|Reviewed By||Tony Piff|
|Price as Tested||$76,000 (base), 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-6, 24v|
Sleek, sculpted four-door “coupe” bodystyle pleasingly realized. Optional matte-finish “Frozen” paint colors are an almost tactile visual delight. Leather interior tasteful, opulent, imposing (especially in white). All controls ergonomically angled toward driver, with bold visual cues reminding passengers just who is in charge here. Commute-friendly “Comfort+” mode keeps everything cushy in proper grand-touring style; toggle over to “Sport+” for performance handling, impressively competent even through hairpin twisties. Flappy paddles shift pretty quick and hard (that’s a good thing), but left alone, the 8-speed auto does just fine. In a straight line, the turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 pushes the substantial 4,190 lbs to 60 mph in the mid-5s, which feels quick. Cruising at speed is stable, quiet and good for 30 mpg.
Computer interface offers a granular level of control and customization that many drivers may not be looking for in this age of iPhones, iPods and “it just works” technology. Literalists will debate the validity of a four-door coupe, as may full-grown backseat passengers on longer drives. The market for four-door performance luxury is a crowded one.
The car’s great strength is its versatility, offering boatloads of class and comfort, with good performance available at the flip of a switch. Flipping that switch is sometimes easier said than done, as comprehending the interface will require repeated close studies of the owner’s manual (a chore that BMW die-hards probably relish). BMW would seem to be slicing its own market pretty thin, with the addition of another four-door super-luxe sports car, but for shoppers in this segment, it’s just another opportunity for distinction.
|Fun to Drive|
|Fun to Look at|
Jun 26, 2012