$58,510 - $91,248

2018 BMW 6-Series Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.4

There are four engines to choose from in the 2018 BMW 6 Series, and each corresponds to a specific trim. The base engine is adequate, though unimpressive, and the most fuel-efficient. The other engines deliver more-impressive power. The 6 Series' ride is comfortable, and the car is solid but not spectacular when it comes to handling curvy roads.

  • 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 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. Even though this is the weakest engine in the lineup, it has enough power for most driving situations. It also gets respectable fuel economy for the class, earning an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The only knock against the base engine is that the acceleration feels a bit slower compared to some rival cars.

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. 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 25 mpg 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 M6 is one of two performance-oriented trims in the 6 Series lineup. It features a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine that puts out 560 horsepower, and it's noticeably faster than the 650i. 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.

The most powerful engine in the lineup belongs to the Alpina B6 Gran Coupe, which features a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that puts out 600 horsepower. As you might guess from that high horsepower rating, this is 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 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 (2017)
  • "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 (2017)
  • "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

Rear-wheel drive is standard in the 6 Series, and all-wheel drive is available (it's standard in the Alpina B6). This large sedan has sharp steering and decent handling ability, but it doesn't have the same athletic feel that you get from many other BMW vehicles. You can, however, tailor the 6 Series' driving dynamics to your driving style by choosing from different driving modes. Overall, this is a solid luxury cruising vehicle.

  • "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 (2017)
  • 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 (2017)
  • 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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