2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo Review

The Frankenstein monster gets handsome


Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief



Positives: Precise steering, handling befitting a German sports sedan, shocking amount of interior space, refined cabin, much improved hatchback look.
Negatives: Still weird silhouette, painful music streaming apart from Apple CarPlay, seriously expensive.
Bottom Line: The 6-Series GT is confusing because it's neither a wagon nor a crossover. But the result is spectacular because it combines real-world practicality with luxury and driving excitement. The price you pay is steep, but what you get is a vehicle that can do almost everything and still look high-end.
The GT trim levels of the 3-Series and 5-Series BMWs are oddities. The 5 GT is no longer made, thankfully, and it's been replaced by the 6-Series GT. These cars were really made to capitalize on the crossover craze without the actual size and height of a crossover. The result (before the 6 GT came out) were odd-looking bloated wagon/hatchbacks that had limited appeal. The 6 GT promises luxury, space, and power, as well as much-improved styling. We drove the 640i xDrive Gran Turismo for a week to see if we could be won over. Read on for the full details in our review.
 

Driving Experience

9.1

 

The experience behind the wheel came as a near-total shock to us. Not only does the 6 GT feel smooth and silky on the open road, there's a spirit of aggression and precision that hides within its practical exterior.

Ride Quality: The ride is comfortable but firm, and the adaptive suspension adjusts well to the driving surface.

Acceleration: The inline six alone would be smooth and silky, but add the twin turbos, and this thing becomes a beast, hurtling its weight to 60 mph in about 4.7 seconds. The transmission shifts perfectly, and when you drop it into Sport and Sport+ mode, it holds the RPMs longer for better performance.

Braking: The brakes are strong and capable, and the pedal feel is progressive.

Steering: We were blown away by how sharp and precise the steering is. It feels like it belongs on a sports car, thoug the feedback could use a bit of improvement.

Handling: Our tester came with the optional Dynamic Handling Package, which includes active steering, an adaptive air-spring suspension with adaptive dampers, and dynamic anti-roll bars. It all works together in perfect harmony to keep this big hatchback cornering remarkably flat.

Technology

8.6

 

BMW's tech is stunning. iDrive 6.0 is the best version yet, but some of the functionality remains frustrating.

Infotainment System: The huge 10.2" touchscreen is both responsive and great to look at. BMW's is better than Audi, Mercedes, and Lexus in terms of aesthetics. It can get a bit frustrating since the phone connection drops off, and only Apple CarPlay is the only good way to control music.

Controls: The controller in the center console has some of the best actuation in the industry. Clicks and toggles are easy to use while driving. Oddly, there are no audio controls on the steering wheel.

Styling

8.2

 

We have mixed feelings about the 6 GT's styling. On the one hand, it's a huge improvement over the 5 GT it replaces. It's less bloated and has a more refined, elegant look. That being said, it still doesn't look nearly as good as the 5-Series sedan on which it's based.

Front: It's hard to tell the front fascia of the 6 GT apart from the standard 5-Series sedan, and that's a good thing. It's clearly taller, and the lower fascia vents are larger, as well.

Rear: It's an aggressive look with attractive, multi-faceted taillights and a large overhanging tailgate. The uniquely-shaped ellipsoid exhaust outlets aren't really our liking, though.

Profile: It's hard to make a big hatchback that actually has space look good, but the 6 GT manages to pull it off, barely. The body creases help reduce the visual height from this angle, and the greenhouse's rear slope is more aggressive, so it doesn't look as bulbous as the 5 GT.

Cabin: The cabin is beautiful with rich tannish-brown leather and genuine wood trim that's all well-executed and cleanly designed. BMW has spent a lot of time designing its interiors, and it has paid off.

Comfort

9.6

 

In addition to superb driving dynamics, the 6 GT shines when it comes to interior comfort. Everything about the 6 GT's interior is both practical and stunning while doing it. There'a also a shocking amount of space in here.

Front Seats: The front sport seats are spot-on BMW in that they're almost perfectly cushioned and bolstered with that optimal thigh bolster that helps reduce pressure on long drives.

Rear Seats: The rear seats are slightly elevated for a good viewpoint, but thanks to the large greenhouse, there's ample headroom. The legroom is also excellent, and the outboard seats have a high level of comfort.

NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): Aside from the growl of the turbo inline six getting piped into the cabin via the sound system, the 6 GT is remarkably quiet even when you're pushing it hard or at 75 mph on the open road.

Visibility: Big glass and thinner pillars in the front and sides means good outward visibility. Only the back end is a bit compromised, but the 360 camera and blind spot warning make it all easier.

Climate: BMW climate control systems are top notch, but a car of this price should have ventilated seats standard.

Safety

9.5

 

We scored the 6 GT very high because it's based on the BMW 5-Series, which nets some of the best scores in the luxury sedan segment. The 6 GT hasn't been tested yet and will likely not be due to its non-mainstream status and likely low sales numbers.

IIHS Rating: The 5-Series on which the 6 GT is based gets the Top Safety Pick+ rating.

NHTSA Rating: Neither the 6-Series GT nor the 5-Series on which it's based have been tested by the federal government.

Standard Tech: The 640i GT comes with the xDrive all-wheel drive system, Dynamic Brake Control, Cornering Brake Control, Icon Adaptive Full LED headlights, and automatic high beams.

Optional Tech: There's a lot here in our tester including adaptive cruise-control, lane-departure warning, and lane-keep assist. All of these systems are superb and operate beautifully. Lane keep-assist is gentle but properly corrective, and the adaptive cruise control operates at all speeds wonderfully.

Storage/Cargo

9.2

 

For what it is, the 6-Series GT is huge inside. Considering that it's essentially a sedan with a hatchback slapped on it, the thing is just cavernous inside, and the cabin storage options are also very good.

Storage Space: The door pockets, center cubby with retractable door, and the armrest all provide great small gear storage options, and they look great, too. The armrest is deep but a bit short to conceal larger items.

Cargo Room: With all seats in place, it's got 31 cubic feet of storage in the hatch. Fold the rears down, and you've got a whopping 65 cubic feet. That's almost as much as the BMW X5.

Fuel Economy

7.6

 

The 6 GT actually isn't bad when it comes to gas mileage. The fact that the highway rating is 28 mpg is pretty impressive. It's also a powerful and heavy car (4,409 lbs), so the numbers are good.

Observed: 22.1 mpg

Distance Driven: 165 miles

Driving Factors: We drove it in Sport+ mode almost exclusively which contributed to the low efficiency numbers.

Audio

9

 

BMW's premium Harman Kardon system is excellent. The sound is loud and clear without distortion, and the bass is wonderful. We don't think it's quite as good as the Mark Levinson system in Lexus vehicles, but it's up there.



Final Thoughts

Part of us wanted to hate the 640i xDrive Gran Turismo (partially because the name is just too damned long) simply because of what the GT line has been in the 3 and the 5. They've never looked good or driven particularly well, but the 6 GT is a marvel. Not only does turn heads (in a good way), it also drives like a dream. It can manage the relaxed boulevard and the highway cruise as well as it can the curves, and everyone will be thrilled with the ride, the space, and the comfort. BMW might actually have a winner on its hands with a niche segment that previously made no sense.
Shopping for a new
BMW 6 Series?

(844) 801-8526
Call our vehicle experts for
assistance with your research.