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First drive: BMW 840d xDrive. Image by BMW.

First drive: BMW 840d xDrive
Powered by diesel, does the new BMW 8 Series lose some of its shine?


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BMW 840d xDrive

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The new BMW 8 Series made a dramatic entrance in M850i guise. Now it's the turn of the entry-level 840d xDrive model. Whilst it isn't as dramatic as the petrol-powered variant, it has its own charm and character - and there are plenty of reasons to choose it over its more potent sibling.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: BMW 840d xDrive Coupe
Pricing: 8 Series starts at 76,270 on-the-road
Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged straight-six diesel
Transmission: eight-speed Steptronic automatic, four-wheel drive
Body style: two-door, '2+2' coupe
CO2 emissions: 160g/km (VED Band I 151-170: 830 in year one)
Combined economy: 46.3mpg
Top speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 4.9 seconds
Power: 320hp at 4,400rpm
Torque: 680Nm at 1,750-2,250rpm
Boot space: 420 litres

What's this?

This is the diesel-powered member of the new flagship BMW 8 Series range, called the 840d xDrive. The 8 Series, in case you missed it, is the new two-door coupe from BMW that replaces the 6 Series. With The 8 we see BMW enter the luxury sports car market where it hopes to rival the likes of the Aston Martin Vantage, Mercedes-AMG GT and Porsche 911, though obviously this diesel model is quite different to all of those. Prices for the BMW 8 Series range start at 76,270. For now, the 840d xDrive version is the entry-level model, but it's expected that there will be an entry-level petrol option badged 840i, probably the only variant offered with rear-wheel drive.

In the UK, standard equipment includes 20-inch alloy wheels with M Sport brakes, adaptive sport suspension with electronically controlled dampers and Integral Active Steering.

Those feeling flush can upgrade to the M Technic Sport Package (an additional 2,500), which adds an M Sport differential, high performance tyres, uprated brakes and M seat belts. This package also adds a rear spoiler, as well as some additional styling elements that make the 840d look fairly indistinguishable from the M850i. The most noticeable difference can be found at the back - the M850i gets four exhaust outlets where the 840d gets two. Upgrading the diesel will cost you 78,770 overall, but that's still significantly cheaper than the 99,525 starting price of the range-topper.

You'll also save on running costs. By opting for the diesel unit with the M Technic Sport package, the first year's VED rate is lower than the petrol model's and as for fuel economy, well, that'll be improved too with the longer-legged diesel returning 46.3mpg compared to 28.3mpg for the thirstier petrol.

How does it drive?

Much like the exterior styling, the handling isn't all that different either. OK, the 840d doesn't have the same potency as the petrol version, but with an impressive 680Nm of torque available from 1,750rpm it does have plenty of effortless get up and go. It surges forward with force. This, combined with the smooth and refined nature of the engine, makes the 840d live up to its description as a luxurious grand tourer, perhaps even more so than the more raucous M840i model.

The transmission is also smooth and never misses a beat. Also adding to the GT feel is the comfortable ride quality. Even though the suspension is more on the firm side of things, the ride never feels harsh. As you'd hope, the handling is also excellent, with accurate, well-weighted steering, minimal body lean and vice-like grip thanks in part to the xDrive all-wheel-drive system. Overall, the chassis feels well-sorted and the car feels tight and sharp on the road. There also a decent amount of feel and feedback. Even though there's plenty of onboard tech keeping you safe and working away as you drive, you never feel all that detached from the car.


The new BMW 8 Series has great road presence and comes with a classy, high quality interior with plenty of luxuries, safety features and kit as standard. However, all of this is to be expected from a flagship model of a premium brand.

What perhaps isn't so expected is just how well the diesel engine suits the grand tourer. It elevates the car's comfort levels and cruising abilities as well as making it cheaper to buy and run. This makes the 840d xDrive version shine bright, perhaps even brighter than the petrol version, especially for those buyers who do a lot of motorway driving.

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Exterior Design

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Interior Ambience

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Passenger Space

4 4 4 4 4 Luggage Space

5 5 5 5 5 Safety

4 4 4 4 4 Comfort

4 4 4 4 4 Driving Dynamics

4 4 4 4 4 Powertrain

Melanie May - 4 Dec 2018    - BMW road tests
- BMW news
- 8 Series images

2019 BMW 840d xDrive Coupe. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 840d xDrive Coupe. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 840d xDrive Coupe. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 840d xDrive Coupe. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 840d xDrive Coupe. Image by BMW.

2019 BMW 840d xDrive Coupe. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 840d xDrive Coupe. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 840d xDrive Coupe. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 840d xDrive Coupe. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 840d xDrive Coupe. Image by BMW.


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