>> It's BMW's guilt pleasure, the 650i especially when it's in convertible form; this 2010 has some key cabin tech improvements over last year, let's check them out.
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>> Now, not a whole lot has changed since we recently drove the 2009 650i convertible but a couple of cabin tech tweaks are welcome. First of all, that's the new iDrive not the whory [assumed spelling] old iDrive that I've hated since it hit the market, so that's a big improvement right there. And in case you're not familiar with it the difference is you've got a more logical up and down menu system and each one of those will unfold into more options as you hit it. Wide screen, of course, not a touch-screen because, first of all, it's so far back you don't care if it is. It's got a little window in front of it anyway, which brings us to the main menu including our media options. This single disk slot will play CD's or DVD's. You can see right there on the label. You've also got what's called The Music Collection. Yup, that's a hard drive, that's also new in this car for 2010 and that allows you to rip from CD's, not from USB drives by the way, right to the hard drive in the car. You've got about 12, 13GB of space in there. And, of course, you've got an external device that refers to in this car we have the optional USB and AUX jack down here. And lastly we now have HD radio on this car and it's standard. It's a pretty expensive car it ought to be. Now, the hard drive part of this is standard on this car because it's part of the hard drive base nav system, which is standard on this car. Other things are not though. We have the Logic 7 audio system, 11 speakers on the Logic 7 rig. If you don't get that you've got 8 speakers and less power and less sophistication in the audio settings. Our nav rig has, as you can see, one of those silly 3D birds' eye views. If you like that that's fine. It doesn't have as much rendering of buildings and landmarks as, let's say, the most recent Audi system does, but it has outstanding graphics. BMW's always been really good on that. Bluetooth hands-free standard on this car but if you really want to go the hotrod way you're gonna get what they call the Smartphone Kit, which gives you a cradle tray down here for your iPhone and some other Smartphones, and what that does is let you dock the guy when you're in here. The benefits are you're charging the phone all the time, it's held in place and not flopping around all over the car and it connects to an external antenna for better signal. 150 bucks, I'll take 3. In terms of driving assistance you've got cruise control that's on this car base but you can also get adaptive cruise control that maintains a gap. It's pricy but a lot of folks love it. Head-up display, which our car has, not sure you can see that, but you can put your nav, your speed, the street you're on right now. It's pretty handy and BMW does it right. It's bright and crisp and there's a night-vision camera option that turns that into a screen that will look ahead and see things that the human eye can't based on infrared and heat. The paddle shifter are these chrome and leatherette deals up here. Pull back for an up-shift, thumb forward on either one for a downshift. Put this guy in reference and all you get is that a very active set of park distance sensors front and rear and they are very sensitive and kind of do this contour mapping of where there are obstructions but there's no camera. Now, one of the gripes we've always had about this car is storage space in the trunk is pretty limited. As you can see you've got kind of a low sort of wide trunk space but lots of wheel well incursion back there. And if you want to put the top down you've got even less space because you have to actuate this lever and pull this thing down which makes room for the top apparatus. Now you've really got a constricted load in, so bear that in mind. The golf clubs may have to go in the backseat. The 650 retains a traditional canvas top so you're not gonna get some metal retractable deal, saves a little bit of weight, shaves off a little bit of cache, saves some cost too I imagine. It's a relatively speedy affair. They're not the fastest in the business but once it's gone you've got some clean lines back there on the rear deck.
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>> The 4.8 liter V8 makes a great exhaust sound while delivering 360 horsepower and the same number of foot pounds of torque. Good numbers but this car's not some monstrous canyon carver. It's an open air GT that says I make a lot of money. That said I never really enjoyed piloting this powertrain. In the standard automatic mode everything is kind of laggy and sluggish. Plenty of power just not very alert. And in sport mode the car is just way too twitchy under throttle. Manual shifting of the automatic was the best compromise but that gets old in a big hurry. Interestingly while the top on this car is traditional the body all around it is not. The fenders and trunk lid are basically plastic, the hood and doors are aluminum and it still weighs 4,800 pounds. Alright this car makes no rational sense though the price doesn't either. It's about $86,000 base but who's counting. You've got to spend $2,000 more for the upgraded audio package, that'll get you the Logic 7 sound. On top of that spend $2,200 for the night vision, an insane $2,400 for adaptive cruise, you've got a price tag of $950 for the lane departure warning technology and the screaming deal of life is that Smartphone cradle for a crumby $150, do that.
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