2017 BMW 6 Series GT review: Practical luxury

Answering a question nobody asked, or a clever exercise in niche-filling choice, the 6 Series GT can arguably be considered as both. A big, luxurious hatchback that’s practical and comfortable for those conflicted souls wanting a one-car-covers-all solution.
Did you know? The 6 Series Gran Turismo is spacious indeed, with a larger boot – seats up and down – than its 5 Series Touring relation.

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The 6 Series Gran Turismo very much describes the car market’s current obsession to fill every conceivable niche. Here we have a large hatchback, which brings more space than a 5 Series Touring in its boot, and near 7 Series levels of space and comfort in the rear seats. It has few direct rivals, those conceptually close to it majoring more on style and driving dynamics than the functional, comfort-orientated offering here.
Think of it then as an evolutionary missing link between an SUV and a saloon – being slightly higher, more spacious and comfortable. All of which sounds fairly reasonable, but the compromise is slightly awkward styling and a drive that’s not as engaging as you might anticipate from a BMW.
You’ll find yourself justifying and explaining it to everyone, but then if you value comfort, ease and space then you’ll rarely ponder yourself why you’ve chosen it.
Technology & Connectivity
Performance & Handling
Spec & Trim Levels
Fuel Economy
We Like
Very comfortable and capable.
Fine performance and decent economy.
Standard leather and metallic paint.
We Don’t Like
You have to really want what it offers to choose it over the cheaper 5 Series.
Slightly awkward styling and market position.
Most advanced safety equipment languishes in the options list.

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Replacing the 5 Series Gran Turismo in 2017 the 6 Series Gran Turismo makes a little more sense in the BMW numerical hierarchy. It currently sits in the 6 Series range alongside the indulgent Convertible and sleek Gran Coupe, the Gran Turismo’s brief a little bit more practical in its goals, majoring on comfort and practicality over its more overtly stylish relations. Even BMW seems slightly confused as to what it is, the best Michael Markefka can come up with to explain it being: “The BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo demonstrates a modern, alternative vehicle concept.” Quite. What is undeniable is that it’s better proportioned than its 5 GT predecessor, the surfacing detailing helping mask its bulk.
It’s obviously BMW, from the traditional kidney grille, to the immediately recognisable rear lights and kink in the side window profile. A hatchback, where luxury is usually defined by saloons, that big rear hatch accesses a massive load area, the GT’s shape very much defined by its function. As with the rest of the BMW range how bold it looks is down to the specification, M Sport adding a bit of visual punch to the mix, the deeper front bumper helping balance its overall proportions and creating a more cohesive, pleasing whole. SE trim lacks a bit of presence in comparison.

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If space equates to comfort then you’re well provided for in the 6 Series Gran Turismo. Its scale is more like a 7 Series inside, with plenty of room for four full-sized adults however far back the front seats are, and five if you’re unlucky and get the raised middle pew. As it’s part of the 6 GT’s brief, that’s hardly surprising, nor is the fact its dashboard is lifted pretty much entirely from the 5 Series. The seats offer plenty of support and adjustment, making for a good driving position. They’re also heated as standard, while two-zone automatic air conditioning is also included in all. Those sat in the back are particularly well catered for, with ample room to stretch out, and if you’re intent on spending lots of time back there you can option electrically operated reclining rear seats.
The suspension betrays the 6’s comfort-orientated goals as well, it coming as standard with self-levelling rear suspension – that more normally a features on estate cars – while the optional air suspension has Comfort and Comfort Plus settings. Material quality is high throughout, but like the 5 Series it lifts its dash from the many layered menus and array of buttons around the centre console and up the dash can be a touch fiddly and confusing – initially at least – to master.
Like its smaller 3 Series GT relation the 6 GT manages to pack a whole lot more space into its footprint than you’d imagine. The 6 GT’s boot is bigger than that of the 5 Series Touring, with 610- to 1800 litres of loadspace seats up/down over the 5 Touring’s 570/1700 litre offering. The 5’s boot is more usefully shaped if you’re planning on carrying a chest of drawers already built, but if it’s flat-packed you’ll have room to spare with the 6 GT. The seats fold 40/20/40 for through loads, and the hatchback makes dropping loads in relatively easy, too, it powered for convenience. For a big, luxury-biased car, it’s hugely useful.

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Technology & Connectivity
The two trim levels of SE and M Sport come with the base technology as standard. The list includes a 20GB hard drive, Bluetooth hands free with USB interface and voice control, BMW ConnectedDrive services, with BMW Emergency Call, BMW Online Services, BMW TeleServices and Real Time Traffic Information. There’s standard Cruise Control, DAB audio, BMW Professional Navigation, Park Distance Control, Reversing Assist Camera, and BMW’s Digital Cockpit.
That reads well, but there’s plenty of opportunity to expand and spend via plentiful options. That you have to pay extra for Apple CarPlay preparation is just plain stingy. Gesture control is also on the options list, inexpensively, but we’d avoid it anyway. There’s also the ability to add on higher grade audio, a WIFI hotspot, Head-up display, automatic parking, rear-seat entertainment, as well as night vision with pedestrian recognition. If you want the ultimate party trick, you can option a self-parking system that operates via the remote key, allowing you start, and park the car while standing outside it.

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Performance & Handling
If you’re after a sharp handling BMW wearing a 6 on its bootlid might we point you in the direction of the Gran Coupe. The 6 Gran Turismo, as its name suggests, about the long-haul, so it’s more about comfort and cosseting than it is outright pace and agility. Even so, it comes with BMW’s usual suite of engines, albeit truncated top and bottom in reach, so there’s a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit badged 630i with 254bhp, a 3.0-litre turbocharged in-line six-cylinder petrol unit (badged 640i) with 335bhp and a six-cylinder 3.0-litre turbodiesel with 261bhp. The fastest is obviously the 640i, which uses not just its power advantage, but its traction one – with xDrive four-wheel drive as standard – to reach 62mph in just 5.3 seconds. Quick then, but not other-worldly, the 630i managing it just a second slower, and the 630d splitting them with 6.1 seconds, that dropping to 6.0 seconds if you option the diesel with xDrive.
It’s not the outright accelerative ability that’s key here, it’s the flexibility, and the 630d scores here, with its mighty low rev torque mated to the automatic transmission’s plentiful (eight) ratios that shift all but imperceptibly. Given the 6 GT’s relaxed, comfort-orientated gait it’s the diesel that makes most sense here, and by some margin.
Handling and comfort
Unlike its 3 GT relation, which feels broadly similar to its 3 Series saloon relation, the 6 GT feels a bit more distinct from the 5 Series and 6 Gran Coupe. BMW is unapologetic in its comfort bias here, which might be somewhat at odds with its usual leanings to sporting agility, but entirely understandable. The 6 GT isn’t going to thrill like other BMW’s then, its steering a little less accurate, its ride that bit more supple, even when fitted with the M Sport’s more focuses set-up and run-flat tyres. There’s balance there, it still feeling rear-driven in those models without xDrive, of course, but the 6 GT drives very much as its makers intended, with as little fuss as possible.
Only the sheer scale of it might daunt some drivers, it a big, wide car, but the driving position is high and visibility out is good. There is, like all BMWs, the ability to chose different driving modes, from fuel-sipping ECO PRO mode, through to Sport+, tbe Comfort setting being the best choice, for engine, transmission and steering, and, if optioned, the air suspension.

Recommended engine: 630d M Sport
0-62 MPH
6.1 seconds
Fuel economy
53.2 mpg

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As you’d anticipate the 6 GT comes with ABS, electronic stability and traction control, tyre pressure monitoring, and a suite of adaptive airbags, High Beam Assist and, on M Sport models run-flat tyres – SE coming with regular tyres. All that allowed the 6 Series GT to score a maximum 5 star result in 2017’s round of EuroNCAP testing. There’s autonomous city braking via BMW’s Active Guard, but for the most advanced safety equipment you need to do some option box ticking.
If you want Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go function that’s just shy of lb1000, though it does come bundled in with the Driving Assistant Plus Pack. That includes all the functions of the, again optional, Driving Assistant, that including Approach Control Warning, Cross Traffic Warning rear, Lane Change Warning, Lane Departure Warning, rear collision prevention and speed limit and no overtaking indicator in the instrument cluster. As well as that, Active Cruise Control, Driving Assistant Plus gains Cross Traffic Warning front, Crossroads Warning, Evasion Aid, Lane Keeping Assistant with side collision protection, Steering and Lane Control Assistant and Wrong Way Warning. If that’s not enough then there’s also a Dynamic Safety option that adds driver attention monitoring, a head-up display and night vision with pedestrian recognition. It’s just a shame that all of this tech is optional.

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Spec & Trim Levels
Unsurprisingly the palette of colours for the 6 GT is on the conservative side, though generously all the standard hues are metallic – usually a cost option with BMW. Conservative perhaps, but not unappealing, the rich, deep Jabota and Jucaro Beige, as desirable as brown and beige has ever been. If that is not for you, then Royal Burgundy Red, Mediterranean Blue, Bluestone Metallic and the usual dark grey, silver and black metallic choices might appeal. If you’re buying an M Sport you gain another choice of Carbon Black, while any can be optionally painted in non-metallic Black or White – if you’re either an undertaker or the police…
Inside the leather mix is similarly restrained and classy, with black, beige, tan, ivory and dark tan offerings all standard choices. If you want contrasting stitching, perforated leather or piping then you’ll pay more, likewise if you deviate from the M Sport’s standard textured aluminium or SE’s smooth aluminium interior trim, for wood grains or piano black you’ll need to tick option boxes.
Trim Levels
Two trims, SE and M Sport, the SE the more restrained looker, M Sport adding a bit of visual punch via more aggressively designed front and rear bumpers, side trim and larger alloy wheels. The SE comes with all the equipment listed under the technology and safety categories, as well as 18-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, ambient lighting, an eight-speed automatic transmission, Led brake and fog lights, reversing assist camera and park distance control and BMW Professional Sat Nav and multimedia.
Choose M Sport for that more assertive look, it gaining 19-inch alloy wheels, Sports seats, M Sport brakes, a panoramic glass sunroof, M Styling inside and out as well as standard run-flat tyres and M Sport suspension. Above that there’s the M Sport Plus Package, an option that adds 20-inch bi-colour wheels, a harmon/kardon loudspeaker system and sun protection glass for a premium of around lb2000.

Size and Dimensions
Max towing weight unbraked – braked
750kg – 2100kg

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Fuel Economy
Downsizing is apparent here, as although the badge on the back of the 630i features a 3, it’s really a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder. It’ll return, officially, just over 43mpg on the combined consumption cycle, though the reality will be significantly less. The CO2 is rated at 148g/km, that, like the fuel economy, slightly worsening with the M Sport model. All of which makes the 630d a no brainer, it’s only a small price walk over the 630i, but benefits from a 3.0-litre six-cylinder in-line six-cylinder turbodiesel that returns over 55mpg on the official combined consumption cycle, and emissions of 135g/km in SE, and 139g/km in M Sport. The likelihood is that you’ll get closer to that official consumption figure in daily driving, too. The 630d should be an easier sell in time, ensuring better residuals. You could go all in and opt for the 640i, but good as BMW’s petrol in-line six-cylinder is, its consumption and emissions are difficult to stomach here, particularly when the 630d manages much the same performance. Choose xDrive four-wheel drive on the 630d – it standard on the 640i – and you’ll not only add to the list price, but also what you pay at the pumps, and in tax, too.
Reliability and servicing
Vehicle dictated service schedules based on usage, BMW offering service inclusive packages when buying that cover a period of 3 years or 36,000 miles. BMW performs reasonably well in independent reliability surveys, and there have been no major issues with this model to date.
Variable – condition based
Variable – condition based

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The 6 GT looks like a lot of car for the money because it is – physically at least. Pricing starts from the mid-lb40,000 mark, which is where the 3 GT actually ends, but you’d really want to be spending lb50,000+ to get into that desirable 630d model. Like-for-like with the 5 Series Touring you’re looking at a lb5,500 price differential, otherwise the 6 GT difficult to place – Merc’s CLS is more of a 6 Gran Coupe rival, as is Audi’s A7.
What’s impressive is how inexpensively it can be leased for, if you can live with the 630i you can pay as little as lb360 a month for it on a business lease, and around lb100 more on a personal one. That rises by a further lb100-120 a month for our preferred 630d M Sport model, but even then that seems fairly respectable for such a big, capable and luxurious car.
Luxury Seeker
Opt for a 630d SE with the optional rear seat comfort back and rear seat entertainment – and hire a driver.
Company Car buyer
The 330d M Sport might have slightly higher CO2 than its SE equivalent, but the marginal increased costs are worth it.
Car Enthusiast
A 640i xDrive M Sport is a fine all-rounder, its creamy in-line six cylinder giving it fine performance.
Audi A7 Sportback
More focus on looks mean it’s not as confortable in the back, but it’s difficult to argue against its style.
BMW 5 Series Touring
Not quite as capacious as its 6 GT relative, but its better to drive.
Mercedes-Benz CLS
Mercedes-Benz’s take on the big, stylish GT car, it’s sharper looking and to drive than the comfort-biased GT.
Land Rover Range Rover Velar
Good looks, reasonable comfort and a fine drive, it’s not as spacious as the 6 GT but pricey to get comparable performance.
Porsche Panamera
Expensive in this company, but a four-seat hatchback that does grand touring exceptionally.


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