BMW 8 Series (2018) Review
BMW 8 Series (2018) At A Glance
While most big luxury coupes of this type take the softly-softly grand tourer approach, the BMW 8 Series offers buyers something a little more sporty and exciting. It won’t match a Porsche 911 in the bends, but it’ll have the measure of most other rivals, yet it’s also comfortable enough to perform grand touring duties when called upon. The 8 Series is also handsome to look at and pleasant to sit in, and a range of terrific engines is offered, but it’s the diesel version that makes the most sense and gives the car a unique selling point among rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe, Lexus LC, Aston Martin DB11 and Bentley Continental GT.
The word ‘flagship’ gets kicked around a lot in the car world, especially by posh companies like BMW. The 7 Series has served as the firm’s flagship luxury saloon for several years, whereas the X7 sits on top of the firm’s popular SUV range. However, having gone one better than both of those cars in terms of the number in its name, you could argue that the 8 Series is the company’s real flagship.
What is it? Well, it’s a large luxury coupe with four seats and two doors (convertible and four-door versions are also available, which we’ll review separately), putting it up against cars as diverse as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe, Lexus LC, Aston Martin DB11, Bentley Continental GT, even the Porsche 911.
But what does the 8 Series bring to the party that the others don’t? Well, that will much depend on which version you go for.
Let’s begin with the 850i range-topper. Powered by a snarling petrol V8, it has the performance and soundtrack to match its rivals. It’s also similar to the Mercedes for price, and way cheaper than the Aston or Bentley.
Having said that, though, it also feels pretty similar to those cars in terms of the job it does. No bad thing considering the quality of the rivals we’re talking about, but by the same token, there isn’t much to mark it out against its rivals.
The 840d diesel version, on the other hand, is a very different matter. No rival offers an equivalent, and that immediately gives the 8 Series an appeal that no other car does.
Aside from the improved economy and extended touring range a diesel gives you, the engine is quiet, smooth and effortlessly muscular. Granted, diesel isn’t exactly as popular these days as it once was, but for high-mileage drivers looking for a bit of luxury and style, this will be a very tempting package.
It’s also a very enjoyable car to drive, with sportier handling than most rivals, but with a ride that’s comfortable enough to satisfy as a daily driver. Settle for one of the more humble versions, and it even manages to look like pretty good value for money compared with most rivals.