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

Matthew N. Henry

2020 BMW M850i

I am going to never ever get fatigued of this paint shade.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Before this yr, I took the BMW M8 Opposition for a spin, and whilst I was impressed with its corner-carving prowess, I uncovered it fully far too a great deal motor vehicle for most conditions, and it sacrificed many of its grand-touring credentials in favor of outright general performance. Now, soon after a week with the nevertheless-plenty-strong 2020 M850i, it truly is obvious that BMW’s large-human body coupe can be a correct GT, even if some parts of the expertise aren’t entirely understood.


  • Sleek when it would like to be
  • Deft handler when it would like to be

You should not Like

  • Rear seats presume you lack legs
  • Meh steering
  • Brobdingnagian footprint

Like a reverse Tardis

Even though the eight Series is regarded as BMW’s flagship coupe, its exterior layout is incredibly restrained. Certain, my tester gussies factors up with an totally excellent $5,five hundred Wildberry Metallic paint task and a $four,a hundred M Carbon Exterior Bundle that adds useless carbon fiber to many corners, but the in general aesthetics are on the sedate aspect, with just a handful of sharp edges fore and aft and a entire bunch of smoothness concerning those points. It is a very good search that will not likely leave you speaking about the motor vehicle to each passerby — except, of course, you get yours in techno-purple.

I explained this of the M8 Opposition, and I am going to say it yet again: The eight Series is large. This coupe does a wonderful task of swallowing up each obtainable inch of asphalt concerning the yellow lines. Even though that is very good in the perception that it feels like you get your money’s worthy of of motor vehicle, there are some apparent downsides. Even with 360 degrees of parking sensors, the top edge is mighty prone to parking berms, and parallel parking attempts leave me thinking if I have shed the skill to decide what cars can in good shape in what areas. If somebody on the highway errs far too near to the dashed lines, I find myself sweating a little bit a lot more than standard.

The interior, by comparison, feels a great deal lesser than the motor vehicle to which it truly is connected. When I slide into the driver’s seat — and I do mean slide, because the M850i is to some degree reduced — factors are a little cramped. The center tunnel creeps fairly superior, and the beltline is just not best for arm-out-the-window jaunts possibly, top to a slight perception of claustrophobia. That emotion is magnified in the back, which possesses seats and headroom in title only except your third passenger is a pet dog, a newborn or a grocery bag, you could want to spring for the four-door Gran Coupe if a lot more than two people have someplace to go.

Even though it could possibly truly feel constricted, BMW’s interior layout is wonderful. Prolonged Merino leather is standard, so just about each solitary contact issue is sleek and effectively cushioned, and the seats offer both equally enough ease and comfort and help on for a longer time excursions. The climate handle and radio buttons are outstanding and simple to reach without having distraction, but the wireless charging pad is tucked absent driving the cup holders, which can be tricky if you deliver drinks. Storage is… fine, I guess, with a sizable trunk but diminutive door pockets and an equally restricted center armrest cubby. Just throw your previous receipts on to the back seats at the very least they’ll be useful for something then.

The two cruiser and cruise missile

The BMW M850i does a very good task of splitting the variance concerning the outright GT character of the 840i and the bonkers capacity of the M8 Opposition. The standard adaptive suspension offers true ease and comfort in sizable doses, soaking up most each little bit of road nastiness and replacing it with regular cruising. Street noise is much lower than the M8, lending to a a lot more serene expertise on very long hauls. The Michelin Pilot Activity 3 run-flat tires (245/35 front, 275/30 rear) that wrap about 20-inch wheels are thin, but they will not confer a great deal harshness, nor do they produce the utter cacophony that the stickier rubber on the M8 Opposition does, still they are nevertheless plenty grippy when the going will get lateral.

Make no blunder, there is nevertheless plenty of electrical power on tap. 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 truly is obtainable as generally as an EV’s twist, with just about each push of the pedal eliciting a significant drive forward with handful of, if any, expected gear improvements. If I need to shoot a hole on the highway? By the time I imagine about it, it truly is currently in excess of — and I am currently in excess of the speed limit, to boot. Like the M8, the M850i’s powerplant offers me a lot more motive force than I can reliably use in ninety nine% of real-lifetime conditions, which can make the aurally satisfying exhaust note a trouble, as listening to it for far too very long will stop up with Smokey blazing a route to my back bumper.

The M850i’s steering wheel has just the right amount of money of chunk to it, and of course, the leather is extremely wonderful.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

The M850i’s modes are a little bit a lot more sophisticated than the M8, which provides up a solitary monitor allowing me customise critical parts of the driving expertise piecemeal. On the middle baby right here, there are default modes like Comfort and Activity, with an Individual manner allowing me use any base environment as a system for a marginally a lot more tailor-made expertise. Truthfully, leaving all the things in Comfort nevertheless can make for a thrilling back-road blaster, with a little bit a lot more place for moment throttle changes, and it truly is my preferred way to drive the M850i, but Activity will sharpen factors sufficiently for those who desire a touchier gasoline pedal. No matter the manner, the electromechanical steering has a everlasting dose of Novocain in its system, its numbness detracting from the driving expertise. It is nevertheless agile, but I will not obtain the emotion that I want as opposed with, say, a 911.

Gasoline economy, if you care about it at this price, is just not wonderful, but it truly is better than the M8 Opposition. The EPA estimates 18 miles for each gallon town and 25 mpg highway, advancements of about four a pop in excess of the sharper-edged motor vehicle, and those figures are thankfully simple enough to reach — furnished you can ignore the siren music of continual reduced-stop torque.

All in the spouse and children

Any person common with the in-motor vehicle know-how in most other present day BMWs will not likely find something out of the common on the M850i. The 10.two-inch touchscreen on the dashboard operates the most up-to-date iteration of BMW’s iDrive system, which is responsive and can be worked by way of the touchscreen or the bodily dial on the center console. A home monitor provides fast glances at the most significant bits, but you can override that with Apple CarPlay and, pending an in excess of-the-air program update, Android Vehicle (lastly). It is not excellent by any extend some solutions are hidden various menus deep, and not all of them are located sensibly, but in time iDrive gets muscle memory. The M850i also packs BMW’s gesture handle, which is a distracting gimmick that usually benefits in unwanted music skips or volume improvements if you might be a hand-talker. In addition to the wireless charger in advance of the cup holders, you will find also a USB-A port up there, with a USB-C port in the center armrest cubby for speedier juicing.

In addition to the iDrive monitor, you will find also a 12.3-inch show acting as a gauge cluster. It appears to be sufficiently futuristic, but it truly is not my beloved. The everlasting map is only genuinely usable when change-by-change navigation is enabled, simply because it won’t show avenue names, and the right fifty percent of the cluster provides up just a handful of different items of details to show, so it truly is not as characteristic-dense as it could possibly appear.

Care to guess how many periods my hand-speaking unintentionally brought on the gesture handle? The respond to is “far too damn many.”

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Basic safety programs abound, furnished you will find coin to go about. Automatic unexpected emergency braking is standard, but the very good stuff like BMW’s Energetic Driving Assistant Professional, which will let you enjoy limited amount of money of arms-off time all through reduced-speed (sub-37-mph) commutes in targeted visitors, is hidden driving solutions: $one,a hundred adds parking aid, a encompass-perspective digital camera, lane-departure warning and lively blind-place checking, whilst the whole shebang also calls for an $one,700 package deal on top of that. It is a wonderful system at any speed, keeping the lane without having unwanted movement, and the LED lights in the steering wheel make it extremely apparent when a driver’s whole awareness is warranted.

How I would spec it

My tester’s $112,895 starting off price balloons to $131,995 soon after a handful of solutions, but I will not want pointless frippery like carbon fiber trim inside and out. My best M850i rocks the very same $5,five hundred paint task, but I would swap to a no-demand wood trim inside whilst skipping in excess of other aesthetic doodads like my tester’s $3,000 carbon roof. Introducing the $3,400 Bowers & Wilkins top quality sound system would be my sole splurge, halting the window sticker at a a lot more palatable $121,795.

Down to brass tacks

The 2020 BMW M850i is smack-dab in the middle of a ton of levels of competition. If you want something a little bit a lot more lithe, the Porsche 911 is the default go-to, and the Mercedes-AMG GT provides good ease and comfort in an even a lot more constricting wrapper. The Mercedes S-Course Coupe errs a lot more on the deluxe aspect, as does the Lexus LC, which is a lot more like a rolling art show than something else. You could choose for the Maserati GranTurismo, I suppose, if you want a drop-lifeless magnificent motor vehicle that is otherwise totally outclassed by each other title described.

You will find nothing incorrect with wanting the ideal of both equally worlds, which is what the BMW M850i embodies. It is not as insane as the M8 Opposition, but it truly is not as focused on serenity as the 840i. The result is a capable sports activities coupe that has no trouble stretching its legs and finding comfy for very long road excursions. 

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