In-depth reviews

BMW 6 Series GT review - Interior, design and technology

Exterior looks is more digestible than 5 Series GT, but still awkward from some angles. Interior is as nicely trimmed and tech-laden as you’d expect from BMW

BMW has acknowledged that the main criticism of the old 5 Series Gran Turismo was its blocky, upright shape and mishmash of angles. Considerable effort has been made to address this in the 6 Series Gran Turismo, with the new car being considerably longer, lower and more coupe-like than before.

It’s certainly an improvement, but we still feel it’s distinctive rather than pretty, with some angles making it look heavy handed and bulbous. Still, looks are in the eye of the beholder, and there’s a case to argue that its design and relative rarity make it look more exclusive than a 5 Series.

It’s much less divisive inside, of course. Anyone familiar with the interiors of the latest 5 and 7 Series will feel right a home in the 6 GT. Quality has taken a marked step up over previous efforts, with top notch materials and almost faultless fit-and-finish. You sit quite high up compared to the 5 Series, which BMW claims makes the 6 GT more relaxing over long distances.

The wrap-around dashboard balances a driver focus with a user-friendly layout very well, with the switchgear and latest generation of iDrive infotainment system being intuitive to operate, even on the move. A slick-looking TFT display replaces the conventional dials, but that’s the start of what is a veritable tech-fest in the 6 Series GT.

Amongs the vast array of driver assistance systems is BMW’s optional Driving Assistant Plus pack, which upgrades the adaptive cruise control to allow the car to accelerate, steer and brake for itself on A-Roads and motorways. It operates at speeds of up to 130mph, and can even change lanes by itself if the driver activates the indicator.

Other optional kit includes remote parking system, which allows the driver to park the car into a bay or garage standing outside it from their smartphone. A head-up display and even night vision with pedestrian detection is available.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

A decade ago, BMW’s iDrive infotainment system was often criticised for being too fiddly to operate. As it’s been developed through the generations, though, it’s now become one of the easiest systems to use of its type.

It’s still controlled mainly via a rotary dial, but like the new 5 Series the 6 Series GT benefits from a larger screen, increased functionality and a rather gimmicky gesture control system.  It allows you the change radio station by swiping your hand let or right, for example, or turn the volume down by twirling your finger. It doesn’t always respond first time, however, meaning it’s easier and safer to just use the wheel controls.

BMW is the first manufacturer to integrate wirelessly connected Apple CarPlay, although this costs £235, while the Connected app allows integration with Android smartphones. This will also send images from the car’s 3D view cameras to your mobile device if fitted. BMW Connected can even link with Amazon’s Alexa service for those using this tech. Online services are standard, while wireless smartphone charging is also available for £425.

Other interesting features include Proactive Driving Assistant, which is linked to the sat-nav, allowing the car to select the right gear for the upcoming road layout.

All versions of the 5 Series get BMW’s ConnectedDrive Services, which adds a host of online features. Emergency Call will contact help in the event of an accident, while the Online Services give you access to various apps and information. Also included in this package is the Real Time Traffic Information (RTTI), which uses up-to-the-minute data to display traffic flow.

Wireless charging of a smartphone can be added for £425, plus there are three separate hi-fi upgrades – £395 BMW Advanced, an £895 Harman Kardon and a rather pricey £3,750 Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround sound system.

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