Here’s the “Quick Read”: If you love to drive, you’ll love this vehicle.
But let me be a bit more explicit, as, in truth, there are a few hundred vehicles out there today that can bring smiles to the average enthusiast’s face.
So let’s say it this way: If you genuinely appreciate excellent “feel”, handling, acceleration….and I’ve just gotta’ say “feel” again.…and you’ve perhaps reached the age / stage / girth such that you really don’t want to have to carefully fold yourself into a low-slung two-seat exotic…and you value ample room for four or more plus space to toss a trail bike….or heaven forbid, even a wheelbarrow in the back….and you’ve been spoiled just enough to want all the luxury, safety and connectivity that’s available today….then BMW’s 640 GT just might be for you.
Let’s start by getting straight as to what this vehicle is. BMW now has such a varied lineup that it’s easy to be confused. This is not the higher-riding, more bulbous-looking X6 that’s been on the market for several years, but rather, a sleek 4-door fastback, if you will, with a rear hatch that opens up to almost cave-like load space. 65 cu ft with the second row folded.
If you like the look…and that’s not hard to do….BMW also delivers GT’s in their smaller 3 and 4 Series lines as well.
But we got lucky and got to test the new’18 640i, which, in spite of being the largest of the three, is still a delightful vehicle to whip around town and into fairly tight parking spaces.
Part of that “delightful” is a result of our test 640i having virtually every option available. While it may be possible to get into a 640i for under 70 thousand, ours had another 14K in options, but these options really enhance one’s quality of life once inside.
BMW’s $4,100 Dynamic Handling Package contributes hugely to that “whip-around-ability”. One of the package’s features….what BMW calls “Integral Active Steering”…. adds a bit of “turnability” to the rear wheels….turning them in synch with the fronts at high speed for maximum stability….and opposite the fronts at low speeds for in-town maneuverability. It works.
Adding a variety of other packages, we enjoyed heated steering and heated front and rear seating, heads-up displays, 19” alloys, gesture-control, auto-closing doors, surround view, front and rear parking assist, moonroof, wood trim, Harman Kardon sound, Apple CarPlay, and wireless charging to name just a few.
Power comes from a 3.0 liter, 335 HP 6-cylinder running through an 8-speed automatic rated at 20 MPG City and 28 Hwy….figures that we found not only accurate, but pretty impressive for a vehicle with this much muscle.
As with so many vehicles now, you can select not only “Sport” and “Eco” settings, but you can also dial-in specific engine, suspension and steering settings. “Sport”, in my opinion, is redundant, as this vehicle reeks “Sport” in any setting…..standing still, or on the road.
And 50-seconds worth of hands-free driving is available as well, but it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to take their hands off of the wheel of a vehicle this much fun to drive for almost a full minute!
Competition is a little thin in this executive “Coupe” category. Audi’s A7 is probably the 640i xDrive’s closest competitor. I put “Coupe” in quotes because it’s just not proper to call a high-performance / luxury four-door with a rear hatch a “hatchback”…..altho’ that’s exactly what it is.
Both come standard with all-wheel-drive systems that are designed for maximum traction and performance. Of the two, it’s the Beemer that offers a bit more space in the rear.
With sedan sales falling for the last few years, it’s vehicles like this that just might save the species. With the rear hatch and huge luggage space, you get almost all of the utility that an SUV offers….and absolutely all of the performance, feel and handling of a world-class sedan. And that’s a tough combination to beat!