The 3rd generation BMW 6 series is just and simply a great looking car. And it doesn’t matter if it’s the coupe, the convertible or the gran coupe version.
Currently you can buy these cars for less than 25 000 € / $27 100, so even if you are making the same amount of money as one regular guy, with this car you can look like a more wealthier person who is making at least the same amount of money as 4 regular guys in total.
The interior looks that good and that expensive as the exterior, I mean just look at it!
Awesome isn’t it?
And not only that, it also has numerous luxury features as standard so you can’t really find a poorly equipped car + the standard user friendly iDrive system does have nice (still up-to date) graphics and it’s fast as well. Next, there are basically no issues with the build quality or materials quality either (except the slight movement and occasional sounds of the front seats).
On the other side, some owners complained that wearing the front seatbelt for longer time is not very comfortable – The front seatbelts are attached right to the seat-very close to the the head rest, so the seatbelt is very close to your neck. And to top of that you can’t adjust the seatbelt height which can cause bigger or smaller struggles. All in all, if you are testing the car just look for this if it won’t bother you.
This BMW was available with:
-the standard seats
-the optional sport seats
-or with the also optional comfort seats (on the picture below)
All of the seat variations are electrically adjustable and they are also mostly comfortable enough, although obviously-the optional comfort seats are the most comfortable. But in comparison, the BMW 7 series F01 from that time does have more comfortable seats than this 6 series.
“Obviously, you can’t expect adequate leg room or head room in the back of the regular coupé or convertible versions. However, the gran coupé does have some usable rear seat space although with a strictly limited head room.”
Despite the fact that this is still a young car there are some things you should pay attention to.
-First of all, there are numerous cases of slightly moving front seat frames while cornering (in this case you can basically feel a slight movement of the seat base while cornering). Some of the owners even got a new seat frame under warranty because of this slight movement. But apparently, you should be able to fix this by applying some teflon based grease into the white plastic brackets under the seat. If this won’t help then the plastic piece is worn out a lot. To top of that, some owners also complained about various occasional rattling or creaking sounds from the front seats mainly if the car was used on bad quality roads.
–Problems with closing the electronic windows are also not uncommon, so check all of them before buying and since this car has frameless door windows, make sure that the window automatically lowers a bit when you open the door and closes back when you close the door.
–Check the parking cameras as well if the car is equipped with them, since there are cases when either the camera itself or the camera harness was faulty.
-Obviously make sure that the car has the latest software updates and the battery has to be in a good condition to minimize the electronic glitches!
As usual check for water leaks in the interior and occasionally check or try to clean the area under the bonnet hinges which can accumulate dirt or leaves over time.
And if you are buying a car with right hand drive then it’s really important to check and modify a plastic cover on the firewall. Because cars with right hand drive have a yellow insert on the left side of the firewall. It would be all great and awesome if BMW would not cover this area with a badly designed plastic cover, since over time dirt and dried out leaves will accumulate in this area clogging it up, causing the water from the windshield filling up this area and it will slowly leak thru the yellow insert right into the interior. The plastic cover is located behind the engine-it is held by 4 screws and it’s not extremely hard to remove it. (but it’s also not easy and if you have a V8 engine then there won’t be room to remove it from the engine bay so in this case you can try to remove it from underneath the car) All in all-you should drill holes into this cover or slightly modify it to get a better water flow and get rid of this issue. By the way, not only the 6 series has this design flaw, but also the 5 series and the 7 series from that time. (you can see the pictures and the exact location of the yellow insert in the video at 2:50)
This BMW was available with either the regular coilover suspension or with the optional electronically adjustable suspension with electronically adjustable coilover shock absorbers. + Some cars are also equipped with the active anti-roll bars which minimize the body roll in corners.
-check the suspension for strange knocking, creaking, rattling and humming sounds
-check visually the control arm bushings for wear
-and check the shocks for oil leaks
If you are buying a car which is equipped with the active anti-roll bars, then it’s good to check them for leaks, and check the visible hoses from them for leaks as well – since these sway bars work with hydraulic fluid. Generally speaking they should be still in a good condition since the car is still not very old, But if you are buying a higher mileage car or a car which was used on winter salty roads then it’s good to pay bigger attention to these parts, and keep extra money for the hoses and eventually for the more expensive sway bars too.
Keep in mind that the standard run flat tires combined with the 20″ wheels is a bad and uncomfortable combination on bad roads! So if you want a more comfortable ride and if you want to avoid unnecessary expenses (-bent wheels, ruined tires, quicker worn wheel bearings, control arm bushings) then you should replace the runflat tires with the standard tires ASAP + you should use smaller wheel size. But if you have awesome roads without potholes then you can put whatever wheels and tires on your car.
The most reliable petrol engine is the turbocharged straight 6 cylinder. Of course it doesn’t have the sound of the V8 and it doesn’t have the power of the V8 but it is generally speaking a lot more reliable than the V8. On the other side, it can have issues mainly with the injectors or occasionally with the high pressure fuel pump, but still, could be worse.
Then there is the infamous twin-turbo 4.4 l V8 which has a big amount of power and much better sound then the 6 cylinder, there is no doubt about that. But you should definitely avoid this engine in cars made to 2012, since it can have numerous issues related to turbochargers, oil or coolant leaks, misfires, heavy oil consumption and complete engine failures are not uncommon either sometimes even after 50 000 km / 31 000 mi ! (lots of these engines were replaced under warranty)
On the other side BMW updated this engine in cars made from 2013, which means that it is more reliable from this year. But don’t expect bulletproof reliability even from the updated version, since it’s still almost the same overcomplicated engine which will have various (not cheap) issues, but mostly only in higher mileage cars. In other words, this modified V8 from 2013 can withstand 200 000 km / 124 000 mi with the proper maintenance, but I would not recommend buying this engine after this mileage point, because after this the chance of failures and expensive repair bills noticeably increases.
You should keep in mind that these are very complex engines indeed and sometimes they consume smaller or bigger amount of oil, so it’s really important to maintain the correct oil level all the time. All in all, check the oil level regularly, and also change it after 8 000 km – with this oil change interval you can minimize some of the issues. Obviously, the high pressure fuel pumps or the injectors can fail in this V8 as well – causing misfires.
“Use only the best possible oil and fuel in these engines!”
The engine in the M6 version is that reliable as the modified V8 from 2013, but since it’s a high performance car, some owners simply abused it-and in that case it can have bigger oil consumption or other issues.
By the way, sometimes you won’t get the regular low oil level warning even if the oil level is lower than it should be, so because of this you have to check the oil level through the iDrive regularly!
There are not many issues with the straight 6 cylinder diesel engine with two turbochargers unless it was abused, used regularly only on short distances or it has more than 200 000 km. On the other side there are two things you should keep in mind:
-The first is, that there is recall related to the possibly faulty EGR cooler which can leak coolant. This doesn’t sound that bad, but the coolant can mix with the carbon build up and this mixed deposit can easily catch fire ! So make sure that the EGR cooler was replaced under this recall, and if not then ask the dealer about this !
-Then you should also check for strange vibrations from the engine at idle since there were a couple of cases of prematurely worn engine mounts.
Of course buying this engine with more than 220 000 or 250 000 km will be a bigger financial risk, but that shouldn’t be a surprise anyway. At the end of the day these are modern complex diesel engines, so it’s crucial to use good quality fuel (eventually good quality additives), change the oil in time, and use these engines mainly on long distances.
+Sometimes the Bosch CP4 high pressure fuel pump can fail and it will contaminate the whole fuel system with small metal particles causing destroyed injectors + contaminated fuel system (mostly just cars used in US and Eastern part of EU). More information about this issue in the used BMW X5 F15 article.
What about cars with this diesel engine with more than 200 000 – 250 000 km?
- you can expect faulty turbochargers
- faulty injectors
- and worst of all worn rod bearings and later worn main crankshaft bearings (usually at 300 000 km, but sometimes even a bit earlier) this will cause a knocking noise at first, and later you will end up with a destroyed engine
So don’t buy a diesel engine with more than 200 000 – 250 000 km unless you have enough money to replace/repair the whole engine, eventually replace the rod bearings preventively !
All of the engines are equipped with timing chain. After 200 000 km / 124 000 mi you should be prepared to replace it (and its actually good to preventively replace it), but with the proper oil change interval it can withstand more mainly in the 6 cylinder engines.
This BMW is equipped with just the 8 speed automatic gearbox, and the M6 version had either the common 7 speed dual-clutch transmission or the not that common 6 speed manual.
There are no extraordinary issues with these transmissions, at least in not high mileage cars, so just check them properly before buying and change the oil in them!
In cars equipped with the xDrive 4 wheel drive system you should check for all those strange howling or whining sounds and also for shuddering at acceleration which can indicate issues with the transfer case – since there are some cases of failed transfer cases mostly after approximately 100 000 km / 62 000 mi.
The abused M6 version can have issues with the worn rear differential but that’s nothing unusual.
“It’s also good to check for strange vibrations from 100 km/h – 62 mph at constant speed or during acceleration. Some say it’s because of the unbalanced wheels, some say it’s the gearbox, or the brake discs and pads, and some unlucky owners just sold the car because of this annoying possible problem.”
The last thing you should check is a strange occasional tapping / knocking noise or feel in the steering wheel when coming to a stop or moving slowly – this is not normal, and owners who experienced this got a new steering rack under warranty!
To summarize things up:
-if you want the most reliable version and you want to keep the car for a longer time then choose the 640i 6 cylinder petrol model
-avoid cars with performance upgrades
-buy only a car with a proper maintenance history
-and definitely keep extra money for the additional repairs if you are buying a car outside of warranty!
As usual, if you have personal experience with this car or more information about it, then you can write it into comments!