2020 BMW M850i Coupe review: A blunt object with smooth edges

2020 BMW M850i

I’ll under no circumstances get worn out of this paint shade.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Earlier this calendar year, I took the BMW M8 Competition for a spin, and whilst I was amazed with its corner-carving prowess, I found it totally too a lot automobile for most situations, and it sacrificed quite a few of its grand-touring qualifications in favor of outright functionality. Now, right after a 7 days with the nevertheless-a good deal-strong 2020 M850i, it can be clear that BMW’s major-system coupe can be a right GT, even if some areas of the encounter aren’t completely understood.


  • Smooth when it needs to be
  • Deft handler when it needs to be

Do not Like

  • Rear seats believe you absence legs
  • Meh steering
  • Brobdingnagian footprint

Like a reverse Tardis

Though the eight Sequence is thought of BMW’s flagship coupe, its exterior style is remarkably restrained. Certain, my tester gussies points up with an completely fantastic $5,five hundred Wildberry Metallic paint task and a $four,100 M Carbon Exterior Bundle that adds useless carbon fiber to numerous corners, but the over-all aesthetics are on the sedate aspect, with just a several sharp edges fore and aft and a whole bunch of smoothness concerning those factors. It can be a fantastic glance that won’t leave you conversing about the automobile to each individual passerby — unless of course, of class, you get yours in techno-purple.

I said this of the M8 Competition, and I’ll say it once more: The eight Sequence is major. This coupe does a great task of swallowing up each individual accessible inch of asphalt concerning the yellow traces. Though which is fantastic in the perception that it feels like you get your money’s really worth of automobile, there are some obvious downsides. Even with 360 levels of parking sensors, the major edge is mighty vulnerable to parking berms, and parallel parking attempts leave me asking yourself if I’ve dropped the capacity to decide what autos can suit in what areas. If somebody on the highway errs too close to the dashed traces, I obtain myself sweating a little bit additional than common.

The inside, by comparison, feels a lot lesser than the automobile to which it can be connected. When I slide into the driver’s seat — and I do suggest slide, considering that the M850i is fairly reduced — points are a minor cramped. The heart tunnel creeps fairly substantial, and the beltline is just not suitable for arm-out-the-window jaunts either, major to a slight perception of claustrophobia. That emotion is magnified in the back again, which possesses seats and headroom in name only unless of course your third passenger is a pet, a little one or a grocery bag, you may perhaps want to spring for the four-door Gran Coupe if additional than two people have someplace to go.

Though it could possibly experience constricted, BMW’s inside style is great. Extended Merino leather-based is regular, so approximately each individual one touch issue is sleek and properly cushioned, and the seats give both ample comfort and ease and assistance on longer journeys. The local weather manage and radio buttons are outstanding and easy to get to with out distraction, but the wireless charging pad is tucked away behind the cup holders, which can be challenging if you convey drinks. Storage is… high-quality, I guess, with a sizable trunk but diminutive door pockets and an similarly limited heart armrest cubby. Just throw your outdated receipts onto the back again seats at minimum they will be handy for some thing then.

Both of those cruiser and cruise missile

The BMW M850i does a fantastic task of splitting the difference concerning the outright GT nature of the 840i and the bonkers functionality of the M8 Competition. The regular adaptive suspension supplies actual comfort and ease in sizable doses, soaking up most each individual little bit of road nastiness and replacing it with regular cruising. Street sound is much reduced than the M8, lending to a additional serene encounter on prolonged hauls. The Michelin Pilot Activity three operate-flat tires (245/35 entrance, 275/thirty rear) that wrap around twenty-inch wheels are thin, but they don’t confer a lot harshness, nor do they generate the utter cacophony that the stickier rubber on the M8 Competition does, yet they are nevertheless a good deal grippy when the heading will get lateral.

Make no blunder, there is nevertheless a good deal of electricity on faucet. The M850i packs a four.four-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 that can make 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. That torque feels like it can be accessible as generally as an EV’s twist, with approximately each individual push of the pedal eliciting a hefty thrust forward with several, if any, needed equipment adjustments. If I want to shoot a gap on the highway? By the time I consider about it, it can be presently more than — and I am presently more than the velocity restrict, to boot. Like the M8, the M850i’s powerplant offers me additional motive force than I can reliably use in ninety nine% of actual-daily life situations, which can make the aurally pleasing exhaust take note a trouble, as listening to it for too prolonged will conclusion up with Smokey blazing a route to my back again bumper.

The M850i’s steering wheel has just the correct sum of chunk to it, and sure, the leather-based is quite great.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

The M850i’s modes are a little bit additional advanced than the M8, which gives up a one monitor letting me customise critical areas of the driving encounter piecemeal. On the center youngster here, there are default modes like Comfort and ease and Activity, with an Person method letting me use any base setting as a platform for a slightly additional tailor-made encounter. Truthfully, leaving almost everything in Comfort and ease nevertheless can make for a thrilling back again-road blaster, with a little bit additional place for moment throttle adjustments, and it can be my favored way to travel the M850i, but Activity will sharpen points sufficiently for those who desire a touchier fuel pedal. No issue the method, the electromechanical steering has a long lasting dose of Novocain in its system, its numbness detracting from the driving encounter. It can be nevertheless agile, but I don’t get the emotion that I want compared with, say, a 911.

Gas financial state, if you care about it at this rate, is just not great, but it can be far better than the M8 Competition. The EPA estimates eighteen miles per gallon city and 25 mpg highway, enhancements of about four a pop more than the sharper-edged automobile, and those quantities are thankfully easy more than enough to accomplish — offered you can ignore the siren track of regular reduced-conclusion torque.

All in the spouse and children

Any individual acquainted with the in-automobile know-how in most other fashionable BMWs won’t obtain anything out of the everyday on the M850i. The 10.2-inch touchscreen on the dashboard runs the most recent iteration of BMW’s iDrive system, which is responsive and can be labored by way of the touchscreen or the actual physical dial on the heart console. A household monitor gives quick glances at the most important bits, but you can override that with Apple CarPlay and, pending an more than-the-air application update, Android Car (at last). It can be not fantastic by any extend some alternatives are hidden many menus deep, and not all of them are situated sensibly, but in time iDrive becomes muscle memory. The M850i also packs BMW’s gesture manage, which is a distracting gimmick that usually benefits in unwanted track skips or volume adjustments if you are a hand-talker. In addition to the wireless charger in advance of the cup holders, there is certainly also a USB-A port up there, with a USB-C port in the heart armrest cubby for quicker juicing.

In addition to the iDrive monitor, there is certainly also a 12.three-inch show performing as a gauge cluster. It seems sufficiently futuristic, but it can be not my most loved. The long lasting map is only truly usable when transform-by-transform navigation is enabled, since it does not show street names, and the correct 50 percent of the cluster gives up just a several unique items of details to show, so it can be not as attribute-dense as it could possibly show up.

Care to guess how quite a few periods my hand-conversing unintentionally triggered the gesture manage? The respond to is “too damn quite a few.”

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Basic safety devices abound, offered there is certainly coin to go around. Automatic emergency braking is regular, but the fantastic stuff like BMW’s Lively Driving Assistant Professional, which will enable you delight in minimal sum of arms-off time for the duration of reduced-velocity (sub-37-mph) commutes in targeted traffic, is hidden behind alternatives: $one,100 adds parking aid, a encompass-see digital camera, lane-departure warning and lively blind-location checking, whilst the total shebang also demands an $one,seven-hundred package deal on top rated of that. It can be a great system at any velocity, keeping the lane with out unwanted motion, and the LED lights in the steering wheel make it quite obvious when a driver’s total attention is warranted.

How I’d spec it

My tester’s $112,895 starting rate balloons to $131,995 right after a several alternatives, but I don’t want pointless frippery like carbon fiber trim inside of and out. My suitable M850i rocks the exact same $5,five hundred paint task, but I’d swap to a no-charge wooden trim inside of whilst skipping more than other aesthetic doodads like my tester’s $three,000 carbon roof. Including the $three,400 Bowers & Wilkins top quality audio system would be my sole splurge, halting the window sticker at a additional palatable $121,795.

Down to brass tacks

The 2020 BMW M850i is smack-dab in the center of a ton of competitors. If you want some thing a little bit additional lithe, the Porsche 911 is the default go-to, and the Mercedes-AMG GT gives good comfort and ease in an even additional constricting wrapper. The Mercedes S-Class Coupe errs additional on the luxurious aspect, as does the Lexus LC, which is additional like a rolling art show than anything else. You could choose for the Maserati GranTurismo, I suppose, if you want a fall-useless attractive automobile which is usually completely outclassed by each individual other name outlined.

There is nothing incorrect with wanting the ideal of both worlds, which is what the BMW M850i embodies. It can be not as crazy as the M8 Competition, but it can be not as concentrated on serenity as the 840i. The result is a capable sports coupe that has no trouble stretching its legs and receiving cozy for prolonged road journeys. 

Rosa G. Rose

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