Test Drive Notes Library
- Everything. We like pretty much everything about this car, except the price. This is one of those cars that does everything very well.
- Practicality. The 640GT is based on BMW’s 5 series. But instead of a trunk, the 640 gives you a hatchback that exponentially increases the vehicle’s usefulness. It operates almost like a station wagon. Fold down the back seats and lay a couple of bicycles in there. Even with the back seats up, the wide open hatch lets you easily load up all the cases of overpriced Cabernet you can drink. It’s taller and roomier in every direction than the 5-series, which is particularly noticeable in the limo-like back seat. But the whole car feels more spacious. In fact, the only reasonable excuse for buying a 5-series over the 6GT is that you like the look of a traditional sedan (oh, and the extra money). Otherwise, this car wins hands down.
- Comfort. At first, the ride and handling seemed a little soft for a BMW. But over the course of the week, we came to appreciate it. There’s not a bit of discomfort to be had in this car. The seats are comfortable, the ride is smooth, bumps are absorbed, the interior is quiet. It’s a well executed luxury car.
- Handling. It may not be the 1977 320i you remember, but, then again, your butt was smaller then, and your capacity for discomfort was larger. By any measure, the 640iGT handles competently and predictably, particularly with the $4,000 Dynamic Suspension option. But the price of the extra comfort is some softness on highway entrance loops, and higher speed corners. It’s geared towards comfort.
- Power. The 640 uses BMW’s twin turbo, 3 liter six cylinder, rated at 335 hp. It’s not obnoxious, snarling power. But it’s more than enough, and quietly there whenever you want to call on it. The transmission is BMW’s impressively smooth 8-speed automatic. It’s a car that’s easy to drive gently and smoothly, but has plenty power in reserve.
- Amenities. They’re all here, save for possibly a robotic ass scratcher. Perhaps that’s in the 2019. Heads up display, iDrive controlled touch screen, heated and cooled everything, blind spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, surround view back up camera, Astrodome sized sunroof, gimmicky gesture control, wireless phone charging. You won’t feel like a cheap date.
- Good ergonomics. The screen covers the entertainment stuff, navigation, and vehicle settings. But the stuff you use most, the heating and ventilation controls, the volume control, and your presets are all operated with clear, easy to reach dedicated buttons. Another nice thing is that the presets can be used for a variety of tasks, not just radio stations. Set Preset 1 to call up your favorite satellite radio station. Set Preset 2 to have the car navigate home from wherever you are. Set Preset 3 to call your boyfriend. Set Preset 4 to call your husband. Set Preset 5 to call your lawyer.
- Looks. Some people don’t like the way this car looks. Ignore them. It’s got presence, and immense practicality. And you’ll be so happy inside it that you won’t care what anybody else thinks.
Test Drive Notes Library
- $84,010. Yeah, there’s that. Our 640iGT was fully and completely loaded. You might find one for 10K or so less. Even so, that’s a lot of schgarole. That’s why they say “it’s good to be king.”
- Slightly thick A-pillars. We had at least one crossing pedestrian temporarily blocked out by an A-pillar. Fortunately, the 640iGT has automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, so even if we hadn’t seen him in time, we might still be out of jail and writing to you now.
- Wireless charging placement. We like wireless charging. But the 640iGT has placed the wireless charging pad in a bin in front of the cup holders. Not only do you have to use your fingers to pry your phone out of the hole, but putting your $1,000 iPhone X directly in front of your grande frothy mocha probably isn’t the best place for it.
- Pay to play. Apple Car Play is a $300 option on this car. That feels like an insult. At this price, couldn’t you just throw it in? Like Honda does on many of its Civics that cost less than a third the price of a 640?
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