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F06 Gran Coupe (2013 - Current)
BMW's entrance into the 4 door coupe segment to go head to head with the Audi A7 and MB CLS

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  #1  
Old 09-09-2012, 08:35 PM
TomG76 TomG76 is offline
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three kids...and a Gran Coupe?

Quick background - currently I'm an X5 driver, but I'm going to pass this on to my wife for her daily driver...she's a SAHM and we have three kids, a 9 year old son, and 6 year old twins, a boy and a girl.

I'm trying to decide between a '13 750iL and a '13 650i Gran Coupe. While I won't have the whole family in the car (wife + 3 kids) all that often, I want to make sure they all can, in fact, fit if need be for short to moderate trips (2 hrs or less)...

I like the 6-series look and feel, but the 7 will do a better job of transporting the whole clan if I need to, from what I can tell.

The middle seat in the back of the Gran Coupe looks QUITE uncomfortable, sitting on a hump and having to spread your legs around the console, but might work for one of the kids. Does anybody have first-hand experience with this?

IF it's not workable, I'll have to go w/the 7.
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  #2  
Old 09-09-2012, 09:08 PM
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I don't have any first hand experience packing people into the 6 GC, but I have spent some time in the back of one myself. I'm 6' 4" and 165 pounds, and I fit pretty comfortably behind the driver's seat set to my normal driving position - pretty impressive as most cars and SUVs will not allow for this. The 4 + 1 is, in my opinion, like my 6er coupe is a 2 + 2: the "+ __" number is BMW's attempt at making you think that you're getting a little more practicality in a car that prioritizes style and performance over practicality (more so in with the coupe than the GC). I think the fact that the 6 coupe + 2 in the back is a joke. I very rarely put anyone back there because the act of maneuvering to get in there puts a lot of Nappa and alcantara in harms way with shoes, fingers, and hair touching many, many surfaces. I imagine that getting someone to straddle that center console is probably about as graceful an act. The sizes of your kids will likely make a pretty big difference in putting the puzzle together in a way that they are least uncomfortable (I think this is probably better terminology than "most comfortable"). While my first thought is "the smallest goes in the middle," that would likely involve little feet kicking around trying to get over that beautiful center console, so maybe someone with longer legs who has a little more distance between the Nappa and the Nikes should sit in the middle - I don't think headroom is likely a problem given their current ages.

I'm trying to think this through as realistically as possible, but I'd imagine that any trip requiring 5 to fit in a GC is likely to involve some arguing over who gets which seat. I think it really comes down to the choice between:

1. This car is for me, so I want the more elegant, sporty, exclusive option that will perform more like a sports car than a big German limo. If we have to go on a family trip with all 5 members, then we'll take the wife's X5. I'll give up driving the GC on family trips to have it for all of the times when I'm by myself of have a maximum of three passengers.

2. I'm at a point in my life where I want a big luxurious sedan that is powerful and fun to drive, albeit not as fun as a GC, that gives me comfort, luxury, and power on a daily basis yet affords my family the same level of comfort any time we go somewhere as a group of 5. This will be the go-to family car as it has the most passenger space and comfort of any car short of a Phantom.

For me, it would come down to the amount of time you need to haul around 5 people. If it is a few times a year for a 30 minute trips, then it would be the 6 GC. If I want to have my luxury saloon for work but be able to use it for going out with the family (instead of the X5) every weekend, then it would be the 750Li.

The new 7er is a thing of beauty that has great presence and looks very impressive, more so than the outgoing model even though this is only an LCI. The 6 GC, however, is going to catch all of the admiring looks. I guess, putting it bluntly, people see a 750Li and think, "Damn, that person has made it and is obviously very successful," while people will see the GC and think, "Damn, that car is gorgeous. I would kill to have one of those."

That's just my interpretation and thoughts on the matter. I don't think you can go wrong either way. I think it just comes down to how much you want to use this car for hauling around the family vs. how much you want a car that can pretend to be an M3/M5 (I know this is an exaggeration, but you know what I mean) but can also carry the family.

On a final note, have you considered the M5? A little more space than the 6 GC but performance that will kill the other two (especially the 750Li). I assume you have considered this option, so I'll shut up and stop babbling

Edit - right after I hit the "post" button I read your closing comment "If it's not workable, I'll have to go with the 7." This sounds to me like you really want the GC and would find the 7er to be a compromise. I think, after rereading that, I'd say go with the 6 GC and use the X5 for all of your family trips. The X5 is capable, so I'd say have a little fun and go for the GC
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  #3  
Old 09-10-2012, 03:12 AM
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The pragmatic side of me says choose the 7 Series. Besides carrying 5 people comfortably, you have acres of trunk space for carrying backpacks and groceries. The Grand Coupe really is a 2 + 2, and would be the perfect date-night ride for you and your wife once your kids become teenagers.
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:14 AM
kc1953 kc1953 is offline
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This is a tough one, Tom. But with the kids at the ages they are, I think the 7 series. I just had this vision of you being out driving in your GC and you get a call from your wife, asking you to pick up the kids from some friends house/soccer practice or some similar thing because she is stuck at home waiting for some repair person, or some such thing. You will want something with more backseat room. And the 7 series is a beautiful car.

On the other hand, if buying a 7 will make you feel like you are settling, don't do it. Get the GC and just deal with the times you have no choice but to haul the kids in the back (I realize that at their current ages none can sit in front).

Good luck. I think they call this a high class problem!
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:45 PM
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Well, I found a dealer that has a GC on the lot, I might just take the whole fam there and have the kids sit in back, and see how it works. That's probably the best option. We already have one vehicle they don't fit in (a '99 Ford F150 I use for business).
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:49 PM
djsaad1 djsaad1 is offline
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While we are on the subject, does anyone know if you would be able to fit a toddler car seat in the middle, and would it be safe? I know the middle seat doesn't have the latch system but neither does the middle seat in my range rover. Usually the middle seat is recommended but I am not sure about the gran coupe since the middle area seems smaller than usual.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:39 PM
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Personally, I can't imagine putting anyone of any size in that middle position in the back of the GC. (Hoping to finalize my GC order tomorrow!)
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:25 AM
WhyGeeGee WhyGeeGee is offline
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Originally Posted by XZLR8 View Post
Personally, I can't imagine putting anyone of any size in that middle position in the back of the GC. (Hoping to finalize my GC order tomorrow!)
Yea you don't want to put anyone in the middle seat as it's annoying as hell. Even though I like my GC I wouldn't recomend it to anyone with more than 2 kids.

Last edited by WhyGeeGee; 09-12-2012 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:54 AM
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Originally Posted by djsaad1 View Post
While we are on the subject, does anyone know if you would be able to fit a toddler car seat in the middle, and would it be safe? I know the middle seat doesn't have the latch system but neither does the middle seat in my range rover. Usually the middle seat is recommended but I am not sure about the gran coupe since the middle area seems smaller than usual.
It strikes me that no type of child safety seat would work in the middle because it needs a reasonably flat surface for balance and the "hump" would prevent that. Also, and speaking from some experience, those things take up a considerable amount of width and seat space...which isn't in abundance in the rear seats of a 6 Series car. Best solution...if you know you have to use a child safety seat, take the seat with you when you test the car.
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Last edited by Leslierc; 09-11-2012 at 03:00 AM.
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:06 AM
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Not to hijack the thread, but Leslie, how are you liking your Panamera? I considered making the jump, too, but can't shake my brand loyalty, so I'm opting for a 650xi GC. At any rate, love the GT Silver, which I'm sure looks fantastic with Expresso leather. Really nice combo.
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:07 AM
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Yea you don't want to punt anyone in the middle seat as it's annoying as hell. Even though I like my GC I wouldn't recomend it to anyone with more than 2 kids.
Especially when one considers how much bigger -- and leggier -- those kids will be a year or three from now.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:18 AM
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I guess I understand why the middle seat in back is pretty useless, considering the target market, but part of me thinks that, since it's essentially an extended, sporty 5-series, they could have done a better job, since the 5 itself has a small but at least useful middle seat in back, or at least my '00 528i did.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:23 AM
djsaad1 djsaad1 is offline
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I guess I understand why the middle seat in back is pretty useless, considering the target market, but part of me thinks that, since it's essentially an extended, sporty 5-series, they could have done a better job, since the 5 itself has a small but at least useful middle seat in back, or at least my '00 528i did.
I agree with you, but I am just happy you can fit 5 if you really needed to. Not being able to ever fit 5 is what made me turn away from the panamera.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:19 AM
TomG76 TomG76 is offline
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Well, I will say that last night, my 9 year old endorsed the GC...and then went on to say "and if you still have it when I get my license you can give it to me..."

Yeah...sure...I need to show him what MY first car was! An '80 Citation.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by TomG76 View Post
Well, I will say that last night, my 9 year old endorsed the GC...and then went on to say "and if you still have it when I get my license you can give it to me..."

Yeah...sure...I need to show him what MY first car was! An '80 Citation.
Did you get a chance to test drive the thing? Was it a 640i or 650i? Impressions????
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by XZLR8 View Post
Not to hijack the thread, but Leslie, how are you liking your Panamera? I considered making the jump, too, but can't shake my brand loyalty, so I'm opting for a 650xi GC. At any rate, love the GT Silver, which I'm sure looks fantastic with Expresso leather. Really nice combo.
I've got to mind my manners over here, but I'm thoroughly enjoying the Panamera. I always was in the camp that liked this car and I had it in mind (along with the A8) when I was considering the 7 Series a few years ago; however, I wanted the 4S and, at that time, no one in this area had one available to test. No regrets with anything about the 7 though. I, too, was considering the GC as the successor to the 7 but, as they say, timing is everything and there was a very slightly used `11 4S at a local Porsche dealer when that time arrived. In a nutshell, the 4S has an amazing feel to it...it holds the road superbly, absorbs rough road patches, and has an insane "Sport+" setting that completely changes the car's personality. Seating appointments front and rear are almost identical...everyone who has ridden in the car has looked at the rear seats and exclaimed that it looks exactly like the fronts. Head and leg room in the rear are quite ample. In my opinion and experience, there are only a few executive sedans that offer such a wonderful balance of sport and luxury as this car does. By the way, had I gotten the GC, it would have been the 650ix version.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:16 AM
TomG76 TomG76 is offline
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Did you get a chance to test drive the thing? Was it a 640i or 650i? Impressions????
No, that's this weekend probably - but my son was looking online w/me last night.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:28 AM
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I've got to mind my manners over here, but I'm thoroughly enjoying the Panamera. I always was in the camp that liked this car and I had it in mind (along with the A8) when I was considering the 7 Series a few years ago; however, I wanted the 4S and, at that time, no one in this area had one available to test. No regrets with anything about the 7 though. I, too, was considering the GC as the successor to the 7 but, as they say, timing is everything and there was a very slightly used `11 4S at a local Porsche dealer when that time arrived. In a nutshell, the 4S has an amazing feel to it...it holds the road superbly, absorbs rough road patches, and has an insane "Sport+" setting that completely changes the car's personality. Seating appointments front and rear are almost identical...everyone who has ridden in the car has looked at the rear seats and exclaimed that it looks exactly like the fronts. Head and leg room in the rear are quite ample. In my opinion and experience, there are only a few executive sedans that offer such a wonderful balance of sport and luxury as this car does. By the way, had I gotten the GC, it would have been the 650ix version.
Appreciate the feedback, Leslie. I think we've posted on some of the same boards for years now, even back to the Lexus forums, so I was curious about your impressions.

I, too, was impressed with the Pan's interior comfort and space, especially as it seems that there's definitely more room in the back than in the GC. I had a hard time wrapping my head around all of the Pan's buttons and switches, though, which probably means that I've been thoroughly iDrive indoctrinated over the years.

At the end of the day, I think we're all very fortunate to be able to enjoy cars of this caliber, no matter what we eventually decide to purchase.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:29 AM
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Well, I will say that last night, my 9 year old endorsed the GC...and then went on to say "and if you still have it when I get my license you can give it to me..."

Yeah...sure...I need to show him what MY first car was! An '80 Citation.
Haha. Well, a kid with good taste...
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:59 AM
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Appreciate the feedback, Leslie. I think we've posted on some of the same boards for years now, even back to the Lexus forums, so I was curious about your impressions.
Yes, we certainly go back quite a ways. A confirming indicator of great tastes, I suppose!

At first, the buttons in the Pana were a bit daunting but, just as the salesman had suggested, they really are geared to driver's preferences and selections.
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:17 PM
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Yes, we certainly go back quite a ways. A confirming indicator of great tastes, I suppose!
Yes, yes, I'm sure that's it. Ha.
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:53 PM
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Haha. Well, a kid with good taste...
That is true! Of course, my sophomore year in college ('95/'96) I bought my '81 528i for a song (it was ROUGH but my dad and I restored it)...so he might take after his old man!
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:55 AM
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My wife is now leaning to the GC herself...but we don't go to drive one until this Saturday. She pointed out that there have only been about 2 times in the last 3 years where we would have HAD to use my car (had it not been an X5 anyway) and wouldn't have had an option to get the other car first to pack everyone in.
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:00 AM
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My wife is now leaning to the GC herself...but we don't go to drive one until this Saturday. She pointed out that there have only been about 2 times in the last 3 years where we would have HAD to use my car (had it not been an X5 anyway) and wouldn't have had an option to get the other car first to pack everyone in.
Hey, this is good news! Haha.

I've owned several 7-Series over the years. They're fantastic cars, no question, but they are an entirely different beast when compared to the 6GC. Just the seating position alone is dramatically different. Even loaded up with M-Sport and all the toys, I don't think a 7er would feel as "sporty" as the GC, if that's what you're looking for.

I'll be curious to hear your impressions once you drive the GC.
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by XZLR8 View Post
Hey, this is good news! Haha.

I've owned several 7-Series over the years. They're fantastic cars, no question, but they are an entirely different beast when compared to the 6GC. Just the seating position alone is dramatically different. Even loaded up with M-Sport and all the toys, I don't think a 7er would feel as "sporty" as the GC, if that's what you're looking for.

I'll be curious to hear your impressions once you drive the GC.
I like the 7er, I've never owned one, but test-drove a '12, and I drove an older one a few times in the past, but I am looking for something more unique, sporty, fun. The 7 still feels to me more like something my 63 year old dad would drive.

The other issue is that our twins still use booster seats. That said, I guess keeping the two spares (we own 4 of them) in the trunk to install "as-needed" isn't a bit deal, I wouldn't keep them mounted in the 7er if I chose that either, I'd install if I needed them. I just worry that the presence of boosters would mean my 9 year old would have to sit in that middle seat - he's tall (4'9) but skinny as a rail, so it might work in a pinch. Plus, a year or two from now the twins may grow out of the booster.
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