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First drive: BMW 630d Gran Turismo. Image by BMW.

First drive: BMW 630d Gran Turismo
Can diesel power convince us of the merits of BMWs 6 Series Gran Turismo?

   



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BMW 630d Gran Turismo

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5

It's not often we drive a car in the UK so soon after we've tested it at an international launch, but that's precisely what's happened with the 6 Series Gran Turismo (6 GT). So, mere days after we were left feeling ambivalent about the 640i GT xDrive while in sunnier climes, can the big-selling 630d GT M Sport make a more convincing case, now that we're back on home tarmac?

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: BMW 630d Gran Turismo M Sport
Pricing: 6 Series GT range from 46,810; 630d GT M Sport from 53,325, car as tested 71,145
Engine: 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder diesel
Transmission: rear-wheel drive, eight-speed Steptronic automatic
Body style: five-door coupe-hatch
CO2 emissions: 135g/km (VED 200 first 12 months, then 450 per annum next five years, then 140 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 55.3mpg
Top speed: 155mph (limited)
0-62mph: 6.1 seconds
Power: 265hp at 4,000rpm
Torque: 620Nm at 2,000- to 2,500rpm

What's this?

The BMW 630d Gran Turismo M Sport, a model which is more representative to the UK market than the 640i xDrive flagship we drove barely a week before. A total of 90 per cent of 6 GTs sold in the UK will be M Sports (the other 10 per cent will be SEs), while seven-in-ten will be diesel-powered 630d variants. That means this car is more likely to be what you'll see hammering past you on the M40 on a murky Monday evening.

Other than that, all the same things apply about the 630d as the 640i. It looks the same as the 640i, either inside or out, which means it's the love it or loathe it styling outside with a plush, spacious and extremely well equipped cabin within. The particular 630d we're trying here is rear-wheel drive, although xDrive is available as an option for another 2,000 on the list price. However, what's more alarming here is that our test car had thousands and thousands of pounds of options on it, bringing the grand total to more than 71,000. Good grief.

How does it drive?

Hmm. Given that the 6 GT was now running on heavily pockmarked roads in the North Wessex Downs to the north and west of Newbury in the Berkshire countryside, the magnificent ride quality is once again worth mentioning. The 630d was fitted with two-axle air suspension (1,670) and it managed to smooth out sinuous, snaking and undulating roads across open uplands into routes that felt as even and immaculate as the best German Autobahns. So that's a big plus. It was also comfortable to ride in as a passenger, both in the front and rear seats. And while the 3.0-litre diesel gets a bit vocal beyond 3,000rpm, it's otherwise pleasingly muted, and the whole car is stunningly quiet when on the move.

So the 630d GT ramps up the whole accomplished grand tourer thing even further, given its improved economy stats suggest it will go a lot longer on one tank of fuel than its petrol siblings could ever hope to. However, if anything, the rear-wheel drive 630d felt even more lumbering and uncomfortable during cornering than the 640i xDrive. It takes a long time for the weight to transfer laterally as you turn in, making the BMW feel like it is rolling in the corners far more than it actually is.

Flick it into Sport mode, and you get a touch more heft to the steering and a little sharper body control, but at no point does the 630d get anywhere close to becoming exciting to drive. It feels like precisely the compromise that it is: halfway between a 5 Series Touring and an X5. So if you're looking at its rough approximation of a coupe body and hoping for dynamic fireworks, you're going to be sorely disappointed.

Verdict

The BMW 630d Gran Turismo makes marginally more sense in the UK than the 640i GT xDrive version, because it's cheaper to buy (not at 71,145, though...), better on fuel and therefore more understandable to run in a country where petrol and diesel are now 1.20 a litre wherever you look. But it still seems a vastly more compromised, less able car than a BMW 5 Series Touring, which is less money again and far nicer to look at. Buy the 630d if you absolutely must, but we wouldn't recommend it over some of the finer products that are offered elsewhere in the BMW line-up.

2 2 2 2 2 Exterior Design

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Luggage Space

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Safety

5 5 5 5 5 Comfort

3 3 3 3 3 Driving Dynamics

4 4 4 4 4 Powertrain


Matt Robinson - 15 Oct 2017



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2017 BMW 630d GT drive. Image by BMW.2017 BMW 630d GT drive. Image by BMW.2017 BMW 630d GT drive. Image by BMW.2017 BMW 630d GT drive. Image by BMW.2017 BMW 630d GT drive. Image by BMW.

2017 BMW 630d GT drive. Image by BMW.2017 BMW 630d GT drive. Image by BMW.2017 BMW 630d GT drive. Image by BMW.2017 BMW 630d GT drive. Image by BMW.2017 BMW 630d GT drive. Image by BMW.








 

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