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BMW 6 SERIES COUPE 2004-2010 Review

Good Points

  • A refined and sporty car
  • Great handling and smooth ride
  • A decent choice of engines

Bad Points

  • An expensive car to maintain

Engines

The 6-Series made debut as BMW 645 with a 328bhp 4.4-litre petrol engine. Later smaller and bigger engines were added to the line-up. The base model is a 3.0-litre V6 268bhp engine and it's also available with a 4.7-litre V8 producing 361bhp. Surprisingly, a diesel version was offered too in the form of a 3-litre V6 common rail turbo diesel with 281BHP.

Performance & Economy

Regardless of which engine you choose, you should be able to do 155mph (electronically limited) top speed, so the only two numbers you should be looking at is the acceleration and fuel consumption. The V8 engine with a 6-speed mechanical gearbox can achieve a 4.9-second acceleration to 60mph. It will provide 23mpg. The smaller V6 on the BMW 645 accelerates the car to 60mph in 5.4 seconds and returns 24mpg. The smaller 3-litre engines actually make the 6 series grand tourer as green as a tourer can be. Thus, if you don't mind the slightly-over-6-second acceleration time, the petrol V6 engine will manage 34mpg while the diesel V6 will enable you to achieve 40mpg. Not bad for such a big and aggressive car. Just like the historical 6-Series, the new car is based on the 5-Series but considering the price bracket, we'd say it's trying to be a 7-Series. The Coupe is an expensive car, even when buying used.

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Introduction

The BMW Grand Tourers have been in a league of their own since the E9 coupe of the 1960s. Everybody knows the shark-like BMW 6-Series that ruled the roads all through the 80s. Then there was the 8-Series that had a moderate success mainly due to its high price. When the 8-er was taken off the production line in 2000, the BMW model line remained without a grand tourer and it may have seemed that the Bavarian company had lost interest in this difficult market sector. But four years later it appeared that it wasn't the case. What they had on their drawing board was the boldest BMW coupe so far, the new 6-Series.

Exterior & Interior

The exterior design of the new 6 series is rather radical. It is something that the latter years' BMW has been famous for; they just don't seem to be able to do conventional. Although they keep receiving criticism for their new design approach, the sales figures show that the customers are ready for the change. The 6-Series BMW incorporate design ideas from 3 sources ‐ the 7-Series, the X-series cross-overs and the latest BMW concept cars that display considerably curvier lines. The new car may not be as aggressive as the old "shark" BMW 6-Series, but it certainly is on par with the contemporary design and should please the customers. That was the main challenge of the BMW designers was to produce something that the mature and affluent customers might appreciate and not become too innovative with their approach to the design.

They came up with a compromise ‐ a modern rounded exterior with a classic conservative interior. With a car so ostentatious, you'd expect a cosmic interior. Nevertheless, the inside of this sporty coupe is only slightly sporty. Although the 6-Series is advertised as a 2+2, it's an underestimate, the car can seat 4 people and it provides a 450litre boot space. The 6 series has all the main prerequisites to be a successful grand tourer.

Drive

The 6 Series is a lavishly equipped vehicle with impressive road holding qualities and exceptional sporty features. It's an executive coupe that provides a high level of comfort and great fun behind the wheel. You'll like the 6-speed mechanical gearbox or its semi-automatic SMG version, which incorporates paddle-switches underneath the steering wheel just like a F1 car. The 6-Series is designed to be driven enthusiastically and it doesn't require you to be a professional rally driver. The car is full of clever electronic gadgets that will make adjustments to counteract possible mistakes. There's a "Driving Dynamics Control" button which will enable the systems to work in a sportive mode, the steering, gearbox, accelerator and brakes become keener and react quicker. You don't need this sort of setup while driving in a city, so it's a very handy button. It is, however, something similar to opening the Pandora's box, the car becomes a real animal and any reference to fuel-efficiency disappears. If something goes wrong while you're testing the button, there are the Dynamic Stability Control and the Dynamic Traction Control systems that can help to handle almost all dangerous situations on the road.

Faults & Repairs

It's a relatively new car and you should be able to get one in a decent nick. The 6-Series is so sophisticated the first thing likely to go awry is one of its many electronic systems. Maintaining and repairing a 6-Series is relatively more expensive if compared to a simpler car, but it shouldn't be any more expensive than its 5 or 7-Series cousins. After all, the 6-Series shares many parts and systems with the 5 series.

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