2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe

2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe Sedan Review

The 2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is a fine car, but others execute the four-door coupe idea better.
author
by Cameron Rogers
Edmunds Editor

Sometimes mashups are so successful and transformative, it's a wonder they started as a pairing of seemingly disparate concepts. Renowned producer Danger Mouse broke onto the music scene with The Grey Album, a mashup of The Beatles' White Album and Jay-Z's Black Album. Dominique Ansel started a nationwide food craze after he introduced a new pastry that combined elements of a doughnut and croissant. And Mercedes-Benz lit the high-end luxury car market on fire with the CLS, a sedan with a coupelike roofline. It wasn't long before BMW entered the fray with its own "four-door coupe." Its current model, the 2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, promises a desirable blend of four-door practicality and the driver-centric sportiness of a classic grand tourer.

Unfortunately, the 6 Series Gran Coupe exhibits flaws inherent with a sedan doing its impression of a coupe. Rear headroom and vehicle entry/exit are significantly impeded by the sweeping roofline that makes the car look so slinky in profile. The cargo area is more than 5 cubic feet smaller than that of the related 5 Series. The seat-high center tunnel makes it nearly impossible for anyone to occupy the middle seat. And then there's the cost for all this sleek sexiness: The 640i Gran Coupe is considerably more expensive than a 5 Series with the same engine.

The Gran Coupe excels in the way BMW typically does, with exquisite interior materials, a robust features list and smooth, powerful engines. Just be aware of the compromises.



what's new

Other than an iDrive upgrade to version 6.0 and a few minor equipment modifications (carbon-fiber interior trim is now available with the M Sport package, for instance), the 2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is essentially unchanged.

we recommend

Though the 640i's six-cylinder engine will be sufficient for most drivers, we think buyers of high-end luxury cars should expect more than just "sufficient." That's why the 650i, with its boffo 4.4-liter turbo V8 producing 445 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque, gets our nod for the 6 Series Gran Coupe of choice. A few packages stand out, including the M Sport Edition (expensive but feature-heavy), Cold Weather (a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats) and Driving Assistance Plus (adaptive cruise control and nearly every advanced safety feature the car offers).

trim levels & features

It may be difficult to put a label on the 2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, but there's no question about the level of performance and luxury it brings to the table. It's available in two trims — 640i and 650i — that are primarily differentiated by the engines that lie underhood. Both can be ordered in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (xDrive), and numerous features packages are shared between the two models regardless of powertrain. There are some stand-alone options and a few premium exterior paint, interior trim and upholstery choices available through BMW's Individual program.

The 640i is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six (315 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque) matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles. Befitting a high-end luxury sedan, the list of standard features is lengthy and impressive. Accoutrements include 18-inch wheels, sport-tuned adaptive suspension dampers, adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams, LED foglights, automatic wipers, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, and a tilt-only sunroof.

Inside, you get dual-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power front seats (with heating and four-way lumbar adjustment), driver-seat memory settings, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient lighting, a wireless charging pad, a Wi-Fi hotspot, a navigation system, the iDrive infotainment system with an integrated touchpad on the controller, a 10.2-inch central display screen, smartphone app integration, and a nine-speaker sound system with a CD player, a USB port, and HD and satellite radio.

The 650i eschews the sensible six-cylinder and is instead driven by a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 (445 hp, 480 lb-ft). It also adds 19-inch wheels, 20-way power-adjustable seats (with passenger-seat memory settings and adjustable side bolsters and thigh support), upgraded leather upholstery, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system and BMW concierge services.

Several optional packages are available on both models. The Cold Weather package provides heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel. The Driving Assistance package features blind-spot monitoring, a head-up display, speed-limit information and BMW's Active Driving Assistant, which bundles lane departure warning, a forward collision warning system and low-speed forward collision mitigation (with pedestrian detection). There's also a Driving Assistance Plus package that further adds adaptive cruise control and forward collision mitigation that can operate at higher speeds. The Parking Assistance package adds a 360-degree parking camera and an automated parking system.

The Executive package adds power-closing doors, four-zone climate control and ventilated front seats. The 640i's version of this package includes the multicontour seats, Harman Kardon stereo and concierge services, while the 650i's version adds a power rear sunshade, manual rear window shades, contrast stitching and ceramic-trimmed controls. These items are available as individual options on the 640i.

The M Sport package includes unique 19- or 20-inch wheels, an aero body kit, a sport steering wheel, a simulated-suede headliner and a higher top-speed limiter. There's also an M Sport Edition package that roughly combines the M Sport package and the contents of the 650i's Executive package. The BMW Individual Composition package lets you special-order leather and wood trim hues, while the Black Accent package equips the Gran Coupe with gloss-black exterior trim and a two-tone extended leather interior.

Stand-alone options include some of the above items plus adaptive suspension stabilizer bars (known as Adaptive Drive), enhanced Integral Active Steering with rear-wheel steering (not available on xDrive models), a night-vision camera, active front seats, Apple CarPlay functionality and a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround-sound audio system.

driving

Sadly, this new generation of BMW sedans mixes too much software with its hardware. The results are good on paper, but they sometimes lack the nuanced feel for which BMW was once known.

acceleration

Perhaps it's the car's mass, but our testing revealed that compared to competitors the 640i is sluggish to 60 mph, but it gets with the program once underway.

braking

The 640i is blessed with extremely powerful brakes and stops short, straight and repeatedly, showing excellent fade resistance. The pedal feel is medium to firm with intuitive response.

steering

Our test car had BMW's notoriously polarizing Active Steering option. We think it utterly removes the feel and response BMW spent decades perfecting. We'd opt out.

handling

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.

drivability

Selecting Sport mode harmonizes engine and transmission operation. The brakes are outstanding. Active steering and suspension options degrade drivability, particularly for enthusiasts.

comfort

The BMW 640i is built for front passenger comfort. In that aspect, this car is one of the leaders in this segment. Cramped rear seats diminish the overall impression.

seat comfort

Front seats are highly adjustable and accommodate a wide variety of sizes. Rear headroom is less than in some competitors with a similar coupelike shape.

ride comfort

The 640i exhibits an exceptionally compliant ride with none of the impact harshness you might expect with short-sidewall tires.

noise & vibration

This is one of the quietest cars we've tested at a 70-mph cruise.

interior

The 6 Series Gran Coupe offers all the interior goodness of a BMW sedan but is somewhat compromised by the trendy, coupelike shell.

ease of use

The iDrive controller is comfortably located right next to the shifter at the end of a lengthy armrest. It's naturally positioned for the driver, but passengers will find it easier to operate since it's just next to their left leg. Other controls are self-evident and close at hand.

getting in/getting out

The rear doors are small, so ingress and egress are problematic. The middle seat is basically useless, so only count on four total seats. Large front doors allow easy entry.

roominess

Headroom is tight all around, especially in the back. This is typical in this niche group of sedans masquerading as coupes. Traditionally shaped and proportioned sedans are always better. Rear buckets effectively accommodate only two passengers.

visibility

Rear head restraints, a sloping roof and narrow rear glass conspire to challenge rearward visibility. The standard parking sensors and rearview camera help tremendously. Otherwise, the Gran Coupe offers good sightlines.

quality

Few cars are built as well as this BMW. Then again, excellent build quality should be expected for a luxury sedan of this caliber.

utility

Trunk space is below average at 13 cubic feet, although the split rear seat folds down to increase cargo capacity. There is also a trunk pass-through between the rear seats.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.