The turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine lacks the punch of the more upmarket 850i Gran Coupé (seen in grey in the above photo gallery) and its turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 petrol, but it’s still very engaging. There are urgent and flexible low-end characteristics, strapping mid-range qualities and a willingness to rev at the business end of the dial. It’s also refined on motorways and has a sonorous but never overbearing exhaust note.
The eight-speed torque-converter gearbox is fast and smooth, both in auto and manual modes. Brake energy recuperation is featured and, in Eco Pro mode, a coasting function idles the engine on extended periods of trailing throttle, helping to make it frugal by class standards.
But the real attraction centres on its engaging dynamics. Relatively simple steel-sprung suspension and BMW’s Integral Active Steering, which provides a subtle steering effect to the rear wheels, make quite a large car feel much smaller than it should.
The weighting of the steering is nicely judged, offering some degree of resistance and allowing you to place the BMW confidently on the road. It’s particularly direct in Sport and Sport Plus modes, though it is in Comfort where it offers the best blend of directness versus weighting.
Despite its 1800kg kerb weight, the new BMW is convincingly agile and, with excellent body control and outstanding lateral grip, superbly balanced. A standard M Sport differential with active locking function for the rear wheels also adds a welcome degree of adjustability should you seek it.
There’s a persuasive fluidity to the chassis that makes it a rewarding car to thread down winding roads. With a relatively long wheelbase and adaptive damping control, the 840i Gran Coupé also rides with greater aplomb and has more supple qualities than its two-door siblings over any given road surface. High-speed stability is also strong, providing the four-door with terrific long-distance qualities on the motorway.