The more money you spend on your BMW 6 Series, the longer it’ll take you to familiarise yourself with all of its active and adaptable chassis systems, its various driving modes and its many driver assistance gadgets. Which is fine, up to a point. Complexity goes hand in hand with sophisticated technology, after all, and sophisticated technology is what you want for your £60-£80k. But if you’ve spent time fiddling with the various software control algorithms for the dampers, anti-roll bars, stability control systems and power steering and are no closer to having a car you’re completely satisfied with… well, then you’ve got a problem.
That’s the situation this BMW puts its driver in. With four chassis modes ranging from Comfort to Sport+, and three gearbox control maps, you’d imagine one combination would allow you to connect with the dynamic character of the car on a cross-country road and explore its handling potential. But whatever mode you select, the 6 Series seems to remain frustratingly aloof.
Normal and Comfort modes allow you plenty of compliance for comfortable town and trunk road mileage, but not enough steering precision or body control for more challenging roads. Sport mode makes the car’s dynamic demeanour more accurate and composed, enough for keen back-road driving with lots of grip and commendable roll control. But at times Sport sends an unsettling shudder through the car’s body structure over a sharp-edged bump.