Tag Archives: luxury coupe

2023 BMW 840i xDrive Gran Coupe

Swoopy Gran Coupe a luxury rocket for the 5% crowd …

There are cars Bill Gates and Warren Buffett can afford and then there are cars that any CEO or hedge fund trader might slip lovingly into their 3-car garage.

That’s the 1% vs. 5% rule in the car world, and it’s the difference between owning a Bentley, Bugatti, Ferrari or Rolls and, say, a BMW, Mercedes or Lexus.

Luxury, as with other car segments, has its nuances. So while you and moi may see this week’s nearly $100 grand BMW 840i xDrive Gran Coupe (the rich and hoity call it a coo-pay), as a high-end luxury fastback sedan, the one-percenters would consider it an entry-level daily driver.

If only!

Let’s begin with looks. The 2023 BMW 840i Gran Coupe is a dart of a car, a sleek fastback that oozes sex appeal. Look at those curves, the sweep of the roof, the smoothness of its lines, the lean nose-heavy silhouette. This one was bathed in a chameleon-like Sepia Metallic paint job that looked everything from light purple to gray with gold highlights. Fantastic, but then so is the $5,500 price for the jeweled appearance.

Yet if you, or your monied significant other, were in “need” of a slinky luxury sedan you’ll find few others that drive this well or look this tempting. That’s especially true as the sedan and coupe markets continue to shrink as trucks and their progeny overrun the auto market. A few contenders might be the Audi S7, Mercedes AMG GT, Lexus LC, and Porsche Panamera.

BMW is noted for its handling and the 840i with xDrive, its AWD system, is another gem, slicing through corners at speed and slipping into parking spots at a crawl. Steering wheel feedback is reactive and precise, plus there are four drive modes to firm ride and handling while altering shift points.

The fine twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder (a standard BMW powerplant) is stout and sturdy. It’s also plenty fast for highway jaunts, pumping 335 horsepower and doing 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds. It’s capable of a top speed of 155 mph. You need faster?

OK then, go for the 850i with its twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 that packs 523 hp or jump up to the Alpina B8 model with 612 horses. Of course you’ll pay more for both. Just cash in some stock options or make another clever online trade.

Watch Mark’s video: Mark Savage reviews the 2023 BMW 840i Gran Coupe – YouTube

But this 840i is fast, fun and comfy as is, its 8-speed automatic shifting so smoothly it’s like a ghost transmission. While the grip from its 20-inch performance tires and that AWD make the BMW 8 Series a fine all-season car. Braking is primo too with monster four-wheel vented M-series discs. There’s also Cornering Brake Control to appropriately brake each wheel in turns to enhance cornering precision.

Naturally ride is firm, but mostly comfy even in the firmed up Sport mode. No spine tingling here.

Now, while the base Gran Coupe starts at $86,000 including delivery and this xDrive model lists at $88,895, there are plenty of add-ons to improve its already luxurious interior.

That starts with a $2,000 ivory white Merino leather seating package. For the uninformed (maybe you didn’t hand pick the leather your vehicle features) Merino leather is all natural, no funky dyes or dirt-fighting oils added and it’s as soft as a baby’s behind. The price you pay for patina is that Merino wears and soils more readily than treated leathers.

Still, a purplish car with white leather interior is pretty swank.

The dash is well laid out and appointed, now featuring a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen mounted high in the dash’s center. There’s still a rotary knob on the console to adjust it too, but most functions are easily found via the easier touchscreen functions.

Enhancing that are 8 pre-set radio buttons below the screen for easily storing your favorite channels.

A head-up display (HUD) is standard too and BMW’s digital dash simple to see and read. The test car added a fancy crystal shifter knob, a $650 option, and the start button is on the console, next to the shifter.

The baby-soft leather seats are powered, naturally, and feature buttons to adjust the lumbar four ways and a lever beneath the seat allows the lower cushion to be extended, an aid for long-legged drivers and passengers. Front seat heat is standard as is a heated steering wheel and the arm rests, a nice touch. Oddly rear seat heat costs another $650, but should be standard at this price.

The dash top is black leather with the lower portion white to match the seats while an aluminum trim enlivens the door styling and wraps into the air vent surrounds at the dash’s far corners. There’s also aluminum trim on the console surrounding the shifter and the textured surface there and on the door that covers a cubby beneath the center stack.

Yes, there’s a wireless charger there too, plus Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, as is a Harmon Kardon premium stereo. BMW’s Gran Coupe also includess 4-zone climate controls.

Overhead are two sunroofs, with the rear roof’s controls being on the rear seat armrests, as are power side window shades and a rear window sun shade.

A power trunk release pops the trunk and opens to a spacious cargo area. This is rated at 15.5 cubic feet, which is bigger than most sedan trunks. Think golf club caddy!

Negatives? Not many beyond price.

The powerful turbo engine prefers premium fuel and I feel all sporty cars should come with a flat-bottom steering wheel to visually signal their racy leanings. There also is the unpredictable gesture control function for the radio that sometimes works, sometimes not.

Fuel mileage is decent for this size car and the power delivered. I got 22.2 mpg while the car is rated 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway for the AWD model.

Visually BMW says there’s a lighted grille here, although as a driver you’d never know. Plus this one added M Shadowline lighting for $650, and bi-color double spoke wheels for $1,300. A minor add-on is the $100 Driving Assistance package that adds active blind spot detection, park distance control and assistant, plus a 3-D surround view camera. Worth the $100 as all the other safety equipment you’d expect is standard.

They say the grille is lighted, but it’s hard to tell in the daylight.

With options, the test 840i xDrive Gran coupe comes in at $99,745. Going with one of several standard colors can save you $4,000 to $5,500 though.

A two-door coupe (a less roomy rear seat, plus just two doors) is also available and a convertible model in both the 840i and 850i models. A base coupe is $84,000, and convertible $95,000

For comparison, an 850i Gran Coupe starts at $101,000, and the 850i convertible at $110,000. Moving up to that ego-pleasing superfast Alpina jumps the price to $141,000.

OK, what’ll it be Mr. Gates, one of each?

Fancy wheels, big brake rotors!

FAST STATS: 2023 BMW 840i xDrive Gran Coupe

Hits: Sleek fastback looks, interesting color and snazzy interior. Strong power, excellent handling and grip thanks to AWD. Heated seats and wheel, wireless charger, big easy-to-use screen, 4 drive modes, 8 pre-set radio buttons, comfy seats, dual sunroofs, and excellent trunk space.

Misses: Prefers premium fuel, no flat-bottom wheel, unpredictable gesture control for radio. 

Made in: Dingolfing, Germany

Sporty styling for the door panels and trim!

Engine: 3.0-liter twin turbo I6, 335 hp/368 torque

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Weight: 4,180 lbs.

Wheelbase: 119 in.

Length: 200.3 in.

Cargo: 15.5 cu.ft.

MPG: 20/27

MPG: 22.2 (tested)

Base Price: $88,895 (includes delivery)

Invoice: $83,240

Options:

Sepia Metallic paint, $5,500

Ivory white full Merino leather, $2,000

Driving assistance pkg. (parking assistant plus, active blind spot detection, active partk distance control, surround view w/3D), $100

M Sport professional pkg. (M Shadowline lights), $650

Comfort seating pkg. (heated front/rear seats), $650

20-inch M double-spoke bi-color wheels, $1,300

Glass controls (shifter), $650

Test vehicle: $99,745

Sources: BMW, www.kbb.com

Photos: Mark Savage

2022 BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe

Lively M440i noses ahead of luxury coupe competition …

Back in the day (old dudes expression) BMW’s 2002 coupe wasn’t so grand, it was just light and lively and sold like schnitzel in Munich.

Now the German brand’s M440i xDrive is a Gran Coupe that is less light, but awfully lively with 382 horsepower compared with 99 in that original 1960s model. It’s everything a sporting driver could want in a compact Gran Coupe, and I’m sorry, but I like the nose. Then again I liked the Edsel’s nose, back in the day.

Sadly almost every review of BMW’s 4 Series hot rod dwells on its two large kidney-shaped grilles that dominate its beak. Journalists who may have praised the Pontiac Aztek’s dramatic looks or Chrysler’s PT Cruiser for its daring retro design are whining that this nose is “too much.”

They forget that nearly all of today’s luxury makes, and a growing number of others, now tout massive grilles, usually featuring a logo the size of a human head at their middle. Some look better than others.

I also recall both BMW using similar designs in the past and those being considered Iconic. Even Pontiac (remember Ponty?) often used similar styling on its noses, considered sporty, back in the day.

So let’s move beyond the nose. Besides, all the young guys I asked Loved the nose and instantly knew this M440i was a Bimmer. I’m pretty sure BMW’s marketing folks would consider that a success.

This sharp-looking fastback IS fast, nimble and delivers a surprisingly comfortable ride, all at a decidedly luxury price tag.

Watch Mark’s video: Mark Savage reviews the 2022 BMW 440i which sort of looks like a Pontiac – YouTube

First, Gran Coupe’s silhouette oozes speed and sleekness as the rear window and roofline blends right into the short trunk lid. But it’s not just the trunk lid that opens. No, that entire structure, window and trunk open like a hatch. It’s massive, but works fine. Of course the rear seats split and fold in case long cargo needs transported.

Yet it’s unlikely that M440i buyers are primarily seeking cargo carriers.

No, the Gran Coupe is for ripping along highways and rural roads at speed, cornering like it’s a racer. That’s why there’s a twin-turbo 3.0-liter I6 beneath its long snout. As mentioned prior, the turbomeister cranks 382 horses and delivers 369 pound-feet of torque, yet does it so smoothly via the 8-speed automatic that you’ll barely notice when you hit 100+ on a freeway entry ramp. Don’t ask how I know.

Now if you’d care to save some coin and maybe get slightly better gas mileage, a 2.0-liter I4 that makes “just” 255 horses is available in the base BMW 430i, but it’s just rear-wheel-drive.

This M440i xDrive comes with all-wheel-drive, hence the xDrive moniker. That assures all the power is delivered to the appropriate wheels once roads becoming slippery. I’m looking at you Wisconsin.

It seems to me that through the years BMW has softened its ride and steering in most models, just enough to make them feel plush and luxurious on normal Midwest roads. However, the sporty nature is always there, as is the power. This M440i is all that.

Ride is comfortable in all modes (Comfort, Eco Pro, Adaptive), save for Sport. That firms the steering and ride. Steering tightening is welcome, but the firmer suspension setting makes the ride overly stiff. Stick with Comfort for normal driving, or Adaptive that supposedly chooses the appropriate gearing, steering input and ride quality that is called for at any instant.

In any case there is a sport suspension here with struts up front and a fine multi-link system in back – well-controlled, never punishing!

Inside the BMW remains sophisticated and well laid out. Seating is tan leather while the entire interior runs with a black over tan theme. So the dash and door tops are black, the tan trim below that, plus satin chrome trim on dash and doors with a bit of black wood on the passenger’s side dash. That wood is featured on the console’s top too, again with satin chrome trim.

Dash layout is simple and the infotainment screen is a 10.3-incher and easy to see and adjust. There are 8 radio preset buttons below the screen and a small volume control knob for the radio. There’s also a volume adjustment on the steering wheel hub.

Oddly the seats are manually adjusted with a couple handles on the seat’s side and a bar under the lower cushion. I’d expect power at this price. Seats are comfortable and supportive, as you’d expect in a performance-oriented coupe. They also are heated, but not cooled, again something I’d expect at this level.

BMW’s steering wheel is heated too, with a button nestled just below the center hub. However, this is a standard round wheel, where a sportier flat-bottomed wheel makes sense.

Good screen and climate controls make operation easy while driving.

There’s also a good-sized sunroof overhead and a wireless charger just below the center stack. An inside trunk release button is on the driver’s door.

Gas mileage was surprisingly good for a performance car. I got 25.5 mpg in about 60% highway driving, but with several heavy acceleration bursts (solely for test purposes). Sadly to get its full horsepower this twin-turbo prefers premium (93 octane). The EPA rates the car at 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway, which beats all the SUVs and most of the non-hybrid crossovers.

Stylish wheels and red brake calipers add some flare.

So what are the damages here?

Not so rough at the entry 430i level with the lower horsepower engine and RWD. The base is $46,195, while the tested M440i xDrive jumps to $59,195, including delivery.

But this one was a snazzy dark metallicSan Remo Green that added $550, plus there were six other options that jumped the M440i to $67,520. Most surprising was a $350 add-on for a Sensa-Tec dash, which translates to soft vinyl. Again, I would expect that to be standard.

A nice addition for $875 is the fine Harman Kardon surround sound audio system, much less costly than the $3,200 Volvo wanted for its Bowers & Wilkins system upgrade in the XC60 a few weeks ago. Ouch!

Other add-ons include a $2,400 cooling and high-performance tire package with an upgraded M sport suspension and performance tires, plus fancy double-spoke, bi-color alloy wheels, along with a parking assistance package for $700 that adds a surround view camera and parking sensors.

How’s this for a handsome, stylish door panel?

A driving assistance professional package adds front cross-traffic alert, smart cruise control with Stop & Go, active driving assistant pro, an evasion aid, active lane keeping assist with side collision avoidance, traffic jam assistant and extended traffic jam assistant, for $1,700. I suspect the smart cruise control is optional as BMW designs its cars for enthusiastic drivers who may not want that feature standard.

Finally, for $1,750 the premium package adds a head-up display, the heated front seats and steering wheel, ambient lighting and gesture control technology, which may make you think it won’t allow you to give other drivers hand gestures. Would that it could stop that. But it really allows a driver to make a sweeping motion to turn the radio’s volume up or down, decline a phone call or change a rear camera angle.

Without all the doodads an M440i xDrive could be had in the low $60,000 range and while that’s a luxury price tag, it’s a bargain for this amount of performance.

FAST STATS: 2022 BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe

Hits: Sharp fastback styling, super acceleration, sporty handling and good ride. Heated wheel and seats, multiple drive modes, wireless charger, sophisticated interior with big screen, sunroof, and supportive seats.

Misses: Prefers premium unleaded, price. Plus needs flat-bottom wheel, cooled seats and powered seats.

Made in: Dingolfing, Germany

Engine: 3.0-liter twin turbo I6, 382 hp/369 torque

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Weight: 4,169 lbs.

Wheelbase: 112.4 in.

Length: 188.5 in.

Cargo: 12.0 cu.ft.

MPG: 22/29

MPG: 25.5 (tested)

Base Price: $59,195 (includes delivery)

Invoice: $55,620

Options:

San Remo Green Metallic paint, $550

Cooling, high-performance tire package (M tech pkg, adaptive M suspension & tire mobility kit, P245/40R19 Front & P255/40R19 rear high-perf tires, M double-spoke bi-color style 861M alloy wheels), $2,400

Driving assistance professional package (front cross-traffic alert, smart cruise control w/Stop & Go, active driving  assistant pro, evasion aid, active lane keeping assist w/side collision avoidance, traffic jam assistant & extended traffic jam assistant), $1,700

Parking assistance package (surround view camera w/3D view, active park distance control & parking assistant plus), $700

Premium package (gesture control technology, HUD, ambient lighting, heated front seats & steering wheel), $1,750

SensaTec dashboard, $350

Harman Kardon surround sound, $875

Test vehicle: $67,520

Sources: BMW, www.kbb.com

Photos: Mark Savage