Friday, November 15, 2019

2019 BMW M850i AWD: The Brand’s All-New Flagship Convertible

Highlight: The doors lock and unlock without having to access the remote or touching the door handles.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $130,745 (Base X5 840i Model: $98,395)

Seating Capacity: 2 + 2

Standard Safety Features: ABS; airbags; rear wheel drive; automatic city collision mitigation and braking with daytime pedestrian detection; a central locking door system; automatic headlight beams; heated outside mirrors; active protection rollover system; a rearview camera; a tire pressure monitor system

Standard Features 840i: 18-inch wheels; 8-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive; BMW’s 3-year maintenance warranty; a remote engine start system; a navigation system; heated front seats armrests; heated steering; leather seats; LED headlights with laser lights; ambient lighting features; a push button ignition starter system; power folding mirrors; a navigation system; a variety driving modes: eco pro, comfort and sport; electric parking brakes; a black soft top; Ash Grain Grey-Metallic wood trim; in-car Wi-Fi; M sport differential; and twin exhaust tailpipes

Standard Features 850i: 4.4-liter, 8-cylinder engine; 523-horsepower; stainless steel fabric; 20-inch wheels; sport brakes; sport differential; a performance suspension; runflat tires; an active kidney grille; power folding mirrors; a power tailgate; soft close automatic doors; leather seats; power front seats; ventilated front seats; M rear spoiler; increased top speed limiter a wireless smartphone charger; Nappa leather; anthracite headliner; floormats; WiFi; and an aerodynamic kit

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: Grey metallic paint; neck warmer; Bowers and Wilkins sound system; extended traffic jam assistant; active driving assistance pro; parking assistance pro; blind spot detection; front collision warning; a lane departure warning; and a 360- degree rearview camera

Other Trim Levels:

840i xDrive Convertible AWD

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a Harman Kardon surround system with SiriusXM

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

Apple Connectivity:  Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

3.0-liter twin-turbo, 6-cylinder/335-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage: 18-city/25-hwy

What’s New:  BMW is marketing this as the first 8-series convertible. In fact, the 8-series coupe was just revived this year, too.

Why: The iconic BMW brand upped the ante in the luxury performance field with the introduction of both the 8-series coupe and convertible. The tastefully styled two door harkens back to the days, where cars were designed with the long hoods and short trunks. It’s no denying that this is a BMW. With its athletic lines and the brand’s signature kidney grille, this is a work of art on wheels.

And with this being a BMW, it does not lack in the performance area. The new 8-series convertible can be paired with either a six-cylinder or an eight-cylinder engine. Being that our BMW, with the easy-to-adjust driving modes, was outfitted with the M-series, super gutsy 523-horsepower engine. The driving modes can be altered easily between sport, normal and economy. The colors of the digital instrument panel gauges reflect the driving mode.

Also unlike some of the lower line BMW’s in the brand’s portfolio of vehicles, the 8-series has found the perfect balance of toying between performance and luxury. In fact, it’s a luxury performance vehicle. From the wide supportive front seats, with its leg extenders to the rapid heated center armrest to the head warming headrests, BMW’s design team exuded an air of thoughtful, when creating this all-year, all-weather vehicle.

Ironically, because of the cold spiel we experienced, we had an opportunity to use all of the heating elements. Not at any point did we feel any air being leaked through the tightly sealed convertible soft top. We also found the convertible top easy to operate. With a mere push of a button, the 8-series easily could be converted to a drop top as the trunk holds the secret to turning the beast into a head turning beauty queen.

Added to that, the all-new 8-series infotainment center is easy to operate. One can simply use the iDrive system operation which controls the mouse, the touchscreen or the button and knobs to make simple changes. BMW’s interior design team also took a page from its luxury competitor from Mercedes-Benz, with interior strip lighting that gave the occupants the sense and feel of being on a private corporate jet.

Moreover, BMW made sure that our well-equipped vehicle was available with literally every feature one can think of from the pilot assist specifically designed for stop and go expressway driving to a 360-degree camera.

But: We hate that the vehicle arrived during the transition from winter to fall. Despite the heated neck warmers and the other amenities, there was no way the top was going be down besides for a quick photo shoot. It just wasn’t worth it to catch the flu or better yet pneumonia.

Also the rear seating area is virtually useless. One might use it for storage space being that the compact truck is limited as a result of the soft top convertible taking the majority of the space, when the top is open.

Verdict: Convertible luxury enthusiasts will welcome the new BMW. For years, the Mercedes-Benz SL has been the lone ranger. Now that BMW has stepped up its game. At a time, when convertibles are no longer the norm, as automakers has shifted their focus toward profit rich vehicles in the SUV and crossover segments, BMW has reminded us that there is still room on the road for another high-end luxury convertible even as sales dwindle with drop tops.

Competition: Mercedes-Benz SL

No comments: