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2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe

$84,900 - $108,900
Price Range (MSRP)
BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe

2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Review: Who Needs An M8?

by Jared Rosenholtz

Remember the days not too long ago when BMWs weren't just unattractive, they were downright ugly? Chris Bangle's era of "flame-surfacing" design principles that had only one decent product, the E60 5 Series, made BMW a villain to their own fans. Those days, however, are long gone, and today's BMWs are almost all elegant designs - if you can ignore excessively large grilles on things like the X7. To capitalize on this design renaissance, BMW has launched what is arguably their best looking four-door GT in over a decade. The 8 Series Gran Coupe is here with two more doors than the regular 8, three configurations, more rear space, and enough style and substance to scare Mercedes and Porsche. Power comes from your choice of either a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six with 335 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque, or a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 with 523 hp and 553 lb-ft. An eight-speed auto is standard, with the 840i having the option of rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive, while the V8 M850i is exclusively available as an xDrive all-wheel-drive model. Pricing starts just below $85,000 for the base model with the M850i starting at $108,900.

Read in this review:

9.2
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2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Changes: What’s the difference vs 2019 8 Series Gran Coupe?

The 8 Series is an all-new offering from BMW, with the Gran Coupe especially different as it's largely altered from its two-door sibling. However, if you're looking for an older model to compare it to, the old 6 Series Gran Coupe could be viewed as the car this 8 Series GC replaces. In terms of powertrain, the 840i and 840i xDrive are powered by a new turbocharged six-cylinder engine that hasn't seen duty in any other variant of the 8 Series, until now.

Pros and Cons

  • Phenomenal performance and agility for a vehicle this size
  • Gorgeous styling
  • Abundant standard features
  • Cheapest 8 Series available
  • More practicality with almost no sacrifices
  • Plenty of interior customization options
  • Trunk space only marginally improved over 8 Series coupe
  • A lot of safety equipment costs extra

8 Series Gran Coupe Exterior

The 8 Series is an absolute stunner. Muscular but svelte, the 8 Series GC features more rake on the front and rear windscreens than you'll find on the coupe version, allowing for more headroom. Sandwiched between these two panes is a panoramic sunroof that runs the length of the entire roof. At the front, the traditional kidney grilles are a one-piece hexagonal design, with LED laser lights on either side. The rear also features LED lighting, with twin-exit exhausts and subtle vents accentuating the tail. A side-mounted vent on each of the front fenders is followed by a smooth crease, while the doors feature pillarless windows for more coupe-like style. Wheel sizes range between 18 and 20 inches, and a carbon-fiber roof can be had on the M850i, which also deletes the sunroof for an additional weight saving.

2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Front Angle View CarBuzz
2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Rear Angle View CarBuzz
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See All 2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The 8 Series GC features the widest rear track of any BMW produced thus far. To accommodate this, the body measures 76.1 inches across. The wheelbase is the same across all three variants at 119 inches, with 840i models measuring 200.2 inches long and the M850i a smidge more at 200.3. Thanks to bigger wheels, the M850i sits a little taller too at 55.4 inches while the rest of the range is 0.2 inches shorter. Curb weight on the rear-wheel-drive 840i is 4,262 lbs, while the 840i xDrive weighs 4,381lbs. The M850i xDrive with its bigger V8 weighs 4,758 lbs.

2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Exterior Colors

  • Dravit Grey Metallic
  • Tanzanite Blue II Metallic
  • Individual Aventurin Red Metallic
  • Tanzanite Blue Metallic
  • Frozen Bluestone Metallic
  • Alpine White
  • Bluestone Metallic
  • Blue Ridge Mountain Metallic
  • Carbon Black Metallic
  • Black Sapphire Metallic
  • Mineral White Metallic
  • Sunset Orange Metallic
  • Barcelona Blue Metallic
  • Sonic Speed Blue Metallic

8 Series Gran Coupe Performance

2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Engine CarBuzz
2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Gear Shifter CarBuzz
2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Wheel CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

The 8 Series GC in base form is a rear-wheel-drive model with a turbocharged inline-six. This sends 335 hp to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and although this is the cheapest 8 Series on sale, it's sublime. The power delivery is smooth and strong, with gearshifts executed almost imperceptibly. This car makes one question the need for a bigger engine, with the six-cylinder providing more than enough grunt and doing so quietly when you prefer to cruise. The 840i xDrive is powered by the same engine but can send the power to all four wheels. The xDrive system is from BMW though, so unlike in most Audis and the like, the torque split is almost always 100% rear-biased until the system thinks that sending power to the front will help you maintain stability. The top-trim M850i is not available with rear-wheel-drive, but again, the system prefers driving the rear wheels, making for an engaging experience typical of a Bimmer. This twin-turbo V8 makes 523 hp and also relies on the eight-speed auto to manage output. It does such a great job of playing both Dr. Jekkyl and Mr. Hyde that we can't help but question why anyone would bother with the upcoming M8 GC. 0-60 mph times are 4.9, 4.6, and a blistering 3.7 seconds for the 840i, 840i xDrive, and M850i xDrive respectively, while all models are governed by a limiter restricting top speed to 130 mph. Speccing performance tires allows you to move the limiter up to 155 mph on any of the variants.

  • Engines
    3.0-liter Turbo Inline-6 Gas, 4.4-liter Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

With standard adaptive dampers and a choice between Eco+, Comfort, and Sport modes on all three models, the 8 Series GC is capable of asserting its authority as an outstanding GT that can do laidback cruising and quicker fun with equal ease. The regular 840i is equipped with an M Sport rear diff as standard to improve handling, while the xDrive model gets active steering assist. The M850i is endowed with both as standard, ensuring that it can handle its additional heft with ease. Thanks to the combination of adaptive dampers and other handling advances, the 8 Series GC should be both a competent and comfortable cruiser and an agile beast in the corners. Available M Sport brakes add to the feeling of security, with the rotors having proved fade-free and willing to take abuse, as well as being easy to modulate. Optional performance tires also give it more grip than the standard all-season rubber.

8 Series Gran Coupe Gas Mileage

The base 840i scores 22/29/24 mpg on the EPA's city/highway/combined cycles, allowing for an average range with mixed driving of around 432 miles from its 18-gallon tank. The 840i xDrive is a little worse thanks to its AWD setup's additional mass, scoring 20/27/23 mpg on the same cycles. By comparison, the two-door 840i coupes generally manage around one mile per gallon better on each of the cycles. Meanwhile, the heaviest 8 Series GC, the M850i xDrive, manages 17/25/20 mpg, which means you can expect around 360 miles between fill-ups.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    18.0 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 22/29 mpg
* 2020 BMW 8 Series 840i Gran Coupe

8 Series Gran Coupe Interior

2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Central Console CarBuzz
2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Front Seats CarBuzz
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Seating and Interior Space

The 8 Series Gran Coupe is marketed as a five-seater, with its extended length and height making for a more comfortable rear-seat experience. However, it's realistically only meant for four people, and those flirting with a height of six feet will still be inconvenienced by the roofline. Still, there is decent legroom and it's much easier to get in and out of the back. The middle seat is just too narrow and the extended center console which also houses the controls for the rear climate control system means that you can't really fit a fifth person back there. Fortunately for the driver, the steeper rake of both front and rear windscreens allows for greater visibility and a better chance of accurately checking the blind spots. And, with 14-way power-adjustable front seats, finding a good driving position is not a challenge.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

8 Series Gran Coupe Trunk and Cargo Space

Although rear seat occupancy is vastly improved over that of the regular coupe, the 8 Series GC isn't much more capacious in the trunk. Just 0.7 cubic feet is the added volume for the GC's cargo hold for a total of 15.5 cubes. Nevertheless, that'll easily accommodate weekend luggage for four with a bit of space left over for sundries.

In the cabin, each door has a decent pocket for wallets and keys, with the center console at the front holding a pair of cupholders and the rear armrest also providing beverage holders. The front also has a bin within the center armrests, while the middle of the dash can accommodate a pair of smartphones with ease.

2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Rear Passenger Seats CarBuzz
2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Rear Passenger Seats CarBuzz
2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Sunroof CarBuzz
  • Trunk Volume
    15.5 ft³

8 Series Gran Coupe Infotainment and Features

Features

Tech is certainly not one of the 8 GC's shortfalls, with plenty of features included as standard to justify the asking price. Among these are a panoramic sunroof, launch control, dynamic dampers, adaptive headlights, a power tailgate, heated power-folding wing mirrors, and wireless charging. Dynamic cruise control, a 12.3-inch driver info display, heated front seats, armrests, and steering wheel, a power rear sunshade, and a head-up display are also included. Furthermore, you get soft-close doors, remote start, auto wipers, and quad-zone climate control. Safety features include forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, a drowsy driver monitor, pre-collision preparation, and post-collision braking. Other available features include blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, front and rear cross-traffic alert, a surround-view camera, a collision evasion aid, a parking assistant and stop and go cruise control. You can also get night vision, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, and glass controls for the gear-lever and iDrive controller.

Infotainment

The 8 GC is fitted with BMW's outstanding iDrive 7.0 infotainment system, which is controlled by either touch, the rotary controller, gestures, or steering-wheel button inputs. The system features a 10.25-inch central display and is hooked up to a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system as standard. Also standard is navigation, voice control, SiriusXM, and Apple CarPlay. You still don't get Android Auto, but BMW has its own app to allow connectivity from Google-powered devices. The standard infotainment system also includes Wi-Fi, a 32GB hard drive, HD Radio, Bluetooth connectivity, and a pair of USB ports. If the standard speakers don't quite do it for you, a Bowers & Wilkins upgrade is available too.

8 Series Gran Coupe Problems and Reliability

The brand new 8 Series Gran Coupe has not yet been subject to any recalls, but it is worth noting that the coupe and convertible options had a recall issue in late September 2019 for a faulty rearview camera that would not display images on the screen. In terms of warranty, BMW provides a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty, as well as 12 years of corrosion protection and four years of roadside assistance.

8 Series Gran Coupe Safety

No variant of the BMW 8 Series has been crash-tested by either the IIHS or the NHTSA, although that is not uncommon in this price bracket. With standard features like adaptive LED laser headlights with auto high beams, auto wipers, forward-collision warning featuring pedestrian detection and auto emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, a rearview camera, a drowsy driver monitor, and post-collision braking, the 8 ought to be quite safe. Available safety equipment includes blind-spot monitoring, front and rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, and evasive steering assist, as well as a surround-view camera. Airbags include driver and passenger front airbags, side-impact airbags, and head airbags. The driver also gets a knee airbag.

We rate the 8 Series #1 in both our V8 Sedan and our Four-Door Coupe rankings. In base form, it's stunningly beautiful with a magnificent interior, a wealth of standard equipment, and a fantastic transmission. The base inline-six is also a brilliant engine, with more than enough gusto to keep you entertained on the straights and a deficit of weight that makes it agile in the corners. Further up is the 840i xDrive, which allows you to have both fun and security with its rear-biased all-wheel-drive system. Then you get the M850i, which is so phenomenally crafted that you'd have to question if M8 GC buyers are simply compensating for something they lack by purchasing the top of the range model. Honestly, this M850i has more than enough power, comfort, handling ability, and technological prowess to make the shortly-available M8 Gran Coupe totally redundant for everything except bragging rights. The 8 Series GC addresses the space issue in the back of the normal coupe, maintains its breathtaking style, and provides a phenomenal experience so richly overlain with elegance that even something like a Mercedes AMG GT 4-Door or Porsche Panamera looks awkward. When it comes to big GT four-door coupes, the 8 Series Gran Coupe is far and away the leader of the pack.

2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Models

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
840i Gran Coupe
3.0-liter Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$84,900
840i xDrive Gran Coupe
3.0-liter Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$87,800
M850i xDrive Gran Coupe
4.4-liter Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$108,900
See All 2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Trims and Specs

What BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Model Should I Buy?

If you're after next-level performance without a full-on M Division rework, the M850i is your go-to, featuring 523 twin-turbocharged horses and a number of sporty styling elements, including optional carbon fiber accents on the exterior and interior. If you don't need quite so much power but still like the idea of all-wheel-drive security, the 840i xDrive will be your best bet. Interestingly, it's the regular rear-wheel-drive "base" 840i that most tickles our fancy. The inline-six turbo produces 335 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque, and without the extra weight of xDrive, that output is more than sufficient for both cruising and more spirited driving. In addition, despite this being a so-called entry-level offering, the 840i is incredibly well-equipped, and if the standard features aren't enough, it's only the M Performance-specific modification options that you'll miss out on. The 8 Series Gran Coupe is simply sublime, regardless of which model you go for, but the purity and relative simplicity of the base 840i is highly attractive to us.

Check out other BMW 8 Series Styles?

2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Comparisons

2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Mercedes-Benz
2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Porsche

2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe vs Mercedes-AMG GT 53

Both the 8 Series Gran Coupe and the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door eschew convention by sticking with a traditional trunk lid, rather than the hatchback liftgate that is more common on four-door coupes like this. In terms of styling, the 8 Series is a more resolved design than that of the AMG GT, which seems to be trying too hard to cram styling elements into one package rather than creating a fluid shape. Inside, it's a different story, with Merc displaying its trademark flamboyance and sense of occasion, where the Bimmer looks a little bland in comparison. Safety-wise, it's interesting to note that despite Mercedes being the marque to introduce night-vision to production cars, the GT 4-Door doesn't have it. It also does without post-collision braking. Dynamically, the Bimmer is better too, weighing around 400 lbs less. It also features a few more standard features that should be included with every vehicle at this price range, like heated armrests and steering wheel, whereas the Merc requires extra card-swiping to get a heated steering wheel. Only available as a four-wheel-drive AMG performance model, the GT 4-Door also costs a lot more, starting at $99,000, which is what you'll pay for a heavily-optioned M850i. Simply put, the Bimmer offers more for less.

See Mercedes-AMG GT 53 Review

2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe vs Porsche Panamera

In base form, pricing between the Porsche and Bimmer four-door coupes is similarly matched, with the Panamera costing around $2,300 more. Performance is also similar, with the 335 hp 840i edging out the base Panamera by five hp. Despite this, the Bimmer is more economical, returning an average of 24 mpg versus the Porsche's 22 mpg. The BMW also offers a head-up display that you'd have to pay extra for in the Panamera and has an available autonomous parking system that the Porker doesn't offer. You also pay extra for a heated steering wheel. Despite the iconic Porsche badge, the Panamera isn't as adept handling machine, and dynamics aside, it's also an arguably more forced design - much like the AMG GT 4-Door. Granted the Porsche emblem carries with it more prestige, but the BMW is a simply brilliant all-round car that looks amazing, has a ton of standard features, and is relatively well-priced. We'd much rather take the 8 Series GC.

See Porsche Panamera Review

BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Popular Comparisons