Of all the oddballs in BMW’s lineup, the BMW 6 Series GT is among the biggest. Admittedly, its styling is looking more reserved than ever, thanks to BMW’s new fetish for big grilles, but it’s still an odd car. It has a weird shape, isn’t a hatchback but sort of is, wears a “Gran Turismo” badge but isn’t fun to drive and is like a mutant hybrid between a 5 Series Touring and 7 Series sedan. Despite that, in some markets, the 6 Series GT is still very popular. Which is why it’s sticking around.
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According to BMW Design Boss, Adrian van Hooydonk, “appeals strongly in certain regions but doesn’t appeal at all in others”. That last part is easy to believe, as there’s no way a car like the 6 Series GT has broad appeal. It’s such a hyper-specific slice of niche that I’m actually surprised the first part of his sentence is true. Despite my surprise, though, it is true and some markets do really love the 6er GT. So I guess it’s a good thing I’m not in charge of BMW.
Autocar reckons that the BMW 6 Series GT is popular in China and we know it’s relatively popular in the United States, as we sell it here but not the 5 Series Touring. Most normal countries, filled with sane people, would choose the 5 Series Touring instead. Not us, though, and not China.
When I drove a 6er last, I remember thinking that it felt so unlike a BMW should. Sure, it rides beautifully, it’s comfortable and accommodating and has a ton of practicality. But that’s not what BMW is about. The 6 Series GT would make a wonderful Mercedes-Benz, not a BMW. BMWs are supposed to be small-ish, sporty and fun to drive. The 6er isn’t. It’s a posh, luxury boat that can carry five people and a ton of luggage.