BMW 6 Series: Buying guide

  • Thinking about buying BMW's new 6 Series?
  • Find out the best options and specifications here
  • Avoid heavy depreciation by picking the right car

Buying a brand-new car can be a daunting proposition.

Once you've narrowed your options down to a car that you want to purchase, and have seemingly crossed the biggest hurdle, you're then presented with a host of other decisions.

Do you want the petrol one? No? How about the diesel? Maybe. Do you want this sat-nav system, leather trim or paint finish? Er... dunno.

Picking out the correct options and equipment can be a minefield. The wrong choice, while maybe acceptable to you, can result in you losing more money through depreciation and make your car harder to sell at a later date.

So, we'll take you through what's available and what you should really look out for, in order to help simplify your decisions and purchasing experience.

We're starting off with the BMW 6 Series.

Coupe, convertible or Gran Cabrio?

If you've no desire for a convertible then go for the coupe. Not only is it cheaper to buy, it's also lighter and won't throw up any complicated roof-related issues later in its life.

The Gran Coupe, effectively a four-door version of the coupe, is best suited to those who intend to carry more than one passenger on a regular basis. With its longer wheelbase, it's much more comfortable and spacious. The Gran Coupe is also more practical overall.

Which engine should I go for?

Go for the petrol 640i or the diesel 640d. The range-topping petrol 650i engine is superb but it comes with a substantial price tag and isn't much quicker. It's also a lot most costly to fuel and tax.

If you're doing more than 10,000 miles a year then it's probably best to go for the diesel particularly if you're just sitting on the motorway and commuting. The diesel versions also hold their value better.

The petrol 640i is for buyers with lower annual mileages or for those who are looking for more of a driver's car. If you're considering a convertible, it's probably best to pick the petrol one. With the roof down, the diesel's exhaust note can become intrusive whereas the petrol is much more appropriate for top-down driving.

All 6 Series come with an excellent eight-speed automatic gearbox so no manual gearbox dilemmas then.

So, if you're going for a coupe we'd make a beeline for the diesel 640d. Want a convertible? The best pick's probably the petrol 640i.

SE or M Sport?

Two trim levels are available. SE is the 'entry level' specification, and M Sport the top-level trim. The key differences are sports seats, some cosmetic upgrades and sports suspension.

If you're an enthusiast you'll want to go for the M-badged car, even though it's not a full-on M model. It is pricey but you do get some nice extras. It'll also be sought after on the second-hand market, meaning you shouldn't lose as much through depreciation.

If you just want a 6 Series, however, go with the standard SE. It's still a very comfortable and capable car.

What options do I really need?

The 6 Series comes with plenty of equipment so don't worry about having to load up on options. As standard you get climate control, cruise control, sat-nav, electric heated seats, parking sensors, voice control and a USB connection.

Options you do want are the DAB radio, comfort access kit, the tyre pressure monitoring system and the 'surround-view' camera. These are all relatively inexpensive and make the BMW easier to live with and sell.

A 'Dynamic pack' is available on some models but it's not worth coughing up the extra for. Simply put the money towards options you really want.

BMW's costly extended leather option might appeal but in darker colours its effect is negligible. It's not really worth the near £6,000 premium: just go with a leather trim in a colour you like. Extended leather won't be noticed by most potential buyers, so it won't help preserve the car's residual value either.

Similar applies to the interior dash and inlay trim. Buyers will most likely be looking for the darker, more refined, finishes so don't pick a trim that clashes with the colour of the leather.

Steer clear of the largest 20" alloys because they are more prone to damage, the tyres are considerably more expensive to replace, and they reduce the ride quality.

Is there anything else worth considering?

Certain colours, such as bronze, may be in fashion but could date quickly. Try to avoid anything too vivid or odd.

Parkers Top Tip:

Thinking about buying a car? Check out the Parkers car buyer's toolkit for more advice and information.

For further stories and information on all things BMW, why not download CAR Magazine’s A-Z of BMW in 2012 iPad app. The FREE app can be downloaded from the iTunes store, here