2012 BMW 6 SERIES 650I CONVERTIBLE
Used Car - 2012 BMW 6 Series 650i Convertible in Farmers Branch, Tx
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2012 BMW 6 Series ReviewThis car review is specific to this model, not the actual vehicle for sale.
All-new 2012 grand touring coupe and convertible.
The BMW 6 Series is all-new for 2012. Longer and wider than last year's versions, the 2012 BMW 650i Coupe and Convertible are sleeker than before. The 2012 BMW 6 Series models boast fresh styling, serving to announce a powerful new twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine.
Smaller, lighter and more powerful than last year's engine, the V8 in the 2012 BMW 650i models produces 400 horsepower. More important is its 450 pound-feet of torque, providing exceptionally strong response over a wide powerband, with peak torque available from 1750 to 4500 rpm.
This is a welcome improvement because the BMW 6 Series is more grand touring car than sports car and it is not light. A powerful engine is needed to deliver the expected acceleration performance, and, in fact, it does just that. Whether in the Coupe or Convertible, we found power delivery immediate and enthusiastic, without turbo lag.
BMW says its 2012 650i Convertible can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds whether equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission or 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters. That's very quick indeed, and the Coupe should be at least as quick. Though topping 4,200 pounds, the BMW 650i boasts features to minimize weight, including lightweight seats with integral seatbelts and crash-activated anti-whiplash head restraints, lightweight aluminum doors, hood and front spring mounts, reinforced composite front side panels and trunk lid. The 650i Coupe weighs 4233 pounds, while the 650i Convertible weighs a hefty 4531 pounds.
A heavy car with a powerful V8 means big gas bills. The 2012 BMW 650i Coupe and Convertible earn an EPA-estimated 15/23 mpg City/Highway with the automatic, 15/22 mpg with the manual gearbox.
We found the 2012 BMW 650i coupe and convertible enjoyable to drive. They cruise well at high speeds and are comfortable and competent. They are not sports cars, however, too big and heavy to careen around corners with the gusto of lightweight BMWs of yore.
While navigating quick left-right chicanes on the less-traveled roads of Northern California, our 650i Coupe felt balanced and composed despite its size. The Convertible is heavier and feels more at home on the highway.
The BMW 6 Series competes most directly with the compelling Jaguar XK and the less-expensive Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe. If you like BMWs, want a sumptuous cruiser and aren't concerned with price or fuel economy, the 2012 BMW 6 Series is an excellent choice.
The 2012 BMW 6 Series is composed of the 650i Coupe ($83,875) and Convertible ($91,375). Standard equipment includes 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, LED foglights, parking sensors, power-folding mirrors, a large tilt-only sunroof, an adaptive suspension, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, 16-way power front seats, driver and passenger memory functions, auto-dimming mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control and a rearview camera. The iDrive system is also standard, as is Bluetooth and a nine-speaker sound system with CD player, HD radio and an auxiliary input jack, a navigation system and voice controls.
Options include 20-inch alloy wheels with performance tires ($1,300), Active Roll Stabilization ($2,000), Integral Active Steering ($1,750), Ceramic Controls ($650), Active Cruise Control ($2,400), BMW Apps ($250) and Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection ($2,600). The Cold Weather Package ($750) adds a heated steering wheel, heated front seats and a ski bag. The Driver Assistance Package ($3,900) adds automatic high beams, lane-departure warning, active blind-spot detection, side- and top-view cameras, parking assistant and full-color head-up display. The Luxury Seating Package ($1,500), adds front ventilated seats, active front seats. Convertibles and Coupes are available with a Premium Sound Package ($1,800), while the Coupe alone gets an optional, top-of-the-line Bang & Olufsen sound system ($3,700).
The BMW 6 Series is one of the more elegant big cars BMW has penned. Much of the car's previous styling, attributed to former head of BMW design Chris Bangle, has been replaced with fluid lines. The raked windshield, so steep as to be slightly in the way climbing on board, communicates a willingness to rush through the air at great speed. The nose's twin kidney grilles are sleekly integrated into an almost round nose, while a gaping intake running across the nose portrays shark-like aggressiveness, validated by its powerful drivetrain.
Gone is the enormous, shelf-like rear-end. The new LED taillight clusters are like two eyes-peeled squints across the bluff rear face. And demonstrating that BMW's sense of humor is alive and well, the little BMW logo on the trunk is in fact a small peek-a-boo door, opening to let the rearview camera peer out when you're in reverse.
Cockpit design and layout on the 2012 BMW 6 Series is much improved over the previous generation, and materials and finish are top-notch. The handsomely stitched dashboard cover surrounds BMW instrumentation of traditionally businesslike placement and conciseness. The extra-large analog tachometer and speedometer keep the focus on the business at hand. The premium steering wheel is thick, leather-wrapped, and provides 12 fingertip adjustments for audio, phone and adaptive cruise control.
As with other BMW interiors, all functions are angled ever-so-slightly toward the driver. Even the controls next to the gearshift, for the parking brake, roof operation and selectable driving modes, are mounted on a recessed surface in the driver's side of the console, discouraging mutinous decisions. The large central display screen has effective technology that makes it visible in bright sun, which is especially useful on convertibles.
The new 6 Series employs the fourth-generation iDrive control system. Unlike earlier iterations, it is no longer a mindlessly complex obstacle to the driver. To the contrary, this system has at last become the driver's ally. Also available to the driver are controls regulating the car's ride motions and steering feel, the latter's adjustability made possible thanks to the 650i's advanced steer-by-wire electronic guidance. Our test car was also outfitted with the BMW Connected app, which allows drivers to access Facebook, Twitter, Pandora and paid music subscription service MOG accounts through a late-model iPhone or iPod Touch on the iDrive display. Blackberry and Android smartphones are out of luck.
The Bang&Olufsen sound system includes a speaker system designed exclusively for the unique shape and space of the 6 Series coupe. We found the sound quality impressive, but it seemed like an expensive option to us.
Front seats provide a blend of comfort, snug fit and firm lateral support, crucial in sporty driving. Cooled and heated seats work quickly and effectively and provide welcome relief from extreme temperatures. In the rear, legroom is adequate for average-sized adults, although taller passengers will feel cramped, especially in the coupe, which offers less headroom than the convertible with the top up. On the latter model, lowering the soft top takes about 20 seconds, and raising it takes a tad longer.
Trunk space measures 16.2 cubic feet in the coupe and a surprisingly roomy 12.3 cubic feet in the convertible (10.6 with the top down). Both versions have pass-through openings for long items.
A new rear-wheel drive architecture, heavily composed of aluminum, makes for a chassis that BMW says is 50-percent stiffer than the previous 6 Series. While navigating the 650i Coupe through quick left-right chicanes on the less-traveled roads of Northern California, our closed-topped 6 Series felt balanced and composed despite its size, leaving us less likely to relegate this car to freeway cruising than we would its heavier, topless sibling. Power delivery is immediate and enthusiastic, without a hint of delayed-reaction turbo lag.
Ride stiffness and steering response can be adjusted by selecting one of four settings: Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport-Plus. The Normal setting delivers a balance of alert steering feel and shock-absorber damping ideal for everyday driving. The Sport setting immediately elevates and stiffens the steering feel and hardens the ride quality for heightened road feel in more vigorous driving. It also increases the 650i throttle mapping to provide more a more directly responsive gas pedal.
Sport-Plus goes a step further, partially reducing the amount of automatic stability control and allowing aggressive cornering of the sort expected on a racetrack. BMW offers optional rear-wheel steer, which helps in parking and supports vigorous cornering. And in a nod to performance as theater, in both Sport and Sport-Plus modes, a tiny spritz of fuel is shot into the exhaust, which produces a race car-like boom with each paddle shift.
In Comfort mode, the 650i forsakes sharp BMW driving dynamics for a soft, floaty ride, numb road feel and elastic steering. While this might be fine for long-term leisurely cruising on the Interstate, it seems strangely out of place coming from a car company so keen on performance.
The 8-speed automatic transmission exhibits fast, almost imperceptible shifting, and delivers peak fuel efficiency. No small issue. This heavy car's fuel is in the Gas Guzzler territory and may incur $1000 or so in federal tax.
The 6 Series brakes have their work cut out for them hauling this two and a quarter-ton beast to a stop. But BMW has provided massive 13.77-in. and 13.6-in. discs front and rear. The brakes also come into play in the electronic stability control system, braking individual wheels to balance the car and eliminate wheel slip. In emergency stops, full brake pressure is applied automatically, and there is a provision for automatically drying the brakes in wet driving. Finally, 650i brakes have a regenerative feature which captures electric energy during braking and transfers it to the battery, reducing alternator drag.
The BMW 650i has a full inventory of safety provisions: lane-departure warning, active blind spot detection, rear- and top-view cameras, automatic high beams, parking assistant and a full-color head-up windshield display, with optional night vision, pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control, which monitors and adjusts the interval between you and cars ahead. For those who would rather rely on their wits as opposed to myriad computer systems to drive, some of these gadgets can be left off the option list, or turned off.
The 2012 BMW 650i is a car to be seen in. It has big-bucks clout and motive power to back it up. Beneath the glamour, this is an acutely engineered car that delivers high levels of safety, occupant comfort and driving pleasure.
NewCarTestDrive.com correspondent Ted West reported on the 650i Convertible from upstate New York; Laura Burstein reported on the 650i Coupe from Northern California.
BMW 650i Coupe ($83,000); 650i Convertible ($90,500).
Options As Tested
20-inch wheels and performance tires ($1,300); Cold Weather Package ($750); Driver Assistance Package ($3,900) includes side-view camera, top-view camera, parking assistant, head-up display, automatic high beams, Lane Departure Warning, Active Blind Spot Detection; Luxury Seating Package ($1,500) with active front seats, ventilated front seats; Premium Sound System ($1,800); Integral Active Steering ($1,750).
BMW 650i Convertible ($90,500).The BMW 650i delivers stellar performance, refined handling and the unique combination of elegance and sportiness that defines BMW. After a one-year hiatus, the 650i returns with revised styling, enhanced power and available all-wheel drive. Available as a coupe or convertible in both rear- and all-wheel drive configurations, the 650i and 650i xDrive boast a new 400-hp 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with direct fuel injection; available transmissions include a six-speed manual or a new eight-speed Sport automatic with manual mode and shift paddles. The 650i is equipped with a sport-tuned suspension, Dynamic Driving Control, 19-inch aluminum wheels, adaptive bi-xenon headlights and Comfort Access keyless entry/start. Inside its lush cabin, the 650i provides seating for four, with high-quality leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control and genuine wood trim. A voice-activated hard drive-based navigation system, including 12 gigabytes of dedicated media storage, HD radio and Bluetooth wireless connectivity are also standard. Safety features include anti-lock brakes, electronic stability and traction control, front and rear parking sensors with rearview camera, active anti-whiplash front head restraints and up to eight airbags. A Driver Assistance Package is offered, providing more advanced systems such as lane-departure warning, blind spot detection, head-up display and an automated parking assistant. The 650i can also be outfitted with active cruise control and night vision, while progressive new options for 2012 include full LED lights and Integral Active Steering. The BMW 650i is completely redesigned for 2012. Updates for the new generation include a 400-hp twin-turbo V8, 8-speed automatic transmission, 19-inch aluminum wheels, LED fog lights and multi-contour front comfort seats. The M Sport Package will also be available, and a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system is offered for the first time on any BMW. Additionally, two new all-wheel drive models have been added to the lineup.