BMW’S 2016 640i SEDAN OFFERS MULTIPLE DRIVING EXPERIENCES
By Tom Crosby
BMW’s are exquisitely engineered and the 640i four-door sedan adds extra style this year along with its already admired five driving modes. Arguably one of the best-looking cars on the road, we test drove the 640i XDrive (all wheel drive) Gran Coupe, which has four doors, not two like a typical coupe.
For 2016, changes are minor with LED highlights with automatic high beams and sport exhaust now standard. Also new is a Black Accent $4,000 option we had that added 20-inch alloy wheels, some black shadow lines outside and bi-color black interior materials contrasting nicely with cognac-colored Dakota leather seats and door siding. Engine choices are a 3.0-liter, our test drive, and a 4.4-liter in the 650i. All-wheel or rear wheel drive, convertible and two or four doors are other choices.
Environmentalist or racecar enthusiast, the 640i satisfies with five drive settings: ECO-PRO reducing fuel usage; COMFORT+ for the softest ride; COMFORT; SPORT and SPORT+. Using manual paddles mounted on the steering wheel, SPORT+ generates jackrabbit speed, tightened sport suspension and more steering wheel control along with appropriate exhaust growl.
An auto-start/stop also saves fuel but when restarting, sometimes mildly jerks into action. It is not as seamless as some luxury rivals with the same feature. What makes the 640i stand out is its matchless profile. It is smooth and sleek outside, with a sloping rear, iconic chrome kidney grill above a menacing air dam, swept back headlights, side character indentions, five spoke alloy wheels and subtle trunklid spoiler. There is a spare tire.
Style reduces headroom for taller occupants, especially with our test drive’s moon roof. Missing are extendable visors to block the sun on long drives; sedans costing tens of thousands less have them. Rear seating is comfortable on the sides of a less soft middle seat. Additional options made our ride more upscale with heated contoured seats/steering wheel and enhanced smartphone integration.
Luxury oozes around the interior with the iDrive knob manipulating a plethora of information on the 10.2-inch dashboard screen with leather surround. Reaction is swift when drilling for information. The navigation system is excellent and the screen shows songs playing on contiguous satellite stations.
Opening doors are nicely designed to not swing back on shins. Doorsills illuminate BMW initials at night, a classy touch. The 640i lives up to BMW’s quality and “ultimate driving experience” reputation.
LIKES: Handling, ride, luxurious interior, driving modes, envious looks
DISLIKES: Start/stop engine, rear seat, visors
BOTTOM LINE: If you want performance, luxury and good looks, the BMW 640i qualifies
- Base price w/destination fee $82,750 ($89,350 as tested)
- Curb weight 4,190 lbs.
- Wheelbase 116.9 inches
- Length 197.1 inches
- Width 74.8 inches
- Engine specs 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V-6 inline, 24-valve
- Horsepower 315 hp at 5,800 rpm
- Torque 330 ft-lb at 1,300 rpm
- Transmission 8-speed automatic w/manual
- EPA Rating 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway
- Range 18.5-gallon tank, premium required
- Performance 0-60 in 5.3 seconds