Cars of Fall, the Review: 2012 BMW 650i X-Drive
September 21, 2012 | 9:20 am
(Updated: March 18, 2013 | 5:43 pm)
There always has to be that car that is just over the top; one that makes you dream big. The 2012 BWM 650i X-Drive is one of those cars. It is a car that has the most advanced technology from BMW, the most attention to detail (maybe even more so than the 7-Series) and performance that rivals cars half its size. Adorn in Alpine White with Ivory Napa Leather you know BMW is pulling out all the stops for a clientele that expect nothing but the best. At $100,825 as tested, this is not a car for the faint of wallet, but it is a rolling piece of modern art. In Colorado we live in what visitors and many Colorado natives say is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. The Rocky Mountains are breath-taking and they continue to change, inspire and create emotional experiences. If a car can do those same things, the 2012 BMW 650i X-Drive is one of those cars.
At this point you are either rolling your eyes or have drank the Kool-Aid and are nodding right along. The point really is that the attention paid to the design and execution of the 650i is one of the best I have seen unless you step up another couple 100 G’s. That is the reputation of a BMW, but so is the money people say you have to spend to keep them up after the 4 year/50,000 mile warranty; did I mention that there is also full maintenance on this twin turbocharged V8 for the same 4 years/50,000 miles? Still, $100K is nothing to snuff at, so what makes this car worth that kind of green?
When I had the chance to include the 2012 BMW 650i X-Drive in our Cars of Fall story here at OutFront Colorado I jumped at the chance. I have driven plenty of cars from BMW, Audi, Mercedes, but this was a chance to share with you, our reader, why a car like this is something some people aspire to own. It really represents the possibilities in America and like the changing of colors for Fall, represents the beauty and advancement that can happen in everyone’s life. Sure the 650i has 400-hp (435-hp for 2013) and will reach 60 mph in about 4.9 seconds (again, 0.5 seconds quicker for 2013). It also has navigation, Bluetooth, 20-way power seats, impeccable interior quality and finishes and a sound that makes even none auto enthusiasts heart race. But I suspect those are just added benefits to owning a 650i. This is a car that exudes status and for those that can buy one represents the possibilities of the American dream coming true.
I know what you are thinking and the question of usability everyday is a good one…especially as we move towards winter. The 650i X-Drive is the top-of-the-line model and the X-Drive, as many know, is the all-wheel drive system for BMW. 400-hp and all-wheel drive. Moreover, it has what can only be described as state-of-the-art stability and traction control. As part of the advanced system you can select Comfort+, Comfort, Sport and Sport+. Each one changes the dynamics of the suspension, steering, shift points and throttle response. The result is a car that can be a tame in-town cruiser, a track day conquer and coupe that can actually hack winter driving.
The X-Drive is really a lovely system. If someone never mentioned that the 650i was all-wheel drive, you might never realize it until you got on a slick surface. The transfer of power to the wheels is smooth and if you really put your foot in it the 650i X-Drive will not only push you back in your seat, but for the experienced driver might be akin to jumping on a bull at the Rodeo with no training. Even with all the sophisticated features, the 2012 BMW 650i X-Drive is still a lot of power and a large car. At just over 4,400 lbs and 192.8 inches in total length (about 16 ft) the 650i isn’t your MINI Cooper Coupe. Ironically, it is really a personal coupe with plenty of front passenger room, but a back seat that isn’t really as inviting as it might appear. That said, you can get a 6 foot person in the front and a 5 foot 4″ person in the back, but they will only want to ride for a short distance given the comfort levels. On the other hand, the trunk room is pretty impressive at 16 cubic feet, so you and the passenger of your choice can load up the bags and jet off without a worry.
Getting back to the changing of the colors, the 650i X-Drive Coupe is also available in a convertible, but not everyone is a convertible fan. The coupe still gives you amazing visibility with a tilting glass roof that covers most of the front half of the interior compartment. For some it will be a disappointment that it doesn’t slide back, but it does tilt to help release excess heat during the warm days that still pop-up during the fall. This plus the overall driving experience makes the 2012 BMW 650i X-Drive one of the nicest coupes I have driven and reminds me of the Early ’70s Cadillac Eldorado where personal luxury spared no expense. As an owner of a white 1972 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible I can’t help but wonder if people will collect these rolling works of art 40 years in the future.