Over the past 42 years, the BMW 6 Series has been several things. For many, it’s been a goal to strive for and an accomplishment to be proud of. It’s been a graduation gift, a retirement present, a boulevard cruiser, and a commuter car.
The 6 Series has also come in many forms. The first-generation model, which ran from 1976 until 1989, was only available as a sleek two-door coupe. BMW brought the 6 back for its second generation in 2003. A convertible model soon joined the coupe. The third generation of the 6 Series launched in 2011 and brought about the addition of a four-door coupe (aka Gran Coupe) model to the established coupe and convertible lineup.
Last year saw the debut of the fourth-generation 6 Series. It arrived in U.S. dealerships in the fall of 2017 as a 2018 model. The 6 has literally never been like this before. The newest version of the 6 Series is what BMW calls a Gran Turismo – a stylish midpoint between a four-door coupe and a wagon.
I recently got the chance to experience the 2018 BMW 640i Gran Turismo for a week. Just as the 6 Series has been to others, the 640i was many things to me: A-B transportation, a luxury vehicle, and even a buddy that helped me move.
2018 BMW 640i Gran Turismo Exterior
The letters GT typically bring an attractive coupe to mind, such as the beautiful Ferrari 456 GT of the 1990s, Aston Martin DB7 GT of the 2000s, or muscular Ford Mustang GT of present day. BMW’s design team did a great job of infusing some of the sleekness of those cars into their unusual version of a GT. The twin-kidney grille is large and connects to the adaptive LED headlights, giving the front end a broad-shouldered presence.
The 640i Gran Turismo’s profile features steeply reclined A-pillars and a roofline that slopes dramatically down to the kicked-up rear end with retractable spoiler. My car’s optional M Sport Package included run-flat tires wrapped around 19-inch, ten-spoke wheels that were attractive, but looked slightly small compared to the amount of body work above them.
In the back, the crease line in the rear fenders ends in LED taillights that are works of art sculpted out of plastic.
The 640i Gran Turismo was easy on the eyes, but it looked even better when I used the optional Display Key to activate the available Remote Control Parking Feature. If I needed to extract the 640i from a tight parking spot, I could remotely start it using the smartphone-like key, then back it out with the push of a button on the key’s touchscreen – all while standing outside of the car. I could also use the key to insert the 640i into a cramped parking space.
2018 BMW 640i Gran Turismo Interior
The 640i Gran Turismo comes standard with 16-way power front seats, 40/20/40 rear seats, iDrive 6.0 with touchpad controller, and a 10.2-inch touchscreen with navigation. It also features a panoramic moonroof, power tailgate, an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot, and wireless device charging capability.
My particular media special came packed with a variety of options packages, a few of which enhanced the 640i’s performance. The Executive Package upped the 640i’s level of luxury. Soft-close doors aren’t a necessity, but they sure are nice to have. Just bring the door to its closing point and the doors finish the rest. Gesture Control allowed me to twirl my finger to the right or left in front of the main touchscreen to raise or lower, respectively, the volume of the optional Harmon Kardon surround sound system.
In addition to that audio system, other individual options also made the 640i an even nicer place in which to travel several hundred miles. All outboard Cognac Dakota leather seats and the leather-wrapped steering wheel were heated. Ceramic Controls added an understated elegance to the cabin. Apple CarPlay compatibility took a little getting used to, but then made accessing the features on my iPhone 6 through the 640i’s infotainment controls quick and convenient.
The backseat was shockingly spacious. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the 640i Gran Turismo had more than enough legroom and headroom to accommodate my 5’10” frame. An optional power recline function and pair of small headrest pillows was there to make me or whoever happened to be in the second row even more comfortable.
I had the 640i Gran Turismo just in time to move my stuff and my roommate’s belongings out of our apartment. With the back seats up, we had 31 cubic foot of storage space; with them down, we had 65. We used all 65 cubic feet as many times as possible, which saved us time and delivery trips to our new respective places.
2018 BMW 640i Gran Turismo Performance
The new 6 Series Gran Turismo is exclusively powered by a turbocharged and direct-injected 3.0-liter I6. That hardware combination results in 335 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic with sport and manual shift modes, and BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system put the 640i Gran Turismo’s substantial output to the ground. The Driving Dynamics Control system allowed me to choose how aggressively my test car unleashed its power. ECO PRO was the most conservative, fuel-saving mode. Under ideal conditions, the 640i Gran Turismo was capable of getting 20 city, 28 highway, and 23 combined mpg; I averaged 22.6 mpg after driving nearly 350 miles.** COMFORT was focused on making my drive nice and smooth. COMFORT PLUS made my travels as serene as possible. In SPORT mode, the 640i Gran Turismo was livelier and more responsive.
BMW gave my press car a few options packages to heighten its performance. The Dynamic Handling Package contained Integral Active Steering with rear-wheel steering for reduced steering effort under certain circumstances, an air suspension, Active Roll Stabilization, and Dynamic Damper Control. There was no mistaking the 640i Gran Turismo for a sports car, but it was also hard to call it a boat. It had plenty of power and knew how to keep its grip on the road.
2018 BMW 640i Gran Turismo Safety
A great deal of the goodies in each of my 6’s options packages were there to keep me safe. Driving Assistance Plus contributed Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go functionality and Active Lane Keeping Assistant and Traffic Jam Assistant for up to 50 seconds of hands-free driving. Thanks to the Executive Package, I had Parking Assistant Plus, Active Park Distance Control, a rear view camera, and a 360-degree camera system with a 3D view mode looking out for me.
All of those add-ons boosted the protection provided by the standard suite of airbags, Dynamic Stability Control, Brake Fade Compensation, Brake Drying, Brake Stand-by, Dynamic Traction Control, ABS, and Cornering Brake Control.
2018 BMW 640i Gran Turismo Overall
BMW’s base price for the 6 Series GT is $70,200.* As (generously) equipped, my 640i Gran Turismo test vehicle had a sticker price of $84,010.
The BMW 6 Series has been many things over the past four decades. Visit an AutoNation-affiliated BMW dealer to make a 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo into your next vehicle.
*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.