BMW 6 Series Gran Diesel Coupe vs Mercedes CLS vs Porsche Panamera: Review & Comparisons
Review Of The BMW 6 Series Gran Diesel Coupe
The new BMW 6 Series Gran Diesel Coupe is elegant, fairly economical and has sporty pretensions. If you want something a bit more luxurious than the 5 Series, it ticks a lot of boxes.
It’s a lot like the two-door 6 Series in many ways but gets two more doors and more length. It also boasts more space in the rear as well as a larger boot. Overall, it’s one of the most accommodating if expensive BMW’s on the market.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Diesel Coupe review.
On The Road
The car’s chassis is packed with technology that improves its drivability. Despite being so sharp and so appealing to enthusiasts, the Gran Diesel Coupe is also comfortable.
Its materials are light, its suspension is sporty and it handles excellently. Power-assisted steering further enhances driver involvement and there’s plenty of feedback on offer.
As usual, the BMW benefits from a rear-wheel-drive layout that improves the way it performs when taking corners. It’s only when you drive it too aggressively that its chassis will bite back and lose its cool. But even then, its electronic driver aids step in and save the day.
All models get a Driving Experience Control switch that lets you flick between four different driving modes – Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and ECO PRO – to prime the stability control, traction and steering so that it suits your mood or the conditions.
It’s a really user-friendly system and the button is positioned perfectly next to the gear lever.
Meanwhile, the brand’s Dynamic Damper Control is an optional extra that modifies the suspension setup so that it is able to deal with whatever the driving conditions or the road itself have to throw at the car. Adaptive Drive is optional too, and adding it improves composure through bends.
In terms of the engines, there’s just the one diesel to choose from. It’s a turbocharged 3.0-litre engine that develops 311bhp and which has a 0-62 time of 5.4 seconds. That’s impressive, and just for the sake of amusement it means this fairly heavy car is faster than a Lotus Elise.
It sounds almost as dramatic as a Lotus Elise too, thanks to a system that amplifies engine noise. It sounds pretty exhilarating.
Sadly for enthusiasts, there’s no manual gearbox available but the 8-speed automatic comes with paddle-shifters that let you take control.
BMW 6 Series Gran Diesel Coupe Interior, Design & Build
One of the most pleasing aspects of the car is how comfortable it is. Variable dampers come as standard even if you switch them to their firmest setting, the car is still quiet and comfortable as it eats up the miles.
Active Drive is optional and it helps the car resist body roll, which further enhances the comfort levels. That said, it’s sportier than the 7 Series, which is the one to go for if comfort is your number one priority.
We have no issue with the quality of the interior, which is superb. The cabin is logically arranged and very, very plush, and the materials look as though they’ll last a long time.
The brand’s excellent iDrive system is standard and it covers the air conditioning and entertainment controls while reducing button clutter. As a result, the dashboard looks clean and easy on the eye.
A head-up display is optional but costs no extra cash and it’s well worth adding as it makes life that bit easier for the driver. The brands ConnectedDrive, meanwhile, is standard on all models and it comes with its own onboard concierge service that gives you access to a team of assistants who are on call whenever you need them.
Is the BMW 6 Series Gran Diesel Coupe practical? It’s billed as a 4+1 model, which means it can seat five passengers – but only just. The centre seat is elevated and, thanks also to the sloping coupe roofline, headroom is limited for the middle passenger.
Legroom is good, however, while the boot measures 460-litres. Fold the rear seats and you can increase that to 1,265-litres.
Equipment & Safety Of The BMW 6 Series Gran Diesel Coupe
Standard kit is good, with all models getting the likes of front and rear park distance control, LED front fog lights, xenon headlights, a Multimedia sat nav system, electric seat adjustment with memory, leather upholstery and 18” alloys.
Optional extras include a head-up display.
In terms of how safe the car is, the 6 Series hasn’t yet been crash tested by Euro NCAP but we’d expect it to be awarded all five stars when it is. However, a lot of its best safety features are optional, such as speed limit display, lane departure warning, lane-change warning, parking assist, BMW night vision and surround view.
Costs Of The BMW 6 Series Gran Diesel Coupe
Prices for the new car start out from £62,435 and rise to £85,645. For more information on our leasing deals, check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, buyers would probably be worried when they first take a look at this car – it’s big and heavy. But the fact that BMW has equipped all their models with stop-start tech has saved its running costs from being too bad. The 640d diesel model is the most frugal, and can return 52.3mpg on average. It also emits just 147g/km of CO2.
For an engine that sprints from a standstill to 62mph in 5.4 seconds, that’s quite remarkable.
Pros and Cons Of The BMW 6 Series Gran Diesel Coupe
The more you pay for a BMW, the more luxurious it gets. With plenty of space available, this 6 Series is very accommodating.
It’s one of BMW’s longest cars but it’s still visually compelling.
It might be long, big and heavy, but it also shares the 6 Series Coupe’s platform, which benefits the way it handles.
All Engines Are Massive
If you fancied a smaller engine than a 311bhp diesel that does 0-62 in 5.4 seconds, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
There are lots of them and they don’t come cheap.
BMW 6 Series Gran Diesel Coupe vs Mercedes CLS vs Porsche Panamera
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Diesel Coupe review.
BMW 6 Series Gran Diesel Coupe vs Mercedes CLS
The new Mercedes CLS was treated with apprehension when it was first released in 2004 and it took buyers a while to warm to it. Fast forward fourteen years and everyone appreciates what a magnificent, luxurious cruiser this car is.
It’s got plenty of power available from its two straight-six diesel engines but it has zero sporty pretensions. Instead, this is very much a supremely comfortable cruiser.
It’s a massive car that will soon be available with smaller, more economical four-cylinder engines. For now, buyers get to choose between a pair of hefty six-cylinder diesel engines that combine with the standard 4MATIC four-wheel-drive to power a car that always feels confident and composed.
The smallest of the two diesel models at present is a 350d model that produces up to 282bhp. It can get you from rest to 62mph in 5.7 seconds, and for most buyers that will be enough.
If you’re hungering for more power, however, you’ll want to take a look at the beastly 400d model that’s the biggest diesel engine Mercedes have ever produced. It produces 335bhp, gets paired up with a 9-speed automatic ‘box and dusts off 0-62 in 5.0 seconds dead. For such a huge car, that’s mighty impressive.
Running costs? The smaller four-cylinder diesels will help to keep things respectable when they arrive, but for now the 48.7mpg returned by the 350d model is as good as things get. That’s not at all bad for an engine with so much ferocity, and even the 400d model is good for returns of 47.9mpg.
Inside, the CLS spoils you with a luxurious interior. Fit and finish are flawless, the design is attractive, and the smooth ride quality is excellent.
That said, it’s not as accommodating to rear seated passengers as anyone would like. Average-sized adults will be fine but taller ones, and those unlucky enough to be sat in the middle, will struggle with the sloping roofline. Over long distances, they won’t be comfortable.
Space up front, on the other hand, is just fine. The dashboard is low-slung and wide, which creates the sense of more space, and we love the two 12.3” displays that sit side by side.
The boot, meanwhile, is much bigger than the BMW and can offer 520-litres of luggage space.
BMW – £62,435 – £85,645
Mercedes – £57,000 + (estimate)
BMW 6 Series Gran Diesel Coupe vs Porsche Panamera
The new Porsche Panamera is a beautifully put together car that looks a lot better than it did last time.
It’s also incredibly fast and great fun to drive, with all models able to get you from a standstill to 62mph in 5.7 seconds or less. Twisting B-roads present the car with no problems at all, motorway cruising is a cinch, as is overtaking. The Panamera is just a pleasure that’s a lot less intimidating than it looks or sounds.
In terms of its engines, there are no diesels on offer. Instead, you get to choose from a handful of very quick and very performative petrol engines, starting with a turbocharged, straight-six 2.9-litre entry level unit that produces 325bhp. It has a 0-62 time of 5.7 seconds and can be specified with four-wheel-drive.
The 4S variant takes things up a notch with its bulging 434hp, and its 0-62 time of 4.4 seconds.
Still not impressed? Next up is an eight-cylinder Turbo model that’s powered by a 4.0-litre 542bhp engine. It can get you from a rest to 62mph in 3.8 seconds and will have you grinning all the way to 190mph.
Wanna go even faster? All models can be specified with a Sport Chrono package that shaves 0.2 seconds off the 0-62 time.
Running costs? The entry-level model returns 37mpg, and from there it’s downhill – but the hill is hardly steep, with even the Turbo model officially returning 30.1mpg. Not great, but also not bad when you consider the amount of power on offer and the sheer size of the engine.
Inside, the Panamera’s interior is nicely appointed, comfortable and boasts a timeless design that Porsche is well-known for. There are nods to tradition too, including an analogue rev counter. That said, it’s sandwiched between two high-res dials.
The dials, in general, can be a bit fiddly and they’re not the easiest to use while you’re driving. We like the 12.3” infotainment touchscreen, though, and it suits the dashboard well.
Is the Porsche Panamera practical? There’s a longer wheelbase Executive version available if you want your rear seated passengers to stretch out a bit, and despite providing super-car performance and looks, the Panamera is also one for the family.
Space up front is fine, the seats are comfortable but buyers might want to specify the optional 18-way adjustable sports seats.
The boot, meanwhile, measures 495-litres and can be extended to 1,304 by folding the rear seats.
Porsche – £70,924 – £124,505
Verdict Of Our 2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Diesel Coupe Review
Being bigger than the 6 Series Coupe but sharing its platform means the Gran Coupe is practical, versatile, commanding and great to drive. It’s an excellent, luxurious all-rounder that roars, thrashes and accommodates. If you’ve got the money, it’s hard to think of a reason not to invest in the BMW 6 Series Gran Diesel Coupe.
He believes that words can take on a transformative aspect and wants to help people make better decisions today.
His influences as a writer include Hunter S Thompson and Jack Kerouac, while among his interests outside writing are music, art, foreign films and football.
He’d one day like to own a Tesla, and still holds a candle for the Ford Capri.
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