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2020 BMW 8-Series Review

With an emphasis on the driver, the 2020 BMW 8 Series blends powerful engines, athletic handling, and a well-designed cockpit. Its place in the bottom half of our rankings has more to do with how robust its competition is, rather than any major flaws of its own.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engines and brisk acceleration
  • Well-tuned drive modes
  • Refined, technology-rich interior
  • Lots of leg and shoulder room in Gran Coupe's back seat
  • Cramped back seat in coupe and convertible models
  • Limited headroom in Gran Coupe's back seat

New for 2020

  • Six-cylinder-powered 840i models
  • Gran Coupe body style
  • M8 performance models

Rankings & Research

The 2020 BMW 8-Series's #9 ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Sports Cars category. Currently the BMW 8-Series has a score of 8.3 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 14 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.3

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 8.9
Interior: 7.2
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the BMW 8 Series a Good Car?

Yes, the 8 Series is a great car. Don't be put off by its subpar standing in our luxury sports car rankings. This position is partly because it's up against heavy hitters such as the Audi R8 and Lexus LC, and partly because it competes with uber-luxurious rivals like the Mercedes-Benz SL.

This BMW's strength is how well it blends sporty dynamics with a first-class cabin. Its main shortcomings mostly pertain to somewhat small rear seats in the two-door models, which is an issue that has no effect on this car's athletic performance and impressive front-seat accommodations.

Should I Buy the BMW 8 Series?

There is something for every personality in the 8 Series lineup, and most shoppers can surely find their dream car with this BMW. For 2020, the roster expands with the addition of a four-door sedan, which joins the two-door coupe and two-door convertible body styles. A less expensive 840i trim with a six-cylinder engine and the high-performance M8 and M8 Competition trims join the lineup, alongside the midrange M850i that carries over from last year.

Plenty of alternatives abound in our luxury sports car and super luxury car rankings. If the BMW is not a perfect fit, you'll find a similar mix of power and prestige in the Mercedes-AMG GT and the Porsche Panamera.

Compare the 8 Series, GT, and Panamera »

Should I Buy a New or Used BMW 8 Series?

Shoppers in the market for an M850i xDrive in Coupe or Convertible form can choose from 2019 and 2020 models. These models see no changes for 2020 – even the prices carry forward unchanged from the previous year. You may be able to save some money by searching for a used model, but they may be scarce because BMW just relaunched the 8 Series for 2019 after a 20-year hiatus.

All other shoppers will have to buy new. The BMW 840i, BMW M8 Coupe, BMW M8 Convertible, BMW M8 Competition coupe, and BMW M8 Competition convertible are all-new models for 2020. The 8 Series Gran Coupe body style is also new for 2020.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2019 8 Series reviews to help make your decision. Also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used cars.

Compare the 2019 and 2020 8 Series »

We Did the Research for You: 14 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about the 8 Series in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with 14 professional BMW 8 Series reviews.

This 2020 BMW 8 Series review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

The Best Cars team – a division of U.S. News & World Report – has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Does the BMW 8 Series Cost?

For 2020, prices for new BMW 8 Series models start around $85,000. This is lower than last year's starting price, thanks to the addition of a new base model and the less expensive four-door sedan body style. If you want a new BMW M8, expect to pay between $133,000 and $155,500.

For more information on pricing and standard features of the 2020 trim levels, see our Which BMW 8 Series Model Is Right for Me? section below.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local BMW dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our BMW deals page.

BMW 8 Series Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: BMW 8 Series or Mercedes-Benz GT?

The Mercedes-AMG GT has a lot in common with the BMW 8 Series, and both are fabulous choices in the luxury sports car class. The GT comes in coupe, roadster, and four-door sedan body styles, and its engine choices range in output from 429 to 630 horsepower. Its interior is swankier than the BMW's, especially after you add upgrades like heated and cooled cupholders,  massaging front seats, and adaptive seat bolsters.

On the other hand, the BMW comes with more standard features, has a starting price that's $14,000 less, and can seat one more person in the back seat of its four-door model. Deciding between these two boils down to price and personal tastes.

Which Is Better: BMW 8 Series or Porsche Panamera?

The Porsche Panamera is one of the best choices in our super luxury car rankings. It's a good option if you need more cabin space, with Executive models that extend rear-seat legroom, and body styles that – compared to the 8 Series – can carry an extra suitcase or two. Porsche satisfies its Panamera drivers with well-balanced handling and engines that churn out between 330 and 677 horsepower, including a set of plug-in-hybrid powertrains. The Porsche isn't as good of a value as the BMW, since it comes with fewer standard features, and adding on extras quickly drives up the price.

Compare the 8 Series, GT, and Panamera »

8 Series Interior

How Many People Does the 8 Series Seat?

Don't be confused by its name: the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is a four-door sedan with seating for five. Its back seat has a generous amount of legroom and shoulder room for a luxury sports car. A pair of adults can enjoy a road trip from this zone, though head space is insufficient for the tallest of riders.

The BMW 8 Series convertible and coupe models have two doors and four seats. Reaching the rear quarters can be a chore, and once you're there, space is limited. For these reasons, the rear seats are best left to the smallest of travelers.

The front seats are supportive in all body styles, and controls are within easy reach of the driver. The 8 Series has standard leather upholstery with heated and power-adjustable front seats. Ventilated front seats and heated rear seats are optional.

8 Series and Child Car Seats

The back seat has two full sets of LATCH connectors for installing car seats.

8 Series Interior Quality

Build quality is superb inside the 8 Series cabin, and lots of top-shelf materials adorn every edition. Even the base model comes with supple leather seats, and its standard trim choices include aluminum, copper-hued wood, and grained ash wood with a gray metallic finish.

8 Series Cargo Space

The 15.5-cubic-foot trunk in the 8 Series Gran Coupe is spacious enough to carry a couple of large suitcases, and its standard hands-free trunk lid makes for easier loading. The rear seat folds for extra space.

Trunk space slims down to 14.8 cubic feet in coupe models, and it drops to 12.4 cubic feet in convertible models. These body styles come standard with a power trunk lid, and a hands-free trunk lid is optional.

8 Series Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The iDrive infotainment system in the 8 Series has a large, attractive touch screen and an intuitive arrangement of buttons and on-screen menus. Smartphone users will appreciate the standard wireless charging pad and Wi-Fi hot spot. Unlike many other brands that have unrestricted Apple CarPlay, BMW offers this as a subscription service, with one year of coverage included.

Directly in front of the driver is a 12.3-inch display that presents a wealth of information, though its styling is hit-or-miss among critics. Also standard is a navigation system, satellite radio, HD Radio, and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound audio system.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay?

Read more about interior »

8 Series Performance

8 Series Engine: Four Robust Choices

The 335-horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine in the 840i has no problem moving this 4,000-plus-pound car. From a standstill, it hits the 60-mph mark in around five seconds, and it can get there in as little as 4.4 seconds when equipped with xDrive.

All other editions come with a meaty 4.4-liter turbocharged V8. Horsepower ratings vary, starting with 523 for the M850i xDrive, and reaching as high as 617 for the M8 Competition. The M8 Competition coupe is the quickest model in this lineup, boasting a zero-to-60 time of three seconds.

An eight-speed automatic transmission is the only available gearbox. It receives lots of praise for its quick, well-timed shifts.

8 Series Gas Mileage: Base Model Is Above Average

The 840i Gran Coupe gets 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. That's a little above average for a luxury sports car. The V8-powered trims earn an estimated 15-18 mpg in the city and 21-25 mpg on the highway.

8 Series Ride and Handling: Enjoyable In Every Setting

For its size, the 8 Series is quite agile and responsive. Set it in Comfort mode for softer settings that are ideal for casual touring, or switch it into Sport or Sport+ mode for quicker shifts, snappier steering, and a tighter suspension. The Gran Coupe body style is longer and heavier than the convertible and coupe body styles, but it still feels almost as athletic. 

Currently, the 840i is the only rear-wheel-drive edition. The xDrive all-wheel-drive system is available in this model for $2,900. All other trims come standard with all-wheel drive. The M8 and M8 Competition come with M xDrive, which is a rear-biased system that distributes most power to the rear wheels until extra grip is needed.

Read more about performance »

8 Series Reliability

Is the BMW 8 Series Reliable?

The 2020 8 Series earns a slightly above-average rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

BMW 8 Series Warranty

BMW covers this vehicle with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty.

Read more about reliability »

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a BMW 8 Series?

The cost of insuring a BMW 8 Series will depend on a variety of factors, including your deductible, the level of coverage that you want, and the type of insurance that you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have an impact on your insurance rates. Check out our car insurance guide to find the best policy for you.

8 Series Safety

8 Series Crash Test Results

As of the date of this review, crash test information is not available from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is common for high-end vehicles to forgo crash testing.

8 Series Safety Features

The BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe comes standard with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, daytime pedestrian detection, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a rearview camera, adaptive headlights, and a head-up display.

Optional driver assistance features in the 8 Series include stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, side collision avoidance, parking sensors, a surround-view parking camera system, a drive recorder, night vision with pedestrian detection, driver fatigue and focus monitoring, automatic post-collision braking, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Read more about safety »

8 Series Dimensions and Weight

The 8 Series coupe and convertible models are 15.9 feet long and have a base curb weight of 3,933 pounds. Gran Coupe models are 16.7 feet long and have a base curb weight of 4,262 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 BMW 8 Series Built?

BMW builds the 8 Series in Germany.

Which BMW 8 Series Model Is Right for Me?

Shoppers who want the excitement of a sports car and the practicality of a sedan should pick the new-for-2020 Gran Coupe body style. As the least expensive model in the lineup, this is also a good choice if you want to keep your costs below $90,000. Those who can afford to spend more – and don't need the extra passenger or luggage space – should consider an M850i. The V8 engine in this trim is exhilarating, while its price tag is significantly lower than the M8's.

For 2020, there are four main trims to pick from: 840i, 850i, M8, and M8 Competition. Horsepower ratings increase as you move up the trim ladder, as does the price. Every model except the base 840i comes with BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system. The 840i can be equipped with either standard rear-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard in every edition, and no substitutions are currently available.

The four-door Gran Coupe body style comes in the 840i and 850i trims. The two-door coupe and convertible models are available in every trim level.

BMW 840i

A 335-horsepower six-cylinder engine powers the base 840i. Standard interior features include leather upholstery, heated front sport seats with power adjustments, a panoramic moonroof, remote start, proximity keyless entry, and soft-close doors.

Also standard is a 12.3-inch driver's display, the iDrive 7 infotainment interface, a 10.25-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, two USB ports, Bluetooth, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system, satellite radio, wireless device charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and navigation. Forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and a head-up display are included, as is a sport exhaust system and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Prices start at $84,900 for the Gran Coupe, $87,900 for the two-door coupe, and $97,400 for the two-door convertible. Adding the xDrive all-wheel-drive system costs $2,900.

BMW M850i

The M850i comes with a 523-horsepower V8, M Sport brakes and differential, an adaptive M Suspension, and an aerodynamic body kit. Its standard features mostly mirror the base models, though BMW adds ventilated front seats to this trim.

The least expensive body style with this engine is the Gran Coupe, which starts at $108,900. The BMW 8 Series M850i xDrive coupe starts at $111,900, and the convertible's price starts at $121,400.

BMW M8

The horsepower rating cranks to 600 in the M8. This beastly car also comes with a carbon fiber roof, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a synthetic-leather-trimmed dash, and carbon fiber trim. Additional standard safety features include adaptive headlights, fatigue and focus monitoring, post-collision braking, frontal collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Prices start at $133,000 for the M8 coupe and $142,500 for the M8 convertible.

BMW M8 Competition

The new BMW M8 Competition trim has a 617-horsepower V8 engine, an M Sport exhaust system, M-specific seat belts, and a track drive mode. Prices for the M8 Competition coupe start at $146,000. Topping out the 8 Series lineup at $155,500 is the M8 Competition convertible.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local BMW dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our BMW deals page.

See 2020 BMW 8 Series specs and trims »

The Final Call

Shoppers searching for a dynamic, sporty car with a handsome, tech-rich interior will find a lot to love about the 2020 BMW 8 Series. It isn't as capable as some two-seat luxury sports cars, which partly explains why it places in the bottom half of our rankings. This isn't a shortcoming, however, as the magic with this vehicle is its blending of athletic performance with a comfortable ride quality and a relaxing, stately environment.

The lineup's generous offering of powertrains and body styles means almost every shopper can find the BMW 8 Series of their dreams.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "While the BMW 8 Series coupe and convertible's sharp styling and scintillating performance certainly appeal to the right side of your brain, the Gran Coupe adds practicality to satisfy the left side. Admittedly, we fully expected that going into the drive. What we didn't expect was how strong and smooth the base six-cylinder engine is. For most drivers, that's our recommendation." -- Edmunds
  • "The abhorrently named 'four-door coupe' phenomenon has been a thing now for some time, but sleek sedans haven't always been the ultimate performance solution. Take the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Audi A7, which apart from their high-dollar, high-powered performance variants, fall on the cushy side of things. The new 2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is different. It fully inherits the dynamic talents of the traditional BMW 840i Coupe, but caters to those unsatisfied by its minuscule rear seats and the inherent practical limits of any two-door car." -- Autoblog
  • "Though large and luxurious, the new 2019 BMW 8 Series coupe reflects a return of the brand's core values that put the driver, not passengers or cargo capacity, at the forefront." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
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