Three Bimmers put to the test

Written by Shaun Keenan | Photography by BMWGroup on .

Three Bimmers put to the test
1X1=1

The X1 may be the smallest sport ute crossover in the BMW line-up but, with the venerable 3.0L TwinPower Turbo six putting out 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque through a very capable xDrive AWD system, it trundles along through thick and thin carrying a big stick!

Pluses:
+ Good balance of power and driving dynamics
+ Comfy and quiet interior
+ 40/20/40 rear seat split

Minuses:
- Heavy steering at slow speeds
- Child seat makes it necessary for front passenger to sit in rear for comfort
- A bit sluggish off the line

2013 BMW X1 xDrive35i
Base Price: $39,900
Price as Tested (before taxes): $53,650
Engine: 3.0L TwinPower Turbo inline six-cylinder
Horsepower / Torque: 300 hp / 300 lb-ft
Configuration: FA
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Fuel Economy Ratings: 11.4 / 7.4 / 9.6 L/100 km (city / hwy. / comb.)
Observed Fuel Economy: 11.2 L/100 km combined (565 km highway, mixed urban)
Basic Warranty: 48 months / 80,000 km
Three Bimmers put to the test
Seventh Heaven

Any time I get in a new BMW, I'm amazed at how certain things take me back to my childhood and teenage years and my dad's '85 735i. From the amber-on-black dash displays to the integrated computing power, everything about it was leagues ahead of everything I knew about cars at the time. Like a boss, I drove it for an entire summer before going off to university in the fall of '96 when it was sold.

The 7 Series is still great, and even more technologically-advanced as far as cars go. My 740Li tester is equipped with numerous driver assist systems, including night vision with pedestrian detection and head-up display, and comfort features like driver and passenger massage, and even office and smartphone integration to barely scratch the surface.

Three Bimmers put to the testThree or four different drivers can save their steering wheel, mirror and a seemingly infinite number of seating positions along with an uncanny selection of convenience settings accessed via BMW's iDrive controller. The display is huge, and boasts split-screen functionality to gain access to everything and anything that has to do with the car and configuring it exactly how you want it.

With all of its smart do-dads and creature comforts, the 7 Series has been delivering automotive luxury in spades for decades. But it's also capable of some serious ass-hauling depending on which trim you go for. The 315-hp twin turbo inline-six in the 740 and ActiveHybrid models propel the cars to 100 km/h in under six seconds while the 750 and RWD-only 760 get the 445-hp V8 and 535-hp V12 engine, respectively.

Both engines will do zero-to-100 km/h in about 4.5 seconds, and are too much for some drivers who think they're Frank Martin in “The Transporter” to resist. (Finger pointed squarely at the dickhead driving the slate-coloured 750Li I witnessed weaving in and out of evening rush hour traffic, cutting people off and narrowly avoiding causing a couple crashes on the QEW West during one commute.)

I guess the package had an expiration date, but I digress because the car is awesome whether you're the driver or a passenger. Either way, the 740Li will take care of you like you're family.

2013 BMW 740Li xDrive
Base Price: $106,6000
Price as Tested (before taxes): $122,050
Engine: 3.0L TwinPower Turbo inline six-cylinder
Horsepower / Torque: 315 hp / 330 lb-ft
Configuration: FA
Transmission: 8-speed Steptronic automatic
Fuel Economy Ratings: 10.9 / 7.3 / 9.2 L/100 km (city / hwy. / comb.)
Observed Fuel Economy: 11.8 L/100 km combined (493 km highway, mixed urban)
Basic Warranty: 48 months / 80,000 km
Three Bimmers put to the test
This Six

I never really understood the 6 Series until I drove this car. I totally get it now. The others in this series are only the means to an end. That end, of course, is this car, which couldn't exist without the others. Kudos to BMW for having the wherewithal to make it. Make that, 'Make it this good!'

With all of its loud bells, shiny whistles, outright performance and downright awesomeness, the 2013 M6 Coupé might just be the perfect ultimate BMW. It's 560-hp and 500-lb-ft twin turbo V8 is the stuff symphonies orchestrate, and basking in this much carbon fiber, luxurious leather, automotive tech and M goodness is like living the James Bond life. In true 007 fashion, it also has night vision and a trick HUD.

The seven-speed double-clutch transmission includes paddle shifters and model-specific gear selector for quick and clean gear swaps. M's leather steering wheel has buttons for multitudes of functions – including two marked M1 and M2 that allow the driver to transform the car from a boulevard bruiser into a total “hoonigan” – with preset modes for the M chassis, DDC suspension and Servotronic steering settings.

Three Bimmers put to the test Three Bimmers put to the test

The 20-inch M alloys and massive 400 mm front and 396 mm rear brakes (that's 15.75 and 15.6 inches respectively) are no joke! They're bigger than the wheels on many cars, and come in more extreme carbon-ceramic too. Throw in an active M differential, launch control feature and tight-fitting M Performance body kit and it's time for some serious BMW fun!

Three Bimmers put to the test Three Bimmers put to the test

Returning the key fob for this one was difficult. Were it not for the expensive fill-ups, limited rear head and legroom, this six has serious appeal for well-heeled auto aficionados and super spies.

2013 BMW M6 Coupé
Base Price: $124,900
Price as Tested (before taxes): $142,800
Engine: 4.4L M TwinPower Turbo V8
Horsepower / Torque: 560 hp / 500 lb-ft
Configuration: FR
Transmission: 7-speed M-Double Clutch Transmission
Observed Fuel Economy: 12.5 L/100 km combined (478 km highway, mixed urban)
Fuel Economy Ratings: 13.3 / 8.6 / 11.1 L/100 km (city / hwy. / comb.)
Basic Warranty: 48 months / 80,000 km

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