Recession Proof: the BMW 650i

2012 BMW 6 Series

For a mere $83,000 MSRP (coupe price, though you’ll end up spending around $100K; the convertible is $7,500 more), you can buy one of the most gorgeous, high-tech cars on the road with features no other lux-mobile has.

The new BMW 650i will be recession proof, because you can’t afford—and won’t want—to sell it after you take the big depreciation hit of the first two years. See our DealFinder listings for details. I mean, would you rather buy bank stocks today?

Put your money where your butt is—in a car with every creature comfort and electronic Teutonic safety and convenience gadget. Its obsessive creators seem to have thought of everything. It even has a kind of pothole sensor, a heads-up display on the windshield and a steering-wheel vibrator to warn you of dangerous lane-changing.

This is the kind of car you drive on long trips with your chica, to places like Pebble Beach, and never give over to a parking attendant.

2012 BMW 650i convertible, rearOkay, we truthfully find most of its gadgetry silly, but in fact the 650i is, withal, a driver’s car. Besides its parking cameras and Bluetooth blah-blah, it has tremendous handling and power.

The engine is a 4.4-liter V8, with turbos and direct injection, producing 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. Says one reviewer: “Acceleration from zero to 60 mph takes just 4.9 seconds amid a muted growl, yet when trundling slowly, the V-8 is silent.” Whoever has heard a silent V8, raise your hand.

Says another reviewer:

A BMW spokesman says the car’s price largely reflects the development cost of new technology and the higher manufacturing costs of certain individual parts. And there’s no denying the BMW feels special compared with run-of-the-mill vehicles.

The difference between this car and, say, the $32,000 Chrysler 200 convertible I test-drove a few weeks back is palpable. The BMW looks, feels and drives better. And one could even argue it is at least three times nicer than the Chrysler.

BMW, along with its German peers VW and M-B, seems to be on top of the car world these days. The company has a big cash cushion and smart management, and is likely to weather any coming recession a lot better than its French and Italian cousins.

Another reason for the company’s success is certainly its products. “Ultimate driving machines” like the 650i combine high performance and high luxury in a unique package. The convertible, in particular, has little in the way of competition.

Are cars like the BMW 650i simply over the top, or would you buy one if you had the bread?

—jgoods

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3 Comments

  1. It’s been my experience with BMW that they engineer their higher-priced models to an exceptional level, and don’t cut cost corners. That’s why the price is so high. Why pay $450 for a good steering box when you can get an exceptional one for $2000? I’ve been looking at beemers torn down and laid out on tables since the 1980’s and I’ve never been impressed with the guts of any car other than BMW. (well, back in the early ’90’s the inside of Honda engines was very impressive, but that’s history now.)
    Not to say I’d be a customer for one of these expensive cars. Face it, I like beer and although I’ve driven everything from a tractor to a Ferrari, my needs are pretty simple and I sure don’t want a car with a pothole sensor. (I live in Michigan where such a device would cause the car to run into a ditch within a mile of the dealer.)

  2. well, my 10 year old Buick Century has a silent V6 “when trundling slowly,” (at least with the windows shut) but that’s the closest I’m gonna get for a long time

  3. Even if Redd had the bread, he’d rather be dead.

    I’d rather buy three Chrysler’s and give ’em to people who need ’em.

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