2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe Verdict
A Gran Year With a Gran Touring Car
In long-term car loans, as in life, the adage holds true that all good things must ultimately come to an end. So it was, as BMW's representative showed up at MT headquarters and politely asked that the key for my 650i Gran Coupe (and the car itself, of course) be relinquished. Bummer.
One last glance at the Gran Coupe's odometer reveals a total of 17,398 miles -- miles spent on the 405 freeway in sludgy commuter traffic; on the 10 freeway heading east to the red rocks of Arizona; on Hwy 1, heading north towards the gorgeous coastal locales of Monterey and San Francisco; and even on the Streets of Willow race track at Willow Springs Raceway.
Through it all, the Space Gray Metallic (a fantastic paint name) BMW and its twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 proved to be quite a workhorse. I suffered zero reliability problems with the Gran Coupe and its 15,000-mile service didn't cost me a dime under BMW's free factory-scheduled maintenance program (4 years/50,000 miles). A couple caveats: the engine can idle roughly at times and even though the twin turbochargers work to reduce lag to virtually nothing, the drive-by-wire throttle hesitates slightly off the line. It's only a split-second, but it's enough to be irritating, especially when jumping off a side street onto a busy boulevard (or powering out of the bowl at Streets of Willow). The turbos also like oil, said my dealer's service representative. That was said to explain the 5 quarts of Castrol 0W-30 synthetic that editor-at-large Angus MacKenzie and I added over the first 15,000 miles. We're not so sure that kind of oil consumption can ever be considered "normal," but the dealer has tried to assure us it is. A quick search of BMW online forums reveals other owners with similar consumption.
The Gran Coupe wasn't just thirsty for oil, it was also thirsty for gas. Our calculated average fuel consumption was 17.4 mpg – a tick under the EPA's 19 mpg combined rating, though this particular GC saw much more city commuting than it did open highways. With that taken into account, we'd say the car lived up to expectations. In any event, sport sedans this quick don't come without penalties at the pump.
Arguably, the Gran Coupe shines brightest when it's out on the open highway, eating up miles at low rpm, but high speed. With the car in its Comfort setting, the car is quiet, relaxed and totally composed. And a quick couple taps on the 8-speed automatic's left paddle instantly brings the revs up to make lightning-fast work of slow-moving traffic. On the track, the mighty BMW is rock-solid at over triple-digit speeds and with stability control in Dynamic mode, allows its tail to slip just wide enough to be playful under a trailing throttle. The exhaust note and braaap! under full-throttle shifts is subtly aggressive too, suiting the sport-luxe niche perfectly.
Around town, the 650i is comfortable too, but being a longer car, it does take a little extra care maneuvering in tight parking lots and crowded city streets. The M-package on my car ($4400) looks great with its sport steering wheel, exterior aero enhancements and LED fog lights, but skip the 20" wheels and performance tires (an extra $1300 with the M-pack) if the roads in your area aren't so good. The micro-thin 30- and 35-profile sidewalls can be harsh over more than minor road imperfections.
The 650i's interior is as beautiful to look at as it is comfortable to be in, with Vermillion Red Nappa leather seating surfaces and brushed aluminum-look trim. The rear seat was also perfectly comfortable for average-to-taller adults for jaunts around town. Folks under 6 feet should have no trouble getting comfortable for even longer hauls. At a stoplight in Arizona, the driver of a Porsche 911 GT3 who had ripped past a moment before yelled, "That car is GORGEOUS! I love it!" He declined my offer to trade. The interior showed virtually no wear after nearly 18,000 miles, a good sign for long-term durability.
All in all, the 650i Gran Coupe is a special car that is bound to be enjoyed by those privileged enough to afford it. Some may complain that the car is a 5 Series in wolf's clothing, but the overall experience is totally different. Whether that difference is worth the extra cost is something buyers will have to decide for themselves.
More on our long-term 2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe:
|SERVICE LIFE||14 mo / 17,398 mi|
|OPTIONS||M Sport Package ($5700: 20-in wheels, M bodywork), Premium Sound Package ($4650: Bang & Olufsen sound system, satellite radio), Driver Assistance Package ($3800: lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring), Luxury Seating Package ($2400: active front seats, 4-zone climate control), Adaptive Drive w/ Active Roll Stabilization ($2500), Active Cruise Control ($2400), LED headlights ($1900), ceramic-finish controls ($650), front seat warmers ($500), BMW Apps ($250)|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$112,845|
|AVG ECON/CO2||17.4 mpg / 1.11 lb/mi|
|MAINTENANCE COST||$0 (oil change, inspection)|
|3-YEAR RESIDUAL VALUE*||$47,395|
|*Automotive Lease Guide data|
116.9 in116.9 in
|2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe|
|DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT||Front-engine, RWD|
|ENGINE TYPE||Twin-turbo 90-deg V-8, aluminum block/heads|
|VALVETRAIN||DOHC, 4 valves/cyl|
|DISPLACEMENT||268.2 cu in/4395 cc|
|POWER (SAE NET)||445 hp @ 5500 rpm|
|TORQUE (SAE NET)||480 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm|
|WEIGHT TO POWER||9.9 lb/hp|
|SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR||Control arms, coil springs, adj shocks, adj anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, adj shocks, adj anti-roll bar|
|BRAKES, F;R||13.7-in vented disc; 13.6-in vented disc, ABS|
|WHEELS, F;R||8.5 x 20-in; 9.0 x 20-in cast aluminum|
|TIRES, F;R||245/35R20 95Y; 275/30R20 97Y Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT DSST|
|TRACK, F/R||63.2/65.8 in|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||197.2 x 74.6 x 54.8 in|
|TURNING CIRCLE||39.2 ft|
|CURB WEIGHT||4417 lb|
|WEIGHT DIST., F/R||52/48%|
|HEADROOM, F/R||40.6/37.0 in|
|LEGROOM, F/R||42.1/35.3 in|
|SHOULDER ROOM, F/R||56.7/54.6 in|
|CARGO VOLUME||13.0 cu ft|
|ACCELERATION TO MPH|
|PASSING, 45-65 MPH||2.2|
|QUARTER MILE||13.0 sec @ 109.4 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||108 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.92 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||25.5 sec @ 0.77 g (avg)|
|TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH||1500 rpm|
|AIRBAGS||Front, front side, f/r curtain, front knee|
|BASIC WARRANTY||4 yrs/50,000 miles|
|POWERTRAIN WARRANTY||4 yrs/50,000 miles|
|ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE||4 yrs/unlimited miles|
|FUEL CAPACITY||18.5 gal|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON||17/25/19 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY/COMB||198/135/170 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMBINED||0.98 lb/mile|
|RECOMMENDED FUEL||Unleaded premium|