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BMW 640i SE Convertible business car road test report

BMW 640i SE Convertible

BMW 640i SE Convertible

What is it?

NEW BMW 6 Series to replace the 6 Series that came out in 2005. To capture the spring crowd, the convertible has been launched ahead of the hard-roof coupe, which will follow. BMW has also confirmed production of a four door version, called Gran Coupe. For now, there are just two variants of the convertible – the larger, eight-cylinder 650i SE and the model tested here, the straight-six 640i SE, priced from £65,680.

What’s hot?

  • Beautifully smooth but still lively-sounding six cylinder engine..
  • …which plays to BMW’s undoubted strengths
  • £300 first year VED significantly below most opposition
  • Room for the proverbial two sets of golf clubs
  • Conservative, ‘classic’ styling
  • New ‘angled-to-the-driver’ dash is inspired
  • Trick right-speed auto transmission now includes stop-start technology…
  • …which works well, too

What’s not?

  • Conservative, ‘classic’ styling is bland to some
  • Ironically, it looks better with the roof up
  • Near-two-tonne bulk, which you can feel
  • Desirable adaptive drive dampers are £3400 option
  • Easy to add £10k in options, which seems wrong at these heights

What you need to Know?

P11D Value:65,695
Monthly Rental*:1278 (CH)/£1534 (PCH)
Tax Band when posted:26%, 27%, 28%
Monthly BiK:Click link for BIK
Engine:3.0-litre straight-six turbo petrol
CO2 Emissions:185g/km
Power/torque:320bhp/450Nm
Economy:35.8mpg

Monthly contract hire (CH) and personal contract hire (PCH) rentals generated by Concept Vehicle Leasing. Based on a 36 month lease at 10,000 miles a year, 3+35 payments.

Business Car Manager Road Test Rating

By the end of production, three-quarters of UK buyers were plumping for the diesel-powered 635d version of the outgoing BMW 6 Series model. Although the new, petrol-powered 640i SE tested here undercuts the old 635d’s 190g/km CO2 figure (185g/km), you might still want to wait on the new 635d (which will be even lower in CO2) if tax and running costs are an issue. They might be because 53% of rag-top BMW 6 Series are corporate purchases, mostly to SME owners and entrepreneurs.

But this is intentionally an Old Skool motor even if the embedded technology is razor-edged. The 640i is in many ways the pick of the bunch and suits this car. It’s nimbler than the heavier and thirstier 650i, plenty fast enough and still achieves a very respectable combined fuel economy of 36mpg. However, styling is conservative and the competition stiff.

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