Friday, August 3, 2018

2018 BMW 640i x Drive Gran Turismo: The Luxury Automaker Answer To Hatchbacks

Highlight: Like a Porsche, the vehicle is outfitted with a retractable rear spoiler that extends at a set speed.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $84,010 (Base price 640: $71,195)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: ABS; airbags; a rearview camera; a tire pressure monitoring system; a traction control system; all wheel drive; automatic high beams; power folding, heated side mirrors; a daytime pedestrian system; a frontal collision warning system; a cross traffic alert system; and a lane departure warning system; and BMW SOS system

Standard Features: an active kidney grille; an automatic start-stop function; an 8-speed automatic transmission; an electronic throttle control system; electronic control engine cooling system; driving control modes: eco, pro, comfort and sport; electric power steering; a self-leveling rear air suspension; power front seats with side bolsters; leather seats; a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel; a navigation system; a radar activated cruise control system; advanced real-time traffic information; a hands free, keyless door lock system; a wireless charging system; a panoramic sunroof; and a blindspot detection system

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: Driving Assistance Plus: a radar activated cruise control with a stop-and-go feature, a traffic jam assistant, an evasion aid, and a front cross traffic alert system

Dynamic Handling Package: active steering, active drive plus 2-axle air suspension, an active roll stabilization and a dynamic damper control

M Sport Package: 19-inch wheels, run flat tires, aluminum rhombicle interior trim, an aerodynamic kit, and a shawdowline exterior trim

Executive Package: soft close aluminum doors, parking assistant plus, a heads up display system, a gesture control system, an active park distance control system, and a 3D surround view system; a heated steering wheel; front and rear heated seats; ceramic controls; power rear seatback adjustment; remote control parking; and a Harman Kardon surround system; a power operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; a power tailgate; and a 3-month hotspot system

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 12-speaker AM/FM/HD/CD with SiriusXM

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB connectivity:  Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.0-liter twin turbo/330-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage:

What’s New: The 6 Series Gran Turismo, which replaces the discontinued 5 Series Gran Turismo, is the newest addition to the German luxury maker line up, showcasing a roofline that disappears into the trunk.

Pros: For those who like the driving dynamics of the BMW 5 Series, but needs more interior room and aren’t quite ready to step up to a SUV or a traditional styled wagon, the Gran Turismo fits the bill. While BMW will never refer to this new addition to the 6 Series as being a hatchback, that’s essentially the makeup of this German designed vehicle. However, unlike a typical hatchback, this one embodies the German DNA in every sense.

With this new model, the vehicle separates itself from the traditional 5 Series sedan, due to its athletically stretched proportions. It is only available in one trim. The proportions have been enhanced in the hood, roofline and trunk.

As a result of these exterior changes, this benefits the cabin. The seats are more comfortable due to its elevation. The driver’s vision is improved, giving him more command of the road. There is more headroom for rear occupants. Cupholders have been integrated into the armrest. And the overall cargo space is enhanced too.

Its also easier to load items in the cargo area due to the load sill being lowered by approximately two inches. The rear split seats can be folded, allowing more cargo space if needed.

BMW continues to push the limits of the interior, eliminating their signature controversial iDrive operating system control display and replacing it with a freestanding touchscreen.

In terms of the driving performance, this vehicle offers a variety of driving modes to engage the 8-speed automatic transmission, with its twin turbo engine. In fact, our driving experience was enhanced due to such add-ons as the Dynamic Handling package and M Sport package, as noted in an earlier section. Both of these optional package upped the enthusiasm level for the driver as well as the occupants.

Depending on the trim, this BMW is available in three wheel sizes, ranging from 19 to 21 inches. With the Dynamic Handling package our vehicle was outfitted with 19-inch wheels. The wheels can be flanked by twelve full body exterior colors, two non metallic and 10 metallic.

Lastly, this BMW can be outfitted with an optional feature that automatically assist the driver in either parallel, perpendicular and even angle parking. Many drivers would welcome this feature.

Cons: Although this is a BMW, the hatchback-like styling might not appeal to everyone. Also the rear window should require a rear wiper due to its sharp sloping angle.

And, its only available in one trim with an all wheel drive system.

Furthermore, Apple CarPlay is available as a $300 option. And unfortunately, the car does not support Android Auto. Go figure.

Verdict: Both BMW and Mercedes-Benz have been known for creating niche vehicles that allows them to tap into the heart and soul of their base (and sometimes out their base). BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe joined BMW’s line up in 2013. Five years later BMW has upped the ante by building upon it with the Gran Turismo. The driver’s oriented hatchback-like vehicle has been positioned between the 5 Series and & 7 Series sedans. Its designed for those seeking more room than the 5 Series, but aren’t quite ready to yield to the more conservatively-styled flagship 7 Series.

Competition:  …In a class by itself!

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