2018 BMW 640i xDrive GT Review Touring At It's Best By Larry Nutson
2018 BMW 640i xDrive GT
Touring at its best
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
How about the sleek look of a coupe body style, the convenience of 4-doors to accommodate 5-people, a somewhat higher driving position, the cargo hauling ability of a station wagon, all-wheel drive for slippery roads and plenty of performance all wrapped up in one vehicle?
Now you have the 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo.
A new model for 2018, the GT is based on the new 5 Series platform and is basically a redesign of the old 5 Series Gran Turismo.
Coupe body styling on a 4-door sedan is somewhat popular these days with entries on the market from a number of brands. I happen to prefer those that are very car-like without some of the SUV attributes such as increased ride-height. I am also a big fan of station wagons. We’ve owned a number of them, even after our children moved out, mostly for the need to accommodate our two Labrador retrievers.
BMW dropped its 5-series station wagon offering in the U.S. a number of years ago, but you can still get a 3-series wagon. With everyone wanting an SUV, it’s best to put your effort in a product people want. I’ll agree the 640i comes close to being as versatile as a station wagon, which has a more vertical rear roof design for better cargo hauling.
From the driver’s seat the 640i delivers. Its 3.0-L 6-cylinder engine puts our 335 horsepower that will take you from zero to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. The 8-speed automatic shifts smoothly and for some added fun and performance there’s a sport mode as well as shift paddles. BMW’s xDrive AWD is standard.
As it turned out I ended up with lots of seat time in the 640i. Thank you BMW! I had a planned day-trip from my Chicago home north to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for some auto-writer related business. What got added on was a trip to southeast Michigan where daughter number one was giving birth to grandchild number two.
In one day I spent 600 miles in the driver’s seat. The cabin is well appointed, roomy, and comfortable. The materials, textures and overall finish are all delightful. BMW does a great job with seat design and I knew that would help to minimize any driver fatigue. And it did.
It’s also been my experience with BMWs, and we’ve owned a few, that it’s relatively easy to equal or exceed the EPA highway fuel economy rating. The Gran Turismo has EPA test-cycle ratings of 23 mpg combined (that’s 4.3 gallons per 100 miles) with 20 city mpg and 28 highway mpg. For my road-tripping I matched the 28 mpg while traveling at the prevailing spirited highway speeds. A nicety is the18-gallon fuel tank that makes for long non-stop driving, in the range of 500 miles.
I was alone for the first portion of my road trip to Wisconsin and then with my wife was along to Michigan. Thus, the GT wasn’t too heavily loaded. There is 32 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and this increases up to 65 cubic feet with them folded.
The 6 Series Gran Turismo comes standard with Active Driving Assistant, a package of driving assistant functions that use of cameras, radars, and ultrasonic sensors that monitor the vehicle’s surroundings. Included are Active Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Daytime Pedestrian Protection, Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation, Speed Limit Info, and Cross-traffic alert rear.
An optional Driving Assistant Plus Package ($1,700) was also on my media-loaner and adds Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Active Lane Keeping Assistant with Side Collision Avoidance, Traffic Jam Assistant, Evasion Aid and Cross-traffic alert front.
I strongly encourage every new car buyer to opt for all the driver-assistance safety features that are offered by a carmaker. If this equipment saves you from just one crash they will have paid for themselves. On my long road trip, which extended into night driving, I did appreciate blind spot detection and lane departure warning, especially when fatigue starts to set in. I also used the smart cruise control quite a bit which allows for changing feet and leg positions on long trips.
Base price on the 2018 640i xDrive GT is $69,700. My loaner was pretty loaded up with a bottom line of $84,010. An M Sport package for $1,200 added aero bodywork, unique 19-inch wheels as well as unique interior trim.
The M Sport package was further enhanced with the optional Dynamic Handling Package for $4,100 that added Integral Active Steering, Adaptive Drive two-axle air suspension, Active Roll Stabilization and Dynamic Damper Control. All this will give you a more sporty driving behavior.
The optional $2,150 Executive Package adds parking assistant features that are great to have in tight parking situations. A gesture control feature allows you to change audio volume by a simple rotating motion of a pointed index finger in front of the display screen. I preferred using the steering wheel mounted volume control.
More information, product features and specifications on the 2018 BMW 640i can be found at www.bmwusa.com.
BMW’s, in general, are very nice road cars. As you move up the product line they get better and better offering more features to make for a very enjoyable driving experience. The 640i GT did not disappoint. I enjoyed every moment behind the wheel, and that should be the case for all drivers.
© 2018 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy