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- Highs Sleek exterior styling, silky-smooth engines, more spacious than coupe or convertible models.
- Lows Limited headroom in the back seat, vague steering feel, lustful V-8 costs a lot extra.
- Verdict This fastback sedan trumps its two-door counterparts in practicality and looks great doing it.
Having a grand touring coupe or convertible at your disposal is a luxury few can justify, but perhaps the four-door version of BMW's 8-series—the 2021 8-series Gran Coupe—is practical enough to rationalize buying it. In comparison to the 8-series coupe and convertible (reviewed separately), the Gran Coupe offers a far more usable rear seat, and with those seats folded flat the four-door has the two-doors beat on cargo-carrying ability. The base 840i comes with a silky-smooth turbocharged inline-six engine and rear wheel drive; xDrive all-wheel-drive models are also available. Performance peaks with the M850i model, which houses a 523-hp twin-turbocharged V-8 under its hood; unfortunately that model also comes with a six-figure price tag. Whichever you choose, the 8-series Gran Coupe is a sleek and luxurious tourer with the added flexibility to help validate the expense.
What's New for 2021?
The 8-series Gran Coupe sees few changes for 2021, but SiriusXM satellite radio, lane-departure warning, and a dark gray headliner are all now standard equipment. Sonic Speed Blue is no longer available as an exterior color, and you can no longer order the black Merino leather with matching black piping. BMW has also removed the cool Night Vision feature from the options list.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
It's hard not to lust over the 523 horsepower and growling soundtrack that the V-8-powered M850i offers, except for the fact that those attributes require dropping an extra $21,000. That's the difference between the M850i and the all-wheel-drive, six-cylinder 840i. We'd recommend the latter, which still has more than enough power to move posthaste. We'd also choose the M Sport package that adds a more muscular body kit and black exterior trim, as well as an M-specific steering wheel and other interior upgrades. Our other preferred add-ons include a set of 20-inch wheels on performance run-flat tires for maximum cornering capability and the Comfort Seating package. It includes additional front-seat adjustments, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front cushions, and power sunshades for the back seat.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
A smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission and a pair of velvety engines highlight the 8-series Gran Coupe. The 840i features a 335-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder powertrain that feeds either rear- or all-wheel drive. The M850i boasts a 523-hp twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 and standard all-wheel drive. While the base engine doesn't pack the wallop that the V-8 does, it's still plenty quick and produces a pleasant timbre when rushed. Those looking for more substantial thrust won't be disappointed by the M850i, which has a detuned version of the engine in the BMW M8 Gran Coupe (reviewed separately) that makes up to 617 ponies. Both the 8s provide a splendid ride and playful handling responses. While the steering delivers little feedback when the road turns twisty, the big Bimmer compensates with strong brakes and the aforementioned powertrain refinement.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates the rear-drive 840i will earn 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Adding all-wheel drive to the mix drops those figures to 20 mpg and 27 mpg, respectively. The high-powered M850i is all-wheel drive only, and it's expected to get 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. We've tested all three configurations on our 200-mile fuel-economy route to evaluate their real-world mpg. The rear-drive 840i returned an impressive 34 mpg highway, the all-wheel-drive 840i got 30 mpg, and the M850i earned 28 mpg.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Like the 8-series coupe and convertible, the Gran Coupe's interior is lavishly outfitted—albeit sedately styled. All models have a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, customizable ambient lighting, a large head-up display, leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, and wireless charging. The cabin can be further upgraded with fancier headliners, glass switchgear, and multifunctional seats with increased adjustability. The driving position is very comfortable thanks to a well-placed dead pedal. Forward visibility is excellent, but the rearward view through the steeply angled fastback's glass is restricted. Legroom is more generous in the back seat of the Gran Coupe than in its two-door counterparts but—thanks to the car's sharply angled roofline—headroom is tighter. The four-door 8-series is also more practical than its coupe sibling. We managed to fit up to 15 carry-on suitcases inside with its rear seat stowed versus the 11 total bags in the coupe. Both body styles held five suitcases in their trunks, while the convertible held one fewer for four total.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A 10.3-inch touchscreen is the centerpiece of the 8-series Gran Coupe's iDrive infotainment system, which is mounted high on the dashboard and operated through myriad functions. In addition to touch inputs and the convenient rotary knob on the center console, the system responds to a mix of voice commands, traditional buttons, and even optional gesture controls. Every Gran Coupe features Apple CarPlay, a Harman/Kardon audio system, several charging ports, and subscription-based services such as SiriusXM satellite radio and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Android Auto is still noticeably absent. Shoppers can also opt for a thumping Bowers & Wilkins stereo as long as they're willing to pay the hefty surcharge.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 8-series Gran Coupe hasn't been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Bimmer does have some standard driver-assistance technology such as forward-collision warning, automated emergency barking, and lane-departure warning, but more advanced equipment costs extra. Key safety features include:
- Available adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology
- Available lane-keeping assist
- Available blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Every BMW includes a limited and powertrain warranty that align with luxury competitors from Audi and Mercedes-Benz. BMW also offers one of the best complimentary maintenance plans in the industry apart from Jaguar.
2020 BMW 840i Gran Coupe
front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
PRICE AS TESTED
$96,695 (base price: $85,895)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve inline-6, aluminium block and heads, direct fuel injection
183 cu in, 2998 cc
335 hp @ 6500 rpm
368 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm
Suspension (F/R): multilink/multilink
Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 3 ZP, F: 245/35R-20 95Y ★ R: 275/30R-20 (97Y) ★
Wheelbase: 119.0 in
Length: 200.2 in
Width: 76.1 in
Height: 55.2 in
Passenger volume: 97 cu ft
Trunk volume: 16 cu ft
Curb weight: 4201 lb
Zero to 60 mph: 4.7 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 11.8 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 17.6 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 5.2 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.6 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 3.4 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 13.3 sec @ 106 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 129 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 161 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.95 g
Observed: 21 mpg
75-mph highway driving: 34 mpg
Highway range: 610 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 24/22/29 mpg