2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe Long-Term Update 3
Drive an 800-mile round trip in a day just to attend a five-hour meeting? Why not? I needed another day in the Tenth Circle of Hell commonly known as America's airline system like I needed a hole in the head. Besides, I spend far too much time driving a desk these days, and this was a great opportunity to put some miles on the Gran Coupe.
It mattered little that the drive wasn't going to be too exciting -- just a straight schlep up Interstate 5 from Los Angeles to the Bay Area and back. What mattered was I would be on my timetable, listening to my music, in my own air-conditioned comfort. And no matter how mundane the route, there's always a little frisson of excitement as you roll out of town in the pre-dawn darkness. Road trip!
With light traffic, the run out of the L.A. basin was a breeze. North of the turnoff to Route 198, where we do the road section testing for Best Driver's Car, I managed to hitch onto a fast-moving (of all things) Honda Odyssey, driven by a guy with either divine guidance or the world's best radar detector. The trip computer showed at average speed of 77 mph when I rolled through the gate of the Chevron refinery at Richmond on San Francisco Bay. The trip computer also showed the Gran Coupe had average 22.3 mpg for the trip, pretty reasonable for a 4417-pound car powered by a 4.4-liter, 445-hp, twin-turbo V-8.
The traffic was heavier for the return run, so my average speed was just 66 mph, but that helped the average fuel economy, which climbed to 23.4 mpg. For a big, sporty four-door, the Gran Coupe is a surprisingly relaxed and efficient long-distance cruiser -- the twin-turbo V-8's mountain of mid-range torque allows it to loaf along in eighth gear most of the time on the freeway, which undoubtedly helps the fuel economy.
And while on the subject of consumption, it's a relief to note that the Gran Coupe's appetite for oil appears to have gone away. After glugging through three quarts in barely 6000 miles, the N63 V-8 has now gone more than 5000 miles without needing a drop more. Maybe a couple of long runs -- in addition to my 800-mile day, associate editor Rory Jurnecka put 1200 miles on the car during a two-week vacation trip out through Nevada and Arizona -- was all the Gran Coupe needed.
|Service life||9 mo/11,716 mi|
|Average fuel economy||17.1 mpg|
|CO2 emissions||1.24 lb/mi|
|EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ||17/25/19 mpg|
|Energy consumption||216 kW-hr/100mi|