2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo

A BMW hatchback! The BMW 6-series Gran Turismo is all-new for the 2018 model year. It doesn’t look like the old 6-series. It has a sloping roofline and a hatchback instead of a trunk. Think of it as a taller 5-series sedan with higher seating position, roomy cabin and large hatch. You can also think of it as a wagon, hatchback, SUV and sedan, all in one, sporting the BMW badge.


The 6-series used to be a coupe and convertible. Now it’s being transformed into a hatchback. The current 6-series comes from the 5-series Gran Turismo, while the old 6-series will be dubbed the 8-series.


The 640i xDrive Gran Turismo is 201 inches long, 6.3 inches longer and 2.4 inches taller than the 5-series sedan. The higher seating position feels more like that of an SUV than sedan.


It’s only available in one trim: the 640i Gran Turismo xDrive with a starting price of $69,700. This is several thousand dollars more than the outgoing 540i xDrive Gran Turismo. The base model is Sport, and there’s also a Luxury trim and M Sport package. It’s only available with BMW’s all-wheel-drive system. Rear-wheel-drive isn’t even offered


Under the hood is a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six that makes 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, paired with an eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission with paddle shifters on the steering wheel. It’s very quick off the line; BMW says it can go from zero to 60 in 5.1 seconds. The transmission shifts very smoothly and quickly and always seems to find the right gear.


While there’s plenty of smooth power for all driving situations, this is not quite what you’d call an Ultimate Driving Machine. The performance isn’t as athletic as BMW sedans. It’s taller stance means there’s more body lean when cornering. However, it’s still very capable and the smooth ride is great for commuting and cruising.


The head-up display is easy to see and you can customize it to provide info on navigation, phone calls, audio and vehicle performance. However, you can’t see it when you wear polarized sunglasses.


There are Eco Pro, Sport and Comfort modes, but no Sport+ mode. While Comfort mode provides a cushy ride, to me it made the Gran Turismo handle more like a Lexus.


I kept it in Sport mode most of the time to get the more BMW-like driving dynamics. It sure is a comfortable vehicle for road trips, especially with the family and pets in tow.


EPA mileage estimates for my tester are 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway with a combined rating of 23 mpg. I got 21 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving, in Sport mode most of the time. You can also set the driving mode to Eco Pro which decouples the drivetrain when you take your foot off the gas pedal. Stop/start technology enhances efficiency.


The interior is modern and roomy with the clean dash design that’s familiar to BMW drivers. Passengers have plenty of leg- and headroom in the spacious interior. Seats are supportive and comfortable. The rear seats recline and are heated and will easily accommodate three adults. The standard panoramic glass moonroof gives the cabin an airy, open feel.


BMW’s iDrive infotainment system takes some getting used to, but it becomes second nature once you get the hang of it. It has a 10.3-inch touchscreen that you can also control with a rotary dial located between the two front seats, voice commands and steering wheel-mounted controls. My tester has the optional Gesture Control system which lets you control volume by making a circle with your finger. Turn it up by circling your finger clockwise and turn it down with a counter-clockwise circle. Gimmicky but fun, and it always impresses your passengers!


The 6 series has 31 cubic feet of storage with the rear seats in place and 65 cubes when they’re folded down. Levers at the rear of the car make for a quick and easy seat adjustment. The rear seats split 40/20/40.


The good:

Stands out from the crowd of BMW sedans and SUVs

Great luxury vehicle for someone who wants the versatility of an SUV or wagon

Smooth power, well-mannered driving dynamics

Gesture control is fun if a bit gimmicky

Apple CarPlay is available


The not-so-good:

Not exactly an “Ultimate Driving Machine”

Will BMW drivers really want a big hatchback?

Android Auto is not available

Price escalates in a hurry with add-ons


Pricing info:

My tester starts at $69,700. Bluestone Metallic paint is $550. Driving Assistance Plus is $1,700. Dynamic Handling Package is $4,100 and adds integral active steering, adaptive drive with two-axle air suspension, active roll stabilization and dynamic damper control. The M Sport Package is $1,200 and includes 19-inch M light alloy wheels, Sense Tec dashboard, Fineline Ridge wood trim, and Anthracite headliner. The Executive Package is $2,150 and adds soft-close automatic doors, Parking Assistant Plus, head-up display, gesture control, active park distance control, rear view camera and surround view with 3D view. Heated steering wheel is $190. Front and rear heated seats are $350. Ceramic controls are $650. Power rear seatback adjustment is $500. Remote control parking is $750. Apple CarPlay compatibility is $300. Harmon Kardon surround sound system is $875. Destination charge is $995 bringing the grand total to $84,010.


Bottom line:

This is a practical and luxurious car that’s almost as sporty as a BMW sedan. It’s a great cruiser that’s roomy enough for the whole family. And it stands out from the crowd. Question is, will BMW drivers really want a big hatchback that can cost upwards of 80-grand? They just might if they think of it as a nice blend of a 7 Series sedan and X5 SUV.

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