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BMW 6-Series : Used

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Justin Pritchard
Driving experience was the 6-Series's biggest draw
History/Description: Giving BMW fans a touring 2+2 that was equal parts luxury and performance, the BMW 6-Series was available in both coupe and convertible variations.

Look for top-notch luxury and technology features—including heated and chilled seats, navigation, premium audio, keyless engine start and plenty more. As pricey BMW models tended to go, the 6-Series packed world-class equipment levels.

2004 BMW 6-Serie front 3/4 view
2004 BMW 6-Series (Photo: BMW)

Power came from one of two V8 engines. Earlier 6-Series models wearing a ‘645’ badge got a 4.4 litre unit with 325 horsepower. From 2006 and on, a 4.8 litre V8 with 360 horsepower was fitted—alongside a nomenclature change to ‘650’.

Look for rear-wheel drive on all models. A 6-speed transmission was available in the driver’s choice of automatic or manual.

What Owners Like: No surprises here. Styling, power, luxury, comfort, technology and exclusivity were among the most highly-rated aspects for 6-Series owners. Steering and handling response were said to be top-notch, as was seat comfort. Many drivers claim their 6-Series sticks to corners like glue.

What Owners Dislike: Many 6-Series owners wished for a roomier back seat, better gas mileage and easier-to-use controls. Many owners report that BMW’s iDrive central command interface overcomplicates manipulation of even simple vehicle functions.

Common Issues With A Used BMW 6-Series: Shopping for a convertible 6-Series? Be sure the motorized roof operates smoothly in both directions as outlined in the owner’s manual. Note any binding, excessive wear or self-reversing of the top or power windows during roof operation. Duct tape is a bad sign, too. A variety of sensors and motors work the roof mechanism, and if any are faulty or failing, problems may result.

Approach your test-drive looking exhaustively for signs of electrical or electronics-related problems. The 6-Series is a complicated car—meaning a virtual rat's-nest of wiring, sensors, modules and computers lies within. You’ll want to ensure these are all talking to one another effectively.

Make sure the iDrive system, climate control, navigation and driver computer all work as expected. Try the motorized seats, all lights, and all accessories-- including the keyfob and paddle-shifters, to be sure they’re functioning properly.

2008 BMW 6-Serie iDrive system
2008 BMW 6-Series (Photo: Philippe Champoux/Auto123.TV, Matthieu Lambert/
Justin Pritchard
Justin Pritchard
Automotive expert