View Full Version : 640i Grand Coupe "Test Drive" experience
06-26-2012, 10:51 PM
I apologize ahead of time for the not-so-positive experience.
- I am ready to buy a 7-Series, but wanted to check out the 6 for comparison. One of the main reasons being to get a more distinctive BMW from the line up of look a likes.
- There was only one GC in the dealership, which was being prepped after delivery, so the sales person drove me around looking for it because they didn't know where it is parked. Well, he proved my point that they all look so similar that he admitted sheepishly that it is hard to find the GC amongst the sea of BMWs.
- When we eventually found the car, I am disappointed that the fully loaded M Sports configured Carbon Black was not as curvacious, distinctive, or sexy as I have been dreaming about since the announcement in Beijing may of 2010. Color? Lighting? Mind set? I don't know, but I walked away feeling like I might as well get the 7 instead.
- I asked the sales person to go for a test drive, but he declined and asked me if I am ready to buy the car today. He said that the manager wanted to keep the miles low, and mark up the car and then place it in the showroom for sale. He said they would be happy to "tear off the contract" if I decided not to take it. I fully understand their position, but nonetheless left me no room for closer inspection of the car's driving characteristics.
- Without the opportunity to test drive the car, I took only a short time walking around to check out the car. Once again, I apologize for listing some of the small nitpick items.
o The brochure and manual on the BMW USA site listed soft close doors as a feature, but the car does not have one. No option for that on the configurator online, and the sales person does not know if it is available.
o The trunk lid has a button, but does not auto-close the trunk, but locks the doors instead.
o I personally don't like frame-less doors, which are exacerbated by forcing the seat belts to be installed very far back in the seats. So they become more difficult to retrieve.
o For a car that is 197" which is longer than the 5-series, the back seats are surprisingly tight and uncomfortable.
o I don't have a BMW right now, and don't know what is normal. When the sales person opened the hood and started the engine, the idling sounded diesel like and very unattractive.
Sigh, one persons experience, and I genuine hope that you owners and prospective buyers have better experience than I do!
06-28-2012, 12:58 AM
I think the reasons you mentioned entitles you to not like the car but may I ask what exactly are you looking for in the GC ? since it targets a very specified audience as in people who prefer style over prcticality. The GC is a car for people who wants something special something that stands out and I think this car succeeds in that regard with it's sporty lines and driver oriented cabin.
I think you should give it another chance when you can and maybe you see how good this car is when you drive it.
Anyways if you are getting a 7er ,6er or a 5er you are still getting a great car.
06-28-2012, 08:25 AM
I was convinced that the new group of 4-door coupes, the CLS, Panamera, A7 and now the GC are targeting me.
My children are grown, so I don't normally haul more than 2 people, and indeed I am looking for something svelte.
I think it is a case of Goldilocks weighing some of the compromises, and my personal sweet spot in the luxury versus sporty continuum.
Your advice is inline with my intent, which is to see and drive the GC again, as I truly hope to experience the magic.
06-28-2012, 02:35 PM
I would definitely give it a test drive - as it's supposed to drive similarly to the 6 coupe - which is pretty fun IMO. I imagine a different experience versus a "real" sedan in terms of driving dynamics. But I only briefly drove a 5, and never a 7 so I can't say for sure. I am skeptical of a 6 cylinder in a car that size, but I have heard good things about it. YMMV however. WhyGeeGee is right, it's a rather targeted car, particularly at this price - and it may simply be a case of liking it, or not liking it.
I test drove a CLS and I think it's hard to beat in that category, and a relative bargain IMO. BMW has it beat on the interior and technology, though - which I imagine matters in this segment. My personal decision had me counting the number of times I expected the back seat to be used, quantifying the shortness of my kids, plus their budding acrobat skills, and I determined a "real" coupe was the way for me to go.
06-30-2012, 11:14 PM
I own a 535i and a 640i coupe and I can say that the 6er drives better than the 5er in every way and the engine is really that good that you don't feel the need for more power. As for the 7er I never liked big cars as I feel they are too heavy for my liking.
07-04-2012, 08:25 PM
Wow that is BS on part of the dealer. And arrogance. How can they not let you test drive the car? I see you are in California, not sure where, but I imagine there should be other BMW dealers within driving distance that may have a better attitude towards a potential customer.
I would add to your list of gripes,
(a) sunroof only tilts, does not slide!
(b) no rear seat entertainment option ( important to me with Mickey Mouse loving toddler )
(c) b-pillar too wide, perhaps more obvious on lighter color exterior variants and could be mitigated with dark tinted windows
Also I would say Panamera has better rear leg room. Many others seem to concur.
I am in a similar situation as you, looking for a high end sporty distinctive car, except that I need to have car seat ( soon to be car seats, plural) in the back.
I saw the 6 GC in person and was underwhelmed. From the front it is gorgeous, but so is the 6er coupe; I mean, obviously, they share the same exact face. From the rear, beautiful, again same as the coupe. But from the sides it just looks like a regular sedan in person, gets lost in shuffle a bit. I think this body style just works better on the 2-door 6 Series.
This was a customer car, sold already, so they had it locked for good reason. In your case there was no excuse not to let you drive it. I avoid one of my local dealers due to this type of arrogance.
I did test drive both the 740Li and 750Li and they are great and drive like a BMW, but then I drove the Panamera S and there was simply no comparison. Now I am considering the Panamera GTS due to my options list on the S not making sense with the value of the GTS.
That's what I've told myself but I can't stop going back to the bmwusa configurator and building and rebuilding a Sakhir on Sakhir M6 Coupe. My mind (and my wife) says Panamera, but my heart says M6. Only time will tell as I need to decide by October to get car before my current lease runs out.
Good luck whatever you decide but the gist of my ramble here is don't let an experience with a dealer turn you off from a brand, unless that experience was SO bad that it warrants it... I had a post somewhere here about my first experience at a Lexus dealer where they told my brother and I to go lease a Camry! That was maybe 12 years ago and I still hate Lexus to this day and refuse to even consider them. So I guess my advice can be taken with a grain of salt :)
Only you know how your experience compares to my Lexus one, of course.
08-08-2012, 05:58 PM
I looked at the 6GC last week at the end of my E60 550I lease. I have to agree that the car did not look as good in person as the pictures. I think it is the area behind the back doors that gives it an odd look in person. My local dealer had one in Carbon Black with the M package at around $111,000. I ended up with a Panamera S, which has been a blast. The car feels like a four door 911. I took the car to the NC mountains and the car is set up very well and felt like a sports sedan from the ground up.
08-08-2012, 11:39 PM
So as a newly minted 640i GC owner I can't disagree with some of the things you described. I came out of 2011 fully optioned out E550 coupe. As a woman I am terribly disappointed that the truck does not have the ability to close with the touch of a button on the GC. I however do like the frame less doors. It makes people have to close the door with the door handle not the top of a frame which I am a little OCD about..MY BAD!!!. I have had 2 adults in the back and no complaints. However we didn't drive cross country. But I wouldn't do that in a Rolls Royce. As far as the noise at cold starts. I noticed that the first morning I started the engine. You can hear it in the cabin. This was not at all normal to me as well. I walked around the car and discovered it to be even louder towards the passenger side front wheel. I immediately made an appointment for the next day. As it turns out the noise is associated with the twin Turbos and until they expand a bit from driving at speed it is normal for that engine. It goes away each and every time I get out after driving it. Of course i didn't know that at the time. That's why I insisted they keep it overnight and listen to it the next morning because by the time I arrived at the dealer the noise was not there. I have looked at the CLS. I felt unless I got the CLS63 the car looked fairly ordinary. Didn't want an AMG. Sorry for this comment. But I wouldn't drive a Panamera if it was given to me. The rear end is literally butt ugly and since the car was introduced I hated the way it looked. I liked the A7 but not totally sold on the looks. In summary I simply decided to buy the GC for the simple reason I loved the exterior lines, overall exterior beauty of the M Sport package and considered the interior as good as you can get in a car remotely close to the price range the GC falls into. To get better you'd be looking at Bentleys. It's not perfect but I have never owned a perfect car. But it's a perfect fit for my needs and lifestyle.
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