2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe

2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Review: Four-Door Bliss

In the world of four-door coupes, the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe rules the roost. This elegantly styled machine competes with the likes of the Porsche Panamera and offers all the bells and whistles a circa $100k luxury machine should. Powering the 8 Series Gran Coupe is your choice of turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six or twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8, the latter producing 523 horsepower. In a segment obsessed with all-wheel-drive, the 8 Series GC provides an alternate: rear-wheel-drive can be had on the base six-cylinder, with all-wheel-drive an option, becoming standard on the M850i. Either way, an eight-speed automatic gearbox is the transmission of choice. Lithe handling dynamics combine with four-door practicality, while adaptive dampers and numerous drive modes give the 8 GC the ability to turn from refined cruiser into back-road bomber. It may lose out on rear passenger space and luxury compared to the BMW 7 Series, but if you want 7 Series-opulence with M4-levels of driving experience, this may just be the best four-door coupe on the market right now.

Read in this review:

2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 8 Series Gran Coupe?

The 2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe sees some changes for the new year, with both the interior and exterior on the receiving end. On the outside, the Sonic Speed Blue paint color option has been removed, while the interior sees the Black Extended Merino Leather with black M piping removed from the options list. An Anthracite headliner has been added to all Gran Coupe models, and SiriusXM with 360L and a one-year all-access subscription replaces the standard SiriusXM suite. More tech changes include the addition of standard lane departure warning to all models, and the Driving Assistance Package 2 has been removed. The M Sport Package pricing has been reduced from $4,850 to $4,550 and M Sport Brakes with black calipers have been added to the pack. Changes to the options list further include the removal of Night Vision with Pedestrian Protection, and the extended Shadowline trim pricing has been reduced from $350 to $300.

Pros and Cons

  • It looks great in photos
  • Silky smooth performance
  • More practical than the two-door version
  • Premium interior
  • Almost as fast as an M8 in M850i guise
  • Overly assisted steering
  • 5 Series does the same for less
  • Headroom gets tight in the back
  • Doesn't feel as special as rivals

Best Deals on 8 Series Gran Coupe

2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
840i Gran Coupe
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$85,000
840i xDrive Gran Coupe
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$87,900
M850i Gran Coupe
4.4L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$108,900

2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Exterior

Looking at images of the new BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe casts it in a new light every time we see it, as if it gets better looking with each glance. It's a remarkably handsome four-door in any of the 12 available paint colors. The 840i features 18-inch V-spoke light-alloy wheels, automatic high beams, and a power tailgate. The M850i xDrive gets 20-inch V-spoke Cerium Grey alloy wheels, Shadowline exterior trim with an aerodynamic kit, and an M rear spoiler. Exterior options include an M carbon roof, as well as the M Carbon exterior package, which includes M Carbon mirror caps, and single-piece carbon finishers around the tailpipes.

2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Front View BMW
2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Rear View BMW
2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Front Angle View BMW
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Dimensions

The Gran Coupe is a sizable car, measuring in with a total length of 200.2 inches for the 840i and 840i xDrive, while the M850i xDrive measures a slightly longer 200.3 inches. Width is 76.1 inches, and total height is 55.2 inches for the lower-tier models, while the M850i xDrive measures 55.4 inches tall. Curb weight for the base model is 4,262 pounds, the xDrive version weighs 4,381 lbs, and finally, the M850i xDrive weighs a hefty 4,758 lbs.

  • Length 200.2 in
  • Wheelbase 119.0 in
  • Height 55.2 in
  • Max Width 76.1 in
  • Front Width 64.1 in
  • Rear Width 65.8 in

2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Exterior Colors

  • Individual Dravit Grey Metallic, Priority 1.
  • Tanzanite Blue II Metallic, Priority 1.
  • Individual Aventurin Red Metallic, Priority 1.
  • Frozen Bluestone Metallic, Priority 1.
  • Individual Dravit Grey Metallic, Priority 1
  • Tanzanite Blue II Metallic, Priority 1
  • Individual Aventurin Red Metallic, Priority 1
  • Frozen Bluestone Metallic, Priority 1
  • Bluestone Metallic
  • Barcelona Blue Metallic
  • Sunset Orange Metallic
  • Alpine White
  • Blue Ridge Mountain Metallic
  • Carbon Black Metallic
  • Black Sapphire Metallic
See all 16 colors

2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Performance

2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Front View Driving BMW
2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Rear View Driving BMW
2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Gear Shifter BMW

Engine and Transmission

There are two engine choices on offer for 2021, and a test drive will quickly highlight the performance differences between the two. In the base model, BMW offers a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine, which produces 335 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. This setup allows for a 0 to 60 sprint time of 4.9 seconds in RWD guise, or 4.6 seconds in xDrive configurations, and feels more than quick enough for both city driving and highway cruising. Despite being down on power, we love its smooth delivery thereof. If you're after more power, the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 in the M850i xDrive will do. This setup delivers 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque and destroys the tarmac with a push of the throttle. In this spec, the 8 Series Gran Coupe will sprint to sixty in only 3.7 seconds. Top speed for all models is 130 mph, or 155 mph for cars with an increased limiter and summer performance tires. The 840i sends power to the rear or all four wheels via an excellent eight-speed automatic transmission with sport and manual shift modes. The M850i is only available in AWD.

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

Handling and Driving Impressions

The 8 Series Gran Coupe does what it says on the label, and then some. This car is an adept cruiser thanks to standard adaptive dampers, which can alter the ride comfort and sportiness thanks to your choice of Eco+, Comfort, and Sport modes. With Eco+ mode engaged, the Gran Coupe is a laid back road missile that gobbles up the miles in serene comfort. If you want a mode dynamic driving experience, Sport mode tightens things up, but we found that the overly assisted steering took away from the overall feel of the car and made it disconnected from the driver. Be that as it may, the 8 Series Gran Coupe hides its weight in the corners and can tuck its nose into it with surprising ease. The M suspension and sport brakes in the M850i xDrive add an extra level of confidence that makes the Gran Coupe feel even more capable in the corners.

2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Gas Mileage

You'd think that such a large car, offering such impressive performance figures, would offer rather disappointing gas mileage figures, but driving the 3.0-liter derivative with a light foot will result in remarkable numbers for a vehicle in this class. The base model 840i claims best figures of 22/29/25 mpg city/highway/combined. The xDrive version sees those numbers drop to 20/27/23 mpg. The more powerful M850i xDrive might be a powerhouse, but it will still manage a semi-respectable number of 17/24/19 mpg. With a fuel tank capacity of 18 gallons, the 8 Series Gran Coupe will manage a maximum range of up to 450 miles in the 840i.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    18.0 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 22/29 mpg
* 2021 BMW 8 Series 840i Gran Coupe

2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Interior

2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Central Console CarBuzz
2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Front Seats CarBuzz
2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Sunroof CarBuzz
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Seating and Interior Space

The 8 Series Gran Coupe seats five occupants, but those in the middle rear-seat won't exactly be comfortable, as the full-length center console eats up any available legroom, despite the presence of a third seatbelt in the middle. The driving position is comfortable, and forward visibility is good, but gets difficult past the B pillar. Compared to the two-door version, the Gran Coupe offers good interior space, especially in terms of rear legroom, but the sloping roof means that backseat passengers face tight dimensions of only 37 inches for headroom. Legroom in the front is exceptionally spacious, and in testing, we found the front seats excellent for long-distance cruising. Despite how much comfort is prioritized, the seats also provide excellent levels of support when throwing the car into a corner.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 42.1 in
  • Front Head Room 39.1 in
  • Rear Leg Room 36.6 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.0 in

8 Series Gran Coupe Trunk and Cargo Space

Fitting two extra doors adds to the space offered inside the Gran Coupe, but that doesn't exactly translate into more trunk and cargo space. The standard two-door coupe offers 14.8 cubic feet for cargo, and the Gran Coupe ups that to 15.5 cubic feet. That's enough space to fit whatever you need for a good weekend away.

Small items can be stored in decently sized door pockets, a glovebox, and a storage bin in the center armrest. Cell phones and keys can be kept in the center dashboard nook, and there are two cupholders up front. In the rear, passengers get a center console for added storage, while a fold-down armrest adds a couple of cup holders.

2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Rear Passenger Seats BMW
2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Rear Passenger Seats 1 BMW
2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Trunk Space BMW
  • Trunk Volume
    15.5 ft³

8 Series Gran Coupe Infotainment and Features

Features

As you can imagine, a car of this caliber comes packed with impressive features. These include a Wi-Fi hotspot, full-color head-up display, remote engine start, 14-way power front sport seats with four-way power lumbar support, and driver and front passenger seat memory. A panoramic moonroof, power rear sunshades, a power trunk, and comfort keyless access are also included, as is four-zone automatic climate control, soft-close automatic doors, and ambient interior lighting. The front seats, armrest, and steering wheel are heated, and you get wireless phone charging. Driver assistance features include frontal collision warning, automatic city collision mitigation, and braking with daytime pedestrian detection. The M850i gets 16-way power multi-function front seats. Optional features include a surround-view camera system and lane departure warning as part of the $1,100 Driving Assistance Package, as well as individual options such as an M Performance Drive Analyzer.

Infotainment

The dashboard of the 8 Series Gran Coupe is dominated by a 10.25-inch central infotainment display, as well as a 12.3-inch instrument cluster display. The iDrive infotainment system is controlled by voice, touchscreen, and iDrive touchpad controller, and we found it to be rather intuitive and easy to use. Infotainment features include SiriusXM satellite radio with a one-year all-access subscription, Apple CarPlay, navigation, Bluetooth, and two USB ports. Sound is channeled through a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system with a 464-watt amplifier. If you want some serious sound, BMW offers a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system at a cost of $3,400, which includes 16 speakers and 1,400 watts of power.

2021 8 Series Gran Coupe Problems and Reliability

In terms of reliability, the 2021 Grand Series performs well and has not been recalled. The 2020 model, however, has been recalled for a fault with the seat belt sensors. J.D. Power gives the 8 Series range a reliability score of 85 out of 100. BMW in the USA covers the 2021 8 Series Gran Coupe with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, with a drivetrain warranty for the same period. You also get a three-year/36,000-mile maintenance plan and four years of roadside assistance.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    12 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

8 Series Gran Coupe Safety

You'll seldom find cars in this price bracket being the subject of reviews and crash tests by US authorities, but that being said, the 8 Series Gran Coupe should, in theory, offer an excellent safety rating when compared to competitors such as the Porsche Panamera.

Standard safety gear includes front side-impact airbags, dual front airbags, and curtain airbags, amongst others. You also get BMW's Active Protection System, which includes driver fatigue warning and focus alert. The LED headlights are adaptive, and you also get an anti-theft alarm system. Driver assistance features include frontal collision warning, automatic city collision mitigation, and braking with pedestrian detection. Optional safety systems include active driving assistance, active cruise control, a surround-view camera system, lane departure warning, active blind-spot detection, and park assist with active distance control.

Verdict: 🏁Is 2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe a good car?

After our review of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe, it's not difficult to see why it's ranked as our best four-door coupe of 2020. The exterior manages to seamlessly blend four doors into a coupe body style that looks as handsome as it is practical. We think it's one of the best looking in its class, especially in the more aggressive M850i xDrive guise. The interior of the Gran Coupe is beautifully crafted with fine materials, and the cabin boasts a well thought out layout that is as good to look at as it is to use. It should be mentioned that the 8 Series Gran Coupe is packed with modern tech that will see it stay relevant for quite some time. The base model offers an almost perfect balance of power and refinement, and most will be happy with the potency on offer from the turbocharged inline-six. The M850i xDrive, on the other hand, is an incredible high-performance grand tourer that offers most of what the M8 has, but does it in a more elegant fashion. The four-door shape offers good space and practicality, and the overall package is just too hard to ignore.

🚘What's the Price of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe?

The price of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe varies depending on how much power and how many features you're after. With an MSRP of $85,000 excluding tax, registration, and a destination fee of $995, you're looking at an average base price for this class. The Porsche Panamera, for instance, starts at $87,200. The 840i xDrive will cost you $87,900, and the top of the range M850i xDrive goes for a much higher $108,900.

See All 2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Trims and Specs

🚗What 2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Model Should I Buy?

With three options to go for, BMW offers some choice when it comes to its 8 Series Gran Coupe. Flavors range from impressive to wild, so whichever way you go, you know you're going to get more than enough performance. If performance were your only concern, then, of course, we recommend going with the 523-hp M850i xDrive, which offers supercar levels of fun, but at a dear price. If the price is a factor, then either the 840i or 840i xDrive are perfect alternatives. Both offer an excellent balance of performance and luxury. The 335-hp 3.0-liter turbo engine has enough grunt for most, and the interior features the majority of elements found in the top of the range M850i xDrive. In our experience, the 840i xDrive is more than enough for most buyers, with AWD adding an extra layer of safety in inclement weather and enough pace and power to satiate most buyers.

Check out other BMW 8 Series Styles

2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Comparisons

BMW 7 Series BMW
Porsche Panamera Porsche
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe335 hp22/29 mpg$85,000
BMW 7 Series 335 hp22/29 mpg$86,800
Porsche Panamera 330 hp19/27 mpg$87,200

2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe vs BMW 7 Series

The BMW 7 Series is the brand's flagship luxury model and represents the pinnacle of BMW's engineering prowess. Powering the 7 Series is a range of six, eight, and twelve-cylinder engines, all of which offer strong performance. The 7 Series shares its 3.0-liter and 4.4-liter engines with the 8 GC, but its 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 is unique to the range and develops 601 hp and 627 lb-ft. In terms of fuel consumption, the 7 Series will manage best figures of 22/29/25 mpg city/highway/combined, which is just shy of the 8 Series' best. Where the 7 Series truly shines is in the way it carries its occupants in supreme comfort; it feels more refined on the road, and wraps passengers in luxury, offering a plush experience for those who prefer being chauffeured about. The interior of the 7 Series is opulent and is also filled with more tech than you can blink at and provides impressive space in the back, with eight inches of extra rear legroom and two inches more headroom for a lounge-like experience. This truly sets it apart from the 8 Series Gran Coupe, which is aimed more at the driver. Trunk space is also significantly more in the 7 Series, at 18.2 cubic feet. It might not look as svelte, but the 7 Series is in a different class for a reason. Give us the 7 for ultimate luxury - but give us the chauffeur that should come with it, too.

See BMW 7 Series Review

2021 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe vs Porsche Panamera

Porsche hit the nail on the head when they first released the Panamera, but in recent years, the competition has caught up. This German four-door performance coupe is driven by a turbocharged V6 producing 325 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque in base form, growing to a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 473 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque in the GTS, and finally a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 620 hp and 604 lb-ft of torque in Turbo S guise. In base form, it will sprint to sixty in 5.3 seconds and end up with a top speed of 168 mph, while the Bimmer manages the sprint in 4.9 seconds. With standard adaptive dampers, the Panamera offers a beautifully cushioned ride but can be set to deliver a tighter, more focused driving experience, too. The interior is plush and just as luxurious, but can't match the BMW's level of standard features. The Panamera offers good interior space but offers less cargo space in the back. The Porsche offers a good deal, but in this comparison, the BMW does everything slightly better and for less money.

See Porsche Panamera Review

BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Popular Comparisons

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Photos
$85,000 - $108,900
Price Range (MSRP)
BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe