Wheel and suspension package is expensive, but does improve the 6-series

What is it?

This is the BMW 635d Edition Sport convertible. Available as an optional extra on all the non-M Division BMW 6-series cabriolet and coupe models, the Edition Sport package gets you stiffer anti-roll bars for 10 per cent firmer front suspension and 30 per cent firmer rear suspension, plus a number of subtle styling upgrades.

What’s it like?

It’s unlikely that many people will notice the difference between a BMW 635d Edition Sport and a standard car. Body movements are marginally more controlled, and the ride quality doesn’t seem to deteriorate noticeably, making the overall driving experience a more comfortable one, though even these improvements are marginal.

In truth, though, the BMW 635d has always felt more like a sporting cruiser than an out-and-out performance car, and the sharper dynamics of the Edition Sport package don’t change this.

The steering offers little real feedback and there is still noticeable scuttle shake over uneven surfaces. On the plus side, there are few cars with the same road presence as a 6-series cab, and the remarkable talents of the 282bhp diesel powerplant in the 635d Edition Sport make it a versatile and thoroughly enjoyable car to drive in any situation. It’s just not a precision tool.

Should I buy one?

When viewed in isolation, more than £3000 for the Edition Sport package seems like a lot of money. But given the rarified area of the car market that the 635d occupies, it’s a relatively small amount to pay for the handling and style upgrades that it provides. So if you want a 6-series, the 635d Edition Sport is certainly worth considering.

Mind you, if you can live without the BMW 635d’s unique combination of economy and performance, and you’re shopping above the £60k mark for a prestige convertible, you'll be better off in a Jaguar XK.

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Orangewheels 26 February 2009

Re: BMW 635d Edition Sport

hdready wrote:
I assume Orangewheels hasn't actually driven a 6 series? Do you get on the the XF's 'Bugs Bunny' face Bulging eyes(headlights) and goofy grin (radiator) yes I thought so, just another anti-BMW thread.

Driven 630, 635d, 645 and 650i, never got round to trying the M6. And yes, tried the XK and XKR too - on road and track. To me the 6 series in general feels planted but heavy, plenty of mechanical grip from the tyres but a slight reluctance in direction changes and lack of steering feel. It's the overall visual aesthetic of the car I really don't like, as I like my sports cars and GT's to look, well, 'sexy', for the want of a better description. There's a general lack of tension in the surfaces of the 6's design, the bulging sides and the angle of tumblehome all too much like a saloon car, the over-long bonnet with headlights too far forwards and beaky nose don't look balanced, and the overall look misses out on rugged and is 'overweight' like a Ford Cougar rather than pared back like a sports car should be. Take that box out of the bootlid and the side profile looks like a 911, just blown up by 30% and taken down to Greggs for too many pies.

Anti BMW? Well in the styling dept, yes. Nothing in their current range excites me, there isn't a good looking car in there, but generally I'm not keen on any Bangle stuff and I can't pick out a proportionally balanced car since the old 3 series coupe. I don't think I'm alone in this view, and better looking cars would definitely help BMW claw back some of the ground they've lost to Audi recently, as the BMW's certainly drive/handle better, and their engine technology surpasses anything in the VAG group.

As for the XF, I believe Jaguar missed a trick not using the gorgeous face from the C-XF concept but as an overall cohesive design it is far and away the best in its class, including the new E-Class and what little we have seen of the replacement 5. Hopefully the forthcoming XF Coupe will use a closer derivative of the C-XF's font end.

As for Autocars recent pro-Jaguar stance, most of the complaining seems to be coming from BMW fans, rather than Audi or Mercedes, and it does strike me as rather like a football fan who is used to seeing his team win, as BMW's have for a while, and is very frustrated as they really aren't performing that well at the moment, being beaten by smaller opposition. You could always go back and dig up some X-Type vs 3 Series reviews if you'd like cheering up, and I'm sure you will agree with the Autocar and most other motoring press verdicts there? Easy 3 series victory. Yet when your preferred team doesn't win you accuse the motoring press of bias? Take a look at the amount of international awards the XK and XF have won to realise its not just a national thing.

I'm sorry to tell you this but the XF and XK are genuinely very good cars - drive them and find out.

RobotBoogie 26 February 2009

Re: BMW 635d Edition Sport

It's interesting - although not always necessarily true - that we can now discuss the possibility of anti-BMW bias in the motoring press and this forum. For the vast majority of the time since I first picked up a copy of Car at some point in the mid-70s, motoring journalists have pretty much slavishly fallen into line regarding the ultimate driving machine patter, even when the cars were dodgy (a marginally badly driven second generation 3 Series was as likely to put you through a hedge backwards as a 911). Fact is that the current BMW line up is by far the most ordinary that the company has ever produced, probably an inevitable by product of them becoming a genuine mass manufacturer. None of them ooze desirability, partially due to the Bangle styling misadventure, partially due to sheer overfamiliarity. A modern Jaguar like the XF now generally looks like an exciting alternative to a BMW, despite the sheer bloody mindedness of Jag's product planning (I'd put money on use never seeing a diesel XK). But generally, buying a new Beemer is just starting to look a bit, well, 20th century.