BMW 6 Series Coupe (2012 – ) review
The last generation BMW 6 Series Coupe had a very technical appearance, with sharp lines and heavy creases, in stark contrast with the pretty Jaguar XK and iconic Porsche 911. The latest model is clearly an evolution of this approach, but some of the lines have now softened, and it’s even wider and longer than before.
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There is no poverty spec version, with Dakota leather upholstery, ambient lighting, electrically adjustable seats, eight-speed transmission, Professional Navigation with 10.2-inch screen, LED daytime running lights, folding door mirrors and 18- or 19-inch wheels all fitted as standard. M Sport trimmed cars get 19-inch alloys, painted brake callipers, dark chrome bumper inserts and tailpipes, Anthracite headlining, M body kit, M steering wheel and sports seats.
The last generation BMW 6 Series Coupe had a very technical appearance, with sharp lines and heavy creases, in stark contrast with the pretty Jaguar XK and iconic Porsche 911. The latest model is clearly an evolution of this approach, but some of the lines have now softened, and it’s even wider and longer than before. We found it to be at its best in dark colours – think black, thunderstorm grey or navy blue – where it oozes aggression.
BMW interiors have always felt incredibly long-lasting, but have often lacked a feeling of character. That’s not necessarily the case here. Our test car was trimmed with red leather seats and a contrasting black interior and was a spectacular place to spend time. A seamless juxtaposition of analogue dials and colour digital displays provide the driver with masses of information, while the central navigation screen is one of the best we’ve used for size and clarity. What didn’t we like? The 6 Series Coupe is an extremely long car, but it doesn’t feel as spacious as we’d expect, thanks to a long bonnet and huge, steeply raked windscreen as well as a cavernous boot.
BMW is increasingly pushing ahead of the competition with its engine technology, and the 6 Series Coupe showcases some of its best. Most popular in the UK is the 640d diesel, a 3-litre twin-turbocharged model with 313bhp, capable of getting from zero to 62mph in 5.5 seconds. There’s also a 640i and 650i petrol six-cylinder and V8, with 320 and 407bhp respectively. The 650i is a twin-turbo V8 with huge quantities of torque (600NM) on tap and a 4.9 second 62mph time. In a way it feels quite un-BMW-like and we preferred the feel of the smaller petrol model, which has a more characterful bark at high revs and feels more satisfying to drive. All three engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, with extremely quick and smooth gear changes.
The 6 Series Coupe has a highly adjustable driving position, with electric seats and a steering wheel which adjusts for reach and rake. Legroom isn’t as good as the size of the car would suggest, but there’s now the four-door 6 Series Gran Coupe if that’s your priority. It has a large 460-litre boot, which is big enough for three bags of golf clubs according to BMW. The Mercedes E-Class Coupe has 10 litres less, while the Jaguar XK has a smaller 330-litre boot. Visibility out of a low coupe is never great, but BMW has tackled this by making front and rear parking sensors a standard feature.
Every 6 Series we’ve driven has felt superbly built, with a real sense of design integrity. There were some issues with the previous model, which resulted in several recalls, so hopefully BMW has ironed out any issues this time.
Ride and handling
Drive Dynamic Control is fitted as standard, allowing drivers to choose how responsive the gearbox and steering feels. Adaptive Drive is available as an option, fitting the car with electrically controlled suspension. We drove a car fitted with the latter and tended to leave it in the softest Comfort setting, allowing the large alloy wheels to soak up bumps. This is a perfect car to tackle long distances at high speeds, but its sheer size and weight means it’s not an engaging B-road blaster in the same way as a Jaguar XK.
BMW’s running cost figures sometimes need reading twice, and so it’s the case here. The 640d emits a scant 145g/km of CO2 and averages 51.4mpg, which is unbelievable given the performance on offer, and makes it easy to understand why it’s so popular. The 640i and 650i emit 181 and 246g/km of CO2 respectively. Big coupes are notorious for losing their value when they drive off the forecourt, but the BMW is in a good position, thanks to its reliability and desirability.
Standard equipment includes dynamic brake lights, electronic stability programme, anti-whiplash head restraints, run-flat tyres with puncture warning, and a full complement of front and side airbags. A full colour Head-up Display and night vision with pedestrian recognition is available as an option.
For some customers the 6 Series Coupe will represent BMW at its best, thanks to its Teutonic design, solid interior and impressive engines.