2010 BMW 6-Series, Luxury Cruisers with Appealing Power

Like many cars in the upper-range of the luxury class, the 2010 BMW 6-Series suffers from the criticism that it’s not a sports car. On one level of performance evaluation, that’s true, but this is hardly a car you’d kick out of your garage. The engine is plenty powerful for most mere mortals — a 4.8-liter V8 with 360 hp at 6,300 rpm and 360 lb. ft. of torque. (Let’s face it, any car that tops out at 150 mph and jumps from 0 to 60 in 5.3 seconds is not a dog.)

The handling and steering are smooth as silk, with a six-speed manual transmission with Dynamic Driving Control standard. (A sport automatic with shift paddles is available at no extra cost.) J.D. Power and Associates awarded the 2010 6-Series a 7 out of 10 for reliability based on data collected on quality and dependability over a three-year period. Most cars at this price point aren’t crash tested. The presumption is that a car that lists in an MSRP range of $78,450 to $85,550 is going to be safe and certainly the 6-Series has all the necessary safety equipment — dual-stage front and side airbags, dynamic stability, and traction control.

Some test drivers have complained about visibility issues and complaints about the cramped backseat are more or less universal. Overall, however, the interior is well in keeping with the high standards of super luxury European cars. The standard audio system pumps through eight speakers and the navigation features voice feedback, voice command, and real time traffic information. The iDrive multimedia system gets mixed reviews — judged by some as intuitive, by others as overly complicated.

There are two body styles, the 650i Coupe and the 650i Convertible. The latter has a unique soft top and the glass widow between the aft pillars raises and lower independent of the roof. The 650i is the only convertible on the market with that feature. The 6-Series has a four-year/50,000 mile limited warranty with four years of unlimited 24-hour roadside service. Fuel economy averages 15 mpg city and 22 highway.

Regardless of the grumbles of some reviewers that the 6 Series lacks a sporty note, these are beautiful cruisers an more than enough sex appeal to rank as status symbols. You’ll get a pleasing engine note, interior comfort and quiet, solid handling, and smooth steering. All in all, a winner in its genre and well worth the look for people who can afford the considerable sticker shock.

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