DALLAS, March 21, 2012—This was one car I just kept driving and driving while coming up with all kinds of excuses to go to the store again. The 2012 BMW 650i feels good inside and out and well…it made me look good driving it. I know because I saw all those heads turning as I whizzed by, particularly when I had the top down since it was the convertible I was testing.
Profoundly classy styling in either the grand touring coupe or the convertible paired with a powerful engine and excellent handling is what this BMW is all about.
New this year, the BMW 650i has undergone a complete redesign with larger wheels and turbocharged engines under the hood.
Competition for this one is the Jaguar XK and the Mercedes Benz E550, both offering either as much luxury or excellent handling, but with the new styling on the BMW, a behind the wheel experience for this one is hard to beat.
Known as the 6 Series, it is available in 640i and 650i trim levels. You can opt for either a coupe or a convertible in either one. Standard on the 640i are 18-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension, automatic and adaptive xenon headlights, LED fog lights, automatic wipers, parking sensors, power-folding mirrors, a large tilt-only sunroof, keyless ignition/entry, 10-way power front seats with four-way lumbar adjustments and memory functions, leather upholstery, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, auto-dimming mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, and a rearview camera.
You get the same on the 650i except add a V8 engine, 19-inch alloy wheels, and 16-way comfort seats.
For options there is the Driver Assistance Package with side- and top-view cameras, blind spot detection, a lane departure warning and automatic high beams. The Luxury Seating package offers a power rear sunshade and ventilated front seat with adjustable bolsters and a massage feature. There is also the Cold Weather package with heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. For audio junkies, the Premium Sound package has a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system along with an iPod/USB audio interface.
Other options to consider are 20-inch wheels, LED headlights, active steering, active roll stabilization, an infrared night vision display, extended leather upholstery, and enhanced interior trim.
Under the hood the 640i has a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 with 315 horsepower and 332 pound feet of torque. Of course it is rear-wheel drive with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Another feature is the automatic start/stop system that shuts down the engine in order to save fuel.
The 650i has a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with 400 horsepower and 450 pound feet of torque. Again, it’s rear-wheel drive, but there is also an optional “xDrive” to consider. It also comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission, but you get a manual shift control too. If you must, you can opt for the six-speed manual.
For safety, the 640i and 650i comes with four-wheel antilock brakes with advanced standby and drying features, traction and stability control, front-seat side and front knee airbags, active head restraints, and BMW Assist. There are also pop-up roll bars on the convertible.
On the inside, the interior is clean and luxurious. It feels a bit like a cockpit, albeit a fancy one, and the interfaces are intuitive, whether it be for the phone, navigation or audio buttons and dials.
The backseat is small, so it’s not a good consideration for a long drive if there are more than two adults on the trip. The trunk too is only 12.3 cubic feet on the convertible and with the top down that shrinks to 10.6. There is a pass-through to make room for items that need a bit more room than the trunk can provide.
Special mention on the convertible version is the heated rear window that also retracts, independent of the soft top, and it only takes about 20 seconds to lower or raise the top as well.
Taking corners easily and hitting 0 to 60 in record time without a hiccup, this car is quick and feisty even on a bad day. Keep in mind too that the steering will change in weight if you have the driver-select in Normal versus Sport; still it handles well either way.
Should You Need to Know: With the redesign, the 2012 BMW 6 Series overall is longer and wider and just looks tough all around. The aluminum rear-wheel-drive adds to the wow factor and overall it’s a sharper look.
Miles Per Gallon: In the city the 650i will get you 16 miles per gallon and on the highway 24 miles per gallon.
Cost: The 2012 BMW 650i I drove came in at $107,625 and that included the Luxury Seating Package as well as the Premium Sound Package.
Rita Cook is a writer/editor with has over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 13-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a radio show in Los Angeles called Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings. She also contributes travel and auto to the Anthony Duva show, which can be heard live from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST every Sunday at www.unregularradio.com.
Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association, writes for the Dallas Morning News Green Living Section as well as artist profiles and www.greensourceDFW and spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books. Her latest book releases are both “Haunted Dallas” and “Haunted Fort Worth” from www.historypress.net. You can also follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.
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