Back in August, BMWBLOG reviewed the all-new 2012 BMW 650i Coupe. Through the back roads from Pebble Beach to San Francisco, we put the new 6er Coupe through some intensive driving and it has not disappointed. But not only the driving dynamics impressed us, we quickly fell in love with the sporty and fluid design, as well as with the high-fidelity Bang & Olufsen audio system.
Without any further ado, let’s find out what Car and Driver thinks of the premium coupe. And yes, they had the same complaint as us: electric power-steering and its lack of feedback and engagement.
How Does It Drive?
Like a big teddy bear or angry grizzly; the choice between ease and evil is yours. Toggle the Driving Dynamics Control button through Comfort+, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ settings and the car will grant your wish. In the Comfort modes, the suspension, throttle, transmission program, and steering are relaxed enough for country clubbers, while the Sport selections tighten those same elements, granting the 650i a surprisingly athletic feel. And when we say “athletic,” we aren’t talking amateur status.
We must fault the electric power-steering system for its lack of feedback, but there’s no denying the car’s capabilities. On the skidpad, the tail-happy coupe achieved a commendable 0.93 g of stick and demonstrated excellent body control. Its Dunlop SP SportMax tires also contributed to an outstanding performance in the 70–0 mph braking exercise, stopping the beefy Bimmer in just 158 feet. The brake pedal offered good feedback, and the binders showed no signs of fade. Five back-to-back stops only varied by four feet. Those numbers are reassuring when you’re driving something that’ll hit 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds, 100 mph in 10.4 clicks, and cover a quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds at 112 mph.
How Does It Stack Up?
In the big-luxury-coupe corner, there aren’t many contenders these days and the bag is a bit mixed. The Jaguar XK starts at about the same price as the 650i, and it, too, offers desirable sheetmetal, a well-appointed interior, and a similar luxury/sport ride-and-handling combo. But the 6-series betters the XK at almost every mark in the performance ring, has a usable back seat—it’s still cramped for full-size adults—a superior interior layout, and a more intuitive infotainment system. Then there’s the Mercedes-Benz CL550, which is only available with all-wheel drive, an option on the 650. While the CL550 is even larger, more powerful, and quicker in a straight line than the 6er, the additional size and slight performance advantage comes at a steep cost. The CL starts at just under $115K compared to the 650i’s $83,875 base. But, if back-seat comfort is a priority, the CL trumps the 6 hands-down.”