The unusual luxury hatchback soldiers on outside the US.
Even BMW, the maker of some of the world's best sports sedans and luxury vehicles, has had a few duds in its range over the years. The BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo is unfortunately one of them, so much so that BMW killed off the model entirely for the 2020 model year in the US. Although extremely comfortable and spacious, the GT's odd appearance effectively canceled out its positive attributes for too many people.
Now, a facelifted version of the 6 Series GT has been unveiled alongside the 2021 BMW 5 Series, but can the upgrades do enough to increase the relevance of this niche model? Well, despite tweaks to the styling, the GT's bulbous and heavy rear aspect remains. What does look better are the new L-shaped front light graphics and the new grille, though.
BMW has also added seven new paint shades and smart new wheel designs, but even in M Sport trim, the 6 GT remains as polarizing as ever. In the cabin, the quirky hatchback gets similar enhancements to the new 5 Series, including a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and iDrive 7, while high-gloss black trim on the center console, the addition of Android Auto, and a new arrangement of the buttons on the steering wheel is also new. Dakota leather upholstery is standard, and the 6 GT still offers a massive back seat with stretch-out space.
Under the hood, there is a choice of five engines (two gas engines and three diesels) and all feature BMW's new 48-volt mild-hybrid technology. The range includes the 190-horsepower 620d and the 333-hp 640i. BMW's excellent eight-speed automatic remains the sole transmission choice. The available Integral Active Steering is now said to offer improved assistance at lower speeds.
The 6 GT's driver assistance features have also been improved. For example, the lane departure warning function now includes late return capability. Navigation also steps up with a revised cloud-based system that is even quicker.
It all sounds properly comprehensive, and we have little doubt that from the driver's seat, the 6 GT will convince you that you don't need to spend extra on the brand's flagship 7 Series. It's just a pity that such a refined, advanced vehicle remains cloaked in such a strange design. If you like the way it looks, the 6 GT is hard to fault. But for US customers, it won't matter anyway, as the facelifted grand tourer is unlikely to be sold here at all.