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The car being reviewed here is the 2010 BMW 650i Convertible. The BMW 650i Convertible is BMW's guilty pleasure, especially when it is in Convertible form. This model year 2010 has some key interior cabin improvements over last year. Let's check them out, there's not a great deal of change compared to 2009 model year convertible. However a couple of cabin tech tweaks are welcome. First of all, there's the new idrive not the horrid old idrive I've hated since it hit the market, so that's a big improvement right there. In case your not familiar with it, the difference is you have a more logical up and down menu system, and each of those menu items will drill down into more options once you select it. Wide screen of course, not a touch screen..because first off the screen is so far back, it seems you need arms as long like an orangatang to touch the screen surface. Which brings us to the main menu including our media options. The single disc slot will play CDs or DVDs I could see right there on the label. You've also got something what they call the music collection yep thats the hard drive also new for 2010..and that allows you to rip from CDs ( not from USB drives by the way ) directly to the hard drive in the car which has about 12-13 Gigabytes of space in there, and of course you have external devices that refers to the optional USB AUX Jack behind the handbrake. Lastly theres HD standard radio on this car. The hard drive on this car is standard on this car. Other things are not though like the Logic 7 audio surround system that has 11 speakers..if you dont select that you get 8 speakers, and less sophisticastion on the audio setting. The Satnav rig has one of those 3D birds eye view,...which if you like that, thats fine...it doesn't have as much rendering of buildings or landmarks as the most recent Audi audio system does...but has outstanding graphics BMW has always been good on that. Bluetooth hands free is standard on this car, but if you really want to go the hot rod way you need to get the smart phone kit, which gives you a craddle tray to fit for the iphone and other select smart phones, which lets you dock the phone easily...the benefits are you are charging the phone all the time, its secure held in place, not flying around on the inside and it connects to an external antenna...for a better strength signal. For £ 75 I'll take three !
In terms of driving assistance you've got base cruise control, but you can also get adaptive cruise control that maintains a gap between you and the next car in front, a bit pricey, but alot of people love it ! You also get an equivalent fighter cockpit style Head Up Display....that allows you to superimpose your nav, speed, street your on. I found it pretty handy..its bright and crisp. Big tick in the box for BMW on that one. And their's a night vision camera option that turns the screen on in black n white and look ahead, that will see things that the human eye can't based on infra-red and heat signatures. By the steering wheel the paddle shifters...pull back for an upshift, and thumb forward on either one for a downshift. Move the gear into reverse and you automatically engage the active park sensors front and rear. They are very sensitive and provides a contour mapping of where they are obstructions...but its no camera !?
Now one of the gripes I've had about previous model 650i cars is that the storage capacity in the boot has been pretty limited. There's a low wide trunk space, and if you want to put the top down, you have to actuate the lever downwards and you have even less space to make room for the top apparatus...brill NOT !...now you've really got a constricted load in ? Bear that in mind,...the golf clubs may have to go on the back seat ? The 650 retains its traditional canvass top...so your not going to get some metal retractable deal, which saves a little bit of weight, saves some cost too I imagine. It retracts in a relatively speedy affair, not the fastest in the business though, once it's gone you have some relatively clean lines on the rear deck.
Under the bonnet the 4.8L V8 makes a great exhaust sound while delivering 360 hp and the same number of feet-pounds of torque, good numbers but this car is not some monsterous canyon carver. Its an open air GT, that says I make alot of money ! That said, I never really enjoyed piloting this powertrain. In the standard automatic mode, it was kindof laggy and sluggish, plenty of power, but just not very alert. And in sport mode the car is way to twitchy under throttle manual shifting of the automatic was the best compromise, but that gets sticky in a big hurry. Interestingly whilst the top on this car is traditional, the body all around it is not. The bumpers and boot lid are basically plastic and the bonnet and doors are aluminium...and it still weighs 4800 lbs.
Right, this car doesn't make no rational sense, but i suppose the price doesn't either at £ 53K base price, but who's counting, you've got to spend extra 2k for the upraded logic 7 package, on top of that spend £2.2K for the night vision, an insane £2.4K for the adpative cruise..plus you've got extra £ 1k, for the lane departure warning technology...do the maths, the costs quickly rack up...this car will take your cash and burn !
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How helpful would this review be to a person making a buying decision? Rating guidelines
Although there is a good deal of information here, I do feel strongly that the only way a consumer review can be truly helpful to a prospective buyer is when it is based on real consumer experience - and test driving a car is not the same as having the experience of an owner over a period of time. (I'm assuming you are test driving cars as you have posted so many car reviews it seems unlikely you own all of them! If I am mistaken, by all means let me know - but you would need to add more to your reviews related to longer term ownership such as reliability, running and maintenance costs - driving experience in varying weather conditions, etc.)