2012 BMW 6-Series Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Nelson Ireson Nelson Ireson Senior Editor
February 28, 2012

Elegant, stylish, comfortable, and quick, the 2012 BMW 6-Series is one of the top choices for a grand-touring coupe or convertible--as long as your budget can handle it.

As BMW's lineup of cars and SUVs grows, the 6-Series continues to find new ways to express its potential. The 2012 model brings a fresh dash of technology and style to both its convertible and coupe variants.

Style is number one with the 2012 BMW 6-Series, and that's immediately apparent: from the taut, sculpted hood to the stylized flanks and the sweeping roofline (in the case of the coupe) the new 6-Series screams, "look at me!" in the most civilized, urbane way possible. The all-new design for 2012 is still eminently BMW, and instantly recognizable as a 6-Series, but it's aggressively posh in a way its predecessor wasn't.

Under the hood lurks a pair of engines to back up its fast looks. In the 650i, a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 engine provides 400 horsepower. That's more than enough to ably motivate the roughly 4,200-pound coupe or convertible. Mated to BMW's eight-speed transmission, it sends its power to the rear wheels (or to all four wheels in the case of the 650i xDrive model) with smooth, even-tempered vigor. The 300-horsepower 640i model replaces the brawny V-8 with BMW's familiar turbocharged 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder for yet more smooth acceleration and surprisingly solid gas mileage: up to 31 mpg on the highway.

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Both the Coupe and the Convertible handle well for large grand tourers; neither is as nimble as a true sports car, but both are ready and willing partners on a curving canyon road. Unlike their sportier alternatives, however, the 6-Series duo demolish highway miles with comfort and grace.

That comfort comes courtesy of some very well-designed and roomy front seats. The rear seats in either Convertible or Coupe are best-suited to small children or luggage, though they can hold adults, particularly with the top down in the convertible, for shorter distances. Materials, design, and layout are all top-notch: precisely what you'd expect from BMW, particularly in the $73,000-$85,000-plus range the 2012 6-Series inhabits. A wide range of appearance and equipment packages are available, allowing the buyer to customize the look, feel, and function of the 2012 6-Series to a very high degree of personalization.

Technology also features prominently in the new 6-Series. A Bang & Olufsen audio system delivers audiophile-grade entertainment and a touch of classy looks thanks to its drilled-metal speaker covers. BWM's Apps platform is also on display through the iDrive infotainment system, with custom-built integration and compatibility with an ever-increasing number of social, entertainment, and media apps. As you'd expect, the 2012 6-Series is also chock full of high-tech driving aids, including monitors to sense sleep deprivation, guide lane-keeping, aid in parking and reversing, and maintain distance from traffic in cruise control mode.

Safety is no afterthought here either; BMW designed the Coupe and Convertible separately from the ground up to maximize rigidity and crash-worthiness as well as weight and sporting capability. Standard stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, a full complement of airbags, and the aforementioned driving aids all roll into a very high-tech safety profile. Due to their very recent release, none of the 2012 6-Series models have yet been crash tested by the NHTSA or IIHS.

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