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2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe Verdict

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/28/2014 Rory Jurnecka, Motor Trend Staff
2013 BMW 650i GranCoupe© Provided by MotorTrend 2013 BMW 650i GranCoupe

In long-term car loans, as in life, the adage holds true that all good things must ultimately come to an end. So it was, as BMW's representative showed up at MT headquarters and politely asked that the key for my 650i Gran Coupe (and the car itself, of course) be relinquished. Bummer.

2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe© Provided by MotorTrend 2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe

One last glance at the Gran Coupe's odometer reveals a total of 17,398 miles -- miles spent on the 405 freeway in sludgy commuter traffic; on the 10 freeway heading east to the red rocks of Arizona; on Hwy 1, heading north towards the gorgeous coastal locales of Monterey and San Francisco; and even on the Streets of Willow race track at Willow Springs Raceway.

2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe© Provided by MotorTrend 2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe

Through it all, the Space Gray Metallic (a fantastic paint name) BMW and its twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 proved to be quite a workhorse. I suffered zero reliability problems with the Gran Coupe and its 15,000-mile service didn't cost me a dime under BMW's free factory-scheduled maintenance program (4 years/50,000 miles). A couple caveats: the engine can idle roughly at times and even though the twin turbochargers work to reduce lag to virtually nothing, the drive-by-wire throttle hesitates slightly off the line. It's only a split-second, but it's enough to be irritating, especially when jumping off a side street onto a busy boulevard (or powering out of the bowl at Streets of Willow). The turbos also like oil, said my dealer's service representative. That was said to explain the 5 quarts of Castrol 0W-30 synthetic that editor-at-large Angus MacKenzie and I added over the first 15,000 miles. We're not so sure that kind of oil consumption can ever be considered "normal," but the dealer has tried to assure us it is. A quick search of BMW online forums reveals other owners with similar consumption.

The Gran Coupe wasn't just thirsty for oil, it was also thirsty for gas. Our calculated average fuel consumption was 17.4 mpg – a tick under the EPA's 19 mpg combined rating, though this particular GC saw much more city commuting than it did open highways. With that taken into account, we'd say the car lived up to expectations. In any event, sport sedans this quick don't come without penalties at the pump.

Arguably, the Gran Coupe shines brightest when it's out on the open highway, eating up miles at low rpm, but high speed. With the car in its Comfort setting, the car is quiet, relaxed and totally composed. And a quick couple taps on the 8-speed automatic's left paddle instantly brings the revs up to make lightning-fast work of slow-moving traffic. On the track, the mighty BMW is rock-solid at over triple-digit speeds and with stability control in Dynamic mode, allows its tail to slip just wide enough to be playful under a trailing throttle. The exhaust note and braaap! under full-throttle shifts is subtly aggressive too, suiting the sport-luxe niche perfectly.

Around town, the 650i is comfortable too, but being a longer car, it does take a little extra care maneuvering in tight parking lots and crowded city streets. The M-package on my car ($4400) looks great with its sport steering wheel, exterior aero enhancements and LED fog lights, but skip the 20" wheels and performance tires (an extra $1300 with the M-pack) if the roads in your area aren't so good. The micro-thin 30- and 35-profile sidewalls can be harsh over more than minor road imperfections.

The 650i's interior is as beautiful to look at as it is comfortable to be in, with Vermillion Red Nappa leather seating surfaces and brushed aluminum-look trim. The rear seat was also perfectly comfortable for average-to-taller adults for jaunts around town. Folks under 6 feet should have no trouble getting comfortable for even longer hauls. At a stoplight in Arizona, the driver of a Porsche 911 GT3 who had ripped past a moment before yelled, "That car is GORGEOUS! I love it!" He declined my offer to trade. The interior showed virtually no wear after nearly 18,000 miles, a good sign for long-term durability.

All in all, the 650i Gran Coupe is a special car that is bound to be enjoyed by those privileged enough to afford it. Some may complain that the car is a 5 Series in wolf's clothing, but the overall experience is totally different. Whether that difference is worth the extra cost is something buyers will have to decide for themselves.

More on our long-term 2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe:


Our Car
SERVICE LIFE14 mo / 17,398 mi
BASE PRICE$88,095
OPTIONSM Sport Package ($5700: 20-in wheels, M bodywork), Premium Sound Package ($4650: Bang & Olufsen sound system, satellite radio), Driver Assistance Package ($3800: lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring), Luxury Seating Package ($2400: active front seats, 4-zone climate control), Adaptive Drive w/ Active Roll Stabilization ($2500), Active Cruise Control ($2400), LED headlights ($1900), ceramic-finish controls ($650), front seat warmers ($500), BMW Apps ($250)
PRICE AS TESTED$112,845
AVG ECON/CO217.4 mpg / 1.11 lb/mi
PROBLEM AREASNone
MAINTENANCE COST$0 (oil change, inspection)
NORMAL-WEAR COST$0
3-YEAR RESIDUAL VALUE*$47,395
RECALLSNone
*Automotive Lease Guide data


116.9 in116.9 in

2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe
POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUTFront-engine, RWD
ENGINE TYPETwin-turbo 90-deg V-8, aluminum block/heads
VALVETRAINDOHC, 4 valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT268.2 cu in/4395 cc
COMPRESSION RATIO10.0:1
POWER (SAE NET)445 hp @ 5500 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET)480 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm
REDLINE7000 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER9.9 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION8-speed automatic
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO2.81:1/1.88:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REARControl arms, coil springs, adj shocks, adj anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, adj shocks, adj anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO18.0:1
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK3.0
BRAKES, F;R13.7-in vented disc; 13.6-in vented disc, ABS
WHEELS, F;R8.5 x 20-in; 9.0 x 20-in cast aluminum
TIRES, F;R245/35R20 95Y; 275/30R20 97Y Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT DSST
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE116.9 in
TRACK, F/R63.2/65.8 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT197.2 x 74.6 x 54.8 in
TURNING CIRCLE39.2 ft
CURB WEIGHT4417 lb
WEIGHT DIST., F/R52/48%
SEATING CAPACITY5
HEADROOM, F/R40.6/37.0 in
LEGROOM, F/R42.1/35.3 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R56.7/54.6 in
CARGO VOLUME13.0 cu ft
TEST DATA
ACCELERATION TO MPH
0-30 1.8 sec
0-402.6
0-503.5
0-604.6
0-705.8
0-807.2
0-908.9
0-10010.8
PASSING, 45-65 MPH2.2
QUARTER MILE13.0 sec @ 109.4 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH108 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION0.92 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT25.5 sec @ 0.77 g (avg)
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH1500 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROLYes/yes
AIRBAGSFront, front side, f/r curtain, front knee
BASIC WARRANTY4 yrs/50,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY4 yrs/50,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE4 yrs/unlimited miles
FUEL CAPACITY18.5 gal
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON17/25/19 mpg
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY/COMB198/135/170 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMBINED0.98 lb/mile
RECOMMENDED FUELUnleaded premium

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