Jun
04
2020 BMW M850i xDrive Gran Coupe

2020 BMW M850i xDrive Gran Coupe in Mineral White Metallic

2015 Audi Q52020 BMW M850i xDrive Gran Coupe

Class: Premium Midsize Car

Miles driven: 220

Fuel used: 12.8 gallons

CG Report Card
Room and ComfortC+
Power and PerformanceA
Fit and FinishA
Fuel EconomyC+
ValueC+
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big GuyB
Tall GuyB
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Drivetrain
Engine Specs523-hp 4.4-liter
Engine TypeTurbo V8
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Drive WheelsAWD

Real-world fuel economy: 17.2 mpg

Driving mix: 55% city, 45% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 17/25/20 (city, highway, combined)

Fuel type: Premium Gas

Base price: $108,900 (not including $995 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: Driving Assistance Package ($1100), Drivers Assistance Pro Package ($1700), Comfort Seating Package ($850), glass controls ($650), Bowers & Wilkins audio system ($3400), M Carbon Exterior Package ($4100)

Price as tested: $121,695

 

Quick Hits

The great: Posh cabin; prodigious power; sexy, coupe-like styling with extra practicality of four doors

The good: Impressive cornering prowess for a “plus-size” midsize luxury sedan; drive-mode settings effectively change vehicle’s driving personality

The not so good: Swoopy roofline cuts into rear-seat headroom; thirsty; sleek styling brings price premium over more-powerful BMW M5

More BMW 8-Series Gran Coupe price and availability information

 

John Biel

Some type of congratulation is due to the luxury-brand manufacturers who have figured out this trick: how to put out 4-door sedans with less of the headroom and, in some cases, less of the passenger capacity that draw people to sedans in the first place but still charge more for them. All it took was calling such a car a “coupe.”

M850i xDrive Gran Coupe

Redesigned and renamed for the 2020 model year, the BMW 8-Series Gran Coupe–actually an extra-sleek 4-door sedan–replaces the 6-Series Gran Coupe in BMW’s model lineup.

Or Gran Coupe, if you’re BMW. Its sleek, style-focused midsize sedan gets a name change and a redesign for 2020, replacing the 6-Series Gran Coupe with the new 8-Series Gran Coupe. It is the final step in the 6-to-8 metamorphosis that began in model-year 2019 with the arrival of 8-Series coupes (real ones, with two doors) and convertibles.

Test Drive: 2020 BMW 840i Coupe

M850i xDrive Gran Coupe

The Gran Coupe’s cabin lives up to its six-figure price point. Our test vehicle was outfitted with an understated Night Blue/Black Merino Leather interior, as well as the $650 glass controls–an indulgent option that adds dazzling real-crystal accents to the engine start/stop button, iDrive control knob, and shift lever.

The 8-Series Gran Coupe comes with a choice of 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine in 840 models or 4.4-liter V8 of ascending power outputs in 850 and M8 models. Only the 840 gives owners the option of rear-wheel or all-wheel drivelines; every other model has standard xDrive AWD. Consumer Guide tested the entry-level V8 job, the M850i, which starts at $109,895 with delivery. That’s $21,100 more than its closest 6-cylinder match, the 840i xDrive—a gap so big that you could parallel park a Chevy Sonic LT hatchback between them and have money left over to feed the meter. For weeks. With options, the test car clocked in at all of $121,695.

It’s possible to buy other—and cheaper—BMW sedans with the same 523-horsepower V8 and xDrive, namely the midsize M550i ($77,645) and large 750i ($103,645). Here’s how the Gran Coupe externally stacks up to those cars (manufacturer-supplied measurements in inches):

Test Drive: 2020 BMW 740i xDrive

8-Series Specs

However, it’s inside where the Gran Coupe feels the pinch from its high-style low-rise roof, and doesn’t seem to benefit from its greater exterior width:

2020 BMW Dimensions

Like all coupe/sedans, the Gran Coupe’s restricted rear headroom is more apparent in person than mere numbers can show. A 6-foot-tall passenger may just fit up to the headliner, and will have to duck to get there. That said, folks who do fit will find relaxed legroom. This Bimmer has thick B- and C-pillars and low windows, especially in the rear doors, that restrict driver vision to the sides and rear corners. It also has a stylish console that extends to the rear that locks this sizeable 4-door car into being a 4-seater. Any buyer who requires 5-passenger flexibility is just going to have to be prepared to spend less.

Quick Spin: 2019 Lexus LC 500

M850i xDrive Gran Coupe

There’s an adequate 15.5 cubic feet of space in the 8-Series Gran Coupe’s trunk–0.7 cu. ft. more than the 2-door 8-Series Coupe.

The sacrifices the M850i Gran Coupe asks in conventional sedan room are compensated by luxurious appointments and highly enjoyable performance. Standard Merino-leather seats are comfortable and supportive—all the more so up front with cushion extenders. The base price also includes heated and ventilated front seats, plus a heated steering wheel and door armrests. There’s a panoramic moonroof and a power rear-window shade. “Live Cockpit Professional” provides drivers with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch central display for the iDrive 7.0 infotainment system, including navigation. Operation is by voice, touchscreen contact, or somewhat-complicated remote control from a dial on the console. Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility, wireless charging, and a Wi-Fi hotspot are included, too. The climate system is 4-zone, with rear-passenger controls (including optional seat heaters) in the console.

The M prefix means the 850i Gran Coupe has M Sport equipment for a milder taste of the full M-vehicle treatment by BMW’s performance-development division. That includes specific 20-inch alloy wheels, an adaptive suspension with active roll stabilization, M Sport differential and ventilated 4-wheel disc brakes, rear spoiler, and leather-wrapped M Sport multifunction steering wheel. The smooth luxury-car ride in base “Comfort” mode feels much firmer after clicking into a “Sport” setting—and may not be the preferred choice for a steady diet of distressed pavement. On the highway, though, the car feels purposefully planted. Steering resistance increases, too, for a heightened sense of precision. “Integral Active Steering” with rear-wheel steering comes with xDrive. It helps to make the sizeable sedan nimbler in cornering, which the car does with admirable control of body lean. Braking is low effort and quick responding.

BMW says an M850i Gran Coupe will do the 0-60-mph run in 3.7 seconds. The twin-turbocharged V8 feels its full 523 horsepower at 6000 rpm, but has 553 lb-ft of torque at the ready as early as 1800 revs. It’s downright racy in response and sound when running in Sport, and faster and more-obvious shifts emanate from the 8-speed transmission in fully automatic operation. On the highway, prompt trans kickdown makes for excellent passing capability. EPA fuel-economy estimates are 17 mpg in city driving, 25 mpg on the highway, and 20 combined, but this reviewer’s 123-mile test stint with 51 percent city-type driving averaged only 17.4 mpg.

Test Drive: 2019 BMW M850i Convertible

M850i xDrive Gran Coupe

The M850i comes with a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that pumps out 523 horsepower–enough to enable a sub-4-second 0-60-mph run. Twenty-inch M wheels and M Sport brakes are standard equipment.

Storage options include a large glove box and a console box with a divided lid hinged at the sides. There are long door pockets, hard-sided pouches on the backs of the front seats, covered front cup holders in the console, and a shallow covered bin and bright-trimmed pop-out cup holders in the armrest that retracts from the middle of the 40/20/40-split rear seat. Trunk space is adequate but not exceptional for the car’s overall size. A tall lip has to be cleared when loading or unloading and there’s no underfloor space, but the rear seats fold almost flat to maximize cargo space.

The Gran Coupe seems to cater to luxury-class buyers who’d like a coupe if only it were more practical but will shell out for a sedan that doesn’t quite look like one. Congratulations to BMW for figuring out how to do that for them.

Test Drive: 2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLS53

BMW 8-Series Review

Whether you think of it as a grand-touring coupe with the extra practicality of two more doors, or a lavish sports sedan with the extra sexiness of racier bodywork and a coupe-like roofline, the BMW 8-Series Gran Coupe is a majestic vehicle–but you’ll pay a premium for that majesty.

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M850i xDrive Gran Coupe

M850i xDrive Gran Coupe Gallery

M850i xDrive Gran Coupe