The wow factor of our test car's looks, from the semigloss paint job to the interior, dazzled every editor who sat in it. The seats are comfortable (even in back), there's a ton of tech and every surface felt darn good to the touch.
The big question is whether this car would wow anyone in its basic black configuration at its starting price. My guess is no.
But add white leather seats with brown stitching, a brown Alcantara headliner and white ash wood trim, and you have a car just this side of pro-athlete customizing. (Sort of like that, but tasteful.) The white ash wood trim — a gloss-white answer to the popular piano-black — was likely the tipping point for me in terms of making the interior truly unique versus the competition, especially because it covered the center console.
My test car was equipped with a $3,700 Bang & Olufsen sound system with a center dash-mounted speaker that raised up when the system was powered on. It's similar to the Bang & Olufsen system in Audi's A8 that has two tweeters raise up from the dash.
The systems offer similar sound quality, but BMW's is a bargain compared with Audi's, which costs $6,300.
You sit low in the Gran Coupe because it's based on the 6 Series two-door coupe, not the 7 Series. The upgraded seats are comfortable on long rides. Otherwise, the dash and interior up front is similar to the rest of the 6 Series lineup.
The backseat is a different story.
There is a surprising amount of knee room with the driver's seat adjusted for my 5-foot-10 frame, but anyone larger might impose upon the comfort of rear passengers. It's similar to the space in the Mercedes CLS I tested last year, but, unlike that car, there's an actual seat in the middle for a fifth passenger. Could any human actually sit there and stretch his or her legs over the large center floor hump in anything resembling comfort? Doubtful. So there's no advantage in my mind versus the CLS' setup.
The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe has not been crash-tested by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
There are a number of standard safety features you can find here, as well as an optional Driver Assistance Package ($3,800) that includes lane departure warning and a blind spot warning system. That package also includes a head-up display, which BMW executes extremely well.
BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe in the Market
There is essentially just one shopper for the Gran Coupe: The 7 Series owner who doesn't need room in the backseat.
Performance fans have a better option in the Panamera, and if comfort is of importance, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is an ideal pick.
BMW's hope is that its Gran Coupe can play in the middle of that spectrum by wowing consumers with its looks.
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