Review: 2018 BMW 640i Gran Turismo is definitely not a wagon
The 2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo is more wagon than crossover and more coupe than wagon. With all-wheel drive as standard and a fastback-style rear hatch that offers more cargo space than a sedan, the GT rides in a lane that's not quite anything else. This is the new BMW thing.
There are some interesting thought processes going on in Germany as BMW tries to rethink some automotive norms. The even-numbered offerings in its X lineup, for example, are all crossover-station wagon mashups like the X2 and X6. Meanwhile, after the disappearance of the 5 Series GT with its oddly-designed hatch, the company decided to rethink the Gran Turismo. That's resulted in the 6 Series GT, available as the 640i xDrive.
The 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo was ours for a week. Being a station wagon fan and happy to see the wagon making a comeback, I looked forward to the GT. When it arrived, I was thrilled to see the clunkiness of the crossover-wagon mashup that was the 5 Series GT was gone and a more sleek design for this new Gran Turismo had replaced it. The 640i GT is a beautiful car, though some quirkiness like the unusually large amount of tire clearance and taller road stance remained.
Powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, the BMW 640i GT produces 335 horsepower (250 kW) and 332 pound-feet (450 Nm) of torque; and quickly. An eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard on the 640i. This is a fair amount of power, on paper, but the GT is decidedly bulky, weighing in at over 4,200 pounds (1,910 kg) with a relatively long wheelbase at 121 inches (3,070 mm). Those dynamics play out in the road handling of the 2018 640i GT.
The 640i GT feels good in most driving circumstances, with plenty of power output when needed and a lot of road-going comfort. Those who prefer a spry, quick-turning, road-hugging Bimmer, though, will find the 640i GT to be much more sedate and rolling than they'd like. It's far more in line with what would be expected from an estate or sport wagon than a sedan or coupe.
Some of this can be ameliorated with the Dynamic Handling package option, which adds adjustable suspension dampers, a more precise steering setup, and active roll control. This won't fix the somewhat slower acceleration that the GT has compared to a standard 6 Series sedan, but it goes a long way toward improving road dynamics for those who want cornering performance.
The BMW 640i GT comes in only one trim, but that base includes a host of amenities and included technology. It starts with LED lighting, 19-inch wheels, keyless everything, a rear air suspension, panoramic sunroof, auto-dimming mirrors, and a lot more.
The iDrive infotainment with a 10.2-inch touchscreen is standard, as are two USB ports and a wireless charging pad. And 12-speaker sound. Plus forward collision warning, low-speed automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane departure warning. About the only thing not included is Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, though the latter is available as a stand-alone upgrade option.
Of course, those base accouterments can be added onto with BMW packages giving more stuff like aluminum interior trim, power-adjustable rear seating, the aforementioned Dynamic Handling package, soft-close doors, a head-up display, even more driver's aids like 360-degree parking sensors and automated park assist.
Need a seat massage? That's available too. So are upgrades to Harmon Kardon or Bowers & Wilkins sound systems. All at a price, which can become fairly steep pretty quickly. The base price for the 2018 BMW 640i xDrive GT is about US$70,000 and our test model, which included many of these added bells and whistles, was $84,000.
We will readily admit that the 2018 640i GT has a lot of goodness in it for that price point. This is a family vehicle, with seating for four adults and a kid or any combination thereof. The middle seat in the rear is small and tight-quartered for an adult, though one could squeeze in when required.
The GT is mainly geared toward a driver and three passengers, not four. We especially like how easy it is to get in and out of the GT with its relatively low ride height, but not super-low coupe-like roofline or curb elevation. It fits nicely between the very low and the somewhat too tall height of many vehicles on today's roads. Wide-opening doors help entry and egress as well.
It's on the road that the 640i GT really stands out. The BMW road presence most would expect is there, especially with the Dynamic Handling package installed. Yet the cabin is one of the quietest we've been in and the seat comfort is far beyond what's normally found in lower-end BMW vehicles like the 3 and 5 Series. Fans of the 6 and 7 Series will find the 640i GT to be commensurate with their expectations. Another big step up from the previous-generation of this vehicle.
Cargo is good, though not as good as would be found in a more traditional crossover-SUV or station wagon design. We like the smart touches like the easily-removable cargo cover that clings to the bottom of the cargo space as a sort of floor mat when the entire upper portion is needed for something large. This gets the cargo cover quickly out of the way and keeps it from sliding around or making noise. Smart thinking on BMW's part. Total cargo space is about 45 cubic feet (1,274 liters) behind the second row and a nice 60 cubes (1,699 liters) with the rear seats folded. Those are a 40/20/40 split-fold as standard.
For technology, the BMW iDrive features most of what we've seen in other higher-end BMW vehicles, including gesture control and some advanced options such as those we noted in the M550i. There are more advanced options in other makes, though, and our GT model did not have the BMW Display Key for remote parking, though that is available.
In all, we thoroughly enjoyed the 2018 BMW 640i xDrive GT. We wouldn't call it a station wagon, per se, but it's close. It's more a fastback sedan, which has its own advantages. This new GT is a big step up from the previous model from BMW.
The 640i GT is far nicer to look at and much more enjoyable than its predecessor. It's also alone in the market, fitting in between a sedan and crossover as a luxury option that's unique in both looks and performance.
Product Page: 2018 BMW 640i xDrive GT