BMW has carved out a niche in the premium space with their unique offering in the form of 6 Series GT. Here GT stands for Grand Touring, and thus the 6 GT is a four-door ‘hatch’ that doesn’t follow the trend of being a four-door coupe, yet is more sedan-like rather than a proper station wagon (or in BMW’s say - Touring).
First introduced in early 2018, the 6 GT received an update last year internationally and made its way to India last month with changes both inside and out. We drove it in the 630i M Sport guise and you can read our first drive over here. This time around, we delve a little deeper to tell you five reasons why buying the BMW 6 Series GT makes more sense, and two reasons for looking at the crossover/SUV alternatives.
1. Space in abundance
The 6 Series GT makes a case for itself by offering a massive boot space along with spacious second-row seats. Its raised roofline isn’t as flat as a station wagon and doesn’t drop down suddenly like a coupe. So, what you end up with is an additional boot space of 610litres, which is considerably more than the 530litres you get in the conventional sedan i.e., 5 Series. So for week-long getaways or cross-country retreat, there’d be ample space in the boot of the 6 GT for all the stuff you intend to carry. And the rear seats also split-fold in 40:20:40.
Seats at the back are where the owner would be spending most of his/her time and would be happy to know that there’s abundant knee room available. Moreover, the seats are large, comfortable, and have all the support at all the right places. It can also be electrically adjusted for recline which would be particularly helpful in spending long hours in it – given that it’s got ‘touring’ in its name itself.
2. Punchy performance
Being a BMW, it would be irreverent if you don’t take the driver seat ever so often. And when you do, you’d realise why the BMW slogan reads ‘sheer driving pleasure.' Under the long hood of this 630i, we have the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine which puts out a peak power of 258bhp and a max twisting force of 400Nm. You can also have it in two diesel engine options – the 620d making 188bhp and 400Nm while the range-topping oil burner is the 630d punching out a healthy 261bhp and 620Nm. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard across the range, sending power only to the rear wheels.
Speaking of the 630i, although it’s not a straight-six like the old, the new four-banger is, well… nothing short of a banger, pardon my slang. There’s always loads of reserved firepower ready to be unleashed, but it does it in a very temperate manner – which is how it should be in a GT car. It’s a refined motor this one and has a good amount of grunt to keep the driver entertained throughout the rev range. Even though on a heavier side (tipping the scale somewhere around 2.3 tonnes), the engine never feels running out of breath at any speed.
And when you feel like it, just smash the throttle to the floor and the 6 GT will simply dart ahead effortlessly. Like any modern BMW, there are three driving modes – Eco, Comfort, and Sport. While in the former two, it might feel subdued and docile, it’s very handy for day-to-day driving – or when you are chauffeured around. But get into Sport mode and it turns into a different animal altogether.
3. Comfortable Ride
In Sport mode, the ride quality of the 6 GT stiffens ups and the steering gets slightly heavier too. And the throttle response is immediate. And unlike the erstwhile 3 GT which felt top-heavy when braking or cornering, there’s no such issue in the rather larger-in-size 6 GT. Surprisingly, the 630i M Sport rides on 19-inch alloy wheels which are draped in sticky Pirelli tyres.
Yet calling the ride as plush in the Eco or Comfort mode would be an understatement. It manages to flatten out every irregularity with nothing transferred into the cabin whatsoever. Even the noise insulation here is commendable, so spending long hours touring in the 6 GT should be a pleasant experience for the upper crusts. You also get dual-axle air suspension which can change the ride height by a good few millimetres so you won’t have to think twice when taking on the needlessly large speed breakers or plodding over broken road surfaces. In the end, even though it’s a huge car to manoeuvre around, it never feels perturb or unnerving.
4. Long feature list
Offering an opulent and comfortable long-distance companion in the 6 GT, BMW offers a long list of features here. It includes four-zone climate control, touchscreen infotainment system Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, rear passenger entertainment screens, dynamic puddle lamps, customisable leather upholstery, powered boot, electric-power seats with memory function, and an all-digital instrument cluster along with a 12.3-inch floating iDrive touchscreen infotainment system.
In terms of safety, you get eight airbags, ABS with EBD, traction control, TPMS, stability control, and ISOFIX child seat mounting points. There’s also auto parking feature, which is especially useful in a car of this size.
5. Positioning and Pricing
BMW used to have a 3 Series GT based on a 3 Series sedan and a 5 Series GT based on the 5 Series sedan. Meanwhile, the 6 Series badge used to adorn a coupe/convertible (and later a Gran Coupe) positioned between the 5 and 7 Series. Now, after rejigging the entire portfolio, the 3 GT and 5 GT are no more. In fact, the 5 GT is now the 6 GT, and the 6 Series Coupe/Grand Coupe/Convertible are discontinued.
Confusing, right? If you are still with us, it’s best to understand the 6 Series GT as a better, more comfortable upgrade over the 5 Series, rather than taking a leap on to the 7 Series flagship. Because the pricing difference between the 5 Series and 7 Series sedan is ridiculously high.
Secondly, the competition has no other car like the 6 GT in their lineup. Where the earlier 6 Series Gran Coupe had rivalled the Audi A7 Sportback and the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, both these cars have a coupe-like roofline, and neither of these cars is available on sale in India currently. So the BMW 6 GT in itself is a unique proposition.
1. Limited features for rear seat occupants
Being a lavish grand tourer, when looked closely, the 6 Series GT misses some feel-good features that could have made the whole experience even better. For example, there’s no seat ventilation or massage function in the seats for both front and rear passengers. We also expected sun blinds for the rear windshield and a provision to move the front row seats from the back seat. These trifle yet salient features would have made the life of the chauffeured passengers more luxurious.
2. Not an all-new gen model, but a mid-life update
BMW updated the 6 Series GT over the model which was introduced back in 2018. But the changes here would be visible only to keen pair of eyes. There’s the new LED lighting signature for the headlamps that are also seen on the internationally-launched 5 Series. Also seen are tweaked grille and reworked front bumpers. At the back, changes are lesser still, with a deployable rear spoiler as the only welcome addition.
On the inside, there is the all-digital instrument cluster that’s new, while BMW has also changed the steering wheel design. The floating touchscreen is also larger than before and runs the latest version of the BMW iDrive interface. And that’s about all the changes that have been carried out on the new 6 Series GT over the outgoing model.
Carving a niche for itself, the BMW 6 Series GT isn’t an easy car to understand, but a sensible car to own. It does well everything that it’s set out to do – being comfortable, effortless, and a luxurious mile-muncher which is equally at home in the concrete jungle as it is on open stretches of tarmac. With a long list of tech on offer, it’s a comfortable space to spend long hours in.
And when you occasionally decide to grab the wheel, there’re enough munitions in its arsenal to plaster a grin on your face as well. For someone who wants to step up over the conventional luxury sedan like the 5 Series and doesn’t want to get into the high-riding X models, the BMW 6 Series GT makes perfect sense.
Pictures by Kapil Angane and Kaustubh Gandhi