It’s all about luxury and power
The 2017 BMW 650i xDrive Cabriolet has a lot to offer buyers in the luxury convertible market. It has a powerful engine, elegant styling and a striking interior.
THE PROS & CONS
- What’s Best: The power and driving dynamics.
- What’s Worst: Extremely small back seat.
- What’s Interesting: This car offers elegance, performance and luxury in an all-wheel-drive package.
What’s your dream car?
Well, if you’re like me, there’s not just one, but several that come to mind.
Up high on my list for the past few years has been the BMW 6 Series.
I know some people view them as too big and bulky, but there is just something about the understated elegance of the design that appeals to me.
So when the opportunity came up to test a 2017 650i xDrive Cabriolet, I jumped at the chance as this was one car I’d never driven, only admired it from a distance.
I remember seeing the unveiling of this third generation at the 2011 North American International auto show in Detroit and thinking to myself how pretty it was.
For 2017, the 6 Series lineup again includes three models— the two-door 6 Series Coupe and Cabriolet and the four-door 6 Series Gran Coupe. Prices start at $90,900.
The Cabriolet, priced from $111,500, features a 4.4-litre twin turbo V8 with 445 hp and 480 lb/ft of torque. It is mated with an eight-speed sport automatic transmission with paddle shifters and xDrive, BMW’s all-wheel drive.
This combination will take the 650i from 0-100 km/h in about 4.6 seconds, according to factory figures. Certainly this is spirited performance for any car, but not quite up to the gold standards of some supercars on the market today.
Our test car was dressed in gorgeous Tanzanite Blue Metallic paint, a pricey $1,000 option but well worth the extra money.
With the black soft top stowed in the rear deck, our 6 Series Cabriolet would stand out in any crowd, in part because of the brilliant Opal White Full Merino leather interior— beautiful to admire but surely difficult to keep clean without a visit from the detailers on a weekly basis. This was a $5,900 option.
A further option on our tester was the M Sport Edition ($8,400) that replaces standard 19-inch wheels with 20-inchers and adds performance run-flat tires (245/35 R20s up front and 275/30 R20s at the rear).
This package also includes features such as a 16-speaker Harman/Kardon surround sound audio system, rear view camera, ventilated seats, ceramic controls, SiriusXM satellite radio, head-up display, soft close doors, multifunction instrument display WiFi hotspot, M aerodynamics package and an M leather steering wheel.
All these add-ons took the as-tested price to $126,800 plus the $2,095 destination charge.
While some other upscale roadsters like the Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 we tested a few weeks ago go the retractable hardtop route, the 6 Series Cabriolet still has the old-style soft top.
But I’m here to tell you that it does its job well. We encountered a torrential downpour during a short jaunt up to cottage country north of Toronto during our week with the car.
Unlike convertibles of earlier generations, not a drop of water made its way into the cabin despite a few minutes when the rain was coming at us sideways as we had to pull off the road for safety.
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The top system itself is complicated and a marvel to watch in operation, much like the one on the aforementioned Mercedes-AMG SLC 43. In this case, the glass rear window is somewhat unique in that it goes up and down independent of the top itself.
With the top up, there is a bit of road noise evident as you get with any roadster, but the real impressive feature is the lack of wind buffeting when the top is down. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t allow for a lot of open-air cruising during our week with the 650i, but we had a taste of just how delightful it would be.
Inside, the cabin is a thing of beauty with top-shelf materials throughout. The front seats are very comfortable with settings galore as we found during our three-hour jaunt to the North Country.
However, back seat space is extremely tight, best left for children, or adults only for short trips with the front seats pulled up tight to the dash.
One positive is that if space in the trunk is too tight, you can use the back seat for additional cargo room.
Out on the road, the 6 Series Cabriolet is a powerhouse, thanks to the growling 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8.
With 445 hp and 480 lb/ft of torque, there’s plenty of grunt for any situation. This car is designed to excel on the high-speed German Autobahn so power is never an issue. Getting a place to use that power safely on our roads is another matter.
Drivers can choose from several operating modes from Eco to Comfort, Comfort+ and Sport and Sport+. There’s surely something here for everyone and every driving condition.
Throw in the xDrive all-wheel drive system and you have a smooth, competent cabriolet that has an exciting combination of performance, luxury and good looks.
BMW 650i Cabriolet xDrive 2017
BODY STYLE: Two-door, four-passenger luxury cabriolet.
DRIVE METHOD: Front-engine, all-wheel-drive, eight-speed automatic transmission
ENGINE: 4.4-litre twin turbo V8 (445 hp, 480 lb/ft of torque).
FUEL ECONOMY: 14.8/9.6/12.5 L/100 km city/hwy/combined.
CARGO VOLUME: 348 litres with top up, 300 litres with top stowed.
PRICE: $111,500, as tested $126,800 plus $2,095 destination charge.
WEB SITE: www.bmw.ca