What is it?
It’s hardly surprising that for this mid-life refresh, BMW has left the looks of the 6 Series pretty much untouched. Unlike the contentious Chris Bangle design from the 2003 re-launch, the current 6, to these eyes at least, is an elegant beast.
However, there are a few subtle design tweaks, plus the new 6 Series gains some extra equipment, interior trim upgrades and a more efficient version of the straight-six diesel engine for 2015.
What's it like?
Those exterior styling changes mainly affect SE models, which gain a full-width air scoop in the front bumper with additional chrome inserts. At the rear, again there’s more chrome trim, plus larger exhausts. M Sport models, with their more aggressive styling, stay largely unchanged.
Although the new 6 Series remains the same price as the outgoing model, BMW has added value by giving customers more kit. LED headlights and extended leather trim across the dashboard and doors are all standard as is the TFT instrument pack.
We’ve been driving the 640d Coupé in M Sport trim. Its power delivery off the line is deliciously smooth, making it a docile thing to drive around town in comparison with the more urgent 650i we tried earlier in the year.
It’s no slouch out on the open road, though. Power stays at 309bhp, which is enough to launch you from zero to 62mph in a punchy 5.3secs. However, all that torque – 465lb ft to be precise – being available from just 1500rpm, makes it feel almost as fast as the more powerful V8 in the gears. Apart from a little low-end diesel clatter, it sounds great too, with a meaty straight-six growl at full chat.
The 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel engine is now Euro 6 compliant and more efficient. Unbelievably, considering the performance potential and weight of the 6, this engine should deliver up to 52.3 mpg (with 18in wheels) according to BMW, which gives a potential touring range of a staggering 786 miles.
The eight-speed auto gearbox works beautifully. Up-changes are slick and thanks to its GPS-based awareness of the surroundings, it will select and hold on to the right gear (mostly) for any given bend or long downhill stretch. As a result, you tend to ignore the steering wheel-mounted paddles.