The 6 Series comes as a 2-door hard-top coupe or 2-door convertible. Both have the elegant long bonnet, purposeful short tail and seductive sweeping lines of a sports tourer with an imposing presence. While not ever being a street racer or track car, it shouts prestige and desirability from every angle.
The coupe has a sleek fastback roofline, which of course slightly limits headspace in the back seats – like all coupes. The convertible version neatly follows these lines when the roof is up. Press a button and the powered hood folds down into the boot, leaving a glamorous, head-turning open-top car – with infinite headroom.
It shouts prestige and desirability from every angle.
What’s it like to drive?
The looks don’t lie, this is a fast cruiser and not a nippy agile sprinter. The 6 Series is built to cover long distances in relaxed luxury – like a road-bound private jet.
The suspension offers a supremely comfortable ride, thanks to a sophisticated underlying mechanical layout shared with the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. BMW’s traditional rear-wheel drive system supplies predictable handling characteristics with a sporty hint. M Sport versions have a stiffer suspension, adding a sportier vibe, although the optional adaptive suspension is the most comfortable of all.
The engines are excellent too. The 3.0-litre 6-cylinder diesel is particularly smooth and punchy, allowing economical but swift progress.
The looks don’t lie, this is a fast cruiser and not a nippy agile sprinter.
The 6 Series cabin is an opulent place to spend time. You’ll immediately see how BMW justified a very high price for the 6 Series when these cars were new. The interior design is flawless, with everything where you’d expect it to be.
Many of the car’s interior functions are controlled through BMW’s iDrive dial on the lower console. Some find it a little complex at first. Most pick it up quickly and feel it’s a safe and convenient control system. We love it.
The trim and fittings all feel top-quality, with fine workmanship and choice of materials. You can practically see the German craftsmen and women tinkering away at each detail.
The equipment is top-class too, and front-seat passengers enjoy plenty of head and legroom. The front seats are big, very well padded and supportive. They’re electrically adjustable on many versions. Forward visibility is excellent, rearward less so because of the coupe’s broad rear columns.
The price of all that luxurious front space and of the sleek coupe lines is that the rear seat is more cramped than a saloon. It’s a common coupe problem and means that perhaps the back is best left for children or stowing easily accessible hand baggage.
If you opt for the convertible version, you’ll find its powered roof is much sturdier than expected, thanks to a sophisticated layering construction. This is thick enough to insulate well against the wind, cold and noise. A car for all weathers.
Boot space is good for a 2-door coupe and the boot lid opens very high for easy loading. The convertible has a little less room because of the intruding roof mechanism. Either should swallow a golf bag and some weekend luggage with ease. Some models come with a little hatch to let you carry skis inside.
Safety-wise, there’s no official rating. The 6 Series comes with a long list of passive crash protection and active safety tech on board. This includes BMW’s Dynamic Stability Control that prevents skidding and a clever automatic brake drying system to maintain full stopping power in wet weather.
We’ve mentioned the cramped back seat and, like many coupes, the practicality of getting into the back is difficult too. Clambering round the folded front seats is only for the particularly agile.
Running costs and reliability
It’s surprising - given the very rapid acceleration of the 6 Series - that some diesel versions are quietly able to return up to 50mpg. In contrast, the thirstiest petrol model returns just 23mpg. Overall running costs will be higher than a budget brand of course, as insurance, tax and BMW servicing and parts can be costly.
What cinch loves
The BMW 6 Series is a beautiful-looking car, inside and out. Refinement and sophistication like this makes every journey feel a little special. Think of it asasports cruiser that’s fine fora couple, with their luggage. Choose the convertible for the added thrill of open-air driving or the coupe for extra refinement and security.