BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe (2020) Review

BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe (2020) At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
BMW is aware that while many people would like to drive a beautiful two-door coupe, real life dictates they need a four-seat saloon instead. The 8 Series Gran Coupe is aimed at combining the best of both worlds into a flagship model.

+Substantially more practical than two-door 8 Series Coupe, longer body has no impact on ride or handling, generous levels of technology on all models.

-Taller passengers may struggle with headroom in the rear, boot is smaller than traditional saloon rivals, cost of running the M850i could become ruinous.

The BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe offers coupe-like styling, but with the practicality of a saloon car. Extending the 8 Series into a four-door, four-seat model has little effect on how well it drives. A choice of high-performance engines, including a relatively frugal diesel, also add to the package. While the Gran Coupe may be roomier than the regular 8 Series Coupe, it lags behind rivals like the Audi A7 Sportback and Porsche Panamera on overall usability. Yet the high-quality interior, generous standard specification and handsome looks are enough to offset this.

What makes the Gran Coupe unusual is that it was the third version of the current 8 Series range to be released. Manufacturers typically base two-door models on an existing four-door saloon, whereas BMW flipped this on its head. The rationale was to ensure the Gran Coupe maintained the soul of a sports car, but one with an extra degree of usability. 

Given the way the Gran Coupe looks, and drives, BMW has managed to nail that brief. Extending the wheelbase and adding an extra set of doors has done little to upset the attractive styling. To our eyes, it is certainly one of the best looking modern BMWs on sale. Compared to the regular 8 Series Coupe and Convertible versions, practicality has also increased. 

That is not to say the Gran Coupe has become a limousine overnight. It can work as a four-seater with a reasonably sized boot, but key rivals offer more space inside.

Taller passengers in the rear will be aware of the sloping roofline, although those in the front will have no complaints. Cargo space in the boot is only marginally increased over the 8 Series Coupe, at 440 litres. However, this should still be sufficient for most. 

BMW has also ensured the Gran Coupe drives as it looks. It may be a big car, but clever technology ensures it still feels agile and sporty on country roads. Such a sporty setup comes with the drawback of a stiff ride, although BMW does supply adaptive suspension as standard. Switching this to Comfort mode makes things feel more compliant, even if a degree of tautness remains. 

Engine performance is impressive, regardless of which of the three options is chosen. Calling the 840i sDrive the ‘entry-level’ version feels unfair, given it can still accelerate from 0-62mph in just over five seconds.

Those regularly making longer journeys will be drawn to the 840d xDrive diesel, which delivers swift acceleration and the promise of respectable fuel economy. Peak power can be found in the M850i, which uses a twin-turbocharged V8. 

Whatever engine is picked, the interior of the Gran Coupe will be packed with luxurious materials and impressive technology. Merino leather upholstery is standard across the range, with four-zone climate control and internet-connected satellite navigation included.

Although the overall interior design may seem familiar to other BMW models, the level of quality and usability means this is not an issue. Should you want more opulence, a crystal gear shifter is on the options list. 

It all makes for a rather successful package, with only the taut ride quality and high running costs of the M850i to really complain about. Making a four-door saloon from a two-door coupe may not be a conventional route, but BMW has proven with the 8 Series Gran Coupe that it can work.

What does a BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe (2020) cost?