Overview & Reviews
BMW has long offered fine driving cars for every luxury budget, but four-door models have generally been the company's bread and butter. The BMW 6 Series coupe and convertible are for those seeking two-door style in a high-end package that's a bit more extravagant than the norm. The current 6 Series follows in its predecessor's footsteps as a complement to BMW's 5 Series and 7 Series sedans, offering a similar range of six- and eight-cylinder power but adding a unique sense of exclusivity and style.
New or used, the 6 Series siblings rank among the more interesting luxury two-doors on the market. They have their faults, to be sure, and they also face stiff competition from several prestigious competitors. On the other hand, their technology is cutting-edge and their powertrains are superb. It's hard to go wrong with any 6 Series model that fits your budget.
Current BMW 6 Series
The current BMW 6 Series is offered as a coupe and a convertible. The convertible is notable for its clever soft-top roof design with a separately controlled rear window. You can lower that window with the roof up for added ventilation, or raise it as a wind deflector with the roof down.
The base 640i is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 with 315 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. The 650i steps up to a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that cranks out a formidable 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission are standard on all models, with "xDrive" all-wheel drive optional. And yes, that includes the convertibles -- so if you want a 445-hp drop top with AWD and a fabric roof, BMW will be more than happy to build you one.
Standard features on the 640i include adaptive xenon headlights, adaptive suspension dampers, six-way power heated front seats with lumbar adjustments, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control and the iDrive electronics interface with a 10.2-inch display and navigation. The 650i adds larger wheels, an upgraded audio system and 16-way power front seats. In typical BMW fashion, the options list is generous and pricey, highlighted by side- and surround-view cameras, self-closing automatic doors, a leather-covered dashboard, adaptive cruise control, a night-vision camera and ceramic-trimmed knobs.
Despite its substantial size, the 6 Series is best for two passengers. The rear compartment is strictly for short trips unless you put a small child back there. However, those up front will be treated to first-class accommodations with very comfortable seats, top-notch materials and high-tech gizmos aplenty. Furthermore, the trunk is rather generous for a luxury sport coupe at 12.3 cubic feet. Even the convertible's trunk measures a decently sized 10.6 cubic feet with the top lowered. Retractable-hardtop convertibles typically hold much less than that with their roofs stowed away.
From behind the wheel, no one will mistake the 6 Series for a 4 Series. This burly grand tourer has few sporting pretensions, though it's far from clumsy and the steering is precise enough to make BMW's biggest two-door feel reasonably spry. Highway runs are where the 6 Series really excels, racking up hundreds of well-insulated, fatigue-free miles at a stretch with effortless passing power -- particularly from the otherworldly V8.
Used BMW 6 Series Models
The current, third-generation 6 Series debuted for 2012 with larger dimensions and more conservative styling than its rather avant-garde predecessor, as well as turbocharged power in place of that model's naturally aspirated engines. It's also the first 6 Series to offer all-wheel drive. The first-year 650i was marginally less powerful (400 hp and 450 lb-ft) and had a manual transmission option, while the 640i models weren't eligible for all-wheel drive until 2014. Changes have otherwise been minimal.
The previous, second-generation BMW 6 Series was produced from 2004-'10 in coupe and convertible body styles. Originally, this 6 Series came equipped with a 4.4-liter V8 rated at 325 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque and was known as the 645Ci. For 2006, the name changed to 650i (minus the "C") and its engine was updated to a 4.8-liter V8 that produced 360 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque. The 645Ci and 650i drive quite similarly -- the smaller V8 shares the 4.8-liter's athletic character but has a slightly less vigorous power delivery. If you find a well-kept 645Ci on the used market, you won't find it lacking from a performance standpoint.
Prior to 2008, the second-generation 6 Series offered three six-speed transmissions: a traditional manual, a traditional automatic and BMW's SMG, which used an electronically controlled clutch to provide both the responsiveness of a manual and the forget-about-it friendliness of an automatic. The SMG may sound tempting, but we'd steer clear, as its herky-jerky performance can make everyday driving a literal pain in the neck. Most 6 Series from this era were equipped with the traditional automatic, but it didn't become standard until 2010. The manual became an option at that point.
Shoppers should note that beyond the powertrain changes, in-car electronics were also upgraded over the years. Early models feature older versions of BMW's iDrive system, which was still in its nascent stages and quite frustrating to use. Gradual improvements were made, but it wasn't until 2010 that the system became fully worthwhile.
In reviews of the second-generation BMW 6 Series, we found that the ride was supple and quiet, the brakes were powerful, and despite nearly 2 tons of weight, handling limits remained high thanks to sophisticated tuning and a well-balanced chassis. Adding the Sport package firmed up the ride and increased cornering grip via a set of 19-inch wheels and tires, while the variable-ratio active steering quickened low-speed turning response.
As with any luxury touring coupe or convertible, the specific mission of this BMW 6 Series was to cover lots of road in a hurry while making its occupants look and feel great -- the front ones, anyway. Unfortunately, the 6 Series offered little of the rear seat space found in its contemporary 5 Series sedan counterpart despite similar midsize dimensions. Also, neither the 650i coupe nor the convertible were considered fashion leaders at the time, though their relative rarity today may make their unconventional lines more appealing.
Not counting the BMW 8 Series of 1990s vintage, the precursor to the modern 6 Series models is the first-generation 6 Series coupe produced from 1977-'89. All models used an inline six-cylinder engine ranging from 3.2 to 3.5 liters, tuned to varying degrees of power. Even the most potent version could only accelerate to 60 mph in the low 6-second range and grip the road in the upper 0.70g range -- modest by modern standards -- while the car's semi-trailing arm rear suspension never did the best job of keeping the car planted to the road. Still, it was an engaging car to drive in its day, and for that reason the original BMW 6 Series coupe retains an important place in BMW history.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 216.00
The great hype - 2005 BMW 6-Series
By Dave Heywood - October 7 - 9:06 am
Just bought this car this past august. I've seriously have driven the car no more than two weeks. This car is already a nightmare. Gasket leaks and misfiring issues. Should have stuck with Mercedes. BMW dealer can't even pin point the issue. Very poor customer service. BMW of Peabody ma. Stinks. I'm ready to throw in the towel at this point.
Old Age Friend - 2005 BMW 6-Series
By jkiramis - July 24 - 2:45 am
Owned a 308, a 365, two Aston Martins, a slab sided Cobra, more MBZs than I can forget and I have to say this is the finest all around automobile I have ever owned. The car is dependable, forgiving and a joy to drive hard and fast. Spent 14k at 90,000 to replace items that had not yet failed but what does it matter since my old chum has never let me down. Am now at 203,000 miles and all is still well.
Love the car - Hate the headaches - 2005 BMW 6-Series
By Robert Freeman - July 23 - 7:54 am
Reliability is an issue - right now I need to take the car to the shop to get the engine gaskets replaced, the intermittent PDC failure analyzed, the trunk lock sensor fixed so that I can open it with the remote, the brake fluid flushed, the interior filter replaced, brake pads replaced, etc.
BMW 645 Convertible - 2005 BMW 6-Series
By paul Bailey - April 26 - 8:40 am
Without a doubt the best car I ever owned. I have had Mercedes, BMW 530i, Ferrari 355 (2 years old) several Porsche 911's and this is just such a great car. Economical, fast, brilliant handling, stylish, practical, great sound system, reliable. I cannot fault the car and abolutely love it.
Disappointing - 2012 BMW 6-Series
By randzz - December 17 - 10:23 pm
My 640I was the worst car I ever owned. The computer system went out causing the vehicle to malfunction. They replaced it. The windows would not go up in the rain. They tried to fix it but continued to be a problem. The navigation system is the worst. I got tired of all the problems and traded it in at 7000 miles. While driving it to the Chevy dealership to trade it in the computer system went blank and 1 at a time all the systems went black. Absolutely the worst car I have ever owned.
BMW 650i Convertible - 2006 BMW 6-Series
By monteshere - April 19 - 1:13 pm
After driving a Lexus SC430 for 6 years, the only other reasonably priced car that caught my eye was the Beemer 650i Convertible. I was sold the minute I test drove it. My biggest concern was wind noise through the soft-top. That concern evaporated at 110mph on the freeway. This car is quieter than the Lexus with a hard top!!! Secondly, the car excellerates very well. Almost as well as my '66 Big Block Vette (but it's far quieter). I do miss the 4-speed shifting, but the sport mode while in the manual shift mode makes up for the need to clutch. This car handles like a dream. Lexus, take note: When you hard steer into a corner, the tires don't even while a bit. I love this car!!!
the perfect car - 2005 BMW 6-Series
By bmwforlife3 - April 10 - 8:41 pm
you can not ask for a more better car. The speed is their the look is their the reliability is there it is just and overall perfect car i put on some 21" chrome BMW rims and everyone looks when i drive by its the best car BMW makes
A Piece of Art but also A Piece of Junk - 2005 BMW 6-Series
By bobcat21 - January 24 - 3:53 pm
My wife and I feel in love with our 05' BMW 645i conv. when we first picked it up. We purchased it Jan. 2011 used with only 33,000 miles on it. It had some years on it but we figured it would get several years of only normal maintenance type services and not need to worry about major mechanical or electric problem because of it's low mileage and series. After all this is one of BMW's flagship cars. While the car gets looks of admiration at stop lights the feeling of this wears out quickly when you count how many dollars and time it has spent in a BMW repair shop. The BMW 645i is like buying a boat - the 2 happiest days of ownership are the day you buy it and the day you get rid of it.
Fun to drive but burns oil and idles rough - 2012 BMW 6-Series
By getngo - September 30 - 11:30 am
I brought a brand new factory ordered 2012 650i 8 speed automatic with heads up display and drivers assist package and LED headlights-sport packaged 20 inch rims with manufacture date 11/2011. Fun to drive with nice design in/out until the low oil level indicator warning came on at 3248 odometer miles. Classic BMW dealership where I bought the car told me it was normal even though the car had short lived 1-2 sec of clanking noice on cold start and rough idle, evident with bottle water in cup holder. Dealership put one quart of oil. 3200 miles later I am low on oil again. Dealership put another quart of oil. Again I am back for 3rd quart of oil at 2794 miles later with 9610 odometer miles!
Wonderful combination of attributes - 2012 BMW 6-Series
By doctorevil2 - April 19 - 6:37 pm
The new 650 is surely a GT but it seems like more to me. I can explain best via comparison. It handles and pulls better than my Aston Martin. The cabin is richer than all but 65-level AMG cars. Technical geekiness is on par with a 911. On the other hand, it is not a rare British sculpture but it will have much greater reliability. It is not an S65 but feels better and costs way less. It is surely no 911 in terms of handling, but styling and grace, and lack of pretentious attitude give it the nod. I was ready for a less-involved driving experience, and the 650 is perfect. It is a demanding ride only until I am ready to just relax. I used to need 2 different cars for that.