2018 BMW 640i Gran Turismo

2018 BMW 640i Gran Turismo

Episode 3750
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

BMW seems to on a mission to be all things to all people…or at all least to all luxury car buyers. So, in addition to being early adopters to the luxury SUV game, they’re now trying to fill every niche possible, including ones that only they seem to be competing in. Well, maybe that explains the 6 Series Gran Turismo; let’s see if there is a method to their marketing madness.

It’s hard to classify the 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo. It’s certainly not your typical sedan or hatchback; and don’t confuse it with the 6 Series Gran Coupe either. But, if you remember the 5 Series GT from 2010, think of this 640 GT as its replacement; or perhaps the closest thing to a 5-series wagon that we’re likely to get here in the states.

And like its predecessor, there’s an enormous amount of space inside, thanks to a 120.9-inch wheelbase that’s almost 4-inches longer than a 5 Series sedan.  

It’s still a far cry from beautiful, but the design appears much more cohesive than before. The rear remains tall; but in profile, it now looks more like a traditional 5-door hatchback, and less like a truncated wagon.

The aggressive nose, and lots of taut body lines, are all BMW hallmarks, and BMW continues to have some of the coolest headlights out there. Standard wheels are 19s.     

You’ll enjoy all of the roominess no matter which seat you find yourself in.

Those up front will also experience the typical BMW sporty cockpit feel; while those in back, will get full-size sedan amounts of legroom and headroom. 

Interior design is similar to the 5 Series and just about every other BMW for that matter; high quality materials, large dash-top mounted infotainment screen, iDrive controller, electronic shifter, shift paddles on the wheel, rudimentary manual controls, and great looking wood trim.

And of course available niceties such as a head-up display, soft close doors, 3D surround view, heated seats and steering wheel, panoramic moonroof, and even remote control parking. 

Under the power-operated rear hatch is a very wide opening, and 31.0 cubic-ft. of nicely finished space. Folding the seatbacks, ups it to 65.0 cubic-ft. Even though the swoopy roof will cut into cargo height, capacity is directly in between BMW’s X3 and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles, and more than the bulbous looking X6. 

Much like the 5 Series, it has the perfect balance of luxury and sportiness. Want to relax and cruise on the highway? It does that with true tranquility and silkiness. Want to whip it around your favorite back road? No problems there either; it stays very flat and responds immediately to every input. 

Though our car was aided by the available Dynamic Handling Package, which adds Active Roll Stabilization and Integral Active Steering to the Dynamic Damper Control air suspension. It all works together to make the Gran Turismo’s 4,400-lbs. all but disappear through high speed sweepers.   

The experience however was slightly different through our tight cone course. Here, the steering feels over-boosted, and we wished for more feedback from all parts of the car. Yet, grip remained fantastic throughout. 

There was traction a-plenty for launching as well; and a launch mode that worked flawlessly, getting us to 60 in just 4.8-seconds. 

Power pours on strong, and never lets up; despite a bit of a see-saw weight-transfer effect when the 8-speed automatic transmission triggers a shift. And a healthy bellow from the exhaust accompanied us for the entire 13.3-second trip through the ¼-mile, at which time we were travelling at 105 miles-per-hour.   

Making all of this happen, is BMW’s 3.0-liter inline-6 turbo engine; rated at 335-horsepower and 332 lb-ft. of torque. All-wheel-drive is standard. 

There’s plenty of whoa to go along with the go. 99-feet was our average stopping distance from 60. We did experience some fade as the runs added up, but there is an awful lot of weight to bring to a stop that quickly. 

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 20-City, 28-Highway, and 23-Combined. Our average on Premium was just about right on, at 23.2 miles-per-gallon. Making for an average Energy Impact Score, with yearly use of 14.3-barrels of oil, and C02 emissions of 6.4-tons.

Things are as simple as it gets when it comes to pricing; just one version of the Gran Turismo, starting at $71,195, to which you can add a host of options, either in package form or a la carte. 

Well, if you were looking for a very luxurious ride with plenty of comfort and performance, there were already plenty of BMWs to choose from. Now you can add one more to the list, the 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo. It is the best of BMW sedans, SUVs, and hatchbacks, all rolled into one. We agree that the brand may indeed be slicing the marketing onion super thin, but if that means competing in a class of one, no one does it better than BMW

Specifications

  • Engine: 3.0 liter
  • Horsepower: 335
  • Torque: 332 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 4.8 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 13.3 seconds @ 105 mph
  • EPA: 20 mpg city / 28 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 14.3 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 6.4 tons/yr
2024 Lexus GX550

2024 Lexus GX550

It’s A Land Cruiser With A Lexus Badge

Episode 4344
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

When most people think of Lexus SUVs, they tend to think of the RX, and for good reason. The RX was a key player in popularizing the luxury SUV market as we know it today. But, the Lexus SUV world is much bigger than that, of course, including something for adventurous, rugged, off-road types.

We’re not about to claim that there’s some kind of body-on-frame SUV resurgence happening, but it’s clear that car-like crossovers haven’t fully taken over the SUV world just yet; and more than any other brand, Toyota seems on a mission to make SUVs truly great again. Even when it comes to their Lexus brand with this new 2024 Lexus GX550.

When the first gen GX arrived for 2003, it seemed to go out of its way to disguise its substantial off-road capabilities behind some very soft-roader sheet-metal, but those that knew… knew that underneath, the GX was based on the rugged J120 Land Cruiser. Fast forward to this third-gen GX, and it looks like Lexus is fully embracing that Land Cruiser kinship going boxier and bolder than ever before. Square lines, chunky fenders, wide track, short overhangs, highly vertical windshield; all hallmarks of serious off-roaders.

The GX is also the first Lexus to benefit from their Overtrail Project which encourages Lexus owners to get out of their comfort zones and experience what their luxo-ute is actually capable of. So, Overtrail models are outfitted with 33-inch all-terrain tires on 18-inch wheels, a locking rear diff, and an Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System that can independently unlock both front and rear stabilizer bars for more wheel articulation.

2024 Lexus GX550 3/4 Front
2024 Lexus GX550 3
2024 Lexus GX550 Profile
2024 Lexus GX550 5
2024 Lexus GX550 3/4 Rear
2024 Lexus GX550 Wheel
2024 Lexus GX550 Badge
2024 Lexus GX550 Grille
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Just like the recently released Toyota J250 Land Cruiser, the GX is built on Toyota’s Tundra truck frame, but instead of a four-cylinder turbo-hybrid, it’s launching with a 3.4-liter twin-turbo V6 with 349-horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. That’s 48-horsepower and 150 lb-ft over the previous GX’s V8. Max tow rating shoots up from 6,500 to 9,096-lbs. The GX works exclusively with a 10-speed automatic transmission, with full-time four-wheel-drive and a two-speed transfer case standard. Lexus says a hybrid option will be available later, but no word on if it’s the Land Cruiser’s 2.4-liter I4 hybrid or the V6 hybrid that’s currently available in the Tundra pickup.

It doesn’t take much time behind the wheel to appreciate the high seating position and great visibility of the GX; as rugged as it looks outside, it still feels plenty luxurious inside, and is highly functional too. There’s a big control center in front of the dash with a high-mounted 14-inch touchscreen, and dedicated knobs for temperature and volume just below. A third row of seating is available in most trims, providing space for six or seven passengers. But if you go Overtrail, Lexus assumes you’re not the big family type and would rather have the space for packing adventure gear, so it’s the only trim that is five-passenger only.

As rugged as it looks outside, it still feels plenty luxurious inside, and is highly functional too.

While the double-wishbone front and rear multi-link suspension of this Overtrail is clearly off-road inspired, it held up well enough in our Mason Dixon Dragway handling course. Slow and steady definitely won the race here, as the GX felt big and heavy, with notable weight shifting on transitions through the cones, and light steering. Stability systems were eager to kick in well before things could get out of sorts.

Buyers can add Lexus’ Adaptive Variable Suspension for smoothing things out on the highways without sacrificing off-road capabilities. It launched quite aggressively off the line in acceleration runs; again, sturdy and truck-like, with all four wheels biting into the pavement and propelling us forward harder than we were expecting, hitting 60 in 6.5 seconds.

2024 Lexus GX550 Dashboard
2024 Lexus GX550 Steering Wheel
2024 Lexus GX550 Infotainment
2024 Lexus GX550 Shifter
2024 Lexus GX550 Front Seat
2024 Lexus GX550 Second Row Seats
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2024 Lexus GX550 Seats Down Trunk
2024 Lexus GX550 Trunk
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Lots of grip and no drama, as this turbo-six puts plenty of power down instantly. It sounds good too; powerful, with a nice throaty exhaust note that was more of a V8 rumble than V6 trumpet. Quarter-mile completed in 14.9-seconds at 94 mph.

Braking runs were a little inconsistent, with the off-road tires seemingly gripping and pulling us in different directions. But stops averaged a great 114-feet from 60 mph, so we’ll accept the slightly unsettled feel.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 15-City, 21-Highway, and 17-Combined; we averaged a respectable 20.1 mpg of Premium. But it garners a worse than average Energy Impact Score of 17.5-barrels of yearly oil use, with 8.3-tons of CO2 emissions.

Pricing starts with Premium grade at $64,250, ranging to Luxury at $77,250, with Overtrail in between at $69,250. All trims can be plus sized for additional features.

The 2024 Lexus GX550 is clearly not just another luxury saturated soft-roader. It’s a real deal Land Cruiser with a Lexus moniker, and this Overtrail is the most off-road capable Lexus ever. That not only makes it appealing to traditional Lexus buyers, but to a whole “range” of new conquests as well.

Specifications

  • Engine: 3.4-liter twin-turbo V6
  • Transmission: 10-speed automatic
  • Horsepower: 349
  • Torque: 479 lb-ft
  • EPA: 15 City | 21 Highway | 17 Combined
  • 0-60 mph: 6.5 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.9 seconds at 94 mph
  • 60-0 Braking (avg): 114 feet
  • MW Fuel Economy: 20.1 mpg (Premium)
  • Max Tow Rating: 9,096-lbs