Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4

Should you buy a BMW 8 Series?

If you want a luxurious and accomplished coupe, then yes. We’ve rarely experienced such a broad spread of chassis and drivetrain characteristics before – without overegging it the 8 Series feels like two different cars depending on whether you had it set in Comfort or Sport+.

The term grand tourer has for a while signified a jack-of-all-trades that is neither as comfy as a limo or fun to drive as a sports car – a big coupe hamstrung by compromise and expensive enough to be replaced by two cheaper, more focused cars.

In terms of comfort and refinement, the 8 Series is very impressive indeed; in terms of driving fun, its handling is very impressive on both road and track, although subjectively it’s not as fun or exciting as a more traditional GT such as an Aston Martin. There’s certainly a lot less drama around it compared with something more exotic like a Bentley Continental GT or Aston DB11, too.

That’s one issue we have with the 8 Series. While it’s an impressive and accomplished machine, something very well-engineered, there’s something lacking in drama. It doesn’t feel that special. And when models like the M850i cost north of £100,000, that’s disappointing. There’s no denying its kerb appeal, but draping the familiar interior in leather doesn’t feel like enough to make it feel any more than an expensive 4 Series.

Still, that’s unlikely to put people off, as the 8 Series is a very well-rounded coupe if you can justify its price. We’d even stick with one of the ‘entry’ 840i or 840d models. They suit the car’s wafty and relaxed nature very well indeed, and keep the price at a more reasonable level than the performance-orientated M850i and M8 Competition models.

The M8 Competition, in isolation, is an extremely fast, firm-riding and fun to drive performance coupe. The problem is, with a few choice options added, you can easily reach £140,000 and at this price it’s not enough of a huge leap from the M850i on paper.

The M8 Competition certainly won’t waft away the miles as effectively as a Bentley Continental GT or Mercedes S-Class Coupe, and the torque delivery is no-where near has hard-hitting as the former, but it does feel a little lighter and easier to pilot, if less opulent in the cabin than either. 

If you want a luxurious four-seater coupe, get an S-Class or Continental GT. They simply do this side of things better. If you want a large sporting coupe that’s more practical than the other two-seat offerings from Aston Martin and Porsche, this serves as a capable middle-ground.

2019 BMW 840d rear