2019 BMW 6-Series Review

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2019
The Car Connection
2019
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Aaron Cole Aaron Cole Managing Editor
January 8, 2019

The 2019 BMW 6-Series is a tale of two luxury four- or five-doors: one achingly pretty coupe and a well-equipped practical hatchback.

Relieved of its two-door configurations, the 2019 BMW 6-Series is pared down this year to a low-slung four-door, or tall-riding hatchback with different provenances.

The 2019 6-Series Gran Coupe is buyers’ last chance at a breathtaking four-door based on the last generation 5-Series. The 2019 6-Series GT is a short-wheelbase 7-Series with a practical hatch and better interior room. The trunk lid badges do not, as far as we know, include a shrug emoji.

We think most buyers will consider the latter, and they should: it’s $12,000 less than the Gran Coupe and equipped better. Our rating of 6.2 is based on the GT version, although we’re not sure the Gran Coupe would do much better if rated on its own—the back seat in the four-door coupe is far less practical. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

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This year the 6-Series is offered in three different varieties: 640i Gran Coupe, 650i Gran Coupe, or 640i GT. The GT costs more than $71,000 to start and is equipped with all-wheel drive as standard equipment. The Gran Coupe costs more than $83,000 to start, but offers V-8 power in 650i spec. All-wheel drive is optional on Gran Coupe models and costs $3,000.

Although th 640i GT is bulkier in its appearance, it’s just as graceful inside. We like the Gran Coupe’s on-trend roof line, but it eats dearly into rear-seat head room that’s already cramped for leg room, too.

Under the hoods of 640i versions (Gran Coupe or GT), BMW fits its potent turbocharged inline-6. In the GT it makes 335 horsepower (Gran Coupes make 315 hp) and it’s fitted exclusively to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The GT rides better than the Gran Coupe, which prioritizes sportiness instead of practicality. The GT also gets a load-leveling rear suspension if owners get ambitious about hauling people and cargo, but both 6-Series models steer confidently.

In terms of practicality, the GT runs away from the Gran Coupe quickly. The GT offers more than 40 inches of rear seat leg room and more than 30 cubic feet of storage under its hatchback.

Both GT and Gran Coupe are similarly equipped as standard: leather interior, a 10.2-inch infotainment screen with navigation and Apple CarPlay compatibility, Bluetooth connectivity, wireless smartphone charger, power-adjustable front seats, and two USB chargers.

The GT includes standard automatic emergency braking and an updated infotainment system that skips the Gran Coupe, which make it an even better deal compared to the low-slung four-door.

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2019 BMW 6-Series

Styling

Gran Coupes will get more looks than the 2019 6-Series GT, but buyers will have to pony up for that pride.

The 2019 BMW 6-Series tells two stories this year.

A tall-riding hatchback is more popular and practical, while a low-slung Gran Coupe commands more eyeballs but also more cash.

We’ll rate the 2019 640i GT because that’s the version we think more buyers should (and will) consider. It gets a point above average for its handsome interior and we rate it at 6. The Gran Coupe, if rated separately, would do better. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Paring down the 6-Series lineup this year, BMW left the GT and Gran Coupe body styles that both feature four passenger doors and a hatchback or trunk, respectively.

The GT starts out like the 7-Series sedan from which it’s based, but adds a rising rear end that finishes with a long hatchback and small decklid spoiler. It’s a distinct profile, but lacks the athleticism of the 6-Series Gran Coupe.

The Gran Coupe’s roofline and proportions are racier and elegant, even years after the four-door’s introduction. It’s helped the Gran Coupe stay relevant among the similarly styled Audi A7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class.

Inside, both feature splendid materials that include standard leather upholstery and real wood accents. It can be too restrained for some; the 6-Series GT is conservative among BMW’s other interiors, including the 5-Series.

We don’t mind. The 640i GT takes aim at practical luxury buyers and delivers a functional, comfortable interior that we think will age well.

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2019 BMW 6-Series

Performance

The 2019 6-Series GT is competent and composed on the road.

This year the 2019 6-Series offers 6- or 8-cylinder power this year that range in output from adequate to alarming.

The 2019 BMW 640i xDrive GT is the version we expect most buyers will consider, and we base our rating on its performance.

Starting from an average score, we give the 6-Series GT a point above average for the power from its turbo-6 and land at a 6. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The 640i GT and Gran Coupe share the turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 and 8-speed automatic transmission. In the GT, the turbo-6 makes 335 hp and in the Gran Coupe it makes 315 hp.

Regardless of output, the turbo-6 is impressive and smooth and powers the 640i up to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds.

The 8-speed automatic is similarly impressive, too. It fires off smooth shifts, up or down, and its behavior is customizable via driver select modes that range from frugal to furious.

The GT is equipped with BMW’s all-wheel-drive system, called xDrive, as standard. The 6-Series Gran Coupe is available with rear-wheel drive only, or all-wheel drive when optionally equipped for $3,000 more. Both are geared more toward all-weather confidence and performance than off-road ability (in case the low ride height wasn’t a giveaway that the 6-Series is better on the street).

The 6-Series Gran Coupe gets a 4.4-liter turbocharged V-8 that makes 445 hp and 480 lb-ft in 650i spec. It’s predictably quick, with a 0-60-mph time of just a tick over 4 seconds.

The M6’s power is prolific enough that we cover it separately.

Among the standard 6-Series versions, the Gran Coupe is the performer of the bunch but it comes at a cost. The low roofline and athletic pace aren’t cheap; the Gran Coupe costs $12,000 more than the GT.

The GT is no slouch, but its taller center of gravity and bulk aren’t as confident in cornering as the Gran Coupe. Rear-wheel steering is available in the 6-Series GT that can virtually shorten the wheelbase or improve turn-in but we’d advise caution on the latter feature; for some of us, the rear-wheel steering felt unnaturally loose, like the rear end was skating around corners.

In all versions, the 6-Series steers confidently and handles well. Bigger, 20-inch wheels on Gran Coupe models ride rougher than the bunch, partly due to the standard run-flat tires that are fitted to all models.

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2019 BMW 6-Series

Comfort & Quality

The 2019 BMW 6-Series GT grafts an even-more practical shape on an already impressive sedan from the 7-Series.

Relieved of coupe or convertible duties for this year, the 2019 6-Series lineup was pared to four-door coupe and five-door hatchback models this year. (The new BMW 8-Series offers a coupe or convertible if two doors is your magic number.)

What’s left for the 6-Series is comfortable for four adults, although we lean toward the 6-Series GT for its practicality.

Starting from an average score, we give the BMW 640i GT points above average for its comfortable seats in the front and rear, and for its luxury fittings. It earns an 8 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Like the 7-Series from which it’s based, the 2019 6-Series offers 16-way power-adjustable front seats that are spacious and comfortable. Also like the 7-Series, the 6-Series GT offers real leather hides as standard equipment—we’d hope so for more than $70,000 to start. Those seats can be upgradeable to 20-way adjustable, heated and cooled seats with massagers for $2,600 more.

In back, the 6-Series GT is spacious and roomy for three adults. The outboard seats are more comfortable than riding hump, natch, but all aboard should fit comfortably under the GT’s tall roof. Rear-seat riders get more than 40 inches of leg room, and the rear doors open wide for easy entry and exit.

Under the hatch, the 6-Series GT offers more than 30 cubic feet of cargo capacity, which is impressive for nearly anything not called a pickup truck. Fold the rear seat down and that space balloons to more than 65 cubes.

Because of that capacity, the GT is our pick for comfort and capacity over the Gran Coupe, which asks that rear-seat passengers sacrifice some head room for its dramatic roof line.

Leg room in the Gran Coupe isn’t great either, just 35.3 inches compared to the GT’s 40.4.

The Gran Coupe offers 18.5 cubic feet of room in its trunk.

Regardless of configuration, the 6-Series is well-equipped with luxury fittings. In all cars, the leather, wood, and metal trims are impressive although both GT and Gran Coupe are conservative even after a run through the myriad options list.

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2019 BMW 6-Series

Safety

The BMW 6-Series lacks comprehensive crash-test data.

The BMW 6-Series hasn’t been crash-tested by federal or independent agencies at all. Considering the small quantities sold each year and high costs, it’s unlikely that’ll change. We’ll withhold our safety score until more data is available. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The 6-Series models share a name, but the two cars are different. The 6-Series GT is based on a version of the 7-Series sedan, which was new three years ago, and the 6-Series Gran Coupe is based on the previous generation 5-Series.

The two can be similarly equipped with safety gear, although the GT gets automatic emergency braking as standard equipment—the Gran Coupe asks $1,700 more for the lifesaving technology.

Included with automatic emergency braking are lane-departure warnings, blind-spot monitors, pedestrian detection, and on GT versions, speed limit information.

A spend-up extra on both is BMW’s active driving assistant that uses adaptive cruise control and active lane control to keep the 6-Series centered in its lane for long distances or in stop-and-go traffic. BMW’s system is comparatively good among many models, although newer luxury cars from Mercedes-Benz and Audi offer the same features with smoother operations.

Outward vision in the Gran Coupe is understandably challenging considering its dramatic roofline. The GT is marginally better, although the steeply raked rear window cuts into rear vision. Both cars have mandated rearview cameras, and offer surround-view camera systems as optional extras.

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2019 BMW 6-Series

Features

Well-equipped in base configurations, the 6-Series can be opulent in top trims.

The 2019 BMW 6-Series costs at least $70,000 to start, but rewards well-heeled buyers with a bevy of standard equipment that’s impressive among luxury cars.

The 2019 BMW 640i xDrive GT is equipped with leather interior, 19-inch wheels, a 10.2-inch touchscreen for infotainment with navigation and Apple CarPlay compatibility, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, automatic emergency braking (and a suite of active safety features we cover above), Bluetooth connectivity, wireless smartphone charger, two USB chargers, a panoramic sunroof, and power liftgate.

Starting from an average score, the 6-Series GT earns points above average for its standard equipment, infotainment screen, and copious options. We take one point back for a blunderous subscription service for Apple CarPlay that asks owners to pay more each year after the first. The 6-Series lands at 7 for features. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

BMW asks that customers pay dearly for the 6-Series Gran Coupe’s elegant shape. It costs more than $82,000 to start and is equipped with leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, a 10.2-inch infotainment screen, Bluetooth connectivity, wireless smartphone charger, and power trunk. The Gran Coupe critically lacks standard automatic emergency braking that the GT has, it’s a $1,700 option on the four-door.

From there, both the Gran Coupe and GT offer a raft of amenities to customize the luxury car with more leather, more wood, bigger wheels, upgraded audio, and sporty exterior accents.

A fully loaded 650i xDrive with all of the above approaches $110,000, which is within earshot of the M6 Gran Coupe that has more power.

We’d stick instead with the 640i GT, which is based on a newer architecture borrowed from the 5-Series and is more practical than the Gran Coupe. It costs less too; a well-equipped 640i GT with leather, premium audio from Bowers & Wilkins, heated and cooled front seats with massagers, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and active driving assistants costs less than the base Gran Coupe without those features.

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2019 BMW 6-Series

Fuel Economy

Most 2019 BMW 6-Series manage combined mileage in the low 20s.

Two body styles, two engines, and two powertrain configurations add up to roughly the same number for fuel economy in the 2019 BMW 6-Series. Most models will manage combined mileage in the low-20s.

Officials at the EPA rate the 2019 BMW 640i xDrive GT at 20 mpg city, 28 highway, 23 combined. It’s the most popular body style and how we arrive at our fuel economy score of 4. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The 6-Series Gran Coupe is based on an older architecture, but the ratings are roughly similar.

Rear drive 640i Gran Coupes are rated 20/29/23 mpg. All-wheel-drive versions shave 1 mpg from all of those figures.

With a bigger V-8, the 650i rates 18/25/21 mpg, or 17/25/20 mpg with all-wheel drive.

All versions of the 6-Series require premium unleaded.

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$70,300
MSRP based on 640i xDrive Gran Turismo
 
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6.2
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 8
Safety N/A
Features 7
Fuel Economy 4
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