2016 BMW 650i Gran Coupe Review

Up until 2012 the BMW 6 Series had always been offered as a two-door coupe. It was only with the release of this current generation that BMW decided it needed a four-door coupe to go head to head with the likes of the Audi A7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS. These types of vehicles that defy the conventional definition of the word coupe (the term literally means two doors) are for those people who need the sexiness of a sports car combined with the practicality of two additional doors.

It’s Beautiful

BMW really nailed it when it comes to the look of the 650 Gran Coupe. I find it more attractive than either the CLS or the A7 and I’d go so far as to say it borderlines on exotic in its appearance. It would not feel out of place parked between an Aston Martin Vantage and a Maserati Gran Turismo – it’s that good looking.

The test vehicle came in a beautiful Frozen Grey which is essentially matte grey. It’s the kind of look you often get when you vinyl wrap a vehicle but having it in an OEM paint job is marvelous. The texture of the paint was also vinyl-esque with any moisture just beading off.

The front fascia sports BMW’s signature dual kidney-shaped grille along with the usual LED angel-eye daytime running lights. The M aerodynamics kit ensures a meaner-looking front bumper, side rocker panels and rear bumper.

The only package the test vehicle was equipped with was the M Sport Edition package which is not the same thing as the M Sport Package.  The 650i M Sport Edition more or less combines the M Sport Package, Executive package and Technology package into one for $8300.

On the inside you have the choice of Dakota, Nappa or Merino leather. Dakota is the rougher base-model leather found on most BMW models so if you want something a little nicer I’d recommend the Merino or the Nappa as we have here. To be specific this car had Cognac Extended Nappa leather and it was just perfect: soft, comfortable and filled the cabin with a high-end, rich leather aroma.

The 6 Series’ cockpit is second to none in terms of both looks and performance. The console angles toward the driver proving easy access to all functions. BMW’s infotainment system is very good and the brand offers a wide range of functionality through the Connected  Drive system including access to popular services such as Yelp, Google Street View and Panoramio.

Forget about putting three adults in the rear seat though. In fact I’d almost tell you to forget putting three kids in the back seat. The middle position is almost just for show as the seat belt strap and buckle are less than 30 cm apart and the rear console removes any foot room for that occupant.

Power to Spare

Powering the 650i is a 4.4-litre twin-turbo v8 with 445 horsepower 485 lb-ft of torque. It’s the same engine offered in the 550 in case you were curious and it hauls! Flooring it will immediately push your body back into the seat with a smooth, even output.

An added bonus to opting for the Gran Coupe over the standard 650 is that it still uses hydraulic steering instead of the new electronically assisted systems. If you read any automotive forums you’ll know that enthusiast can’t stand the electronic systems because the road feel isn’t transmitted back to the steering wheel in the same way. You have a computer trying to simulate the feeling you get with the hydraulic system. For the average Joe, this isn’t an issue but for people who like spirited driving it’s definitely a consideration.

Exotic Looks, Exotic Price

I suppose it’s inevitable that if BMW made a car that looks like an exotic, it would be priced like one, too. The base MSRP of the 650i is a very hefty $101,000. Add the M Sport Edition package and a few other options and our tester came in at $112,800. Consider that the 750i is priced only $1100 more at $113,900 and it’s a big price tag for those good looks. If performance is an issue, the M6 Gran Coupe will take care of you for $130,000.

While you can experience top-of-the-line BMW luxury in a $65,000 340i, the 3 Series certainly lacks the visual impact of the 6er with its imposing silhouette and sleek lines. The car certainly received its fair share of looks during my week with it.

If you’ve got the cash and want to separate yourself from the crowd a little, this is the car for you. This combination of looks, luxury and performance is very hard to beat.

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