First things first: With the technology and built quality available today, I would never choose a soft-top for a luxury convertible like the BMW 650i xDrive with a price tag of $126,000.
I appreciate BMW’s efforts to save a bit weight by using the traditional fabric soft-top. However, for a highly exclusive car sold to a limited number of lucky and rich customers, a metal hard top would provide far better insulation in terms of weather and noise. The good thing is that you can operate BMWS soft-top up at speeds up to 40 km/h. Although I did not take an instrumental measurement, it closes and opens in less than half a minute.
I drove the 650i on different highways of Southern Ontario up to the speeds of 110 km/h. It becomes noisy when sharing the busy driving corridors like the 401 or the QEW with so many other vehicles, trucks and lorries included. A far better choice would be to navigate the relatively empty side roads instead of highways. That’s the pure joy of driving a topless car. I drove from Burlington to Dundas and Ancaster via Wilson Street through the forest and enjoyed it. Still worth mentioning is the rear glass window that can be lowered or raised independently of the roof and aids in circulation and blockage of wind.
The biggest convertible that the Bavarian company produces shares-to your surprise-the platform of the 5 Series. At the first glance, you would probably thing it is a shortened version of the majestic 7 Series. The 6 is wider, but a bit shorter than the 5. The proportions are impressive and the elongated hood whispers a big power plant inside.
This car is one of the three body styles in the & Family: The other two being a two-door coupe, a four-door coupe.
One of the things I loved most in this car was the Tanzanite Blue paint (as part of the BMW Individual customization program). Dark colours look much better with luxury cars. However, white leather inside is not my first choice.
BMW processes the convertible’s leather seats and steering wheel with a special pigment that reflects direct sunlight and keeps the upholstery surfaces nice and cool on a hot summer day. The days of my driving were not so hot, so I could not evaluate well this feature during my limited days with the Bimmer.
The driver focused cabin design of the ultimate driving machines hasn’t changed much over the decades with a legible, not-complicated dashboard angled towards the driver. The two-tone leather finish is a brilliant example of high-quality craftsmanship and costs $5,900 extra for Full Merino Leather. The 2017 version of iDrive is, easy-to use, non-distracting and a textbook example of how a feature can be developed to perfection over the model generations. Wireless charging, and Wi-Fi hot spot are not-any-more luxury features for this high-tech 21st century vehicle.
As a family of four, we never drove in this Bimmer at the same time. Even if we would have done so, I do not think this would be a great driving experience. The convertible’s rear seats are for kids at the best and for us, those years are long over. In urgent cases, for example, if you pickup your friends on the road, you can make a sacrifice and squeeze the front seats towards the dashboard. Add to this the narrow trunk, it is obvious that this oversize convertible is not for a “loaded long” drive, even for two.
Men, this is a BMW. And the blue-white brand from Bavaria stands for, among other things, for pure driving pleasure. And it doesn’t disappoint. The 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 delivers 445 hp at 5,500 rpm and a torque of 480 lb-ft in the range of 2,000 – 4,500 rpm. An 8-speed automatic transmission transfers this huge power to the asphalt. The steering is precise (the setup changes per the driving mode, but is always great). You are not wrong if you think you are commanding a smaller vehicle than it actually is. However, this driving pleasure has its downside too:
With all-wheel drive and a curb weight of 2,105 kg, we reached an average consumption of 15,6 liters. To reach this consumption, I drove the car for 658 km’s and mainly on the highway. Don’t worry. If you already afforded one, the price at the gas station will not bother you much.
The interaction between the engine and transmission is impressive and with short accelerations (only) could I test the capabilities of the powertrain. Men, you should be on German highways to fully enjoy this giant toy. With firm road holding, superb acceleration, wide footprint and very trustable brakes, this machine is under your control at any time.
There are five driving modes to choose from: Comfort, Sport, Comfort+, Sport+ and Eco Pro. The optional Adaptive Dampers ($2,500) are required to fully experience and differentiate between these driving modes. It is questionable if somebody needs so many options. However, this car is the expression of luxury and luxury means simply “excess of something that you do not absolutely need.”
This vehicle is good for you, if you have funds to spend to experience what today’s automotive technology can offer in comfort and safety, that you might see even in ordinary cars tomorrow.
The top classes of luxury German cars, whether the S Class of Mercedes or 6 Series of BMW, have always been the pioneers of the latest technologies that were available later in more mainstream models of these brands.
Model: 2017 BMW 650i xDrive Cabriolet
Paint Type: Tanzanite Blue Metallic ($1,000)
Base Price: $111,500
Price as Tested: $126,800
M Sport Edition: $8,400
20″ performance wheels with RFT tire, soft close doors, M Sport Package, Rear View Camera, Without Exterior lines Designation, Ventilated Seats, Active Seat for Driver/Passenger, Comfort Seats Front, Contrast Stitching, Leather Instrument Panel, Ceramic Controls, Active Blind Spot Detection, Driving Assistant, Surround View, Head-up Display, Active Blind Spot Detection, Driving Assistant, Sirius XM Satellite Radio Tuner, Harman/Kardon Sound System, Wireless charging with Extended Bluetooth and USB, Multifunctional Instrument Display, WiFi Hotspot, M Leather Steering Wheel, M Aerodynamics Package, High-Gloss Shadow Line, M Sport Edition, High speed maximum with performance tires, Speed Limit info, Nappa Leather
Stand Alone Options:
Individual Paint: $1,000
Full Merino Leather: $5,900
Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,894 / 1,894 / 1,365
Curb weight (kg): 2,105
Engine: 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8
Horsepower: 445 hp @ 5,500 – 6,000 rpm
Torque: 480 lb-ft @ 2,000 – 4,500 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD
Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway / Combined ) L/100km: 14.8 / 9.6 / 12.5
Actual Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 15.6
Tires: Front 245/35R10; Rear 275/30R20
Test Drivers: Varol McKars, Basak Mc Kars, Burak McKars
Pictures: Varol McKars, , Burak McKars
Test vehicle was provided by BMW Group Canada
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