$59,471 - $91,309

2017 BMW 6-Series Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 BMW 6-Series was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 8.5

So many engines, so little time. Every 6 Series model features a potent engine that has ample power for every driving situation, but there are also several twin-turbocharged V8s to choose from if you want to do more than just get from Point A to Point B. On the other hand, sticking with the base engine (a 315-horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder that's pretty quick in its own right) does get you the best fuel economy.

In addition to providing some powerful engine options, the 6 Series delivers a comfortable ride that makes long-distance cruising an enticing prospect. It doesn't have the take-on-all-comers athleticism of some other BMW models, but the 6 Series provides composed handling and solid road grip.

  • It may seem strange to question a BMW's sporting credentials, but the current 6 Series is a large, heavy car, and there's no escaping that heft from behind the wheel. If you're expecting nimble handling, in other words, you may be disappointed. But in a straight line, the 6 Series is a majestic beast, particularly the 650i models with their 445-horsepower V8 engine." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • 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." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "Boasting a pair of awesome turbocharged engines, superb interior craftsmanship and epic high-speed composure, the 6 Series hits all the right notes for drivers who want that king- or queen-of-the-road character. And while sporty handling isn't really part of the 6 Series formula anymore, this is still a massively capable car when you give it the spurs." -- Autotrader (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The base 6 Series (the 640i) features a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that puts out 315 horsepower. This is the least powerful engine in the lineup, but that doesn't mean it's a bad powertrain. Even with the base engine, the 6 Series is quick off the line and has enough power for most driving situations. It also gets respectable fuel economy for the class, earning an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

The 650i features a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that produces 445 horsepower. That's plenty of power, even when moving a large car. With this V8, the 6 Series can go from zero to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. That extra power will hurt you at the fuel pump, though; with the V8, the 6 Series gets just 17 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway.

The 640i and the 650i both feature an eight-speed automatic transmission. It pairs well with either engine, delivering silky shifts and downshifting willingly when you want more power.

The high-performance M6 features a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine that puts out 560 horsepower. This extra power makes the 650i feel slow. The M6 comes standard with your choice of a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission or a six-speed manual. Either way, it delivers outstanding performance, going from zero to 60 mph in just over 4 seconds.

Your final option is the Alpina B6 Gran Coupe, which features a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that puts out 600 horsepower. You'll need deep pockets to buy this baby – it has a starting price of $122,500. But if you shell out the requisite cash, you'll drive home in one of the fastest cars in the class. The Alpina goes from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, and its top speed is 200 mph.

  • "Be it the BMW 6 Series Coupe, 6 Series Convertible or 2017 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe sedan, BMW offers different engine and suspensions for an utterly unique driving experience. The 640i is powered by an exceptional 6-cylinder engine capable of rocketing the car to 60 mph in around five seconds. Move to the 650i, and you'll find a V8-powered juggernaut -- made to look slow only when placed beside the mighty M6 coupe -- which bolts to 60 mph in just over four seconds." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Despite posting unimpressive performance numbers, the 640i Gran Coupe feels more than capable in the real world. Power is smooth and decisive with quick responses from the transmission. The 650i impresses with its more powerful V8 that provides effortless acceleration. We're confident that the 640i will be the smart choice for the majority of drivers, while the 650i has appeal for the few that have an appetite for more performance." -- Edmunds
  • "Acceleration is strong yet civilized with the 640i's inline 6-cylinder. You might be surprised by how easily this little engine chucks the chubby Bimmer around, but the main event here is the 650i's twin-turbo V8, which is so quick at any speed that it makes us question the point of the M6. This engine is simply spectacular. Whatever you think of the 6 Series, you can't help but fall in love with what's under the 650i's hood. We feel similarly about the 8-speed automatic … which upshifts seamlessly and enthusiastically matches revs on downshifts." -- Autotrader (2015)

Handling and Braking

The 6 Series may surprise people who are used to thinking of BMWs as uber-athletic vehicles. The 6 Series does come standard with rear-wheel drive, and it's no plodder, but it's best-suited for cruising highways instead of carving corners. Steering is sharp and there are multiple drive modes to choose from, letting you match the 6 Series' dynamics to your preferred style. All-wheel drive is available (though it comes standard in the performance-oriented Alpina B6).

  • "To handle all that power, the 2017 BMW 6 Series cars are equipped with Driving Dynamic Control that permits varied driving styles ranging from Comfort to Sport+. The Sport+ mode allows drivers to test their skills, modifying the transmission shift points and tightening the suspension in a way that transforms this big car into what feels like a nimble roadster." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • Every 6 Series Gran Coupe has that unflappable Germanic feel at high speeds, yet somehow manages to feel smaller than it really is around turns. All the while, the ride quality is firm, yet suitably luxurious for a car of this price and level of prestige. That said, we're not so enthusiastic about the optional active steering and stabilizer bars. Specifically, the steering lacks the company's trademark road feel, while the sophisticated stabilizer bars are actually too effective, decreasing body roll to the point that you no longer have a sense of how hard you're pushing the car." -- Autoweek
  • The 6 Series is … too large and heavy for 'ultimate' driving. The 6 Series model's comfort zone is on the highway, where it's impossible to get this car flustered. Think serene and planted at all speeds." -- Autotrader (2014)

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