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

The $300 BMW Apps Package includes smart phone integration and various apps crafted for motoring, internet radio streaming, and access to Google Maps. The Active LED headlights ($2,900) are a first for BMW. The Night Vision with pedestrian detection ($2,500) seems like a silly gimmick to me, and if I had forked out the additional $5,900 for this Bang & Olufsen audio upgrade, I’d feel a bit shortchanged. Sure, it sounded fine, but nothing spectacular.

But I didn’t, and I won’t, and those who check off option boxes with gleeful abandon at their BMW store are a different breed from your humble scribe.

This is not to say the base 650i doesn’t come with its fair share of kit: active and passive safety systems, iDrive with 3-D navigation, and a massive 10.2-inch screen atop the dash.

What is truly impressive about the 650i xDrive Coupe is the way it swallows up the kilometers in such regal fashion, yet is ready to unleash its power and dynamic discipline at the drop of a hammer… and the push of a couple of buttons. Most of my time was spent in wintry weather, but with xDrive and proper winter tires, this coupe never put a wheel wrong. It will accelerate with eye-widening ferocity even on a snowy road.

Buttons by the electronic shift wand allow you to toggle through four dynamic presets — Comfort+, Comfort (the default setting), Sport and Sport+, each adjusting the parameters of the adaptive suspension, throttle, transmission, steering and traction/stability control.

Even in Sport+, it’s not the most engaging experience as you have somewhat artificial steering and 1,990 kg working against you, but of course big coupes are not supposed to act like sports cars. As an athletic grand tourer, it is mighty impressive.

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

Like the exterior, the cabin exudes timeless elegance with artful design and exquisite detailing. The large sunroof makes the space feel that much more welcoming. While the front seat accommodations are roomy and premium class defined, the two rear perches are barely usable. The seats themselves are beautifully upholstered and contoured, but sadly there is almost no legroom with the front seats adjusted for average height humans. The trunk, at 460L, will hold two sets of golf clubs or enough luggage for your weekend getaway.

I saw 12.4 L/100 km after a few days of mixed and fairly relaxed driving. Transport Canada figures are 13.5 L/100 km city and 8.3 L/100 km highway, but fuel economy for the 650i will likely be of little concern to its owner.

Big, bold, fast, and bloody expensive, the 2012 BMW 650i xDrive Coupe is the very definition of a gentleman’s luxury two-door. It need make no apologies for its woeful back seats, formidable mass, and land-yacht length. Love it for what it is.

Pricing: 2012 BMW 650i xDrive Coupe
  • Base price: $101,500
  • Options: $30,900 (Executive Package $6,900; M Sport Package $3,900; Technology Package $4,000; Premium Seating Package $4,500; Bang and Olufsen audio $5,900; BMW Apps Package $300; Active LED headlights $2,900; Night Vision $2,500)
  • A/C tax: $100
  • Freight: $1,995
  • Price as tested: $134,495

    Specifications
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2012 BMW 6 Series

    Competitors
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2012 Jaguar XK
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

    Crash test results
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)



  • About Peter

    Peter Bleakney is a Toronto-based automotive journalist. He is also a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).