Reviews the 2013 BMW 650 Gran Coupe

Love at first sight is a tricky proposition: Others might treat you better, but this one's just so darn pretty. Such is the risk of handing your heart too hastily to the comely 2013 BMW 650 Gran Coupe. It looks like a great catch, but it handles more like the boat you were fishing on, reviewer David Thomas says. Despite stunning looks, generous space, comfortable interior and abundant tech, the Gran Coupe's somewhat-oafish handling and delayed acceleration from a full stop make it hard to justify this pricey sport sedan over roomier, better-performing fish in the luxury sea.

2013 BMW 650 Gran Coupe Review
By Matt Schmitz | November 19, 2012 | Comments (1)

BMW's Matte Paint Requires Sharp Attention


Few factory exterior paints turn heads like BMW's collection of "frozen" matte colors; a pink Chevrolet Spark we drove earlier in the year is a close runner-up. The dull finish of BMW's frozen paints are easily mistaken for a high-end, aftermarket custom repaint or vinyl car wrap instead of a color from the BMW option list that can be ordered alongside heated seats and a blind spot warning system. We recently tested BMW's 2013 650i Gran Coupe clad in a striking Frozen Bronze paint color; it left us wondering about caring for the expensive $3,500 paint option.

The paint is never shiny like a traditional finish, so it's hard to tell when the car is dirty. It's glorious because BMW's frozen paints could be the lowest-maintenance paint ever since they look clean even when filthy. But how often should owners wash it? What about wax, polish or sealants to protect the pricey finish?

By Joe Bruzek | November 13, 2012 | Comments (7)

2013 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe: Up Close

BMW's 6 Series Gran Coupe — the brand's Audi A7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class fighter — is here, and it's gorgeous. Based on a stretched version of the 6 Series coupe, the Gran Coupe uses the same front-end styling with a wide version of BMW's signature twin-kidney grille.

More 2012 New York Auto Show Coverage

The profile is one of the car's best views. The roofline is low and sleek, and it finishes at a short rear deck. It comes down around your head when sitting in the backseat, but there's decent space overall back there, as passengers benefit from the car's extra length.

By Mike Hanley | April 5, 2012 | Comments (0)

BMW Prices 2013 6 Series Gran Coupe at $76,000

BMW is releasing more information about the 2013 6 Series Gran Coupe ahead of its U.S. debut at the 2012 New York International Auto Show in April. We now know the new sedan will have a base price of $76,000, excluding an $895 destination charge, when it goes on sale this summer.

The all-new vehicle is a sedan with a sleek, coupe-like profile, and it's BMW's answer to the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and Audi A7. It's based on the 6 Series coupe but is 4.4 inches longer and, according to BMW, can seat five passengers comfortably.  

The base price is for the 640i version, which is powered by a 315-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic transmission. Other versions will be offered: The 650i and 650i xDrive will be equipped with a 445-hp, twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 and all-wheel drive in xDrive trim.

Both engines will feature BMW's EfficientDynamics system, which uses regenerative braking and an auto start-stop functionality to save fuel. The 2012 640i is rated at 21/31 mpg city/highway; no word on fuel-economy estimates for the Gran Coupe.

Pricing for the V-8 models has not yet been announced.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 13, 2012 | Comments (0)

2008 BMW Models Get 0.9% Financing


The 2009 BMWs are on the way, and it’s time to get rid of the 2008s. Yep, BMW has model-year-end sales too, they just use fancy terms, like 0.9% financing, to promote them. Through Sept. 2, all 2008 BMW models — besides the X6, M3 and M5 — will be eligible for 0.9% financing for qualified buyers. What does that mean?

The current average loan rate is 6.78%, so say you want to finance a base 328i sedan, which starts at $32,700, over four years. Putting nothing down on the car (and let’s keep tax out of the equation), your monthly payment would be $779.70. That’s a lot of money for a 3 Series; in the end you’d wind up paying $37,426 with all the interest included.

Lower the rate to 0.9% and your monthly payment drops to $693.84, with total cost over the term of $33,304. So BMW is basically offering a $4,000 discount here. The math is rudimentary, but 0.9% is a good deal on any car, let alone a BMW. Oh, and because the 328i is one of the most affordable BMWs on the lot, the savings only go up as you move up through the model range.

BMW Financing Offers (BMW USA)

2009 BMW 3 Series: New Look, U.S. Diesel Confirmed (KickingTires)

By David Thomas | August 21, 2008 | Comments (3) Reviews the 2008 BMW 650i


I never really thought of the BMW 650i as a Porsche 911 competitor, but after reading Kelsey Mays’ review of BMW’s big coupe I can see why it may be. The 650i’s 360-hp V-8 is almost as fast to 60 mph with an automatic transmission, and it comes with a much more usable trunk and backseat. Of course, I think I’d take the looks of the iconic 911 over the oddity that is the 6 Series, but that’s just me. Check out Kelsey’s review and video below and make your own call.

2008 BMW 650i Expert Review

By David Thomas | June 6, 2008 | Comments (2)

Friday Fleet Notes: 7.13.07


This week the staff takes on three very different vehicles: the Honda CR-V, Infiniti M35 and BMW 650oi convertible.

2007 Honda CR-V EX

My wife was a little stunned when she got into the CR-V; she was expecting a smaller cockpit area, especially given how small the CR-V seems from the outside. “I like the look if it,” the wife said. “It’s sharper-looking than the previous one, not as boxy-looking.”

We took our boys (the daughter is out of town, visiting her cousins) to Costco and loaded up the back, where there was plenty of space. There’s a shelf to hide your cargo, although I wonder if it would fray easily over time. The boys found plenty of legroom in the backseat.

By David Thomas | July 13, 2007 | Comments (0)

BMW 6 Series Sees Minor Changes for 2008


If you’re a 6 Series owner, chances are you won’t be salivating over the 2008 model when it arrives in the U.S. this fall. That doesn’t mean, however, that changes to the model are completely insignificant. Sure, at first glance the 650i coupe and convertible look a lot like the old models, but there are subtle changes to the front and rear styling, along with changes to the head- and taillights.

Under the hood is the same 4.8-liter V-8 producing 360 hp, with 60 mph coming in 5.3 and 5.6 seconds for the coupe and convertible, respectively. The major change to the car’s performance comes with a single automatic transmission option. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but the no-charge six-speed Sport Automatic transmission adds shift paddles on the steering wheel for manual selection of gears.

The 650i convertible also receives the new sun-reflecting leather first used by BMW in the new 3 Series convertibles. This keeps the seats up to 36 degrees cooler than regular leather seats. Another interesting technological option is a lane departure warning system. Other companies offer the same feature, which alerts the driver when they stray into another lane inadvertently, but this one makes the steering wheel vibrate, like a cell phone, to warn the driver instead of relying on an audible alert.

Prices haven’t been announced, but expect them to remain close to the 2007’s $74,700 for the coupe and $81,700 for the convertible. Also, check out the photo gallery below for more images of both 2008 6 Series models.

BMW 6 Series Photo Gallery

By David Thomas | June 27, 2007 | Comments (2)

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