, blind spot detection, a head-up display, lane departure warning and automated parallel parking assist. The Luxury Seating package adds a power rear sunshade, four-zone climate control and ventilated 14-way power front seats with a massage feature. The Cold Weather package provides heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and a trunk pass-through ski bag. The Premium Sound package features a 12-speaker surround-sound audio system and satellite radio. Should that not be enough for the audiophile, there's also the available 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround-sound audio system.
For a sportier look and feel there are a few other packages. The M Sport package includes 19- or 20-inch double-spoke wheels, lower-body aero styling, a unique three-spoke steering wheel, a faux-suede headliner and a higher (155 mph) top speed limiter. The artfully named Individual Composition package includes 19- or 20-inch V-spoke wheels, LED headlamps, black-out window trim, upgraded leather upholstery, the faux-suede headliner, unique cabin accents (piano black, Sycamore wood or White Ash wood) and the availability of unique, extra-cost exterior paint colors. Individual options include adaptive suspension stabilizers, active steering, a night-vision camera, adaptive cruise control, extended leather upholstery and ceramic material controls.
Many of the package features are available as individual options as well.
Performance & mpg
Powering the 2013 BMW 640i Gran Coupe is a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 that makes 315 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. In Edmunds testing, we recorded a 5.7-second 0-60-mph sprint time, which is average for this class of car. Fuel economy estimates stand at 20 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 24 mpg for combined driving.
The V8-powered 650i Gran Coupe packs a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that generates 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. BMW claims a 0-60-mph time of 4.6 seconds, but our best test track results produced a 5.2-second sprint, which is behind flagship sedans of the same ilk. Fuel economy takes quite a bit hit with the V8, as well, and falls to 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined for the rear-drive 650i and 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined for the xDrive 650i Gran Coupe.
Standard safety equipment includes antilock brakes with advanced standby and drying features, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, front knee airbags and active front head restraints. Also available is the BMW Assist emergency communications system, which provides automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle recovery and on-demand roadside assistance.
In Edmunds brake testing, the 640i came to a smooth stop from 60 mph in a short 110 feet, very impressive for a 4,300-pound luxury car.
Underway, the 2013 BMW 640i Gran Coupe's turbocharged straight-6 is more than adequate for the vast majority of drivers, delivering a fat torque spread that's apparent the instant you lean into the throttle. The transmission is on point as well, providing quick and timely gearchanges. The twin-turbo V8 of the 650i raises the performance bar even higher, as it unleashes a seemingly endless flow of thrust and as such, properly competes with similar powerhouses found in some of its countryman rivals.
Handling is also impressive, considering it's a 2-ton-plus touring car. On narrow roads the rather wide Bimmer somehow doesn't feel that way; pressed on through the curves, the Gran Coupe seems to shrink around the driver. We're not so keen about the available active steering and active stabilizers, as they both lend a somewhat unnatural feel when hustling the car along. In particular, the steering lacks the company's trademark road feel while the stabilizers are actually too effective, decreasing body roll to the point that it just feels weird and takes away one of the dynamics that let one know how hard they're pushing the car.
In typical BMW fashion the Gran Coupe's ride is firmly controlled, yet comfortably supple over broken pavement. Indeed, even when fitted with the 19-inch wheels, the Gran Coupe provides a luxury car ride provided one has selected one of the Comfort settings for the electronically adjustable dampers.
As expected, the Gran Coupe offers top-shelf materials and craftsmanship in a fitting, cockpit-centric design. The ambience is intimate, with the extended center console and fastback roof line adding to the effect. BMW's iDrive electronics interface works well for controlling the Gran Coupe's various systems, though it can come off as rather complicated at first. Some rival systems are easier to use.
Unlike the 6 Series Coupe, the Gran Coupe provides comfortable seating for a pair of adults in back, provided they are about 5-feet 10-inches or less. This is essentially a four-seater, however, as a middle rear seat passenger would have to be pretty short and sit with their legs splayed on either side of the center console.
Trunk space is pretty generous at 16.2 cubic feet, and the split backseat folds down to increase cargo capacity if need be. There is also a trunk pass-through between the rear seats.
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"Hey, that's a beautiful BMW. It's new, isn't it?" asks a man in a Pujols jersey getting out of a Range Rover.
"Yes, it's a 2013 BMW 640i Gran Coupe. Goes on sale in a few weeks."
"Looks great," he says before taking his wife's hand as they stroll toward Angel Stadium. Fifty feet later, we hear him say, "Honey, look, that's the Porsche I was telling you about — the Panorama."
No way he said that. Oh, but he did. So he's a bit confused about Porsche's big-buck sedan, but he's right about the new 640i Gran Coupe, though. It's a looker. And it has been a long time since any Bimmer was straight-up gorgeous.
We're relieved he didn't ask how it drives, though. There's no easy answer to that, and we'd have felt bad if he missed the first pitch.
This Isn't an Ultimate Driving Machine?
Ordinarily, we enjoy talking BMW minutiae with strangers. There's always plenty to talk about, given that the cars have a knack for turning the most depressing commute into an adventure. You never forget their inline six-cylinder engines' relentless drive toward redline, nor the wonderful sounds they make. And you instinctively know there's something different and good about the way your Bimmer steers even when you're only parking at a Starbucks.
But the case for the 2013 BMW 640i Gran Coupe isn't so clear-cut. It's the entry-level, six-cylinder model in the new four-door 6 Series family. Come late August, it'll be joined by the V8-powered 650i Gran Coupe in both rear-drive ($86,395) and all-wheel-drive ($90,395) versions. A month later, the M6 Gran Coupe will debut in Paris.
The 2013 BMW 640i Gran Coupe uses a direct-injected 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder with a single twin-scroll turbocharger. Designated N55HP, this engine is rated at 315 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 330 pound-feet of torque, which comes together at 1,400 rpm and sticks around until 4,500 rpm.
We like the 300-hp version of this engine in the 535i, but even with the bump in power, it doesn't feel as potent in the Gran Coupe, which weighs over 200 pounds more. Our 640i also has the sluggish throttle response we've complained about in other six- and eight-cylinder BMWs with an automatic transmission. Switching to Sport mode in the Driving Dynamics Control menu hastens its responses in city traffic but still can't simulate enough low-end grunt to make it feel truly quick.
The midrange is more exciting, and if you have the patience to shift the eight-speed automatic manually, the turbo inline-6 sounds sweet approaching 7,000 rpm. Under part-throttle inputs in traffic, though, the engine note is industrial and uninspired. Start-stop is standard on the Gran Coupe, and although the prospect of saving fuel warms the heart, this system is more abrupt than we like so it gets annoying in stop-and-go traffic. Fortunately, you can disable this feature.
Acceleration numbers are unremarkable, as the 2013 BMW 640i Gran Coupe takes 5.7 seconds to reach 60 mph (5.4 seconds with 1 foot of rollout as on a drag strip) and 14.2 seconds at 95.0 mph for the quarter-mile. That's no better than a 535i, which carries a $23,500 lower base price. The Audi A7 beats it, too (5.4-second 0-60 time, 13.6-second quarter-mile at 101.7 mph), and so will the Mercedes-Benz CLS550, which has a twin-turbo V8 and still costs less ($72,175). The V6-equipped Porsche Panamera is a hair slower to 60 but prevails in the quarter-mile (14 seconds flat at 98.4 mph).
No Small Thing
Then again, BMW didn't build the 640i Gran Coupe so you could win stoplight drag races. We pretend not to hear the come-ons from a black Corvette. Seriously, guy, it's 2 a.m. and there's always an officer waiting behind that 7-Eleven.
Instead, this is a GT in its most elegant form. It's also as Gran as they come in its physical dimensions, with a 4.5-inch-longer wheelbase than a normal BMW 6 Series coupe (same wheelbase as a 5 Series, actually) and an overall length of 197.2 inches (4.4 more than the two-door). Width is unchanged, but the Gran Coupe is nearly an inch taller. Ah, so that's why we can sit in back without complaining; BMW claims almost 5 more inches of rear legroom compared to the 6 Series coupe and over an inch more headroom.
The four-door 2013 BMW 640i Gran Coupe is also longer and heavier than the A7, CLS550 and any version of the Panamera, save for the hybrid. Yet it's not nearly the handful (eh, armful?) that it should be in the Malibu canyons, even on the narrowest of roads. At a moderate pace, the king-size 6 Series shrinks around you and has you believing you're driving something a bit smaller — at least until you have to steer around fallen rocks. Braking performance is outstanding, with good pedal feel and a best 60-mph-to-0 stop of 110 feet.
Is Anybody Listening?
The brake pedal is the only real open line of communication with the car, because the other channels are clogged with static from a vast array of chassis technology.
Adaptive dampers are standard, and our car has optional adaptive antiroll bars (Active Roll Stabilization, $2,500) and Integral Active Steering ($1,750), which adds rear-wheel steering capability to the conventional electric power steering setup. The idea is to enhance maneuverability in tight spaces and make the car feel more stable in high-speed sweepers, but we have yet to experience a four-wheel steering system that actually improves the way a car feels from the driver seat.
It's a disappointment in the 2013 BMW 640i Gran Coupe, which lacks both steering feel and precision, as you and the car are continually trying to override each other's inputs. We can quantify our disappointment, too. The six-cylinder Gran Coupe goes through the slalom at just 64.9 mph. That's more than a half-second slower than a larger 740i sedan (without the four-wheel steering option) we tested. The A7, which also doesn't have great steering, is good for 65.3 mph, while the Panamera is some kind of alien at 68.4 mph.
"Every cone was its own event, requiring constant adjustments on my part," says Chief Road Test Editor Chris Walton. Translation: not fun.
It's a similar story on the skid pad. Even though this 2013 BMW 640i Gran Coupe has stickier Dunlop Sport Maxx GT summer tires (sized 245/35R20 front and 275/30R20 rear) than the 740i test car, its odd steering and funky throttle calibration hold it back — 0.87g vs. 0.90g for the six-cylinder 7 Series sedan.
Nice Place if You Can Afford It
Even as we complain, the 6 Series Gran Coupe does some pretty amazing things. Its 20-inch run-flat tires have tiny sidewalls, yet the big sedan still provides an exceptionally compliant ride with none of the impact harshness you get in the 7 Series. And although the eight-speed automatic upshifts early to keep mpg in the 20s (we got 19.9 mpg over 450 miles), it shifts quickly when you're running hard and gives you tidy, rev-matched downshifts every time.
Inside, the cockpit has a life to it that's lacking in the 3, 5 and 7 Series cabins, which are like business suits cut to different sizes. The center console flows so naturally out of the dash that you won't be able to stop yourself from checking off the extended leather option ($3,000) to complete the effect. Materials quality is superb, as it must be for this price. However, the plastic shift paddles are an unwelcome surprise, especially since we have metal ones in our long-term Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.
Further, it's hard to imagine this car with a lesser grade of leather than this $3,000 Ivory White napa stuff, and we feel we shouldn't have to pay extra to get ventilation and massage capability for the front seats ($3,600), unless that option also includes a weekly visit from a human masseuse.
Don't Try To Rationalize
Of course, when you start doing the math, you out yourself as a member of the 99 percent. The target buyer for the 2013 BMW 640i Gran Coupe will not likely care that the Audi A7 is so much cheaper. Nor will they worry that even with a full plate of options, the Mercedes-Benz CLS550 is still cheaper than this six-cylinder BMW's six-figure price tag.
The four-door BMW 6 Series is a beautiful car for sure. And the reason to buy one this month is not because you think you won't be able to afford the 650i version, but because you simply can't wait a whole summer to put something this striking in your garage.
We're hopeless plebeians, though, so we advise waiting until BMW puts more engine in this car and retunes the chassis underneath it to make it feel as good as it looks.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
Used 2013 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe Overview
The Used 2013 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is offered in the following submodels: 6 Series Gran Coupe Sedan. Available styles include 640i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A), 650i 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 8A), and 650i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 8A).
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Should I lease or buy a 2013 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.