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BMW 6-Series Coupe engines, drive and performance

2004 - 2010 (change model)
Performance rating: 4.5 out of 54.5

Written by David Ross Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

Early cars were offered with just one engine, a 4.4 V8 (645i) with 333bhp and a 0-62mph time of just 5.6 seconds. Not only does it sound wonderful but the power delivery is effortless, with acceleration throughout the rev range. Late 2004 saw the arrival of the six-cylinder 3.0 V6 (630i) – it’s not as potent as the 4.4 V8, but still quick and you expect to see 62mph in 6.3 seconds.

In autumn 2005, the 4.4 V8 was replaced with a 4.8 V8 (650i). It’s fantastically smooth, a joy to drive and offers similar performance to the 4.4 V8. In late 2007 the 6-series received a minor facelift and a new addition to the line-up – the 635d. This sole diesel option is a fraction quicker than the 630i (0-62mph in 6.3 seconds) and slightly more frugal with a claimed average of 40mpg.

It offers huge amounts of low down pulling power and as a result in-gear performance is superb. This blend of real-world performance and affordable running costs makes the 635d the pick of the range.

When it comes to handling, the 6-Series has the agility and poise to back up its sporty styling. All cars come with sports suspension as standard so through twisting routes the 6-Series comes into its own with little body roll, accurate steering and plenty of grip. It’s agile too and deals well with sudden changes of direction, although you’re always aware of the car’s size and mass.

The brakes are superb and buyers can choose the optional Active Steering which makes it sharp for A and B roads but needs smaller inputs on the motorway. Three gearbox options are offered – a standard six-speed manual, the optional Sports Automatic transmission (standard on the 635d) or the excellent sequential manual gearbox, better known as SMG.