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Review: The BMW 6 Series GT is one large, luxurious limo - but its looks aren't for everyone

We test drive the diesel version of the BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo.

THE BMW 6 Series GT fills a niche that nobody knew needed filling. BMW is quite good at that.

The 6 Series GT is basically the second-generation 5 Series GT rebadged as a 6, stretched and made more practical.

It’s the car for those who want to pick and poach the best bits from a variety of BMW models. It’s a car for those who want the comfort of a 7 Series, the looks of a 5 Series, the practicality of a Touring model and the higher driving position of an SUV.

Combining all these things has created a five-metre long, 1.9-metre wide, four-door road barge with a coupe-style sloping roofline and practical hatchback boot.

Source: Shane O'Donoghue

Its looks are, em, well, they haven’t been warmly received, that’s for sure. As looks are subjective, I won’t dwell on them too long but I have to say, it doesn’t look that elegant and even the large 20-inch wheels of my test car look small under those arches.

Thankfully the car’s interior scores better. The fit and finish are excellent and the materials used are really lovely to the touch.

Source: Shane O'Donoghue

However, what it does have in abundance are useful, practical tech features such as the excellent BMW iDrive interface including a 10.25-inch touchscreen, voice control, gesture control, enhanced Bluetooth with wireless charging and a Head-Up Display. In fact, the features and convenient set up of the cabin make driving very relaxing, safe and pleasurable.

Adding to the relaxing feel are very supportive and comfortable heated massage seats and plenty of sound deadening that blocks out most road, wind, engine and tyre noise. The cabin is positively cocoon-like.

Source: Shane O'Donoghue

It’s even better for those in the back who get to watch TV (optional) and lounge in reclining seats and enjoy plenty of leg and shoulder room. Only the tallest of passengers (over six feet) will feel the sloping roofline impinging on headroom.

As for the boot? Well, this is a big draw over the 5 Series models. The largest 5 Series offers 570 litres of boot space (or 1,700 litres with the rear seats folded) but the 6 Series GT has 610 litres, which expands to 1,800 litres with the rear seats tumbled. The only downside is that the sloping roof line makes the boot shape a little less practical than that of a Touring model. As a further comparison, the Mercedes E-Class Estate has 640 litres of boot space, expanding to 1,820 litres with the seats folded.

Source: Shane O'Donoghue

My test car was the 630d M Sport model powered by a 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine making 265hp and 620Nm of torque and mated to an eight-speed Steptronic transmission.

The six-cylinder engine is very refined and smooth and sounds great when you rev it. It’s also pretty economical with a claimed fuel economy figure of 5.3 litres/100km (53.3mpg) and CO2 emissions are a reasonable 139g/km (Band B2, €280 per annum).

Out on the motorway the 630d GT is a supremely refined cruiser. It’s a wonderful car for long motorway drives.

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Source: Shane O'Donoghue

On twisty country roads, it feels less at home and there is a bit of body roll and lean. Grip is good, even on this rear-wheel drive model but the car feels its size. It feels large and heavy and the steering doesn’t feel particularly sharp. On the plus side, you do sit quite high in the 6 GT so you have a confident, commanding view of the road ahead.

Around town, the parking assist camera was much appreciated but surprisingly, given its size it was easy to manoeuvre and park. Finding a parking space into which it fit was another matter and I didn’t have the nerve to bring it into a multi-storey carpark.

Overall, the 6 Series GT is at home out on the motorway and can cope well in towns and cities – it just doesn’t feel that well suited to the windy, narrow country roads.

Source: Shane O'Donoghue

The BMW 6 Series GT starts at €74,394 but the option list is extensive and the price can quickly rise. My test car had over €15,000 worth of extras. The one package that I do think is worth forking out for is the Technology Package priced at €2,185. This adds the head-up display, display key, enhanced Bluetooth with wireless charging and BMW Gesture Control. Although, you can just add the gesture control for €269, and I think it is worth it.

Would I have this car over a 5 Series Touring? No, I think the Touring handles better. Would I have it over a Mercedes E-Class Estate? No, the Mercedes, in my opinion, has a better interior and ride quality. However, if I really wanted a spacious 7 Series, but just couldn’t afford it, and need more room than the 5 Series offers, I would opt for the 6 Series GT.

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About the author:

Melanie May  / https://www.melaniemay.com

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