Formerly the 5 Series GT, the 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo gets a new name, bigger body, and higher price tag.
Step into a BMW dealership, or even browse their website, and you’ll notice there are several models to choose from. BMW’s lineup goes well beyond just offering standard sedans and crossovers. There are also coupes, then “Gran Coupes”, which are four-door versions. Then there are the coupe-like crossovers such as the X2, X4 and X6. Just when you think they’ve explored every avenue, BMW brings out a new model to fill whatever small gap is left in the market. As a result, we have this: the 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo. It’s based on the 5 Series sedan and it looks (at least in passing) like a crossover. It’s not quite a wagon, though – but it’s the closest we can get, since BMW doesn’t sell the 5 Series Touring here.
Rebranded to replace the outgoing 5 Series GT, this model has moved upmarket for the 2018 model year, with prices starting at $71,400 including destination charges. That makes it considerably more expensive than the car on which its based, but does that mean it’s better?
Comfort and Convenience Features
You’d expect the 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo to be an absolute tech fest, and you’d be right. Even from the first time you approach the car, its adaptive LED lights give the impression of a thoroughly modern car. Not only that, but the 6 Series GT also has an electronic spoiler on the back that you can raise and lower at your whim. Get inside the car, and you’re beset on all sides with waves of buttons and switches to control every aspect of your driving experience. The all-digital instrument cluster and head-up display are nice touches as well, although the latter is only available as part of the $2,100 Executive Package.
The powered sport seats, despite their name, are still reasonably comfortable. After a few adjustments, including the bolstering, you can get down to the job of figuring out the rest of the car’s settings. The iDrive system lets you control media, navigation, communication and vehicle settings through a 10.2-inch touchscreen display. It’s reasonably intuitive, although with the sheer variety of settings, it can be a bit confusing to navigate at first. However, all is forgiven once you get into the stereo controls.
Gesture control makes you feel a bit like you’re in the future
Not only does the 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo support Apple CarPlay, but it also includes Gesture Control as part of the above mentioned Executive Package. Wave your fingers in various configurations in front of the screen, and you can control the volume, change tracks, and control other features. When you’re on the move or don’t want to use the buttons to control the stereo, it’s a nice feature to use. That’s not where the technology ends, either. You still get the usual wave of safety features – lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring and the like – as well as a Surround View 360-degree camera system.
Let’s not forget this is a hatchback, either. At the end of the day, having up to 65.0 cubic feet of space with the seats folded – to the 5 Series’ 18.7 cubic foot trunk – makes the 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo exactly 3-1/2 times more practical than its sedan cousin.
Fortunately, the 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo has some grunt to back up its mass. Under the hood, there’s a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine, an engine ubiquitous throughout BMW’s lineup. In this application, it makes 335 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. BMW claims that level of power is good for a 0-60 run in 5.1 seconds, and that doesn’t seem too ambitious a claim. Once it gets going, the 640i xDrive GT does feel like it has a good amount of grunt. To really get it going, you have to be in Sport mode, however. Switching over to the Sport drive mode sharpens everything up to the point where you don’t really notice the turbo lag. Any other setting, and there’s a noticeable pause between putting your foot down and feeling the car take off.
Even in sport mode, the 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo has a fairly compliant ride. Thanks to run flat tires and air suspension courtesy of the $4,100 Dynamic Handling Package, the ride’s firm, but it’s nothing unbearable. The car also holds on well in the corners, regardless of the drive mode. In Comfort or Comfort Plus settings, the ride is supple and the 640i becomes a remarkable long-distance cruiser. The steering is weighty, and it does feels rock solid as you head down the road. No jolts, no bangs, no annoying vibrations. In fact, there wasn’t really much tactile feedback through the wheel. With Integral Active Steering (again, part of the Dynamic Handling Package), your steering input gets routed through a variable-ratio rack with varying power assistance. While it feels solid, it doesn’t feel natural or nuanced, as you’d expect from an Ultimate Driving Machine.
Is it exciting, though?
The 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo didn’t even return horrendous fuel economy, either, given its two-ton mass. Its EPA combined figure stands at 23 MPG, and we actually averaged 24 MPG over our week with the car. You could probably hit a better target in Eco Pro mode, but that does tend to dull the overall driving experience. While there weren’t any major problems with the car’s dynamic abilities, it didn’t feel particularly special either. The car does everything well, but nothing exceptionally.
The 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo is perfectly capable as a family shuttle, and the hatchback gives it a practical edge. However, despite its distinctive styling and extra space, this is one of the least dynamically exciting BMW models. It sits as a niche vehicle in the brand’s expansive array of models. It’s a versatile choice, but its contentious styling and high starting price of $71,400 make it hard to justify against long-standing models like the traditional 5 Series, or even the X6 crossover.
While the 640i Gran Turismo kicks off at $71,400, optional equipment bumped the price up quickly. Options including the $1,700 Driving Assistance Plus package, the $4,100 Dynamic Handling Package, the $1,200 M Sport Package – which fitted special wheels, trim, and an aerodynamic kit – the $2,150 Executive Package and other equipment, the price crept up toward $80,000. The Executive Package includes the 360-degree camera system, gesture control, and automatic soft-closing doors. Extras like the heated steering wheel ($190), heated frnot and rear seats ($350) and the Harman Kardon audio system ($875) knocked the final price up to $84,010.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo
|Price as Tested:||$84,010|
|Engine:||3.0-liter turbocharged I-6|
|Drivetrain (Layout):||Front engine, all-wheel drive|
|Horsepower:||335 hp @ 5,500 – 6,500 RPM|
|Torque:||332 lb-ft @ 1,380 – 5,200 RPM|
|0-60 Acceleration:||5.1 seconds (est.)|
|Top Speed:||130 mph (155 mph optional)|
|Tires:||Michelin Primacy MXM4 ZP P245/45 R19 102V Run Flat|
|Fuel capacity:||18.0 gallons|
|Fuel economy (EPA):||20 City/28 Highway/23 Combined MPG|
|Cargo Capacity:||31.0 cubic feet (seats up) – 65.0 cubic feet (seats folded)|
|Turning Circle:||41.0 feet|
|Curb Weight:||4,409 pounds|