Once you learn how to deal with the paradox of having a coupe that unmistakably has four doors, nothing will stop you from loving BMW’s 640d Gran Coupe.
[Full disclosure: BMW Hungary rang me up to see whether or not would I like to have a 6 Gran Coupe for a week. I took the opportunity because diesel is cheaper than gas and because I like riding around in nice things. I also enjoy driving things you Americans can’t drive.]
This is a very expensive car that puts any 5 Series south of an M5 to shame, and tells the world that although your income level could grant you a full-on 7 Series, there’s a reason why you still party harder than those old farts.
German premium manufacturers lately are obsessed with having every possible variation of a model in their lineup to make sure buyers stay with them no matter how pointless their wished automobile happens to be. BMW seems to be the leader of the pack, making giant motorsport-inspired SUV coupes with four doors but not much interior space, luxury sedans with hatchbacks and four-door versions of two door versions of four-door cars. The 640d Gran Coupe fits right in.
Looking at this car, Mr. Spock himself wouldn’t find it illogical for the car to be called a “coupe” despite having four doors. This is because the rear seats are almost completely pointless. If you travel with large groups of people, expect vicious fights over who gets to sit up front.
You won’t put kids in the back because the leather is way too fancy for child seats, there are one too many buttons kindergarteners could potentially break in the first ten minutes, and the front seats can also be adjusted from the rear. Even with teenagers, that just feels too risky.
As for adults, with not much more head- and legroom than in the proper coupe, why would you force it? The Gran Coupe is a great tourer, but only for two people. At least there will always be enough space for the luggage.
Up at the front, things are good. The analogue dials that look a bit dated in a 3 Series are replaced here with an all digital instrument panel and that makes all the difference. Not that you need to look at them much, because the head-up-display has all the information needed right where your eyes at, ideally.
My test car came with a glossy wooden trim that only Albanian oil czars should pick from the catalogue in 2015, but there are many more industrial finishes you can go for that suit the car’s character miles better.
As in every modern BMW, ZF’s 8-speed automatic does its job brilliantly here as well, and if you drive a tourer that stretches to 16.4 feet, you probably don’t want a manual. You go for the ease that comes with this tool.
Normal mode is called Comfort in BMW’s dictionary, and this car even has Comfort+ if the regular isn’t smooth enough for you. Not that I could feel any difference, the 640d rides bumps pretty well even in Sport.
America doesn’t get the diesel Gran Coupe, and that’s a shame because this entry-level powerplant is as good as any gas variant without being anywhere near as thirsty. They even took care of the otherwise horrible noise diesels make with their active sound magic coming through those Harman Kardon speakers. Only what they want you to hear comes through the sound isolation.
Is it fake? Yes. Does it matter? I guess it does, because it changes everything by making the car feel like the powerhouse it is when you go for it.
You get 313 horsepower and 464 pound-feet of torque from the 3.0 turbodiesel inline six, and while that has to move more than 4,155 pounds, I didn’t wish it to be more dynamic than it was on the road. No 650i for me.
The 640d wasn’t designed to scream and shout like the top of the line models, but still won’t let you down in a corner while you rush towards its limited top speed. It won’t break a sweat, and you won’t either.
With the xDrive system in place, it’s not going to slide around either, but there’s still a slight movement at the rear if you provoke it by deliberately flooring the gas out of a turn. It reminds you that those fat rear tires are dealing with a lot, and the power sent to the front is only there to keep everything tidy and get you to your winter condo every single time.
You got what you paid for. A BMW that also happens to be the prettiest four-door on the market. That’s what matters.
Performance is a given. At this price range, any car will come with ridiculously light steering that becomes artificially heavy if you press a button, and it certainly will be fast enough too as long as you don’t track it. And why the hell would you do that?
The 6 Gran Coupe looks expensive, feels expensive and shows off how much you don’t need to care by having the most useless body style ever. The extra doors are pretty much there to tell the world that you’re a mature professional who can sail through a midlife crisis without anybody realizing, since you cleverly refused to go for the coupe or the cabriolet.
It was the right call, because now, this is waiting for you at the parking lot. Your very own big fish that’ll even get your significant other’s approval. They can’t say no, since you want to you spend the money on a practical sedan that looks cool and has comfy seats.
Just keep telling people you drive a coupe. A big one.
Photo credit: Máté Petrány/Jalopnik
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