Caraganza First Drive Review 2020 BMW M850i: Go get them groceries

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I wish I may, I wish I might… have a nice car sitting in my driveway, um tonight, today or whenever. Well, that doesn’t rhyme, but you get the idea.  We all have a type of car we would love to see parked out front of our homes. Sometimes we envision a Ferrari, or a Porsche, maybe a Lambo… most of which are impractical of course. I mean sure I’d love to have a 911 to zip around in, until it came time to get groceries for the week.

Plus, the older I get, the fatter I get, and the harder it is to get in and out of such a thing as a 911.  I suspect if I did have one, I would eventually be found dead in a mall parking lot somewhere after getting wedged in and stuck.

Then there are cars I’d like to have in my driveway; those that I didn’t know I would like to have in my driveway, until they are actually in my driveway.

Such was the case recently when BMW delivered me a 2020 M850i xDrive for a week.  Since it’s relatively new, I never really paid that much attention; but I already knew that anything from BMW with an “M” in the designation is a good thing…and I was so right.

The M850i is a grand tourer in the grandest of the word. It’s an offshoot of the 8 series coupe, but bigger and new for 2020. There is the slightly smaller 840i and the one I had for the week the larger M850i. xDrive designates all-wheel drive. The M840i comes standard with a turbocharged inline six with 335 horsepower, or it can have the standard engine from the M850i a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 belting out 523 horses and delivering 553 lb-ft of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

For those who were fans of the recently departed 6 Series, this 8 Series is shorter overall in both length and wheelbase, but a bit wider but sort of along those same lines.  The exterior lines of the M850i flow from back to front, giving it long and lean look.  There are large openings in the front and air is funneled through the front fenders to help aerodynamics and adding a bit more styling.

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And while it looks great on the outside, on the inside it gets even better.

All the gadgets you would expect in a high-end German luxury cruiser are there along with such things as 14-way power-adjustable heated front seats and soft close doors surrounded by carbon fiber, leather, metal, Alcantara and even crystal like a cool crystal start button.

The rear seats might be a bit tight given the low roofline, but although I never got a chance to spend much time there, I suspect the rear seating isn’t all that cramped. And more importantly for me, getting in and out was easy. And trust me when I tell you there is plenty of room for groceries. There is also be a convertible option.

On the road? Well on the road, the M850i is pure joy.

When unleashed, the 523 ponies will launch this big four-door sedan from 0-60 is 3.5 seconds.  The all-wheel drive keeps the M850i glued firmly to the road, all while sitting in the quiet, elegant and comfortable interior.  Though you can dial up the performance and open the exhaust up and hear plenty of the sweet melodic sound in the cabin.  Overall, the way this large sedan dances around the road makes it seem like it’s smaller than it actually is.

The M850i in full on “beast” mode is nearly perfect and tamed down it’s a very nice place to be.

All this goodness isn’t cheap. The MSRP on my M850i XDrive tester was $121,695. So, you won’t see one in my driveway on a permanent basis; but it sure did look great for the week it was.

The 2020 BMW M850i XDrive
MSRP: $ 108,900
MSRP (as tested): $121,695
Engine: 4.4 Liter V8 523 hp @ 5500 rpm, 553 ft-lb torque @ 1800 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed shiftable automatic with O/D
Fuel mileage (EPA): 17 city, 25 highway, 20 combined
Fuel Mileage (as tested mixed conditions): 24 mpg
Base Curb Weight: 4758 lbs.

Exterior Dimensions:
Wheelbase (inches): 119
Length (inches): 200.3
Width, without mirrors (inches): 74.9
Height (inches): 55.4
Minimum Ground Clearance (inches): 5

Interior Dimensions
Passenger / Seating Capacity: 5
Front Head Room (inches): 39.1
Front Leg Room (inches): 42.1
Front Shoulder Room (inches): 57.2
Second Row Head Room (inches) 37
Second Row Leg Room (inches): 36.6
Second Row Shoulder Room (inches) 54.6
Trunk Space (cubic feet) 15.5

Warranty
Basic Miles/km:  50,000
Basic Years:  4
Corrosion Miles/km:  Unlimited
Corrosion Years: 12
Drivetrain Miles/km:  50,000
Drivetrain Years: 4
Maintenance Miles/km: 50,000
Maintenance Years:  4
Roadside Assistance Miles/km: Unlimited
Roadside Assistance Years:  4

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Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.

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