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    AirREX air-ride Superslick BMW M6 E63

    Posted in Cars on Tuesday, 11 December 2018

    Superslick E63 M6. With its blend of show-stopping style and full-on M car menace, this carbon-clad air-ride M6 is an awesome build. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Matt Dear.

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    ELIZABETH’S E63 630i SPORT

    The BMW 630i has a fair few miles under its wheels now (about 96k if I recall correctly) and after being on the road for so long, 12 years now, you can’t help but wonder what sort of state the insides of the engine are in. When the time came for an oil change and I was booking in with #BMSport (as I always do), co-owner Jags mentioned that they could now offer an EDT Treatment and suggested I give it a try.

    / #BMW-E63 / #BMW-630i / #BMW-630i-E63 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E63 / #BMW / #MStyle / #BMW-630i-Sport / #BMW-630i-Sport-E63

    So, just what is EDT? Well it’s certainly not an engine flush so don’t go calling it that – EDT is a deep clean for your engine and the company says that a treatment can deliver up to 26% better fuel economy, a 6hp average increase in power and 7lb ft of torque, a 69% reduction in CO emissions, improved performance and drivability, a smoother, quieter engine and improved engine longevity. I bet you’re probably scowling and are pretty sceptical right now, right? Well so was I when Jags started telling me about EDT and then he too said he had initially been rather sceptical about the whole process, right up until they decided to get an EDT machine in to try it out and noticed a difference on their own cars. That was enough to convince them to sign up with EDT and once they started offering the service they started getting superb customer feedback about the results, and at this point my mind had been changed and I was keen to have a go. People love to moan, they’re more likely to moan about something bad than speak up when something is good and yet take a look at EDT’s Trustpilot score, 9.9/10 after 152 reviews, which is seriously impressive. So, I was convinced to let Jags and the guys hook the 630 up to the Engine Decontamination Machine (which has been manufactured in the States and distributed around the world for over 20 years now) to see if I could feel a difference.

    So how does it all work? Well, paraphrasing from the EDT site, the machine has been designed to remove all the sludge, varnish and debris from inside your engine, which improves the coefficient of friction as the components aren’t covered in gunk any more, allowing your fresh oil to perform as best as it possibly can. This in turn results in the improvements mentioned above, like the increase in fuel economy, improved performance and drivability. The first step is to drain your old oil from the car after which the machine is connected up and pumps in a bespoke mineral oil to deep-clean your engine and a clear container on the side of the machine shows you everything that’s being removed. The whole process takes less than 15 minutes, after which fresh oil and a clean filter are added and you’re good to go.
    So, to the moment of truth – did I notice a difference? Well, the 630i was running well anyway but it seemed like a good idea to get the engine internals cleaned after almost 100,000 miles and I would say that I did notice a difference. Fuel economy has improved a touch and I would say the engine feels a little bit smoother and more eager. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that, in my case, the difference was like night and day because it wasn’t but I definitely felt an improvement. Beyond that, I have the added peace of mind of knowing that my N52’s internals are sparkling clean and the engine is performing at its best, so it’s definitely worth doing especially if your BM has covered a lot of miles and you want to ensure that it’s performing as best it possibly can.

    Oh, also, the 630i is up for sale; I’ve decided it’s too sensible for me and I need something sillier as a daily, because why not…? If you’re interested then please drop me an email.

    THANKS AND CONTACT
    EDT Automotive
    www.edtautomotive.com
    info@edtautomotive.com
    01233 712341
    BMSport
    www.bmsport.com
    020 8304 9797
    info@bmsport.com

    BMW 630i E63 in for its EDT treatment Gunk from your engine collects in here EDT filter after treatment EDT machine pumps bespoke mineral oil through your engine. Deep cleaning in progress.
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    ELIZABETH’S E63 630i SPORT / #BMW-E63 / #BMW-630i / #BMW-630i-E63 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E63 / #BMW / #MStyle / #BMW-630i-Sport / #BMW-630i-Sport-E63

    One of the things that drew me to my 630i was the colour; Stratus grey is a seriously gorgeous, albeit understated, pearlescent colour that switches from blue to grey to olive to gold depending on the light. I love it but, when I first collected the car, it was obvious that the previous owner hadn’t done a very good job of looking after it. The 630 looked like it had been washed with a scouring pad and was covered in swirl marks, which seriously dull a car’s paint. If your car’s paint is swirly then sealants and waxes will only go so far to make it look shiny and glossy, as all those surface imperfections will interfere with reflections, scattering the light and robbing the paint of its full, glossy potential. I knew something had to be done so I booked the Six in with Barrett Motorwerks for a three-stage paint correction session. Barrett Motorwerks is run by James Barrett, who many of you on the UK scene will know, and the company has two elements to it; the first is the tuning and styling side of the business, with James able to supply everything from grilles to exhausts and suspension to superchargers, and the second is the mobile valeting that James also offers, which is so popular that I had to book my slot with him almost a month in advance.

    James kindly offered to come to me in Kent but as that’s a bit outside his Essex valeting patch I was more than happy to drive to him as a) it’s not far and b) any excuse to take the 630 for a drive is a good excuse. With the weather against us, James had secured a unit for the day that would ensure he had a dry environment within which to work and he began with a thorough wash. The car was snow foamed, with this being allowed to dwell to help lift the dirt from the paint before it was blasted off with a pressure washer and then James got busy with his fluffy wash mitt, giving the body a good wash and washing the wheels with a second, dedicated wheel mitt. He then pulled the car into the unit and dried it with an ultra-plush microfibre drying towel before taping up all the trims around the car and claying the paint to ensure it was silky smooth and completely free of bonded contaminants in preparation for the paint correction.

    This was carried out using a dual-action machine, a Rupes Bigfoot, considered one of the best on the market, and three progressively finer polishing compounds. You start off with the most abrasive one to deliver the strongest cut in order to remove the maximum amount of surface defects, before switching to a milder cutting compound to refine the finish and then onto an ultra-fine polish to give the paint maximum shine and gloss. Correcting paint is a long, slow process that takes many hours and requires a lot of patience as you can’t rush any of it; you have to take your time, working the machine slowly and methodically over each section and then you have to do it all again another two times if you’re doing a three-stage correction as James was for me. Watching him work you can see that he is passionate about detailing and applies the same level of care and attention to his customers’ cars as he does to his own, which is exactly what you want when you hand your pride and joy over to someone. James worked carefully and methodically, inspecting the paint after each pass with the machine, switching to the progressively finer compounds and once he’d use the ultra-fine finishing polish and was happy with the results the paint was now ready for its last-stage protection. Personally I am a bit of a wax addict, with quite a large collection, and I love trying out new waxes and seeing how they perform but James is very much a 21st century boy who’s all about sealants. Sealants are liquids that often contain man-made and synthetic polymers or resins; while they don’t deliver the same depth of shine as the very best waxes do, they do deliver unrivalled long-term protection, with James’ sealant of choice capable of lasting up to 12 months, so it’s easy to see why he’s such a fan and it’s the perfect choice for a daily driver like the BMW 630i Sport E63.

    The end results were absolutely stunning, with the 6 Series looking the best it ever has during my time with it; the paint looked so much better than it did before and the massive reduction in the massive amount of swirls means that the pearl really pops now, while the sealant has delivered impressive levels of gloss and I’m totally sold on how durable it promises to be. James really did an exceptional job on the Six and I can see why he’s so popular and so busy, so if you’re looking for a mobile valeter in the Essex area to look after your pride and joy, give him a call, you won’t be disappointed.

    THANKS AND CONTACT Barrett Motorwerks barrettmotorwerks.co.uk 07930 433427

    James began by snow foaming the car Snow foam was left to dwell, jetted off and the car was then washed. Wheels were cleaned with a dedicated wash mitt. The paint was treated to a three-stage correction process. All trims were taped-up. The finishing touch was a coat of sealant The results speak for themselves. The car was dried and then clayed. The 630’s paint looks so much better now.
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    Chris Graham

    Trouble-shooter BMW E63/E64 6-Series

    Posted in Cars on Wednesday, 09 May 2018

    Trouble-shooter The BMW E63 6 Series: Bargain buy or mechanical nightmare?

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    Bob Harper

    Buying Guide 6-Series E63/E64

    Posted in Cars on Wednesday, 09 May 2018

    Bargain Cruiser E63 6 Series: full buying guide… Buying guide: E63 6 Series If you’re after a stylish and capable BMW coupé or convertible, then we think this affordable, luxury GT is worth serious consideration. Six appeal! If you’re after a stylish and capable BMW coupé or convertible, set your sights higher than the ubiquitous 3 Series and see what the E63- generation 6 Series has to offer. Bob Harper reckons it’s a bit of a belter.

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    ELIZABETH’S E63 630i SPORT / #BMW-E63 / #BMW-630i / #BMW-630i-E63 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E63 / #BMW / #MStyle / #BMW-630i-Sport / #BMW-630i-Sport-E63 / #LED / #BMW-E63-LED

    With almost all the niggles on the 630 sorted I decided it was time to treat it to some mods and one thing I have never been a fan of is chrome. BMW, and most other car manufacturers, seem addicted to the stuff, seemingly equating the amount of chrome with a car’s luxury level but unless you’re talking about something classic like an E9 or E23, or something like an oldschool Rolls-Royce or Bentley, then to me it just looks cheap and a bit tacky. With my 6 Series being a Sport that meant that I didn’t have any chrome window strips to worry about, with the window surrounds finished in gloss black, and even my washer jets are gloss black but it still retained the chrome front grilles and side strips. The side strips weren’t too bad but the E63’s kidney grille is pretty massive and that meant there were two big lumps of shiny plastic on the front end that I really hated looking at. I decided that I wanted the kidneys and the strips to match the rest of the exterior trim so they had to be gloss black and for these I turned to MStyle. If you want something for your BM and it exists rather than just being a figment of your imagination, MStyle probably sells it; the company’s catalogue of BMW styling and performance parts is simply enormous and I quickly found the parts I wanted on its site. However, it transpired that the gloss black side strips I wanted were out of stock and would be for the foreseeable future. As the E63 is not the most popular model of BMW, there really were no other shopping options for me.

    But then MStyle head honcho Paul offered a solution: I bring the car in and the guys paint my side strips gloss black while I wait. I liked the sound of that so booked the Six in for a bit of a makeover.

    When I popped into MStyle’s Romford HQ the workshop team wasted no time in getting the car in and whipping out the front grilles and removing the side strips to get them ready for painting. I also decided that I’d treat the 630 to a set of MStyle’s high-output LED angel eye bulbs and get them fitted at the same time as everything else.

    As standard the 6 Series came with rather dull, yellow halogen bulbs for its angel eyes which don’t look particularly sexy. As well as not being very bright they really look out of place next to the xenon headlights and MStyle’s LED bulbs looked like they were exactly what I needed to give the headlights an upgrade. While my strips were baking and everything else was being installed the guys in the main office looked after me with plenty of coffee and episodes of The Grand Tour and before I knew it the Six was ready for me.

    First of all, the new front grilles have made a massive difference to to how the car looks; as they’re so big and the front end is curved outwards the kidneys are especially prominent so they’re a big part of what gives the car its identity. In chrome they did the otherwise stylish Six no favours, but in gloss black they’ve really freshened up the front end and have made the car looks a lot more aggressive; they remind me of a pair of flared nostrils on an angry animal. Gloss black front grilles are a big win on the E63 as far as I’m concerned. The side strips, while a lot more subtle, definitely look a lot better gloss black; they’ve always been a slightly quirky design element of this generation 6 Series but where before they really stood out like a sore thumb on the 630’s smooth, clean and otherwise chrome-free flanks, finished in gloss black they now blend perfectly with the big loop of gloss black trim that surrounds the long side windows. MStyle’s paint department did an excellent job and the strips have a perfectly smooth finish that makes them look like they’d never been anything other than gloss black. Finally, the LED angel eye bulbs have also made a big difference and, as well as being much brighter than the old halogen bulbs, when they’re on they instantly give the front end a much more modern look, in line with BM’s current offerings thanks to their white colour. So, big thanks to MStyle for sorting out the 6 Series and it’s always surprising how big a difference just some small mods can make.

    There were two other things that I also decided to take care of recently and that was the gear selector and the steering wheel badge. For some reason, BMW loves of bit of silver on its auto gear selectors and I’m really not sure why; on my E39 the gear selector trim matched the rest of the interior wood trim – very nice – and on E38s the whole top of the selector was finished in wood. With my 630 coming equipped with the rather nice dark grey birch wood trim that all pre-LCI Sports received you’d think it would make sense to maybe fit a similar strip of wood trim to the top of the gear selector so that it matches the rest of the interior. But no, BMW decided to fit a cheap-looking matt silver trim piece that looks more like it’s meant to match the interior door handles than anything else and which gets easily and badly scratched, revealing a horrible shiny surface underneath. It had to go. I discovered that BMW did offer an Individual gear selector with piano black trim, a much better match for the wood in my car, and I even found one for sale… for £300, so that wasn’t going to be happening anytime soon.

    I briefly considered just buying a new original gear selector but then found that you can buy aftermarket ones on eBay which look pretty good and, at around £50, cost about half the price of a new one from BMW. I examined all the pictures I could find and read some forum posts about these selectors and everyone seemed pretty pleased so I decided to take the plunge and bought myself a piano black one. When it arrived, it was clear that the new selector was a much a cheaper item than the BMW part, but then it was much cheaper so that was to be expected, really. Where the body of the BMW item is covered in (supposedly) leather, my eBay selector’s body was made from hard, matt plastic; it was also slightly larger and taller than the original item but the piano black trim looked miles better than the nasty silver stuff from BMW so I was happy.

    Fitting was easy – you can either start the engine to move the selector out of park or, with the engine off, pry up the plastic surround after which you can reach inside and press the emergency release button, which enables you to put the car in neutral. This now gives you plenty of room to pull off the standard gear selector and then you simply insert the new one. Because the construction of the selector’s insides is not identical to that of the stock item, it doesn’t fi t as snugly and, initially, would often come loose in my hand as I was moving it around. I was not impressed but decided to add a bit of Loctite around the edge of the metal lip on the bottom of the selector shaft that the selector itself slides onto and grips around. That seems to have done the trick as it now feels far more secure and has not once come off during use. It still feels a bit cheap and plasticky when you’re holding it, but the trim looks so much better so I can forgive it. I am planning to wrap the trim from the old selector in gloss black, though I haven’t got around to it just yet, but I’m keen to see how that will turn out. My prediction is not great, but we shall see.

    Now it was time to sort out my steering wheel badge; when I took the delivery of the car I noticed that the badge, which is made of metal, had been pressed in, I assume because someone pushed it hard when going for the horn. As time went by it started to bother me more and more until I decided I had to do something about. So, you’re probably thinking ‘What’s the big deal? Just buy a new badge, easy.’ Expect it’s not. You see, the badge isn’t stuck onto the steering wheel, it actually has to legs that extend into the steering wheel and wrap around the airbag, meaning it’s impossible to remove and you basically need a whole new airbag unit from BMW if you want a new badge. Not impressed, I started searching for alternative solutions.

    Initially I tried to see if I could pull the dent out using a suction cup but that got me nowhere so I went back to scouring the Internet. That’s when I discovered that BMW produces a very, very thin metal adhesive roundel designed to go on some specific centre caps that is exactly the same size as the badge on the steering wheel (45mm) and looks almost identical. What’s more it was just £10 on eBay so I ordered one. Once I had the badge, my next challenge was making sure I stuck it on as straight as possible over the existing badge. My solution was to line some masking tape up vertically and horizontally with the cross that passes through the middle of the #BMW roundel, delicately trim around the original badge, remove the tape from the centre and then stick matching masking tape strips onto my new badge, allowing me to line them up with the ones on the steering wheel, hopefully getting the roundel perfectly straight. Against all odds my system actually seemed to work and it looks like I managed to get the new roundel on perfectly straight, so I’m very pleased. It looks really good too, so much so that you’d never realise that it wasn’t the original badge and, most importantly of all, I don’t have to keep looking at that dent as I drive along, so I’m very happy.

    THANKS AND CONTACT
    MStyle
    www.mstyle.co.uk
    020 8598 9115

    Chrome kidneys were not ticking Elizabeth’s boxes #Chrome-side-strips needed to go too. Halos brighter, whiter and much nicer with LEDs. Gloss black kidneys look so much better. Side strips were painted gloss black to match. Old gear selector looked tired and worn. Piano black a much better match for wood trim. #Ebay #selector a little larger than OE. New roundel fits perfectly and looks great. Masking tape employed to get new badge on straight.
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    Car ELIZABETH’S #BMW-E63 / #BMW-630i / #BMW-630i-E63 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E63 / #BMW

    As it’s been a couple of months since my last (and first) report let me give you a quick last episode recap: I bought a 91k mile E63 630i sight unseen, from a car auction in Preston, with the help of a small, specialist trader near me who collected the car on my behalf. The first time I got to actually drive it was when I’d collected it from him, having paid for it and with absolutely no comeback as it was an auction car that I’d bought by myself. How do you think that’s worked out for me? Well, to be honest, it’s not as bad as it could have been. But it’s also kind of not great…

    The bodywork has got some pin dents, there are plenty of chips, scratches, stone chips and a bit of lacquer peel for good measure. But it’s a daily, not a show car, and so these things don’t bother me too much, plus I can always get them looked at at some stage in the future, which I plan to. I had noticed from the auction pictures that the bonnet roundel had been completely destroyed, lord knows how, so I’d ordered a brand new one for the trader to fi t before I collected the car. The suspension feels tired and crashes over bumps, but then it would, having covered over 92k miles now, and I’m throwing some coilovers on very soon so that will be that sorted out.

    The brakes don’t feel great and while the iDrive tells me there’s plenty of meat left on them, there’s also plenty of wobble under braking and they’re not very good at the whole stopping thing, so they’re going to be replaced soon as well. When I got the car it had no mats and driving around with my feet resting on the cream carpets and watching them instantly get dirty made me feel a bit sick so I splashed out on a set of plush, deep pile black ones. Much better. I also noticed recently that the steering wheel roundel has been pressed in and is now concave, rather than convex as it should be. Someone must have dented it and, while you can’t replace it as it has arms that latch around the back of the airbag, you can buy very thin roundels on eBay in the right size that you can stick over the top, so that’s the plan.

    There were, however, a few more serious problems that needed urgent attention, and for these I headed over to BMSport in Bexleyheath, which has looked after all my BMWs for years. I mentioned last time that the driver’s side rear passenger footwell carpet was soaking wet, which was down to a blocked drain hole in the engine bay. Water collects in a compartment by the fi rewall, where the brake master cylinder is located, and, as it’s got nowhere to go, once it reaches a certain level it starts to leak out where the master cylinder is mounted and runs down the driver’s footwell and collects in the rear passenger footwell. Not only do you get a soggy footwell, the water can also damage the master cylinder, so it’s really not great. Jags opened up the driver’s side compartment and, while it was dry, there was a visible tide mark showing us that water had previously been in there and when he pulled out the small rubber pipe that sits within the drain hole itself it was completely blocked with muck and gunk. Once this had been thoroughly cleaned out and replaced Jags poured some water into the compartment and torrent streamed out of the bottom of the car. Success!

    Whilst at BMSport I also got the guys to re-gas the 630i’s air con. It hadn’t been doing a very good job of providing any actual cooling and, sure enough, when they plugged the car into their machine it informed us that the system was low on gas. I think this might actually be the first time I’ve bought a car where the air con has just needed a re-gas to get it working again; that’s what sellers always say it needs, but in my experience it’s always ended up being condensers and compressors that I’ve had to cough up to replace. Initially, after the re-gas, the air con still didn’t seem as cold as it could have been, but it seems like the more I’ve been using it (and I always have the air con on, all year-round) the better it’s become and, in conjunction with using the iDrive to set the centre vent to its coldest setting, the cabin gets pretty frosty pretty quickly now.

    My iDrive refusing to work with sat nav DVDs was diagnosed as most likely a faulty DVD drive and BMSport directed me to a guy on eBay that they use for all their iDrive repairs. After getting in touch he told me he could replace the drive for £150 or, for £400, he could sort the DVD drive and rebuild the mainboard with new components. I decided to go for the latter option because the #iDrive unit can fail completely and with mine now being 11 years old it seemed silly not to in the name of preventative maintenance. Removing the whole unit took me about 20 minutes as I found an excellent video on YouTube specific to the 6 Series with all the instructions I needed; it probably took me as long to find a box big enough for it to fi t and pack it up securely to send it away. The turnaround was a few days and it came back good as new so that was money well spent.

    Finally, we come to the biggest problem and that was the engine almost cutting out at random moments. It was really awful and pretty scary as you never knew when it would happen and leave you completely without any throttle response. The guys at BMSport started off with the most likely cause, that being a faulty Valvetronic motor and as these do fail, I was happy to get a new one fitted as preventative measure. Unfortunately it didn’t solve the problem so the guys got back under the bonnet to work out what the problem was; after eliminating the usual suspects they began searching for other possible causes and that’s when the discovered a massive hole in one the breather hoses. They were amazed it hadn’t thrown up any warning lights on the dash as it was causing the engine a lot of problems, but somehow the N52 had managed to soldier on regardless. With a new breather hose fitted the problem has completely disappeared and the 630i feels very healthy indeed.

    With a new gearbox sump having recently been fitted before I’d bought the car, the only boring maintenance thing left for me to do is to get a new water pump fitted as they are a notorious #BMW-N52 / #N52 / #N52B30 weak spot and do fail, but once that’s done we can get onto the fun stuff and I can’t wait.

    THANKS AND CONTACT #BMSport 020 8304 9797 www.bmsport.com

    BMSport has been looking after Elizabeth’s BMs for years. Compartment where water was collecting.
    Blocked rubber pipe the cause of wet carpet.
    Diagnostic equipment employed to help track down the engine fault.
    New Valvetronic motor has been fitted.
    Air con has been re-gassed and now works properly.
    iDrive took 20 mins to remove.
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    ELIZABETH’S #BMW-E63 / #BMW-630i-Sport Don’t worry, Elizabeth’s 630i won’t be stock for long… / #BMW-630i-Sport-E63 / #BMW-630i-E63 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E63 / #BMW

    Funny story: this was meant to have been a £600 Toyota Corolla, until I realised that I’d rather walk than own one of those, and that, even when I find myself in a position where I have to buy a “sensible” daily I can’t, and this is the closest I can get to that.

    Long story short, I’ve had a company car ever since I took over on PBMW but, as our new owners don’t have a company car scheme (which is fair enough), I suddenly found myself having to buy something that I could run as a sensible daily. My initial thoughts were to get something cheap to buy that would also be cheap to run and that I wouldn’t have to worry about, like a Civic or Corolla or something similar as mentioned above, but then I realised that I just couldn’t do that and it was going to have to be another BM, obviously.

    I started out looking at E46s; I owned a 330i Sport Saloon for three years and it was a fantastic all-round car, so I figured I’d be really happy with another one. Initially, I was still clinging to the idea of what would hopefully be a cheap-ish car and started out thinking about a 320i, which then became a 325i and then I figured if I was looking at those, I might as well buy a 330i. But, I’d already done the E46 thing and fancied something different; I had always wanted a nice E90 or E92 M Sport, so up the went the budget and a new Autotrader search was added to my list.

    I quickly found a few potential candidates but I was being picky about spec and I was finding it hard to find a car that ticked all my boxes. Ideally, I wanted an M Sport with sat nav, xenons, and the Hi-FI Loudspeaker system but I couldn’t find the right car, with the right spec and mileage. Still, I was sure it was out there, waiting for me, and it would just take a little while to find. All good. At least it was until one afternoon, while chatting with my colleague Bob, editor of sister title BMW Car, he suddenly said “Well, if you’ve decided to get a 330i, why not a 630i?” and I realised I couldn’t think of a reason not to.

    Now I love the E9x 3 Series, I was about to buy one after all, but to me the 6 Series is just that bit more special; I think it’s aged so well and looks arguably even better now than it did when it was launched. I’ve always loved big, comfy, luxury cars, and there’s a much greater sense of occasion that comes with owning and driving something like this, and that counts for a lot in terms of how much pleasure you get from it. While standard spec on the Six wasn’t amazing, they all came with leather, xenons and the Hi-Fi Loudspeaker system as standard and 99% of people who bought them new specced sat nav, Bluetooth and heated seats. Despite being massive, thanks to the fact that the 6 Series is mainly made from plastic and aluminium, the 630i barely weighs any more than an E92 330i, and that means that performance and economy are virtually identical. Finally, they even cost about the same; if I could afford to buy and run an E92 330i, I could afford to buy and run a 630i and I realised that ‘s what I had to do.

    Initially I wanted black with red leather, but the latter is stupidly rare, so then I decided to go for black on black, but quickly realised that, with the black wood trim as well, it would all just be a bit too black for me, especially as I’m someone who likes a brighter interior. Finally, after checking out the various colour options I decided I definitely wanted Stratus grey, a gorgeous, colour-changing pearl and normally an Individual paint option on other models, with Cream Beige leather.

    It took a little bit of searching but my patience paid off and eventually pretty much the perfect car popped up. It was the right colour combo, it had nav, Bluetooth and heated seats, and while it didn’t have Logic7, which would have been nice, it did have the panoramic glass roof, which I also wanted, and quite a rare option, which was the upgraded Exclusive Pearl Leather. This £1065 option gave you a higher grade of leather on all surfaces, added a sort of diamond pattern on the headrests and section of the seat cushions, and also included a leather-covered centre console. There’s not quite as much leather as you’d have got with the extended Leather option, another £1250 on top of the Pearl Leather option which you also had to spec in the first place, but it definitely makes the cabin feel even more luxurious. All-in, I bought my 630i for basically what its options cost when it was new, which is nuts, really.

    I absolutely love the car; I love the colour combo, I love the extra leather, I love everything about it and it’s just so nice to drive. Being 11 years old and having covered just over 91k miles, though, it does have a few things that need sorting out: the driver’s side rear carpet is soaking wet, which I have learned is down to a blocked drain hole in the engine bay; the DVD drive won’t read sat nav discs and keeps crashing when you insert one; and, finally, there’s an intermittent problem with the engine where the revs drop and stutter and it won’t respond to throttle inputs, which isn’t very pleasant. All these are on my growing list of things to do. It’s not just about fixing stuff, though; before I bought the car I figured that I might try keeping it standard but, unsurprisingly, that’s gone out the window now. I’m planning wheels and suspension and a few other bits and pieces; nothing major, just enough to get it looking perfect in my eyes. I can’t wait to get started!
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