Whilst I know I should really be writing about wine related topics here, I couldn’t resist giving my opinion on my new BMW 640d Gran Coupe. When I was stuck choosing between a 5 series and the new 6 Gran Coupe I searched the internet trying to find an honest review to help me choose. There were some which were useful but plenty of others which were written by journalists just stating facts and figures but not really getting down to the genuine experience, and the biggest question of all – would I like it?

At £70,000+ that is a pretty important question!

Well I’ve only had it a few days and already I felt compelled to post something on the net to help other people who may be in a similar position. YES – YOU WILL LOVE IT!

I’ve been running around in an Audi A6 S-line 2.0d (61 reg) for the last 18 months, so anything decent would be a major improvement on that. It’s a perfectly adequate car for every day use but the interior finish, harsh ride and mundane performance do let it down. “Adequate” is probably the perfect summary for this car.

Previously I’d had a BMW 545 SE for the 6 years prior: before that a BMW Alpina B10 V8, and before that a BMW 540, so was used to V8 engines and luxury interiors. But none of them come close to the 640d for either performance or luxury!

I went for the Msport version – I would have preferred the SE, sacrificing the looks for a more comfortable ride, but BMW made me such a tempting offer on a stock Msport that I couldn’t say no. The list of extras you can pay for is huge but my car was the basic model with only a couple of extras – 20 inch wheels & drug dealer glass.

Standard spec includes:

10 inch Professional Nav with real time traffic flow & 3D maps, BMW Online (you can open and lock your car from your mobile phone, or track it’s location), advanced Bluetooth, fantastic quality leather, heated front seats, 8 speed Auto with paddle shift, ECO/Comfort/Sport mode, 20gb hard drive for music. The speaker system is perfectly loud enough for a bit of Slash or Pink Floyd – the expensive upgrades really aren’t needed unless you want to drown out the rubbish coming from the muppet wearing the baseball cap in the Corsa next to you at the lights.

There’s probably plenty more technology in there that I don’t even know about yet – obviously I haven’t read the manual, and most likely never will.

Good points

It’s a truly beautiful looking car.

It seats 4 adults in perfect comfort and the back seats are fine if you’re 6 feet tall. There’s a large boot too.

Performance is astonishing. It’s economical for such a big car if you drive it in Eco or Comfort and don’t boot it. In fact it’s far more a grand tourer than a sports car so you’ll be happy to cruise most of the time. BUT when the time does come that you do need to pass a coach on a B road this is the perfect car to do it. Push a button to put it in sport mode and everything stiffens! Knock the gear lover over into “sport” and floor it and you’ll be lucky to avoid going into the back of the coach, the acceleration really is that fast!

Handling – goes round bends like any BMW with perfect balance, no body roll. I had a bit of fun testing it out up in the hills wasting the GTI drivers. If you want a car that can travel across country at speed this is it!

Luxury. The Gran Coupe has the most luxurious finish of any BMW and does make you feel special each time you get in. There is a swathe of hand stitched leather, and the cockpit is designed completely around the driver. Electric memory seats are standard but of course you can opt for plenty of extras like lumbar support or the full comfort package. These aren’t necessary but if you go for a used one it’s a nice added extra.

Technology. All the Bluetooth, office, media (records and stores your CDs or simply upload music from a USB or Bluetooth from your phone) and great Sat Nav.

Bad points

Ride quality isn’t perfect on 20 inch wheels with runflats. You certainly feel potholes! But in fairness it’s no worse than the Audi and is perfectly acceptable. I expect the SE is a softer ride, but I’m quite happy living with this on a daily basis. There’s a lot of talk about going for the variable dampers but unless you’re going to do a lot of miles I don’t see the point. This is a coupe, and an Msport so a relatively firm ride is expected (and probably desired by some who may like to throw it into bends).

Visibility – as with most modern aerodynamic cars you can’t see either the bonnet or the boot from the driving seat. It’s a big car. Reversing camera is standard, as are front and rear parking sensors. I have no difficulty parking it, but it’s not always easy to find a space big enough in town. The optional surround view cameras are recommended by some journalists but I expect the kind of people who will buy one of these are enthusiastic drivers and perfectly capable of judging the size of their car.

Entry and exit. It’s low to the ground so as we all get a bit older and a bit fatter each year we should be moving up to an X5 or Merc ML for comfort, not bending down more into one of these! But it’s no problem – just don’t try to get in while carrying anything in two hands unless you’re athletic!

Aircon. Unfortunately with modern regulations on CFC gasses, modern aircons never seem to get cold enough these days! But you can get round this by taking it to a local refrigeration company and asking them to drain it and re-gas it with proper gas for ice cold refreshment.

Depreciation. It’s expensive at £70,000 plus. Expect value to drop by £25,000 to £30,000 after year one! And another serious drop in year 2. On the bright side though, one of these bought at 2 years old with 20k on the clock will be a seriously good used buy! The depreciation on the Gran Coupe’s competitors is similar. I suggest you haggle hard with BMW when buying one!

Overall verdict

I give this car 5 out 5. It has everything – looks, exclusivity, performance, luxury, practicality, economy, reliability and technology. I nearly went for a 5 series and I’m sooooooo glad I didn’t! This car makes me smile every time I get in it!