Used BMW 6 Series review
What's the used BMW 6 Series saloon like?
A car designed for grand touring requires a big boot for luggage, comfortable seats, a quiet cabin and a large fuel tank for shrugging off the miles without time-consuming pit stops. Thankfully, the BMW 6 Series ticks all of those boxes and more besides.
The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé follows the tradition established by the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Audi A7 Sportback in being a four-door coupé. It is, in effect, a four-door, suitably stretched version of the existing two-door 6 Series Coupé. And if it initially doesn’t seem to have much point, it does at least look absolutely gorgeous
Every version of the 6 Series comes well-equipped, with the 'entry-level' SE getting 18in alloy wheels, two-zone climate control, cruise control, leather seats (the front ones are heated), parking sensors front and rear and sat-nav.
Sport is the entry point for the 650i and comes with 19in wheels and Comfort front seats with adjustable lumbar support. The M Sport comes with sportier exterior styling but doesn’t have any useful additional equipment. The M6 has adaptive LED headlights, four exhaust pipes, bigger brakes, a carbon fiber roof, an upgraded stereo and ‘M’ styling tweaks inside and out.
There isn’t a bad engine in the 6 Series range, but the most popular variant is the 640d, which uses a 309bhp 3.0-litre diesel to provide a great blend of power, smooth running and economy. There is also a 321bhp 3.0-litre petrol engine in the 640i for those who don’t want a diesel, and a powerful 449bhp 4.4-litre petrol V8 in the 650i. The range-topping M6, meanwhile, is enormously fast thanks to its 552bhp twin-turbo V8.
The eight-speed ZF ‘box is a benchmark in contemporary automatic transmissions and offers little cause for concern. A small proportion of owners have raised issues when selecting first and reverse, sensing a jolt, courtesy of a faulty mechatronic valve body, but it’s not often you should meet this problem.
Suspension, steering, and brakes
There’s nothing major to be aware of here, just keep your wits about you for any odd knocks and creaks on the test drive as you would on any other car. A sportier suspension setup is offered by Birds to upgrade either the passive or active setup (around €1800 fitted, plus €200 if the car has adaptive dampers). Before all else, Kevin suggests swapping out the run flat rubber for a set of Continental Sport Contact 6s.
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 standard are front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and the BMW Assist emergency communications system, which provides automatic crash notification, remote unlocking, stolen vehicle recovery and on-demand roadside assistance.
The optional Driver Assistance Plus package features front-side and top-view cameras, speed-limit information and BMW's "Active Driving Assistant," which bundles a blind-spot warning system, low-speed collision prevention (with pedestrian detection), lane-departure warning system and a frontal collision warning system.
In Edmunds brake testing, the 640i Gran Coupe came to a stop from 60 mph in a short 110 feet – impressive, but typical for a car equipped with summer tires. A similarly outfitted 650i stopped in 114 feet.
Its acceleration numbers may be nothing special, but the 2015 BMW 640i Gran Coupe certainly feels quick in everyday driving. Its turbocharged inline-6 picks up steam rapidly as the revs climb, and the automatic transmission is on point as well, providing quick and timely downshifts. The 650i's turbocharged V8 feels downright decadent, as it unleashes a seemingly endless flow of thrust, moving the big sedan down the road with authority.
Like other BMWs, the 6 Series Gran Coupe has that unflappable Germanic feel at high speeds, yet somehow manages to feel smaller than it really is when you drive it around turns. All the while, the ride quality is firm, yet suitably luxurious for a car of this price and level of prestige.
That said, we're not so enthusiastic about how the 6 Series Gran Coupe feels when equipped with the optional "Active" steering and stabilizer bars (Adaptive Drive). These bits of tech lend a somewhat unnatural feel when hustling the car along a back road. In particular, the steering lacks the company's trademark road feel, while the sophisticated stabilizer bars are actually too effective, decreasing body roll to the point that you no longer have a sense of how hard you're pushing the car.
As with most BMWs, the Gran Coupe's interior is driver-focused in design, with surfaces trimmed with top-quality materials. Unlike with cheaper BMWs, though, you get standard leather upholstery and the option of other leather-trimmed interior surfaces and even ceramic-trimmed buttons and knobs. Depending on your preferences and use of the option choices, the appearance of the cabin can range from elegantly minimalist to edgy and avant-garde.
The front seats are superbly comfortable and are set low, reinforcing the car's sporty character. Yes, rear seat passengers fare better than in the 6 Series coupe (there's markedly more legroom, mainly), but the backseat is nevertheless more confining than in the 5 Series sedan due to a significant reduction of headroom and the so-called "+1" center rear seating position that is really only useful for children on very short trips. This is a result of the extended center console filling in the space where the "hump" would normally be, bringing center legroom from reduced to nonexistent.
As with other 6 Series models, the 2015 Gran Coupe also features BMW's improved iDrive control interface that manages entertainment, navigation and phone functions, as well as various vehicle settings. For 2015, iDrive's control knob has grown in size and gained a touchpad, granting the ability to draw letters and numerals with your finger on the controller's touchpad surface. There's a lot of functionality here, and although we advise you to take some time to study the various features before you hit the road, iDrive is notable for its sharp graphics, fast processing times and logical menu structure.
Trunk capacity goes the way of rear-seat headroom in the 2015 Gran Coupe. There are just 13.0 cubic feet of total cargo capacity and the trunk lift-over is rather high. At least the rear seat has split-folding functionality and an armrest pass-through to help improve utility.
|Specs||BMW 330d M Sport (335d in brackets)|
|Engine||In-line 6-cyl, 2993cc, twin-turbo, diesel|
|MPG||5.4 l/100 km or 43.6 mpg US or 52.3 mpg UK Combined.|
|Power||309bhp @ 4400rpm|
|Max torque||465lb ft @ 1500-2500rpm|
|Acceleration 0-62Mph||5.4sec (claimed 0-62)|