Used 2016 BMW M6 Review

The broad-shouldered 2016 BMW M6 lacks the nimble feel of smaller performance cars, but its prodigious power and plush cabin make it a superb grand touring machine.




what's new

The 2016 M6 sports standard adaptive LED headlights with subtly restyled elements, and the options list receives some minor tweaks. Also, the Competition package's engine upgrade now produces even more power.

vehicle overview

It's possible that you've driven the 445-horsepower BMW 650i and thought to yourself, "Well, that was pretty lame." Possible, but highly unlikely. After all, the 650i's turbocharged V8 launches you to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, with a formidable 480 pound-feet of torque on tap whenever you pull out to pass.

But perhaps you insist on driving the very best, because 2nd place is just the first loser.

In that case, you'll want to take a close look at the 2016 BMW M6.

Although the M6 employs a very similar twin-turbo V8, the wizards at BMW's M division have squeezed an extra 107 hp out of it, giving you 552 hp along with a modestly improved 502 lb-ft of torque. If you opt for this year's optional Competition package, you're looking at 600 hp. Notably, the M6 also offers two exclusive transmissions, a whip-smart automated manual and a traditional stick shift with an actual clutch pedal. You get all manner of suspension upgrades as well, plus a trick limited-slip differential that makes this modified 6 Series a serious drift machine for drivers so inclined. In other words, there's a lot more to the M6 than simply what's under the hood.

Like all 6 Series models, the M6 boasts a luxurious cabin trimmed with BMW's top-tier materials, including sun-reflective upholstery for the convertible. Unlike those models, though, the M6's standard equipment roster is so generous that only a few options packages are offered -- a true rarity for BMW. Quiet and composed at speed, with impressive compliance on rough surfaces, the M6 is a classic grand touring car that just happens to be a world-class performance machine, too. Aside from its inhospitable rear seats, the only real knock against the M6 is that it's too big to feel nimble, but that's not a blame-worthy offense; it's just the way GT cars tend to be.

If you're shopping in this price range, you've got some delectable options. The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class isn't as sporty, but it's got a retractable hardtop that trumps the M6 convertible's ragtop for security and looks, and its exquisite interior offers everything except the BMW's vestigial backseat. The 2016 Porsche 911 is the most sporting alternative, though the trade-off for its authentic sports-car handling is a firmer, noisier ride. Want to save a bundle of cash and turn some heads while you're at it? The two-seat Chevrolet Corvette is an astonishingly good car, particularly in supercharged Z06 trim. Whatever you're most interested in, just know that you'll never feel like you're in 2nd place in a 2016 BMW M6.




trim levels & features

The 2016 BMW M6 is available in a single trim level as either a coupe or a convertible (the four-door M6 Gran Coupe is reviewed separately). Coupe models come with a carbon-fiber roof, while the convertible features a power-operated fabric top and a heated glass rear window that can be raised independently of the top to serve as a wind blocker.

Standard features include 19-inch alloy wheels, an M-specific front fascia and other sporty styling flourishes, adaptive suspension dampers, a limited-slip differential, automatic adaptive LED headlights, LED foglights and taillights, heated power-folding auto-dimming mirrors, automatic wipers, front and rear parking sensors, automatic soft-close doors, keyless entry and ignition, ambient lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery (with sun-reflective surfaces for the convertible), 16-way power heated front seats (with four-way lumbar support, adjustable bolsters and memory functions), a power-adjustable steering wheel, a synthetic-suede headliner (coupe only), extended leather trim and carbon-fiber accents.

Electronics features include Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, BMW's iDrive interface (with a 10.2-inch display), online services (including news and weather), smartphone-app integration, a rearview camera, voice controls, a navigation system with real-time traffic and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system with HD radio, satellite radio and USB/iPod integration. Also included are driver-adjustable settings for the suspension, transmission, steering and engine.

The optional Executive package adds a heated steering wheel, ventilated fatigue-reducing "active" front seats, a head-up display (also available separately), a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system and (for the coupe only) a power rear sunshade. The Driver Assistance Plus package includes a lane-departure warning system, frontal collision warning, a blind-spot monitor and a camera system with top-down and around-the-corner views.

Also optional is the Competition package (late availability) that delivers 48 additional horses for the V8 engine; lightweight alloy wheels; revised tuning for the suspension, steering and rear differential; retuned stability control that provides a higher threshold for intervention in the M Dynamic mode; and a black chrome finish for the tailpipes.

Other options include 20-inch wheels in silver or black, carbon-ceramic brakes and a night vision system with pedestrian detection.



performance & mpg

Powering the rear-wheel-drive 2016 BMW M6 is a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that produces an awe-inspiring 552 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque. Opting for the Competition package raises output to 600 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque.

A seven-speed automated manual transmission with shift paddles is standard and a traditional six-speed manual is available as a no-cost option. An automatic (but thankfully defeatable) stop-start engine function to conserve fuel at rest is also included.

In Edmunds performance testing, a convertible M6 with the auto-manual transmission sprinted to 60 mph in a mere 4.2 seconds. The coupe is roughly 250 pounds lighter, so expect it to be marginally quicker.

EPA fuel economy estimates for both the coupe and convertible stand at 16 mpg combined (14 city/20 highway) with the automatic and 17 mpg combined (15/22) with the manual transmission.

safety

Standard safety features for all 2016 BMW M6 models include antilock disc brakes with advanced standby and drying features, traction and stability control, a hill-holder feature, front-seat side airbags, active front-seat head restraints and a rearview camera. Convertibles receive added rollover protection.

Also standard are the BMW Assist emergency communications system (including automatic crash notification and on-demand roadside assistance) and BMW Remote Services (including stolen-vehicle recovery, remote door unlocking and an integrated smartphone app).

The optional Driver Assistance Plus package includes a lane-departure warning system, an active blind-spot monitor and a surround-view camera system. Also optional is an infrared night vision system with pedestrian detection.

In Edmunds brake testing, an M6 convertible came to a stop from 60 mph in 108 feet on its summer tires. That's a strong showing in general, but unremarkable for this class of car.

Driving

The 2016 BMW M6 is a true beast at full throttle. The 0-60-time only begins to tell the story, as it's inflated by the limited traction of rear-wheel drive at launch. Once you're putting all the power to the pavement, this is one of the fastest non-exotic cars in the world, gathering speed with the effortless thrust of an executive jet accelerating down the runway. It's never frightening, though, thanks to a refined stability control system that modulates power delivery at the limit without shutting down all of the fun.

In true GT fashion, the M6 is also a joy to drive if you're taking a road trip or even running a downtown errand. Thanks to adjustable settings for the suspension, steering, transmission and throttle response, the M6 can adapt to your every mood. But due to its considerable bulk and heft, as well as poor sight lines over the long nose from the driver seat, the M6 wouldn't be our first choice for canyon-carving. This is a car that loves to run toward the horizon, although its various handling improvements relative to the regular 6 Series make it very capable when pushed.

Interior

As expected of BMW's top two-door model, the M6's cabin caters to the driver's every need. Door panels and dashboard alike are slathered with high-quality materials, while the center stack curves toward the driver to create a more intimate feel. BMW's classic analog gauges are easy to read at a glance, and the iDrive infotainment interface works well for controlling and adjusting all of the M6's systems, earning extra points for its beautiful widescreen display. Compared to some rival systems, though, iDrive typically takes a few more clicks and twists of the control knob to get what you want.

The M6's widely adjustable front seats are exceptionally supportive, providing a perfectly snug fit for practically every body type. But the backseat is just snug, period; don't expect it to accommodate more than personal items or small children. To be fair, most cars of this type are similarly confining in back. The trunk is a plus whether you choose the coupe or the convertible, measuring 13 cubic feet in the former and a useful 12.4 cubic feet in the latter (10.6 cubic feet with the top retracted).

The M6 convertible is also notable for its well-insulated top, which keeps wind noise largely at bay. With the top down, the separate glass rear window can be raised to serve as a wind blocker, facilitating civilized conversation and preserving intricate hairdos.

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.