2009 BMW 6-Series Performance
This performance review was written when the 2009 BMW 6-Series was new.
Critics, on balance, report that the 6-Series' engine is powerful and smooth, and that its steering, suspension and braking systems work together to create a car that handles well -- for a sporty cruiser.
- "An Above-Average Driving Machine, but Not Really the Ultimate." -- Car and Driver
- "If the exhilarating rush of a big V8-powered coupe that handles with the confidence of a world-class GT car sets your sporting senses tingling, you'll love the 650i Coupe." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "For a vehicle so laden with technological comfort and safety features, the 6 Series maintains a remarkably direct and visceral driving experience. Although not as nimble as the smaller 3 Series coupe, the 2009 BMW 650i is a very capable performer when driven hard." -- Edmunds
Acceleration and Power
Reviewers are pleased with he BMW 6-Series' powerful 4.8-liter V8 engine. It produces 360-horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 360 pound-feet of torque at 3,400 rpm. Though a six-speed manual transmission with Dynamic Driving Control is standard, a sport automatic transmission with shift paddles is available at no additional cost. According to BMW, both the 650i Coupe and Convertible have a top speed of 150 mph. However, the Coupe's ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in only 5.3 seconds trumps the Convertible by 0.3 seconds.
The EPA reports a city/highway fuel economy of 15/22 mpg with the manual 650i Coupe and 14/21 mpg with the manual 650i Convertible.
- "The 650s have superb power and response for most any situation." -- Consumer Guide
- "The silky 360-horsepower V8 takes it from zero to 60 mph in just about 5.5 seconds, regardless of whether it's backed by the conventional six-speed manual, BMW's six-speed SMG (Sequential Manual Gearbox) or the six-speed automatic with Steptronic shift control." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "A coupe is something separate from a sports car, but the BMW 650i puts out numbers quite sporty for 3857 pounds. We watched 60 mph arrive in five seconds flat on the way to a 13.6-second quarter-mile at 105 mph and a top speed of 151. However, overcoming two-ton mass simply requires more thrust, so even more impressive than the BMW's acceleration numbers is the 650i's 0.92-g skidpad grip, better by 0.05 g than the last M6 we tested and about what you'd get if you chained two Lotus Elises together to get a package with similar weight and interior space but likely more curb appeal." -- Car and Driver
Handling and Braking
Test drivers offer mixed opinions on the 6-Series' steering and suspension systems. Overall, most find that it handles more like a sporty cruiser than a sports car.
- "Hard to fault the powertrain, but the rest of the car is so refined as to feel a bit numb; perfect for the interstate. Too heavy to feel truly nimble." -- Car and Driver
- "Too large and heavy to be sports-car agile ... but balanced and assured on highways and byways. Active Steering sharpens low-speed moves, but some testers find it intrusive. Active Roll Stabilization quells most body lean in fast turns." -- Consumer Guide
- "The suspensions are sufficiently taut, and occupants may experience a jittery sensation while traversing certain surfaces. This excess motion doesn't really result in a harsh ride, and it's a small price to pay for such superior control." -- Cars.com
- "Although the suspension is tuned more for control than pure comfort, the 650i is still a first-rate cruiser." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The standard Dynamic Stability Control system, which automatically adjusts the brakes and throttle when sensors detect a skid, includes a number of cutting-edge braking functions. Brake Standby reacts when the driver suddenly lifts his or her foot off the accelerator, anticipating hard braking, and snugs the brake pads against the rotors. Start-Off Assistant automatically engages the brakes on an incline to prevent the car from rolling back when the driver lifts off the brake pedal to depress the accelerator." -- Forbes