By Keith Buglewicz
KBB Expert Rating: 7.7
The 2016 BMW 6 Series is a car lineup unto itself, with coupe, convertible and even a 4-door model that BMW calls a "Gran Coupe," but we all know is really just a sleek sedan. That's okay, because no matter what BMW calls its lineup of luxury sports coupes (and sedans), we'd still love the sleek lines, sumptuous interior and stout performance. With a refreshed nose and tail this year plus interior updates, the 2016 6 Series continues to look great. Under the hood you'll find engines ranging from a turbocharged 6-cylinder to a couple different V8 models. Along with a new aggressive-sounding exhaust system, the BMW 6 Series remains a leader in grand touring against the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe and Audi S5.
What may be most surprising about the 2016 BMW 6 Series luxury coupe isn't its excellent power, advanced tech or luxurious surroundings. No, it's that it manages this while still being a relative bargain against competitors like the Maserati GranTurismo and Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe.
Don't get too excited with this "bargain" talk, though. The base price of a BMW 6 Series is still in the high-$70,000 range, and the Audi S5 is quick and less expensive. Then there's the BMW 4 Series coupe, which looks great, goes fast and has the same badge.
KBB Expert Ratings
For 2016, all new BMW 6 Series models get a refreshed nose and tail, plus interior enhancements like a new steering wheel and revised center console with BMW's newest touch-pad iDrive controller. A new active exhaust system lets the engine sing when the car is in Sport or Sport+ mode.
Whether you're choosing a 6 Series coupe, 6 Series convertible or the 6 Series Gran Coupe sedan, each engine choice provides a unique driving experience. Opt for the excellent 6-cylinder...
... in the 640i models and you'll go from a standstill to 60 mph in just over five seconds, excellent for a "base" model. The V8-powered 650i is even faster, and the all-conquering M6 coupe can do it in just over four seconds. Beyond pure acceleration, the Driving Dynamics Control ranges from Comfort to Sport+, letting you either cruise comfortably or jam along at whatever pace your skill can handle. In Sport+, the 6 Series transmission kicks down eagerly, the suspension tightens, and this big coupe (or sedan) transforms into a surprisingly nimble sporty car. All the while, you're surrounded by sumptuous luxury, making the 6 Series an excellent long-distance touring machine, too.
ANY WAY YOU WANT IT
BMW calls the 4-door version of the 6 Series a "Gran Coupe," even though we all know it's really a sleek sedan. Semantics aside, the good news is that the Gran Coupe means the goodness of the 6 Series is available to those who can't give up 4-door practicality.
BANG & OLUFSEN AUDIO SYSTEM
For audiophiles, this funny-sounding name is music to their ears because they know how amazing the music in their ears will sound. This optional sound system drenches ears with 1,200 watts of sound emanating from 16 speakers, each with its own amplifier.
The 2016 BMW 6 Series interior gets a mild upgrade this year, with a new steering wheel the most obvious change, and a new touch-sensitive iDrive controller also prominent. However, for the most part it's familiar, and that's fine with us. With premium materials everywhere, exquisite fit and finish, wood or carbon-fiber accents, a high-end audio system and supremely comfortable driver's seat, the 2016 6 Series leaves a lasting impression. Not surprisingly, rear-seat room is tight in the coupe and convertible, but acceptable on Gran Coupes. Trunk space is largely unaffected when the convertible's top is folded.
The new nose on the 2016 6 Series is subtly effective, with the number of vertical bars in each "kidney" now nine instead of 10. The rear end is redesigned to accommodate the new exhaust system. But whether you choose Coupe, Gran Coupe or Convertible, a new 6 Series boasts an athletic profile, defined by a long hood and a striking crease that's nearly the length of the body. M6 models emphasize aggressiveness with bigger 19-inch wheels, LED headlights and a unique rear diffuser under the bumper.
As one of BMW's higher-end models, the base 6-cylinder 640i Coupe comes very well-equipped with leather and wood inside, xenon headlights, a navigation system with 10.2-inch display and touch-sensitive iDrive controller, dynamic cruise control and rearview camera. A new 650i adds a V8 engine, along with even softer Nappa leather, 20-way-power front seats, 19-inch wheels and a 12-speaker/500-watt audio system. BMW 6 Series xDrive models offer all-wheel drive, and all BMWs offer four years or 50,000 miles of scheduled maintenance.
While there are stand-alone options like all-wheel drive available for the 2016 6 Series, most of the desirable upgrades are divided into packages. An Executive Package adds ventilated front seats, soft-close doors and a futuristic head-up display that projects travel information onto the windshield so you can focus on the road. Definitely get the wonderful Bang & Olufsen sound system, and performance-minded drivers should check out the active steering and Adaptive Drive. A new Black Accent package adds high-gloss black trim on the grille and interior trim, black tailpipes, bi-color 20-inch alloy wheels, and black Nappa leather.
Three engine options tempt prospective BMW 6 Series buyers. The 640i gets a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 that makes a robust 315 horsepower. The 650i gets a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that puts out 445 horsepower. The truly power hungry will gravitate to the 560-horsepower version of that engine in the M6. The 640i and 650i use an 8-speed automatic transmission, with either rear- or all-wheel drive (RWD, AWD). M6 variants use a 7-speed automatic or 6-speed manual and are rear-drive only. To save on its thirst for premium fuel, the 2016 BMW 6 Series uses auto start-stop to cut engine power at idle.
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
315 horsepower @ 5,800-6,000 rpm
330 lb-ft of torque @ 1,400-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/33 mpg (RWD coupe), 20/29 mpg (AWD coupe and convertible), 20/30 mpg (RWD convertible)
4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8
445 horsepower @ 5,500-6,000 rpm
480 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg (RWD coupe and convertible), 16/24 mpg (AWD coupe and convertible)
4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8
560 horsepower @ 6,000-7,000 rpm
500 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 mpg (automatic coupe and convertible), 15/22 mpg (manual coupe and convertible)
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the base 2016 BMW 640i undercuts some of its competition, but $77,500 – including the $950 destination charge – is still some serious coin. If you want a V8 engine, you'll be looking at nearly $89,000. The 4-door Gran Coupe adds about $2,000 to those sums, and the convertibles add about $7,000. Want all-wheel drive? Add another $3,000. Options inflate the price quickly, and it's not hard to get to six figures, especially with M6 models. That said, the 2016 6 Series is at least competitive against cars like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe, and it seriously undercuts cars like the Maserati GranTurismo. Before buying, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the BMW 6 Series. Long-term resale value should be about the same as a Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe, but lower than an Audi S5.