What is it?
Mercedes-Benz was the first to do it with the genre-defining CLS. Audi followed with the A7. And now BMW, after sizing up what has developed into an important market niche, has delivered a stylish saloon and proceeded to call it a coupé. The new Gran Coupé is the third and final member of its latest 6-series line-up. It aims to offer the inherent practicality of a traditional four-door together with the style of the existing two-door 6-series coupé and cabriolet.
The team of design boss Adrian van Hooydonk has, to these eyes at least, delivered one of BMW’s best-looking models in years. The proportions are spot on, giving the 6-series Gran Coupé a truly elegant appearance that is sure to find wide appeal, and not only from existing BMW customers.
Based on a unique rear-wheel drive platform, its wheelbase is 113mm longer than that of the 6-series coupé and convertible, freeing up space for two extra doors and a proper rear seat. Like the CLS, it has a traditional notchback-style boot for added structural rigidity, eschewing the liftback arrangement of the A7.
What’s it like?
Inside, there is the sweeping dashboard from the two-door 6-series, along with an altered centre console. It’s all very high on perceived quality, although certain ergonomic aspects – namely, the positioning of the gearlever and other switchgear, including the iDrive controller – have been compromised by the inclusion of two large cupholders.
Up front, you sit low on broad and supportive seats equipped with integral seatbelts. Entry to the rear is impeded by small door apertures and the trailing edge of the frameless window, which extends well out from the door itself. With the front seats set to their lowest position, there is precious little foot room in the rear, although in other respects the rear bench is quite roomy. But despite the inclusion of a centre rear seatbelt, the extension of the centre console all the way back to the rear bench means that the 6-series Gran Coupé can only be considered as an occasional five-seater. Despite offering a generous 460 litres of luggage space, the boot is also compromised by a small aperture and high load lip.