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2019 BMW 6-Series Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.0

The 2019 BMW 6 Series gives you four engines to choose from, and each corresponds to a specific trim. The base engine is energetic enough for most driving situations, and it's the most fuel-efficient. However, 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.

  • The 6 Series Gran Turismo is great on the highway and in the city, with lots of available power. But it's not the BMW we'd choose for a joyride. It's just too big and heavy, and its handling ability suffers as a result." -- Edmunds
  • … 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 335 horsepower in Gran Turismo models and 315 horsepower in Gran Coupe models. A smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission comes standard. This engine is arguably the sweet spot of the lineup because of its balance of power, price, and fuel economy. It delivers energetic acceleration – though it can't match the V8s' acceleration times – and never feels underpowered. It also gets the best gas mileage of any 6-Series engine, earning an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway (28 mpg on the highway in AWD models). Those ratings are about average compared to other large luxury sedans.

The 650i features a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that produces 443 horsepower. It doesn't deliver the jolt of the high-performance trims, but this V8 still moves the 6 Series easily in just about any situation. The V8 is a little less fuel-efficient, with the 650i getting 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

The M6 Gran Coupe 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. This is the only trim in the lineup that doesn’t feature an eight-speed transmission. Instead, you get a choice between a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and a six-speed manual. This is where the performance starts to get really impressive. According to BMW estimates, the M6 sprints from zero to 60 mph in just 4.1 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 591 horsepower. This is basically a sports car in a luxury sedan's body. The Alpina goes from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, and its top speed is 199 mph.

  • "You don't get as many choices for engine as you do in the 5 Series, but thankfully the GT's standard turbocharged six-cylinder engine is the best of the bunch. It provides quick acceleration and respectable fuel economy. All-wheel drive is standard, too, which helps boost the appeal of the Gran Turismo if you live in a climate with frequent bad weather." -- Edmunds
  • "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)
  • "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

This BMW is a big, heavy car, and it sometimes feels like it. However, it delivers a smooth ride, and you can tailor the 6 Series' driving dynamics to your driving style by choosing from different driving modes. Most 6 Series models come standard with rear-wheel drive and offer all-wheel drive. Gran Turismo and Alpina B6 models come standard with all-wheel drive.

  • Handling capability is adequate. The GT's suspension keeps body roll in check. But even in the Sport setting, and with our test car's upgraded Dynamic Handling package, the 640i doesn't change direction as quickly or as well as we'd expect." -- Edmunds
  • "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)
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2019 BMW 6-Series

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