The 840i Gran Coupe is proof BMW can do pretty cars that drive beautifully but don’t have to scream about any of it.
Big, low-slung four-door coupes seem to have survived the carnage wrought by SUVs. I say this, because the company who had a hand in both mass-market SUV uptake and arguably creating the four-door coupe still makes the CLS.
BMW’s new 8 Series arrived last year and it was good. As before with the 6 Series, Munich has stretched the coupe and added a pair of doors to make a luxurious but still very pretty large luxury car.
The 840i Gran Coupe seeks to fit four people in exceptional comfort while delivering serious performance. You couldn’t really do that ten or fifteen years ago. How things have changed.
How much is a BMW 840i Gran Coupe and what do I get?
$204,990 + ORC
Well, that’s not faffing about, is it? But it is a lot of car for the money even it costs more than a similarly-sized – if sober-suited – M5.
You get 20-inch alloys, four-zone climate control, around-view cameras, auto parking, head-up display, keyless entry and start, reversing camera, adaptive damping, active cruise control, Live Cockpit digital dashboard, electric heated and cooled front seats, leather everywhere, glass roof, sat nav, auto laser headlights, auto wipers, power boot lid, electric everything and wireless charging.
Joining the digital dashboard is BMW’s huge touchscreen with BMW OS 7.0, an immensely capable media and vehicle configuration system. It comes with 16 speakers, DAB and wireless Apple CarPlay along with a bunch of connected stuff for dodging traffic or calling an ambulance if you put it on its roof.
Interestingly, there is a wide colour choice. The freebies include Black Sapphire, Carbon Black, Barcelona Blue, Sonic Speed Blue, Tanzanite Blue, Almandine Blue, Dravit Grey, Sunset Orange, Aventurine Red, Alpine White and Mineral White.
Brilliant White is $2000.
The $2600 colours include Frozen Dark Brown (this doesn’t sound great, does it?), Frozen Arctic Grey, Frozen Bluestone, Frozen Dark Silver Matte and Frozen Brilliant White Matte.
And for $10,400 you can have Pure Metal Silver. That’s going to want to be good.
There’s one or two…
You can drop $8200 on a Bowers & Wilkins “diamond” system with spangly speakers, or $9000 on the Indulgence Package which comes with, um a TV, “premium stereo” and gloss inserts (wood). Maybe not.
M Sport Plus adds a bunch of M things like stitching on the seatbelts, performance brakes and sports front seats ($3400). M Sport Technic dials that back a bit with just the brakes and painted wheels for $2100.
A TV on its own is $2300, Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection is $4700 and you can choose from three Merino leather trim packages from $6700 to $10,200.
Then there’s various wood trims, Crafted Clarity glass ($1400, not as horrible as it sounds), M Carbon Exterior ($6900), headlining and wheels. Plenty to play with.
The 840i Gran Coupe ships with six airbags, ABS, stability and traction controls, blind spot assist, forward AEB (low-speed), forward and rear collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist and reverse cross-traffic alert.
There are also two top-tether restraints and two ISOFIX points.
The 840 has not been tested by Euro NCAP or ANCAP.
The 840 has not been tested by Euro NCAP or ANCAP.
Warranty and Servicing
BMW is still only offering a three year warranty with 100,000kms of coverage, whichever comes first. Mercedes has a five year warranty, so that’s really starting to wear thing, especially on an 840i Gran Coupe’s price tag. You get roadside assist for the duration.
BMW does offer its prepaid BMW Service Inclusive packages but you have to ask your dealer for the price. Hint: get it for free.
Look and Feel
I said in the intro that it’s pretty and stand by that claim. Sure, the grille needs blacking out and I wouldn’t go with that design of wheel, but all in all, it’s quite nice. Folks whine about the taillights, but I reckon they look great and work in well with the overall look. There’s a bit of Maserati Quattroporte in the rear flanks and that’s okay by me.
Long and low with a lengthy bonnet, purposeful integration of the headlights but not at all ostentatious, it’s a pretty thing.
At least it doesn’t have the Hooydonk Honker.
Big fan of the current BMW interiors. You can see here that its fitted with an optional two-tone leather pack, but you don’t have to have that. It’s not the two-tone that bothered me but the colour choices. Anyway, it’s super comfortable and is packed with tech and toys. The Crafted Clarity glass on the shifter is obvious and it’s also on the iDrive controller and volume knob.
You get cupholders front and rear and the number matches the passenger count – four. Well, it’s really five, but straddling the climate control, USB and air vent housing would be deeply unpleasant unless you’re that way inclined.
Boot space is a modest but useful 440 litres.
Chassis and drivetrain
Under that long bonnet lies BMW’s B58 3.0-litre straight-six. It seems like not much to shift 1800kg (that’s not bad for a car this size), but with 250kW and 500Nm (and probably more), the rear-wheel drive 840i flashes to 100km/h in 5.2 seconds.
The eight-speed ZF is along for the ride, as always and is predictably superb.
The whole shebang rides on BMW’s CLAR cluster architecture and features carbon core technology. This tricky thing came across from the i series cars and into the 7 Series in 2015 and has been working its way down the line. Carbon core sees CFRP combined with high strength steel to save weight. In the 7, that totted up to 130kg.
The 840i Gran Coupe rolls on a choice of 20-inch wheels, with 245/35s up front and 275/30s at the back. On this car, the rubber came from Michelin and are Pilot Sport 3. I’m assuming there’s a package to get your noisier, grippier rubber if you’re keen.
Adaptive damping keeps things in check if you’re frisky and BMW’s electronic limited-slip diff handles the rear end.
It will likely not come as a shock to you when I tell you that this is a smooth machine. While not overtly sporty, it’s strung together so well that even in Comfort mode progress can be stately or speedy.
It was supremely quiet on the highway, which was a big change. Sydney’s M4 has a horrific surface but the 840 just whispered across it.
The ride was also very calm and collected, even in Sport mode. Picking up the pace in Sport+, the big coupe was very tidy in the bends, with good braking performance. And a pleasing pop every now and again from the exhaust.
It’s a great car to just be in, though. The cabin is lovely to look at, the seats hugely comfortable and it’s all very serene.
The straight-six has quite a kick, too. The B58 is a ridiculously talented and versatile unit while the rear-wheel drive layout returns the steering feel that the all-wheel drive M850i can sometimes miss.
Beautiful, refined, quick and roomy. Yes, it’s north of $200,000 and my money would go on something with a V8 (like the 550i or M5).
But if you’re looking for a gorgeous sedan and don’t need that middle seat or a big boot, there isn’t anything this side of $400,000 that I would prefer.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.