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TheCarConnection.com's editors drove the 2009 BMW 6-Series in order to bring you an expert opinion here in this Bottom Line. To help you make the best possible purchase decision, TheCarConnection.com has also researched available road tests on the new BMW 6-Series—including the M6—and have gathered highlights in a Full Review.
There's no denying the raw power and ultimate handling of BMW’s 6-Series, but the model teeters on the edge of techno overload. Electronic add-ons for the steering, braking, and suspension take away some of the feel that makes sportscars emotional purchases—and add heft and confusion to the car. A good diet, kicked off with a trip to the recycling bin for some of the electronics, would help the 6-Series regain some sportscar luster.
The four versions that comprise BMW’s 6-Series include the 650i coupe and convertible, and the V-10-powered M6 coupe and convertible. All models share a common profile, a 2+2 seating arrangement, and truly impressive performance, along with hefty 4,000-pound curb weights and a heavy feel at the controls.
In 2006 a high-performance M edition was added to the line, and like the M5 sedan, the M6 is propelled by a 500-horsepower V-10 engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission that can reach 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds.
A 4.8-liter V-8 with 360 hp moves the 650i. The V-8 is coupled to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed "automatic sports transmission" that offers paddle shifting and a choice of a Sport mode that speeds up gear changes and retunes the car's accelerator and steering for optimal response. With the manual, BMW says the 650i Coupe will accelerate to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, while the Convertible takes 0.3 second more. Both models are limited to 155 mph.
The 6-Series looks thick and squat, especially from the rear, even though BMW reshaped the 6-Series' front and back ends with new LED lights and bi-xenon dual round headlights last year. The decklid was reshaped with a new spoiler and LED taillights, too. Inside it's a little better and reasonably comfortable for two (the rear seats are a mere suggestion), but the wood and leather trim almost gets lost in the BMW 6-Series' complex array of electronic controls. There's the iDrive that works audio, navigation, and climate control; six memory buttons in case you forget where you are in its programming; a lane-departure warning system; and a head-up display all competing for your attention. The convertible top is canvas, not a folding hardtop (which would likely add even more weight).
For 2009 BMW saw fit to add a few electronic gizmos, including Dynamic Cruise Control, Programmable Memory Keys for quick access to iDrive functions, a smartphone adapter, and power-folding exterior mirrors. The expanded BMW Assist includes TeleService, which automatically notifies the BMW center when the vehicle needs service.