A liftback rather than a saloon

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Filling the gap between the 5-Series and the 7-Series, the BMW 6-Series GT offers a good combination of practicality, fun and comfort

BMW has launched the 2018 6-series GT in India at a price of Rs 58.9 lakh, ex-showroom India, for the 630i petrol version. The diesel version of the car will be introduced in the latter half of the year. Stacked against the long-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz E-class, the BMW 630i fills the gap between the BMW 5-Series and the 7-Series, and much like the long-wheelbase E-Class fills the gap between the E-Class and the S-Class. 

With the GT acronym standing for Gran Turismo, the 630i is locally assembled. Costing Rs 5 lakh more than the 5-Series luxury saloon, the 6-Series GT matches the 7-Series sold in Europe with a wheelbase of 3070mm. Equipped with better features than the 5-Series apart from providing significantly more interior space at the rear, the 6-Series GT is a liftback in the way it appears rather than a saloon. Sure to appeal to those who are looking for an alternative to a long-wheelbase saloon, the 6-Series GT looks different and its design has evolved to mask any sign of bulkiness.  

Flowing roof looks graceful
The front is in keeping with the BMW corporate look, and is similar to that of the 5-Series. The head lamps are adaptive LED designs. Rather interesting looking when viewed at an angle, the 630i, available in Sport Line trim only, does not get the support of embellishments. The gracefully flowing roof makes an impression; it begins at the coupe-like pillars and merges with the raised rear. 

The 18-inch alloy wheels look smaller against the size of the car. The good part is that one can opt for bigger dia wheels. The slim looking tail lamps attract attention. They are of a wraparound variety, and complement the car’s styling. The real leather seats inside are comfy, even though they pack limited adjustability and offer no lumbar adjustment. The driver’s seat comes with a memory function. The faux-leather top of the dash combines with wood-brushed aluminium accents and contrast stitching to add character to the cabin. While the instrument cluster is digital, the latest iDrive multimedia system with a touchscreen and gesture control includes Apple CarPlay, making this the first BMW to offer one in India without the need to use a cable. 

Plenty of room at the rear
Featuring panoramic sunroof, four-zone auto climate control, adaptive air suspension, electric window blinds, entertainment screens at the rear, and a reclining rear backrest, the 6-Series GT offers plenty of room at the rear. The backrest can be reclined up to nine-degrees. In comparison to long-wheelbase E-class’ rear seat backrest, which reclines 37 degrees, this is less. Also, the rear seat does not feel as well contoured or as heavily cushioned. The rear seat armrest too feels a bit higher. Skipping the high-tech remote parking facility, which would have been useful given the raised rear, the 360i provides good visibility at front. The 258bhp, 2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine results in good performance. It does 0 to 100kmph in a little under seven seconds, and responds the best in Sport mode.  

A driver’s car
Scoring high on refinement, the 630i feels rev-happy. This helps generate a strong pull at low, mid and high revs too. Turbocharged, the engine puts out a good exhaust note, and the eight-speed automatic transmission offers a clever mix of smooth and quick shifts. The adaptive air suspension influences the dynamic ability of the car. Perhaps the most dynamically well-engineered among cars of roughly this size and stature with air suspension, the 630i is a driver’s car. The steering feels sharp, direct and weighs well with speed. Displaying a good ability to corner at good speeds, the car offers a plush ride over a variety of surfaces. Rough patches and sharp bumps may manage to make themselves felt.   

Bridging the gap between the 5-Series and the 7-Series, which would roughly cost a good Rs 40-50 lakhs more, the 6-Series GT stands apart with its liftback styling over the long-wheelbase E-Class’s saloon styling. It makes a good choice for those who are looking at a combination of practicality, fun and comfort.

Pros: Space, comfort, performance, driver-centric
Cons: Rear seat not as plush as the long wheelbase E-Class

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