What's the used BMW 6 Series like?
A car designed for grand touring requires a big boot for luggage, comfortable seats, a quiet cabin and a large fuel tank for clocking off the miles without time-consuming pit stops. Thankfully, the BMW 6 Series ticks all of those boxes and more besides.
Rivals to the 6 Series Coupé are few. You could buy British and drive home in a Jaguar XK, or you could go slightly further upmarket to a Mercedes CL. Then there is the Porsche 911 Carrera, which has great build quality and four seats – just. It’s more of a high performance offering to rival the top-of-the-range M6, really, but it is just as capable as the normal 6 Series at devouring long distances. And besides, none of these rivals comes with the option of a diesel engine; this means you will be stopping more often for fuel than you would in a 640d.
Indeed, the closest rival to the 6 Series comes from within the BMW range: the 6 Series Gran Coupé, which is a four-door version of the same car. This makes it a better bet if you need to carry four people regularly, not only thanks to the extra doors, but also because rear leg room in the two-door 6 Series isn’t great for taller passengers.
To drive, the 6 Series is effortless. Its eight-speed automatic gearbox, which is standard on all but the M6 (which gets a seven-speed dual-clutch auto), flicks through ratios with alacrity.
There isn’t a bad engine in the 6 Series range, but our recommended variant is the 640d, which uses a 309bhp 3.0-litre diesel to provide a great blend of power, smooth running and economy. There is a 3.0-litre petrol engine in the 640i for those who don’t want a diesel, a powerful 4.4-litre petrol V8 in the 650i and the aforementioned M6, which is hugely fast with its 552bhp twin-turbo V8.
The 6 Series is not a light car by any means, and it cannot fully disguise its girth in tight bends. But in its natural environment on faster A roads and motorways, the car feels planted and deals with bumps well. If you find one with the optional adjustable dampers, so much the better, because the standard car’s ride can be a little unsettled over broken surfaces. This gets worse if you go for an M Sport model, because of its bigger wheels and sports suspension.
All things considered, though, the 6 Series is a wonderful cruiser and it is ideally suited to long commutes and driving holidays. It may not be as good to drive as the Jaguar XK, but it is a lot cheaper to run in diesel form, and it is a much more practical car.