2014 BMW 640i Gran Coupe has better fuel mileage
than many of its competitors, though it requires
many ways are there to make a BLT sandwich? How many
different varieties of lettuce do you have to offer? If
you asked BMW product planning executives, I suspect
they’d check the commissary menu at Mercedes-Benz and
say, "One more than they do."
one-upmanship is the best explanation for a
proliferating BMW model line that now includes the
three-star 2014 640i xDrive Gran coupe. Unpacking that
mouthful of a name, the car is one of BMW’s midsize
5/6-series models: powered by a 3.0-liter straight-six
turbo; all-wheel-drive; four doors; holds four
passengers and looks a bit sportier than the 540i sedan,
but less so than the 640i coupe.
you like iceberg or romaine on that? Arugula? Radicchio?
How about kale? I hear Mercedes has kale.
a car company slices its model line into servings that
thin, it’s tough to create compelling reasons to
choose one car over another.
the first challenge facing the 640i xDrive Gran Coupe.
It shares most of its features with BMW’s 5-series
sport sedan, 5 Gran Turismo hatchback and 6-series
coupe, so some sibling rivalry on the showroom floor is
second and greater challenge is that the 640i Gran Coupe
competes with a lot of excellent cars from other luxury
brands. The pack starts includes low-slung design
exercises like the Audi A7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS and
more conventionally proportioned sport sedans such as
the Cadillac CTS, Infiniti Q70, Jaguar XF and Lexus GS
for the 6-series Gran Coupe start at $77,600 for a
315-horsepower, 3.0-liter, rear-wheel-drive 640i. An
eight-speed automatic transmission is standard on all
models. Adding all-wheel-drive raises the price to
$80,600. The 650i Gran Coupe with a twin-turbo
445-horsepower, 4.4-liter V-8 goes for $88,900 for
rear-drive and $91,900 with AWD.
640i xDrive Gran coupe I tested stickered at $88,750.
Its features included front and rear parking sensors,
navigation, Bluetooth phone and audio, a sun roof and
heated front and rear seats.
at the expensive end of the spectrum versus the
competition, but it lacked some features found on less
expensive cars, like blind-spot alert and cooled seats.
a striking vehicle, with a long hood and wide stance.
Its low roofline takes a toll on rear passenger space
and creates narrow rear door openings for awkward entry.
The trunk has plenty of room and a reasonably wide
front seat is accommodating, with useful cupholders,
storage space in the center console and map pockets. The
interior of my car featured two-tone leather, black wood
and understated bright work.
gauges are big and simple. BMW’s iDrive rotary
controller continues to improve, though I still think a
good touch screen is more intuitive. The gaps between
the trim on the inside of the doors and the A-pillars
were wider than they should be in a luxury car.
decades, BMW’s engines whipped the competition, but
other leading luxury brands have caught up. The 3.0L is
beginning to feel a bit timeworn. Its horsepower is
mid-pack, though lavish torque at low engine speed
remains a strength. The eight-speed transmission is
quick and smooth and helps deliver class-leading fuel
640i xDrive Gran Sport scored 19 miles per gallon in the
city, 29 highway and 23 combined in EPA tests. It beats
the competition by 2-4 mpg, although the Cadillac CTS’
taste for regular gas means it matches the Gran coupe
for the lowest annual fuel costs, according to the EPA.
distinctions like that sum up this addition to BMW’s
menu. Good in some ways, average in others. Despite its
visual distinction from BMW’s similar models and
leading competitors, the 640i xDrive Gran coupe is a bit
different, but it’s hard to say it’s better.
would you like endive on that BLT? It’ll cost you.
BMW 640I XDRIVE GRAN COUPE:
of vehicle: All-wheel-drive four-passenger sport sedan
Three out of four stars
to buy: Looks, handling, fuel economy.
Price; rear passenger space; no blind-spot alert;
3.0-liter turbocharged 24-valve inline six-cylinder.
315 horsepower at 5,800-6,500 rpm; 330 pound-feet of
torque at 1,400-4,500 rpm
fuel economy rating: 20 mpg city/29 highway/23 combined.
weight: 4,365 lbs.
as tested: $88,750
exclude destination charge.