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G32 6 Series Gran Turismo (2018 - Current)
The all new 6 Series Gran Turismo follow in the footsteps of the F07 5 Series GT. Arriving in dealerships this fall the 6 Series GT offers 5 Series sizing with 6 Series styling.

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Old 12-08-2018, 01:55 PM
BDubya BDubya is offline
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Location: Indiana
 
Join Date: May 2014
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Mein Auto: 640xGT ELR EXT Miata
640GT Ownership Review

Now that Iíve had the 6er for a few thousand miles, I feel compelled to write a review of my experience so far. This will probably be long so please bear with me. If you donít want to spend the time reading, jump to the summary at the bottom.

First, a perspective: Although Iíve had both a 550GT xDrive and a 535GT xDrive in years past, I would not consider myself a BMW fanatic. Iíve had about 125 cars now in my 40+ years of driving, having traveled well more than 2,000,000 miles. My taste and budget has ranged far and wide during that tenure: Iíve had VWs, Chryslers, Fieros, Jaguars, Cadillacs, and even a few Fords and Chevyís thrown in for good measure. Here is my current stable:
2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo
2016 Cadillac ELR Performance
2012 Cadillac EXT Premium
1991 Miata SE (highly modified)

I know how to drive well, and safely, and when needed--quickly. My Miata serves my need for racing through the North Carolina mountain twisties well. The other three are daily drivers and I cover roughly 40,000 miles each year now that Iíve slowed down some.
The reason that I share this history is this: The 5GT was never understood well by . . . uh . . . mostly everyone. So it never sold well. The 6GT replacing deserves better, but early indications are that it will unfortunately follow the same path.

Why is this? After a lot of thought, hereís my theory: As a true touring car, the GTs donít have an instant appeal to BMW purists. They are taller, heavier and donít handle like a sports car. When compared to an M5, or any other series for that matter they just donít quite fit the BMW expectation. Yet for those outside the BMW world, the reputation for tight handling, sometimes severe ride quality and other opinions of BMW precede them so the GT is never even considered. And that does not even mention the somewhat funky shape and styling that drives emotional decision-making. And they do tend to be more expensive than a lot of other options. Oh yea, and they are decidedly NOT an SUV, the inexplicable darling of the press and buying public. So my prediction is that the appreciation of the 6GT will be limited to a rare breed of drivers who are searching for its unusual combination of luxury, capability and experience. Itís a shame because the 5GT was an awesome car in its own way, and the 6GT improves on that base in nearly every way.

So on to my thoughts of the 6GT:

Aesthetics
The 6 is improved in most ways from the 5GT. (I never thought the 5 was ugly, just funky.) The proportions are stretched so it appears lower, wider, longer. (Actually it IS, but it appears more than the actual difference.) The new grille and headlights are more svelte and emotional, the rear and taillights equally so. It has some nice fluid lines along the sides and integral cooling vents on the front fenders that give is visual interest and are somewhat functional. The little spoiler deploys automatically at 75mpg and retracts automatically when youíre back down to 45. Iím sure it serves a real purpose at the higher speeds, but for most drivers itís a cool little toy thatís probably a bugger to fix if you have a rear-end mishap. Wheels are a large part of the visual impression, and the stock fare for both Luxury and Sport models is typical BMWónice but I donít find them very exciting. Iím still pondering whether Iíll spring for a nice set of HREís or BBSís . . . you can wrap up a lot of money changing these out!

Base car
With nothing added, the 6GT is a fine car. But there is SO much you can add, and nearly every add-on makes it better. Mine has several options that I think are critical, must-haves:
---Nappa leather. SO much nicer than the standard Dakota. (For this car's pricepoint, why is this not standard??)
---Multi-contour seats. The comfort and adjustability of these seats is legendary, and itís a reputation well-earned. If you buy this car, buy these seats!
---Executive Package. This should also be standardóit has the soft-close doors, the rearview camera, the surround camera and the head-up display. Itís got some electro-nannies in it too, but theyíre just bonus items to me. None of these things are do-or-die critical, but on a luxury car they should be standard.
---Heated steering wheel and front/rear seats. Once youíve had these features in colder climates you will wonder how you ever drove without them. In the 6, the heated steering wheel is temperature-drivenóitís on automatically if the outside a certain temperature that you can set in iDrive. Itís odd that there isnít a Climate package on the 6er, so you have to order these as separate options.
---Luxury Package. This is a new ďlineĒ in the BMW-speak. It doesnít cost much, doesnít have much. But it does include some niceties and has the power reclining rear seat included.
---Driving Assistant Plus. More electro-nannies, but it does include the very capable adaptive cruise control. Personally, Iíd order that as a standalone option and leave the other bits off the buildsheet.
---Harman Kardon sound. This is all the stereo that I needóit sounds great and works well. Iím sure the upgrade to B&O is worth it for some, but this is just fine for most people.

Then there are some things Iíve got that are truly ďmeh?Ē and I can take or leave them. For certain situations I can imagine their use but not for me. (I should say that my car was a demo, so it came with what was on itónot all are my choices).
---Remote Control Parking. This idea is just a bit too early still. But to get out of my car, and ďdriveĒ it with the Display Key into a space thatís too small? . . . Iím glad I donít live in a big city where these parking issues are common!
---Display Key. This is a gimmick still. Itís huge, doesnít fit in my pocket. It doesnít even have a connector to attach my keys either, although you probably donít want your keys bouncing around next to it in purse or pocket anyway. I donít know if it can do anything the BMW app canít do or not, but I can imagine this puppy is expensive to replace if you lose or break it. And you have to keep charging it. Sigh. So I put mine with the rest of my important papersóIíll know right where it is when the car goes back off-lease.
---Rear window shades. I know, I know. They DO have a purpose. But if you drive by yourself most of the time they arenít too valuable. I would not have marked this box if I was ordering the car.
---Apply CarPlay. I have read countless reviews of the 6GT, and the one common criticism is that CarPlay is a $300 option. Seriously?? I have never used this, and have no plans to ever use it. Everything I need to drive the car is part of the awesome standard navigation and iDrive system.

So thatís a description of my car. 2018 640 GT, Glacier Silver over Black Nappa. Base price $69,700, as delivered $80,385.

There are three options that are not on my car: ďM SportĒ package and Dynamic Handling. Iíd rather have both, but they werenít on it. Most of the Sport is fancied up aesthetics, and truly it does look nicer, but Iíve also been told that the ride quality is not as good. Thatís hearsay since Iíve not experienced it.
The Dynamic Handling though is a worthwhile purchase. This gives you more control of the suspension, plus the all-wheel steering. It simply takes this awesome car up to the next level. That said, itís still an awesome car with out it! Sigh.
And last, the massage/ventilation feature for the front seats. Itís something Iíd rather have (even my pickup has this!) but I can live without.

Driving/Performance
Now to where the 6GT really shines: The ride. Especially compared to my last few Cadillacs, this car handles tight and rides well, is quieter and a far more pleasant experience. Even with the much-hated runflat tires the car is smooth and quiet. Shifts of the 8spd transmission (Iím told itís the same ZF model used in a Rolls??) are mostly imperceptible. Engine noise is muted at its loudest decibel, even on concrete highways.
While this is definitely a large car, the steering is tight enough that itís quite nimble. Itís more refined that the 5GTs wereónot as ďtenseĒ in everyday. For some who really like the 5GTís driving experience I think they might be a bit bored with this thoughóit definitely more serene.

That said, itís still a fast car. Itís only available with the TwinTurbo 6. Iíd love to have the diesels here in the states, but alas that most probably will never happen. The 6 is just what you expectópowerful, smooth, quiet. And it can motivate the car to 60 in just about 5 seconds flat. Thatís close to the capability of my supercharged Jaguar a few years, but it happens in a far more refined manner.

In everyday driving the torque curve allows adequate, even spirited performance without ever really taxing the system: 0 through 80mph can be achieved without ever reaching 2000 rpm, and without ever feeling slow or lethargic. An engineering marvel for a car this size. Plus the drivetrain has returned 28+mpg for medium trips. With my mix of town and road, Iím averaging right at 24mpg overall.

An oft-overlooked detail is ingress/egress and thatís another point in which the 6er excels. Unlike my sports car, I donít fall down into it. Unlike my truck, I donít have to climb up into it. The seating position is just right to slide in and out. As I get older, I find this an increasingly valuable trait, and my 84-year-old mother-in-law agrees.

The only thing I donít like about the performance is that the steering is a bit vague. This is quite prominent when you use the lane-keep feature of Driving Assistant package. Iím going to look into adjusting the alignment to see if I can improve this item.

Functionality
This is why I went looking for a replacement to the 5GT I had years ago. I thought seriously about a CPO 5er, but after driving the 6 it wasnít considered anymore. This car has a combination of features/functions/capabilities that is totally unique in the car world, and it should be on the short list for a lot more people than it is.
---Front seats. As I mentioned earlier, the front accommodations are topnotch. Long trips are made effortless and painless, even for us old guys with bad backs.
---Rear seats. The rear seats are not quite those in the front, but they are not far behind. There is tons of legroom and with the reclining (though not much) seatback itís quite a nice place to spend an entire day of driving.
---Rear hatch. The hatch is huge. The space is huge. Especially with the rear seats folded, this car can haul everything we need for a week-long vacation for four adults. Adults! Not kid-size spacesóGrown-up size spaces!

Cool stuff
As a modern-day luxury car, the car has its share of little gizmos and features.
---Ambient lighting. This is supercool. Totally unnecessary, but Iíd never want to be without it! White, blue, green, lavender, orange, bronze . . . and two strips so you can combine all the colors two at a time. I donít want to think what this added to the price of the car, but itís sure neat.
---Soft-close doors. Again, not necessary. But I really like how they finish the door-closing process without slamming doors. And I really miss it in my other cars.
---Start-stop ďoffĒ. Iím still lukewarm on the whole stop-start thing. But at least there is a switch so I can turn it off when I donít want to be bothered.
---iDrive. Like most, I didnít really like iDrive when it first came out. But Iíve come to really appreciate it. Itís head and shoulders above either last-gen Audi MMI or current-gen Cadillac CUE. I can do what I need with this system, seamlessly and safely. Without more intrusion in my driving experience than I want. Altogether Iím pleased with this.
---Voice commands. For phone, navigation and other things Iím amazed at how well the voice recognition works. I was constantly correcting the system in the Cadillac, but this one hears me well and executes the instructions well.

Summary
Hereís the bottom line: I was looking for a quiet, smooth, comfortable car that could hold four adults and all their stuff for long-distance drives. This car is it. I donít think there are any other new cars available with this combination of luxury, performance and overall capability. Yes, it still looks a bit funky. But the funky-factor is more subdued now and has been replaced with a ďWow, this is a really neat carĒ opinion expressed by anyone riding with me. (My son who drives a Fiat Abarth is the lone exception!)

If you need a car with these requirements, you owe it to yourself to consider this model. It still wonít drive like a track-prepped E46, but it will give you a safe, sporty, quiet and comfortable ride. Itís just what I was looking for & I am very glad I found it.

Happy driving . . .
B
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2018, 02:42 PM
rockville rockville is offline
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Location: Maryland
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 2011 550i; 2019 640i GT
Second virtually everything you said, BDubya. Well, I do use and like the CarPlay so that's an exception. Very comfortable highway cruiser, no doubt about that. One additional 640i GT feature I like is the "GPS Activation Points". Panorama view comes up automatically in the locations I've preprogrammed (garage entrances for the most part). It's likely available in other BMW models as well but it's more valuable in larger cars like GT in my opinion. Enjoy your GT!
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Old 12-08-2018, 05:35 PM
Gilgorm Gilgorm is offline
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Location: Toronto, Canada
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 669
Mein Auto: 2018 640i X-drive GT
BDubya: I enjoyed your review. It is interesting how many U.S. options are standard in Canada but the base price is higher. e.g. M-Sport package, heated wheel and heated front/rear seats, 4 zone climate, electric rear seat, rear camera and HUD. New Base price $76,700 CDN; For new out the door pre-tax: $89,830 CDN. Considering our Canuck buck is worth $.75 US its quite a good deal. Mine had been on the road 6 weeks by a dealership employee so I was able to carve off an additional $9,635 for a pre-tax price of $80,195.

A lot of money but such a great car, easy to get in and out and more room than any car I've owned. Ride is incredible.
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2018 640i X-drive GT; Alpine White, Black Nappa, Piano Blk; M-Sport, Premium (Ceramic, Sirius, Soft-close, Ventilated & Massage Comfort Seats, Surround, Sunshades, Parking Ass't), Advanced Driver Ass't (Lane Keep, Evasion Assist, Steering & Lane Control, Cross Traffic, ACC with Stop & Go), Smartphone, Tint.
Retired: 78 300D, 81 300SD, 87 190E, 88 Porsche 924, 89 260E, 93 300E, 97 Volvo 850, 98 E320, 03 BMW 325iT, 02 C230 Sport Coupe, 08 BMW 535i, 12 535i X-drive
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  #4  
Old 12-11-2018, 02:00 PM
BDubya BDubya is offline
GT 4 Me!
Location: Indiana
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 40
Mein Auto: 640xGT ELR EXT Miata
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockville View Post
Second virtually everything you said, BDubya. Well, I do use and like the CarPlay so that's an exception. Very comfortable highway cruiser, no doubt about that. One additional 640i GT feature I like is the "GPS Activation Points". Panorama view comes up automatically in the locations I've preprogrammed (garage entrances for the most part). It's likely available in other BMW models as well but it's more valuable in larger cars like GT in my opinion. Enjoy your GT!
Yes, I'd imagine that anyone who is already used to CarPlay probably uses it too, and would miss it if it's not there.

I will have to study the GPS Activation Points feature and see what I can learn. Thanks for the tip!
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  #5  
Old 12-11-2018, 02:06 PM
BDubya BDubya is offline
GT 4 Me!
Location: Indiana
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 40
Mein Auto: 640xGT ELR EXT Miata
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilgorm View Post
BDubya: I enjoyed your review. It is interesting how many U.S. options are standard in Canada but the base price is higher. e.g. M-Sport package, heated wheel and heated front/rear seats, 4 zone climate, electric rear seat, rear camera and HUD. New Base price $76,700 CDN; For new out the door pre-tax: $89,830 CDN. Considering our Canuck buck is worth $.75 US its quite a good deal. Mine had been on the road 6 weeks by a dealership employee so I was able to carve off an additional $9,635 for a pre-tax price of $80,195.

A lot of money but such a great car, easy to get in and out and more room than any car I've owned. Ride is incredible.
Glad you got a good deal on yours too! Mine had 4200 miles on it as a service department loaner, and it was the last day of the month so they made me a deal I'll probably never see again. But wow, what a great car even without the discounts!

It is interesting the differences in the base cars. BMW has learned the option game well. My '11 535GT was optioned up much more than this one. I know it's a little thing, but I really miss the ceramic controls. Most of the other extras were hit-and-miss (like the night vision and such).
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  #6  
Old 12-11-2018, 04:32 PM
Chriscalif Chriscalif is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 4
Mein Auto:
Great review. Thank you for the great insight and items to think about. I have test driven the car a few times and might pull the trigger over the Christmas holiday. I felt the steering in sport mode could be a little heavier and driving a big car in southern California parking garages and outside parking lots is concerning. I am not sure if it's just me but these parking spaces seem to be getting smaller ever year. Other than that it's a wonderful car.
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Old 01-29-2019, 07:49 PM
miamibeach miamibeach is offline
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Location: Miami Beach
 
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Posts: 48
Mein Auto: 328i
Great review. This car is misunderstood.


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2007: 335i (E90) / TiAG/ Black Dakota / Auto / ZSP / ZPP - lease expired.
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:58 AM
BDubya BDubya is offline
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Location: Indiana
 
Join Date: May 2014
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Mein Auto: 640xGT ELR EXT Miata
A short update now at 6 months.

I've put almost 8,000 miles on the 6er in the past 6 months so time for a quick update.

All the positives of this model continue to shine brightly--if anything I like it more now than when I first took delivery. There have been only a few minor niggles, mostly with the techno-gadgets, but I can live with those little things. I've had absolutely zero major issues.

Average MPG has been in the 27 range--significantly better than I expected. On the few longer trips it's been over 30. Considering the comfort and power I find this truly amazing.

I continue to marvel at how well the navigation system functions--to the point that I can't imagine how they could make it better!

The coup de grace of this car remains the quality of the driving experience. It's smooth and quiet beyond anything I've ever had before--and I've had over 130 now in the past 40 years.

The difference is reinforced daily right now as I'm winding down the last few weeks of my ELR lease--Cadillac's halo car from a few years ago that "runs" silently on its electric motors. Once you reach 50 mph and above, the tire noise is incredible and the suspension transmits every tick in the road loudly and painfully. I've got about 2500 free miles left on that lease and I might just turn it back in early because it's so painful to drive. It makes the 6er experience all the more wonderful when I take it out.

For those of you on the fence about this model? Go for it! I think you'll be quite happy.
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:47 PM
dtrayers dtrayers is offline
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BDubya, what are some of the "niggles"?

I'm considering a 640GT to replace my Acura. I've never owned a BMW before, but when researching what I want to replace my TL with, the 640GT ticks all the right boxes.

To be honest, it's the the reliability reputation, or lack of, that gives me pause. I can't afford a new one, so I'm looking to get a CPO. When doing a search, there are very few out there (so far). Many used 640GT's, but relatively few CPO's. I really don't think I want to get a used one without the extra year and miles of warranty the CPO's offer. I put at least 20K miles a year on my cars, so I'll welcome the unlimited miles of a CPO.

Thoughts?
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Old 04-18-2019, 08:17 AM
BDubya BDubya is offline
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Location: Indiana
 
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Mein Auto: 640xGT ELR EXT Miata
You've brought up several pertinent topics, all of which I considered too. Here are some thoughts:

Niggles: Little things that are truly little, but when you're a stickler for detail like I am, I notice them. Others may be more forgiving. There is nothing that's happened that prevents me from using and enjoying the car. But . . . (example) I put the seat in a certain spot. The next time I get in, it may or not be in the same place. I think I've tied it back to whether I lock the car, and then weather I use the clicker or the door handle to unlock it. More often this is the seat bolsters only, not even the whole seat. Weird. And of course, no codes show up about it. Another: Almost all the time I can touch the door handle to unlock. But sometimes not, and then I have to fish the clicker out of my pocket. (The clicker ALWAYS works). Again, not a huge thing. But it's a "thing" that I don't think should happen on an $80k car. Sometimes I just think the car is too smart for itself--too many sensors doing too many things. Definitely a first-world problem!

Reliability: In all fairness, almost all new cars are reliable beyond any statistical measure these days. Even BMWs. When you google the topic though, or read on a forum, you're touching a very small percentage of owners. Even with that group you have a statistical bias: These folks are either (1) true car buffs that have very high expectations; or (2) people who already have a problem and are looking for answers (or solace). I would not consider either of these groups in a definition of "average car owner/driver".

That said, BMWs in general are complex, highly precise vehicles (like your Acura) and I expect more detail problems (like my niggles) with such cars. This is exactly why I leased mine. And why I leased the even more techy Cadillac ELR before it for the same reason--I did not want the longterm ownership experience that includes repairs down the road. The 5er GT that came before the 6 had a number of consistently reported issues, probably more than the average high-level car. But a lot of people drive them still and love them even with their warts. My car has 13,000 miles on it now and it has had absolutely zero functional issues. I do not expect I will find any. But I do understand your apprehension, and your feeling that purchasing CPO would be good protection.

CPO: BMW has not sold many 6er GTs, so there's not many entering the late-model used market that is the inventory base for CPOs. But . . . if you find a used one at a BMW dealer, they can CPO it before selling to you if it meets the standards. My car was an untitled dealer loaner before my purchase and I had the choice of buying it "new" with loads of new-car incentives, or "used" in which case they would CPO it for me. I chose the former because it fit my needs better, but it was a consideration. If this doesn't work for you, maybe you can find a 2017 5GT? Not the same car, but has many of the same unique attributes and features. You mention you drive 20k per year . . . you might also consider leasing. Like you, I couldn't afford the new sticker on the car. But they discounted about $26,000 and it put the lease in the same ballpark as a GMC Acadia! Worth asking about, especially if you have a good dealer to work with.

In the end I do not know of any other car that does what the 640GT does. It is quiet, comfortable, smooth, faster than I need. It sits up just high enough that I ingress/egress is easy, even for my mother-in-law with limited mobility. The backseat is nearly equal in comfort to the front so passengers are not punished like they are in most cars. The hatch gives great access to the boot & with the seats folded it can swallow everything my wife can afford to buy. The navigation and sound system are awesome. Yes, I know the reliability stories are there but I've not experienced them. All-in-all, this car works well for me & I can live with any of the reservations I might have had. If I were in the market right now, knowing all I know, I would buy/lease this car again without any question.

Hopefully that helps with your decision process,
B
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