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BMW 6 Series Convertible

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BMW 6 Series Convertible
6/10

Overall
verdict

Replaces shock value for class and refinement, and is better for it.

Additional Info

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What is it?

The outgoing 6-Series was seemingly designed by a team of blindfolded chimps throwing parts into a bath in a BMW spares warehouse. So this time BMW has given it a more sensible getup, as well as ditching any notion of it being a sportscar. Fret not, though – it drives even better now, and it’s still flash, except now in a “I’ve got a second home in the Seychelles” sort of way, as opposed to a “I’ve got the means to have you kneecapped” kind of way.

Driving

As part of a master plan to banish the confused legacy of the last 6 Series, BMW released this one as a convertible first, and only with two of its most-powerful petrol engines. It’s a big grand tourer, see. A diesel will come later, because BMW aren’t idiots, but for now you’re looking at either the 320bhp 640i, with a 3.0-litre straight six turbo, or the 4.4-litre twin-turbo 650i, all 407bhp of it. There’s not a massive amount between them on paper (five seconds to 62mph plays 5.7) but the bigger one has a colossal 442lb ft, making it perfect for overtaking peasants when you’re late for the Masonic lodge disco. Mind, the lighter front end and hi-revving nature of the 640i makes it that bit more fun - though neither version is exactly nimble.

Adaptive chassis settings and all, this is a big car with light steering, a buttery smooth auto ‘box, elastic damping and an emphasis on quiet – roof up or down.

On the inside

The dual-layer cloth roof is like a 20-stone bouncer, keeping all troublesome noise out of the lounge. And it really is a lounge. Despite the dash making a return to the ‘driver-focussed’ BMWs of yore, angling the centre console towards the driver, it’s still got an emphasis on airiness and ease of use. The iDrive is less baffling than ever thanks to obvious shortcut buttons and a massive full colour screen, and even the BFg himself could get comfy behind the wheel. His overgrown children will struggle with surprisingly lacking rear legroom, though. And the boot is letterbox thin.

Owning

Until the diesel arrives you’re in big petrol city, choosing between economy in the mid-twenties or mid-thirties and the associated VED bills – £210 or £430 per year, and that’s after the first year
showroom-theft tax. It really pays to go for the smaller engine, then – or to be rather patient and wait for the no-doubt awesome diesel one. BMW says the Six is the company’s most-highly equipped model ever, with leather, satnav, xenons and parking sensors as standard. But as ever, all manner of high-priced goodies grace the options list, like a £1,000 leather dash.

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Latest road tests

5/10 BMW 6 Series Convertible 650i
March 2011

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