Test Drive: 2012 BMW 650i xDrive car test drives reviews luxury cars bmw
2012 BMW 650i xDrive. Click image to enlarge

Test Drive: 2012 BMW 650i

Manufacturer’s web site
BMW Canada

Review and photos by Greg Wilson

Photo Gallery:
2012 BMW 650i

Frankly, most new cars I test these days don’t get a second look from bystanders and pedestrians, but the carbon black metallic BMW 650i Coupe I drove recently drew admiring glances from a variety of older and younger bystanders. Redesigned for 2012, the new 6 is lower, wider, sleeker, and classier than the previous 6-Series Coupe with a more sophisticated (but slightly menacing) appearance—probably a better fit for well-to-do purchasers of this $100,000+ European grand tourer. There are no changes in the styling for the 2013 model year, but 2013 650i models now include an automatic stop/start feature with Eco Pro driving mode and the latest iDrive software including real-time traffic updates and improved navigation.

Test Drive: 2012 BMW 650i xDrive car test drives reviews luxury cars bmw
2012 BMW 650i xDrive. Click image to enlarge

In Canada, the full-size 6-Series is offered in three body styles: a two-door coupe, two-door convertible (Cabriolet) and the four-door Gran Coupe, all equipped with a standard twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 and eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. (Rear-drive models are also available with a no-charge six-speed manual transmission.) The Coupe comes standard with xDrive (all-wheel drive) while the Cabriolet is offered with both rear-wheel drive and xDrive. The four-door Gran Coupe comes only with xDrive.

Today’s tester is a 2012 650i Coupe xDrive with an MSRP of $101,500, but you can probably get a discount on remaining 2012 models as the price of the incoming 2013 650i Coupe xDrive has dropped to $98,900, reflecting a general trend to lower prices in the luxury car market. Still, BMW’s pricey options can quickly raise the base price by up to thirty percent: our 2012 test car had over $30,000 worth of options plus a $1,995 Freight charge, bringing the as-tested price to a smokin’ $134,495.

Test Drive: 2012 BMW 650i xDrive car test drives reviews luxury cars bmw
2012 BMW 650i xDrive. Click image to enlarge

It’s a lot of money, but I’m guessing the wealthy buyers of a 650i Coupe won’t be worried too much about the price. The 650i Coupe is all about style, luxury, performance—and image. The charismatic 650i Coupe looks expensive and sporty (despite its considerable size) and is likely to be rare in most neighbourhoods, enhancing its exclusivity.

Powered by BMW’s awesome twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 that pumps out 400 hp between 5,500 rpm and 6,400 rpm, and maximum 450 lb-ft of torque from 1,750 rpm to 4,500 rpm, the 650i xDrive Coupe zips from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds, according to BMW’s figures. That’s very quick for a large coupe that weighs 1,990 kg (4,387 lb). All that torque is transmitted through a supremely smooth eight-speed ZF automatic transmission that includes paddle shifters for quick manual shifting. Top gear is a highway gear for cruising and maximizing fuel economy; at 100 km/h the engine turns over just 1,600 rpm. For long road trips on the freeway, it’s an effortless grand tourer.




About Greg Wilson

Greg Wilson is a Vancouver-based automotive journalist and contributor to Autos.ca. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).