2020 BMW 840i Gran Coupe Drivers' Notes | The high-style 7 Series alternative

03 February, 2020 Shane Michael
2020 BMW 840i Gran Coupe Drivers' Notes | The high-style 7 Series alternative

The 2020 BMW 840i xDrive Gran Coupe is dangerously close to the bottom rung of the 8 Series lineup. Take all-wheel drive away, and the base 840i Gran Coupe is actually the cheapest 8 Series money can buy, even more so than the actual two-door Coupe. We were grateful for the all-wheel drive fitted to our 840i xDrive test car in Michigan, though, as mother nature decided it was a good week for a snow storm. There are many superb ways to go motoring in the fluffy stuff, but this luxuriously-appointed inline-six sleigh is one we wholeheartedly endorse.

Under the hood of our 8 Series is a buttery-smooth 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine. It produces 335 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque. BMW claims a 0-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds. Yes, even the big four-door 8 Series can hit 60 mph in well under 5 seconds. This engine is paired to a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic gearbox. Since it’s the Gran Coupe, this 8 Series is the one to get if you need to carry more people around than yourself and a friend. The trunk is also plenty large for a few pieces of larger luggage on a weekend getaway. It’s no 7 Series from a size perspective, but it does ace the traditional sedan in terms of style and performance.

2020 BMW 840i Photos

BMW priced the 8 Series Gran Coupe like the flagship it’s meant to be. With xDrive all-wheel drive, the 840i our tester started at $88,795. There was still plenty of room for additional options, as the final price came to $100,675. The big ticket item is the M Sport Package, which runs a hefty $4,850. There are two driver assistance packages tacked on, one accounting for $1,700 and the other is $1,100 — the pricier one brings BMW's Traffic Jam assistant. The Comfort Seating Package costs $1,200 and adds front cooled seats and heated seats all around. Our tester's attractive 20-inch two-tone wheels were $1,300 and the piano black interior trim was $1,080. Note that the car pictured above is a rear-wheel-drive 840i that arrived at a time with more photo-friendly weather. The test car this time was black, which you can see below.  

Associate Editor Byron Hurd: The 840i is a lot of car, but it doesn't really feel like it. You're looking at Challenger Hellcat curb weight from a car with a turbocharged inline-six pushing less than half as much horsepower. The all-wheel drive helps it a ton off the line (the 0-60 time drops by 0.3 second), and makes it a lot more practical in winter. However, there's a high price to be paid for having this much road presence. 

I was particularly impressed by the Gran Coupe's steering, which always seemed to suit the drive mode perfectly. After playing around with the individual settings, I settled on "Sport" mode for everything but the suspension, which I left in "Comfort." This gave me excellent response from every system without having to worry about my kidneys coming out looking like something that would be served in a high-roller casino. 

On occasion, "Sport" steering modes pile on so much artificial heft that minor corrections at speed end up feeling like low-speed parking lot maneuvers, which is just silly. BMW nailed it with the 840i's calibration. It loads up nicely but still maintains enough boost to remind you that you're driving a luxury coupe, not a dedicated sport sedan. I'd still prefer to have the 4.4-liter V8 if money is no object, but there's plenty to love about this 8 Series as it sits. 

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Auto

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2020 , Bmw , Coupe


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