How Does the BMW 640d Gran Coupe Stack up Agaist Mercedes and Porsche

by Tim Jones on July 25, 2012, 6:20 pm
BMW 6 series gran coupe diesel

The BMW 640d Gran Coupe has been stacked up against its German diesel competitors, the Mercedes CLS 350 CDI Sport and Porsche Panamera diesel. In this test Auto Express puts the three class leading four door coupes together to see which is the best in diesel form.

As you would expect BMW has a good showing with the all new 6 Series Gran Coupe, owing much of it's success to it's great styling. Unfortunately the pricing on the BMW is not inline with the competitors and that cost it the win.

Quote:
All three of these cars combine sportiness with striking design and surprisingly affordable running costs. And, if we were judging purely on engineering, design and ability alone, the new BMW Gran Coupe would be a clear winner. Itís handsome, fast and beautifully made, and a delicious combination of form and function. But thereís a problem Ė itís too expensive. Even with similar levels of kit, BMW wants £10,000 more for the car than Mercedes asks for the CLS.

Thanks to its gorgeous styling, intelligent cabin and powerhouse of an engine, the Gran Coupe is a wonderfully competent package. It has the edge on performance, and also feels the most cohesive design here. If BMW could make its price more competitive, this would be the class leader.
Read the complete Auto Express BMW 640d review

Unfortunately for US diesel enthusiasts we won't get this form of the 640d gran coupe. Don't lose hope, BMW recently confirmed that we will be getting a turbo 3.0 liter diesel that could make its way into a state side Gran Coupe offering.

Does a diesel engine in the 6 Series Gran Coupe make sense in the US or not?


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25 responses to How Does the BMW 640d Gran Coupe Stack up Agaist Mercedes and Porsche

Pierre Louis commented:
July 25, 2012, 11:30 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by tim330i View Post

Does a diesel engine in the 6 Series Gran Coupe make sense in the US or not?
I would say yes. This would be something for me to strive for without a doubt. I hear that it has pretty good headroom for the driver too. Might even be a bit more performance and driver oriented than the 5 series too.

I can't see a hybrid or electric getting to this level for another 5 or 10 years if at all, so diesel makes the most sense. And I mean not just for efficiency but massive torque and driveability, diesels fit the US driving style better than high revving smaller gas engines.

PL
HIREN commented:
July 26, 2012, 12:08 am

Since we don't have an X6 diesel currently, I'd bet we won't get a 6 gran coupe diesel in the US.
Snipe656 commented:
July 26, 2012, 10:15 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by tim330i View Post
Does a diesel engine in the 6 Series Gran Coupe make sense in the US or not?
I think it really boils down to cost. Sure it would be great to have but if we are talking a near 6 figure cost then no thanks, way too many other options in that price range I'd want first.
Axel61 commented:
July 26, 2012, 12:10 pm

Unless its made in USA it is to much DINERO for it to be placed here
UncleJ commented:
August 12, 2012, 10:55 am

Too many other "exotics" that cost the same (six figures) to justify the 6 series diesel sold here IMHO. I love BMW but I love Porsche or even Mercedes more when it comes to the high end. You are getting close to Masers, Lambos, and Ferrari territory here -- not to mention the Tesla, Fisker electric stuff for the environ-posers around that figure.
F32Fleet commented:
August 12, 2012, 3:54 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by tim330i View Post


Does a diesel engine in the 6 Series Gran Coupe make sense in the US or not?
Nope. Due to the price point for this vehicle the typical buyer does not worry about the price of fuel.
Pierre Louis commented:
August 12, 2012, 5:22 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl View Post
Nope. Due to the price point for this vehicle the typical buyer does not worry about the price of fuel.
This is a fallacy that can be shown by just looking at the number of diesels Mercedes sold whenever they were offered in the early 1980's and later when the most recent diesels were finally brought back in. They sell every one they can get their hands on and rarely do they come on "sale" or "clearance."

People of means didn't get there by throwing money in the toilet. A diesel traditionally has more power and saves a large amount of cash over the cost of ownership. It allows for a better ownership experience and better bottom line, all translate to a more sensible purchase decision.

Not for everyone who flaunts their wealth for the short time they have it as there are obviously those not so inclined as to save money.

PL
Pierre Louis commented:
August 12, 2012, 5:33 pm

Quote:
Does a diesel engine in the 6 Series Gran Coupe make sense in the US or not?
If anything, BMW marketing has not shown its ability to sell certain types of vehicles. Witness the 318ti, the 335d, and perhaps others that had feeble dealer inventory, too little too late advertising, the Bangle-butt 5 series debacle, and in my opinion, an identity crisis for its 7 series (is it performance? luxury? both?).

Mercedes has the same problem with its C class and the cheap build quality it presented over the past few iterations not matching the image, as well as some of the AMG models of years gone by - an AMG version of the R class? Really?!

So just because its a good idea doesn't mean BMW can pull it off.

PL
AutoUnion commented:
August 13, 2012, 12:47 pm

Words can't describe how much I want this car here, but the 6GC is already overpriced. I'd settle for a 535xd BMW

If Porsche can afford to certify a TDI Cayenne for the low units they're selling, BMW has NO EXCUSE to not bring the N57 (which was announced for the US already) in the next gen X5, F10, 6GC, 7, etc
F32Fleet commented:
August 13, 2012, 4:13 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre Louis View Post
This is a fallacy that can be shown by just looking at the number of diesels Mercedes sold whenever they were offered in the early 1980's and later when the most recent diesels were finally brought back in. They sell every one they can get their hands on and rarely do they come on "sale" or "clearance."

People of means didn't get there by throwing money in the toilet. A diesel traditionally has more power and saves a large amount of cash over the cost of ownership. It allows for a better ownership experience and better bottom line, all translate to a more sensible purchase decision.

Not for everyone who flaunts their wealth for the short time they have it as there are obviously those not so inclined as to save money.

PL
Completly missing the point. The E350 Blutec is not in the same price point as the Grand Coupe. How many S-Class, and CL-Class, or CLS -Class diesels to you see on the road today? None in North American. You'll see gas hybrids perhaps (BMW is doing same with their bigger cars), but no diesels. It's price point. It's also why BMW didn't sell more 335d's. This is why BMW knew all those VW TDI Jetta wagon buyers would not jump an extra $20k for a 335d wagon.
AutoUnion commented:
August 13, 2012, 4:15 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl View Post
Completly missing the point. The E350 Blutec is not in the same price point as the Grand Coupe. How many S-Class, and CL-Class, or CLS -Class diesels to you see on the road today? None in North American. You'll see gas hybrids perhaps (BMW is doing same with their bigger cars), but no diesels. It's price point.
S350 Bluetech 4MATIC is sold in the USA
Pierre Louis commented:
August 13, 2012, 4:20 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
S350 Bluetech 4MATIC is sold in the USA
Yes, and plenty of S-class diesels were sold in the past, as well as current GL and if/when available G-class.

The old 350SDL motors had a defect in the valve train geometry that made them much less desirable, unless they got new engines/rebuilds, but the 300SDL models are sought after if in decent condition.

PL
Snipe656 commented:
August 14, 2012, 8:37 am

The 350SDL had a defective engine block according to a number of sources. Is an S350 currently even a six figured price tagged car?
Pasa-d commented:
August 14, 2012, 9:51 am

There's also the inconvenience factor to deal with. Try to find diesel around Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, etc.; only about a quarter of the stations even carry it and those that do have it priced as much as a dollar a gallon above prevailing rates nearby.

A potential buyer sees that and says no way.
UncleJ commented:
August 14, 2012, 11:02 am

I had no problem finding it in Pasadena and it was only about a dime more than supreme back then. Also found it easily in virtually any station off I-5, and the 405 too. Perhaps in the "neighborhood" stations it is hard to find -- and costs that much more -- but on the highways it is there. Remember the big three medium/heavy dity pickups may have diesel, along with a lot of IVCO box trucks etc. so there is a significant need for the fuel apart from the big semis on the highway and the botique high end car/suv trade.
F32Fleet commented:
August 15, 2012, 5:01 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
S350 Bluetech 4MATIC is sold in the USA
Ok..One. My point stands. A grand coupe buyer will not buy a diesel in the US. Won't happen.
F32Fleet commented:
August 15, 2012, 5:01 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre Louis View Post
Yes, and plenty of S-class diesels were sold in the past, as well as current GL and if/when available G-class.

The old 350SDL motors had a defect in the valve train geometry that made them much less desirable, unless they got new engines/rebuilds, but the 300SDL models are sought after if in decent condition.

PL
don't care about GL of G class. Theyre're not 100k cars. We're talking the Grand Coupe not some freaking SUV. In the US a S-Diesel hasn't been around for a long time. Never saw one until last week.
Pierre Louis commented:
August 15, 2012, 5:46 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl View Post
don't care about GL of G class. Theyre're not 100k cars. We're talking the Grand Coupe not some freaking SUV. In the US a S-Diesel hasn't been around for a long time. Never saw one until last week.
If you believe it, and put it on the Internet, it must be true!

Besides, it remains to be seen if BMW can actually properly market a diesel. Mercedes and VW already have a large following in the US.

PL
Snipe656 commented:
August 15, 2012, 6:17 pm

MBZ and VW though have sold diesel cars in the states for decades. This has allowed them to get large/loyal diesel followers.
AutoUnion commented:
August 15, 2012, 7:33 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl View Post
don't care about GL of G class. Theyre're not 100k cars. We're talking the Grand Coupe not some freaking SUV. In the US a S-Diesel hasn't been around for a long time. Never saw one until last week.
Diesel S and E Klasses have been around in the US for a long time. Very popular
Pierre Louis commented:
August 15, 2012, 7:46 pm

BMW has an excellent reputation in manufacturing diesel cars elsewhere but not in North America. This is why I had no hesitation in buying one. It is the pricing scheme that comes into play here, which is affected by how the US has automakers certify engines for emissions, how automakers justify their costs per unit etc. Arguments about how much the engines cost compared to gasoline versions are usually not complete without marketing, distribution, and volume of production factors. Manufacturers can spread their costs, which include research and development, between platforms and multiple sources/countries for parts and assembly given different monetary exchange rates etc. Its not so simple to assume a diesel version of a car can be brought over which would be more or less expensive, but the typical diesel buyer is looking for high quality and savings. A 640d Gran Coupe would be dynamite for such a buyer if it could be both, yes, even in the upper price range.

I know this may be news, and it is anecdotal, but of my friends/acquaintances who purchased high end diesel Mercedes, they are still wealthy and wise. Those that spent the extra on large gasoline versions are either stuck with very low value high maintenance guzzlers (witness the 1990's V12 S-class behemoths) or have lost their fortunes.

PL
Snipe656 commented:
August 15, 2012, 9:04 pm

The S class diesel in the states is rather new to the states. They went a very long time without an S class diesel offering in the states. Also I thought the G class was the boxy ugly thing that is a six figure cost but no diesel offering in the states. The GL I thought was the one with a diesel offering and far from a cheap vehicle to get. All S classes seem to depreciate at rapid paces, I looked at some very low mile'd S350 Blutecs at a hefty savings.
F32Fleet commented:
August 16, 2012, 7:39 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snipe656 View Post
The S class diesel in the states is rather new to the states. They went a very long time without an S class diesel offering in the states. Also I thought the G class was the boxy ugly thing that is a six figure cost but no diesel offering in the states. The GL I thought was the one with a diesel offering and far from a cheap vehicle to get. All S classes seem to depreciate at rapid paces, I looked at some very low mile'd S350 Blutecs at a hefty savings.
Yep. And I suspect BMW will sell a 5/7 series diesel before they even think about offering one in the Grand Coupe.

Sent from my MB525 using Bimmer App
Pierre Louis commented:
August 16, 2012, 10:46 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl View Post
Yep. And I suspect BMW will sell a 5/7 series diesel before they even think about offering one in the Grand Coupe.

Sent from my MB525 using Bimmer App
If at all... We'll be lucky to just get the F30 diesel here.

PL
mason commented:
August 16, 2012, 1:08 pm

I wonder would there be M650d.