BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Review 2023

Written by Andrew Brady

heycar ratingFast, luxurious and practical coupe
  • 2019
  • Premium
  • Petrol, Diesel

Quick overview


  • Much more practical than the two-door 8 Series Coupe
  • But just as comfortable and quick
  • Impressive technology fitted as standard 


  • Boot loses out on capacity to key rivals 
  • Taller passengers may struggle with rear headroom 
  • Running costs for M850i have the potential to be ruinous 

Overall verdict on the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe

"Transforming the BMW 8 Series into a four-door Gran Coupe adds extra space, but still preserves the best bits of the sports car driving experience. That makes the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe a gem of a luxury tourer."

BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Review 2023: Driving Front

BMW’s flagship 8 Series Coupe caused a stir when it debuted in 2018, and the company wasted no time offering extra versions of its impressive GT car. Along with the open top BMW 8 Series Convertible, this BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe review takes a look at the latest spin-off from the original two-door coupe.

The way the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe evolved is rather unusual. Most four-door coupe rivals began with a saloon model first, which was chopped down to create a more stylish car. This is BMW’s way of ensuring the Gran Coupe remains a sports car at heart. 

An extra set of doors and a lengthened wheelbase have done very little to affect how the BMW 8 Series drives in Gran Coupe form. Technology like four-wheel steering helps it feel both stable and agile, despite its XL proportions, and will reward keen drivers. Take a series of bends on a cross-country drive and it will be easy to forget this is the practical four-door version.

Such sporting intent does come with a downside, in that it feels stiffer and less forgiving to drive than key luxury car rivals. Putting the adaptive suspension into Comfort mode helps, as it takes away some of the tautness. While never uncomfortable, it’s a reminder the Mercedes-Benz CLS or Audi A7 Sportback can offer a more relaxing drive. 

Performance from the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe’s engines is never in doubt, with the two petrols and one diesel offering serious pace. The diesel 840d and range-topping M850i come with xDrive four-wheel drive, while the petrol BMW 840i Gran Coupe is rear-wheel drive. All use an excellent eight-speed automatic gearbox, complete with paddle shifters on the steering wheel. 

The twin-turbo V8 of the BMW M850i Gran Coupe packs the biggest punch of all, while the 840d diesel can achieve close to 40mpg. It certainly makes sense for those undertaking longer commutes, yet never feels short-changed in the power stakes. 

Passengers in the rear of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe will feel they’ve been dealt a worse hand than those up front. The car offers decent rear legroom, but its sweeping roofline does eat into headroom for taller occupants. Supportive and electrically adjustable leather sports seats in the front mean that is certainly the prime place to sit. 

Boot space in the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is improved over the two-door BMW 8 Series, but lags behind contenders from Porsche and Audi. However, there’s enough capacity for the luggage of four occupants on a weekend away.

There is plenty of technology crammed inside the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe, including four-zone climate control, satellite navigation and a digital dashboard for the driver. It’s all part of a cabin that feels truly well made and supportive of its premium price tag. 

Transitioning from two doors to four has been a success for the BMW 8 Series, delivering added usefulness without the loss of enjoyment. It might not be cheap, but the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe offers a lot of car for the money.

Looking for a used car for sale? We've got 100s of BMW Approved Used Cars for Sale for you to choose from, including a wide range of BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe cars for sale.

The BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe appeals to those who want to have their cake and eat it. With the style and performance of a two-door sports car, but the added space and practicality of a four-door saloon, the Gran Coupe has broad appeal.

Not only does the longer wheelbase add extra room, it also makes the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe more stable and relaxed on the motorway. Those commuting long distances. and wanting space and style, could be well served by this version of the 8 Series.

The core of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe appeal is for those who want to own a sports car, but the realities of family life get in the way. Child seats will fit in the rear with ease, and the boot is respectable in size. It really is a practical performance car. 

With a simple line-up of three individual models, BMW’s options for the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe are pleasingly simple. 

The diesel 840d manages to be an impressive all-rounder, delivering strong performance against a backdrop of respectable fuel economy. It comes with xDrive four-wheel drive as standard, too. For those regularly driving long journeys, it is the one to pick.

Otherwise, sticking with the entry-level petrol 840i sDrive should be more than enough. It’s quick, relatively affordable to run and comes well-equipped.

Recommending the range-topping M850i is harder, despite the increased performance it offers. It comes at a cost, and the bespoke BMW M8 Competition model delivers increased ability for not a lot more money. 

The premium four-door coupe market has plenty of contenders to rival the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe. Mercedes-Benz kickstarted the trend in 2004 with the Mercedes CLS, and the third-generation of that car is a top competitor for the BMW to beat.

Cheaper than the BMW, the Mercedes CLS also has a larger boot and a slightly softer driving experience. The same is true for the Audi A7 Sportback, which is bigger than the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe, but not quite so entertaining to drive. 

The Porsche Panamera is the premium four-door closest to the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe in terms of spirit and it delivers even more rapid acceleration. 

Comfort and design: BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe interior

"Compared with the extravagant exterior styling, the inside of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is rather more restrained. BMW prefers to focus on logical, drivercentric interiors."

BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Review 2023: Interior

It means there are fewer design flourishes than you might expect. This is not a bad thing, and it serves as a reminder that BMW has an ethos of building cars with drivers in mind. 

This is further emphasised by the sporty driving position, which will feel low to the floor for those used to driving an SUV. BMW fits electrically adjustable seats for those in the front, offering multiple options for backrest angle and height. The steering wheel also adjusts electrically for reach and rake. 

The driver’s seat includes a memory function, allowing you to save your perfect seating position. Both the front and rear seats are heated, with ventilated cooling front seats on the options list. 

BMW refers to the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe as being a ‘4+1’ design, meaning the centre seat in the rear is something of a token gesture. Those sitting either side in the back should feel relatively comfortable, with respectable amounts of legroom and shoulder room. 

Only the limited headroom may detract from the experience for taller passengers, with the optional panoramic sunroof making things even tighter. Those in the rear do at least gain control of the air conditioning, with four-zone climate control fitted as standard. 

While the overall design of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe’s interior isn’t earth-shatteringly exciting, there is no denying the quality of the materials used. Intended as a flagship model for the BMW brand, the materials have an expensive and luxurious feel throughout. 

Merino leather is used for the upholstery on all versions, extending to cover the armrests on the doors and centre console. Leather is also used to cover the upper sections of the dashboard and instrument panel, with stainless steel trim for detailing. It creates a minimalist expression of quality, with all the regular touchpoints feeling reassuringly expensive. 

All versions have a leather-wrapped steering wheel, with the M850i gaining its own M Sport version. For an even more luxurious touch in the cabin, a ‘CraftedClarity’ crystal gear shifter can be specified. However, this only comes as part of the hugely expensive Ultimate package, along with soft-close doors and M Sport seats.

BMW fits aluminum trim in a dark mesh design as the standard interior finish for the Gran Coupe. Buyers can also specify carbon fibre or grey ash wood trim from the options list, with the BMW Individual programme offering even greater customisation. 

Anyone buying a range-topping model like the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe will expect the interior to be packed with technology. BMW has upheld those expectations, with a comprehensive array of equipment on offer. 

All models come with the Live Cockpit Professional system, which features a substantial 10.25-inch touchscreen at the top of the centre console. This can be operated through the iDrive rotary controller, touching the screen, or even via gesture commands (e.g. twirling your finger to raise or lower the audio volume). 

BMW also includes its Intelligent Personal Assistant, allowing the driver to use voice commands for functions as they would with a smartphone. In terms of support for actual phones, Apple CarPlay compatibility is standard, but Android Auto is not. Curiously, though, an Android phone app can be used to unlock the Gran Coupe. 

A DAB radio and Bluetooth music streaming are included, with a Harman Kardon surround-sound speaker system also standard. For those wanting more audio oomph, there is an expensive 1,400-watt Bowers and Wilkins sound system on the options list. 

Also included is a 12.3-inch digital dashboard, replacing the traditional instrument dials. This can be configured to show different information, including navigation maps and directions. A head-up display is also standard on all models

The whole reason for BMW creating the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is to offer a more practical version of the regular 8 Series. It would be rather embarrassing if the four-door model failed to be accommodating, but the company has thankfully avoided that problem. 

Most of the Gran Coupe’s extra length is found between the front and rear axles. It's over 200mm longer than the standard coupe at 5082mm long, 2137mm wide (including mirrors) and 1407mm tall. This means the extra doors lead to a rear compartment with much more space than the regular BMW 8 Series Coupe.

Despite being as large as the BMW 7 Series saloon, rear space is not in the same league. Legroom should be acceptable for most adults, but the tapering roofline has an impact on headroom. Those below six-feet tall should be okay, but taller passengers might find it uncomfortable on longer journeys. 

There is also a middle seat in the rear of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe. It is best suited to occasional use, with the extended centre console stealing most of the legroom. 

At least the driver and front-seat passenger should feel suitably accommodated. The cabin feels broad, and the windscreen of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is more upright than the two-door model, boosting the feeling of spaciousness. 

Under the armrests of the centre console is a sizeable storage cubby, along with a pair of cupholders. There is also a lockable glovebox, plus door bins to keep smaller items in. 

Converting the 8 Series to the Gran Coupe has not had a dramatic effect on boot space. Compared to the 420-litre capacity of the two-door, the four-door is only marginally more accommodating, at 440 litres. The rear seats do split and fold 40/20/40 to help store longer items, although the saloon-style boot lid can make loading a little awkward. 

Ultimately, this demonstrates the drawbacks of BMW basing the Gran Coupe on a two-door sports car. More traditional saloon-based rivals like the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Audi A7 Sportback offer more room in the rear, and larger boots. However, do they lag behind when it comes to driving dynamics.

Handling and ride quality: What is the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe like to drive?

"The BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is substantially bigger than the regular Coupe it is based upon. An extra 201mm is added to the wheelbase, yet BMW has ensured more space does not equal an inferior driving experience."

BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Review 2023: Driving Side

BMW fits the four-wheel-drive 840d and M850i with Integral Active Steering, and offers it as an option for the 840i. This allows the rear wheels to steer opposite to the front wheels at low speeds, but then in the same direction at higher speeds. It has the advantage of reducing the turning circle of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe when parking, then improves safety and stability on the open road. 

It works well, making the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe feel far nimbler than you would expect for a four-door car that is over five metres long. All models have Servotronic speed-sensitive steering, which is sharp and accurate to use. Choosing between different modes on the Drive Experience Control can add extra weight, and the M Sport steering wheel feels chunky to hold. 

Adaptive M suspension is fitted to all Gran Coupes, offering selectable levels of stiffness. Switching to Sport mode does add a noticeable tautness to the ride, which can make rougher roads a little uncomfortable. Swapping back to Comfort solves this, taking away the harshness. Leaving the suspension in Adaptive mode also works well, letting the car adapt to the road conditions. 

The overall driving experience is one of genuine joy at how well the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe rides and handles. Compared with smaller four-door cars, it might lack some sharpness – but given the more practical nature of the Gran Coupe, this is to be expected. 

An Audi A7 Sportback will be more comfortable and a Porsche Panamera is more engaging to drive. This puts the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe in a sweet-spot between its two main rivals.

BMW has kept the engine line-up for the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe straightforward, launching it in 2019 with a choice of two petrol engines and one diesel.

The starting point for Gran Coupe ownership is the petrol 840i sDrive. It has a turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine producing 340PS, which is shared with multiple other BMW models. Performance of 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds should be enough for most, with the 840i offering smooth and swift progress. 

Like all Gran Coupes, an eight-speed automatic gearbox is standard, which can use GPS to predict which gears will be needed ahead. Paddles are mounted on the steering wheel should you want to change gear yourself, with the shifts happening in the blink of an eye. 

With a 530PS 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8, the M850i takes a notable step forward in performance. Standard xDrive four-wheel drive aids a 0-62mph time of 3.9 seconds, although it is still electronically limited to a 155mph top speed like the rest of the range. 

The sole diesel offering is the 840d xDrive, featuring a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine. A power output of 320PS is not to be sniffed at, while the torque this engine offers comes close to the M850i. 

It gains an advantage over the petrol 840i in being fitted with four-wheel drive, helping reduce the 0-62mph time to 5.1 seconds. Factor in the increased fuel economy and the diesel option becomes an attractive choice for those looking to make long journeys frequently. 

When launching the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe, BMW was proud of building a four-door model based on a two-door coupe. That makes it quite a rare proposition, but it might also cause some concerns that the Gran Coupe will feel loud and unrefined (like a sports car). 

Thankfully, the reality is very different, as BMW knows the Gran Coupe is likely to be used for long trips and executive travel. It means this most practical version of the 8 Series is tailored to be more refined than the rest of the range. 

Wind and tyre noise are well suppressed, and unlikely to cause a problem. The Audi A7 Sportback is fractionally quieter, but we are talking about minute differences at this level. 

The 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol 840i sounds silky smooth, even when pushed to maximum revs. Even the diesel 840d manages to sound particularly un-diesel-like, and does not spoil the Gran Coupe experience. 

However, it is the M850i and its 4.4-litre V8 that takes the prize for the best-sounding engine in the range. It has a special M Sport exhaust with two settings, allowing for extra volume when Sport mode is engaged. The audio speakers are also used to amplify the engine noise for those inside the car. 

Being at the cutting edge of BMW’s new product range, buyers can expect the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe to deliver strongly on safety. Although it has not been crash-tested by Euro NCAP, other contemporary BMWs have managed to score the maximum five-star rating.

Given the standard safety equipment included, we’d hope the 8 Series would perform just as well. All versions come with multiple airbags, with BMW even including ones especially for the knees of the driver and front-seat passenger. 

A Driving Assistance Pack is standard, and uses both cameras and radar to detect potential hazards. This even includes alerting drivers to nearby cyclists, and checking behind when reversing out of parking spaces.

Front and rear parking sensors are fitted to all 8 Series Gran Coupes, along with a rear-view camera. An optional Parking Assistant Plus pack includes a 360-degree surround view camera, and even an integrated dash cam that automatically stores footage after a collision.

For extra help at night, BMW fits adaptive LED headlights to the Gran Coupe. Alternatively, the options list includes high-beam units using laser technology. These are said to deliver double the light intensity of LEDs (which are hardly dim in the first place).

To control the performance on offer, all versions have dynamic stability and traction control. An upgraded M Sport rear differential is found on the 840i and M850i, with all cars benefitting from substantial M Sport brakes. 

There is no spare wheel. BMW uses run-flat tyres for the 840i and 840d, while M850i models come with a puncture repair kit and compressor. Child seats can be fitted in the rear, with ISOFIX anchor points included.

MPG and fuel costs: What does a BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe cost to run?

"Given the size and cost of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe, fuel bills may be lower on the list of priorities for potential buyers. However, there are options to save a little on fuel consumption."

BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Review 2023: Gear Stick

The diesel 840d xDrive is the most fuel efficient of all BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe models, being officially capable of averaging 39.8mpg. That is relatively respectable, and would make the diesel useful for those making longer journeys. 

In terms of petrol engines, the 840i sDrive delivers 33.2mpg in comparison. Somewhat predictably, the ferocious M850i is a lot thirstier, officially rated at just 24.6mpg. Drive it quickly and that figure will fall even further.

The BMW 8 Series is still relatively new so it's hard to say how it will perform in terms of long term reliability. It features a lot of advanced technology and systems which are great when they work, but can be complex and expensive to repair when they go wrong. 

BMW came 20th out of 30 manufacturers in the latest Satisfaction Index with an overall satisfaction rating of 86.9%. 

Choosing the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe over the Convertible or Coupe version of the 8 Series should bring minor savings to insurance costs. The four-door model is rated a slightly lower risk than its two-door cousins. 

It will still not be cheap, though, with the 840i sDrive rated as insurance group 44 out of 50. The 840d xDrive is in group 47, with the M850i xDrive even higher at group 49. 

BMW does offer a Thatcham-accredited tracker for the 8 Series Gran Coupe, and this may be a wise investment to secure lower insurance premiums. 

The relative newness of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe means it falls within the updated rules for VED (road tax). Recent changes mean taxing one has now become even more expensive. 

All versions of the 8 Series pass the £40,000 threshold when new. This means for five years after the initial first-year of registration, drivers will pay an additional £325 on top of the standard charge of £150. 

Both the petrol 840i sDrive and diesel 840d xDrive now have first-year VED rates of £1,305. The buyer of a brand-new M850i xDrive gets stung with an eye-watering £2,175 VED charge in the first year.

If chosen as a company car, all versions of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe attract a benefit-in-kind rate of 37%

How much should you be paying for a used BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe?

"The BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is relatively new to the market and is a relatively expensive car to purchase. It means that there are low volumes currently available on dealership forecourts, and you will need to be prepared to travel to track one down."

BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Review 2023: Exterior Back

Of the cars that are up for grabs, it is the petrol 840i sDrive that is the most plentiful version for sale. Prices for nearly-new examples, with around 3000 miles on the odometer, start from £68,000.

The high-performance M850i xDrive is the second-most common version on the used market. Budget around £85,000 to score one a low-mileage example of this model, and expect to find cars featuring plenty of optional extras added. 

Such is the popularity of the petrol models, finding a diesel will take plenty of searching. Should you discover one at a BMW dealership, you’ll need nigh-on £75,000 to take it home. 

BMW has done away with complicated trim levels for the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe. Instead, it is the choice of engine that dictates the level of standard equipment included. 

Calling the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe 840i sDrive or BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe 840d xDrive ‘entry-level’ models seems almost unfair, given their power and performance. Even the cheapest versions of the 8 Series Gran Coupe come packed with equipment, including four-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, and a set of 20-inch alloy wheels. 

Black Merino leather is used for the upholstery on these models, with the front and rear seats all heated. A head-up display, BMW’s Live Cockpit Professional multimedia system and a Harman Kardon sound system are also included.

Aside from the increase in performance, the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe M850i brings a unique design for the front bumper and front grille. A special Cerium Grey finish is used for the wing mirrors and badges, with a set of 20-inch alloy wheels also added. 

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

The BMW 8 Series is more of a grand tourer than a sports car so toes the line between comfort and handling. Wind and tyre noise are well suppressed at speed while the seats are supportive yet comfortable. It's a great long distance car.
The BMW M8 is the high performance model in the BMW 8 Series range and ups the ante with a mighty 4.4-litre V8 producing 625PS.
The original BMW 8 Series was launched in 1990 as a high performance luxury coupe and the latest incarnation that arrived in 2018 follows a similar vein. While there is a high performance M8 version we'd stop short of labelling it a supercar, a term reserved for things like the BMW i8.

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