I’ve been eyeing the 6 series for a little while now, that gas mileage isn’t as much of a priority for me. I, for some reason, want a convertible. I know it would be completely asinine for me to trade my E92 for something more complicated and older, but that doesn’t stoping me from wanting one. Since it’s been more than a decade since I’ve driven an E64, I went to drive one.
This 650i is from 2007 and has covered more than 117,000 miles, despite this, it seemed to have been well cared for. Cosmetically it seemed to be very nice and it didn’t seem to burn oil, which is a common problem with these.
When I got to the dealer, I asked the salesman that came to help me where the 6 series convertible was. At this point, I was told that it was sitting on the show room floor. Normally I wouldn’t try to drive it, but they said it would be no problem, so I went for a drive.
Despite being in the low 50s, I declined to put either the top or windows up; I wanted the full convertible experience, as I should. Starting it was a sonorous experience, while I love the shrill of the S65B40 in my E90, the deep rumble of a larger displacement V8 was more than pleasant. I then put the gearbox into drive and set off for a short drive.
Now, while I prefer a manual, I’m not sure a car like this needs one. Maybe it was the novelty of driving a convertible, but I wasn’t pinning for one on my drive. It’s possible that my feeling would be changed if I got something like this as my daily driver, but the experience of the convertible is all consuming. I would love to take something like this, drop the top, light a cigar and take it for a causal cruise. For that a manual is not required; I wouldn’t turn down a three pedaled car, but I might not hunt that hard for one. That said, maybe it’s been too long since I’ve driven an auto to be familiar with how they usually work, but I felt this one seemed like it did some weird things.
Everything else was pretty much typical BMW. Steering was wonderful, and very tactile. Sport seats were comfortable and supportive. I took it on this road:
It’s curvy enough to get a feel for the car, and the 650i handled it without any drama. Well, at least from my perspective, the salesman wasn’t trilled with the speed we were attacking the curves. It didn’t feel as competent as the M3, but it still felt pretty agile.
The worst part about the car, by far, was the iDrive. I had forgotten how terrible the first generation iDrive was. Now that I’ve seen how much better iDrive has gotten, this first generation was pretty much intolerable. Maybe if I had more time to play with it, I would’ve found my way around, but it was not intuitive at all. It’s so bad, I would pass on the car for this alone. This reminds me of one reason why I didn’t get a 2008 E90.
The interior also seemed pretty cramped. It might be difficult to get into the back of my E92, but once you’re back there, there is ample room. It looked like the rear seats were designed for someone with no legs. Despite being more upmarket than the E92, the interior, if anything, was smaller.
Do these detractions make me reconsider wanting one? No, in fact, I want one more after my brief drive. Show me a 2009 or 2010 with the right options and I might have to ditch my E92 and buy it.