2023 BMW 8 Series
Full-size luxury coupes are a dying breed, and big, fancy, two-door convertibles are even rarer. Yet BMW continues to offer both in the form of the 2023 8 Series, with a four-door sedan variant—deceivingly called Gran Coupe—thrown in for good measure.
The BMW 8 Series doesn’t have too many changes for 2023, save for a slightly larger infotainment touchscreen and a standard light-up grille. A full range of models is available, including the six-cylinder 840i, V8-powered M850i, high-performance M8 Competition and extra-stylish Alpina B8. The 840i Coupe, Convertible and Gran Coupe are available with either rear- or all-wheel drive, while every other 8 Series only comes with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system. The range-topping Alpina B8 is only available as a four-door Gran Coupe.
Because the BMW 8 Series is offered in three different body styles with four levels of performance, this luxury car has a wide range of competitors. The two-door models compete with everything from the Aston Martin DB11 to the Jaguar F-Type, Mercedes-AMG SL and Lexus LC, while the Gran Coupe has its sights set on the Audi A7, Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and Porsche Panamera lineups. Comparing four-door variants, the 8 Series Gran Coupe is more athletic and luxurious than its rivals from Audi and Mercedes-Benz, but Porsche remains untouchable in terms of outright performance and driver engagement.
Pricing for the BMW 8 Series similarly casts a wide net, with the base, rear-wheel-drive 840i Coupe starting at $88,495, including a $995 destination charge. Stepping up to V8 power requires $103,495 for the M850i xDrive Coupe, while the much more aggressive M8 Competition Coupe commands $135,095. Finally, the Alpina B8 Gran Coupe is the most expensive version of the 2023 8 Series, priced at $145,895.
No matter the model, the BMW 8 Series is a real looker, with sleek style and excellent proportions. Inside, soft leather seating surfaces offer heating and cooling, and optional glass controls provide an extra touch of class. The two-door variants are obviously more focused on driver and front passenger comfort, with relatively tight back seats, though the Gran Coupe doesn’t exactly offer generous accommodations either, what with its limited rear headroom.
Every 8 Series comes with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, as well as a 12.3-inch multimedia touchscreen, running BMW’s iDrive 7 software. This cabin tech is feature-rich and includes embedded navigation and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Unfortunately, many 8 Series models keep driver-assistance technologies like full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and a surround-view camera system as extra-cost options. Still, the BMW 8 Series offers an excellent blend of luxury, style and performance, no matter which version you choose.
The luxurious interior is optimized for the driver and a single passenger; a larger 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen is new for 2023. BMW
The rear-wheel-drive 840i and all-wheel-drive 840i xDrive are powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 engine, offering 335 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, and, despite being the least-powerful version of the 8 Series, BMW says the 840i models can still accelerate to 60 mph in approximately 5 seconds.
The V8-powered M850i, M8 Competition and Alpina B8 all use a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 and xDrive all-wheel drive. The M850i offers 523 hp and 553 lb-ft, while the M8 Competition ups the horsepower output to 617. The Alpina B8 Gran Coupe puts a slightly different tune on the 4.4-liter V8, with 612 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. All V8 trims are exclusively paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the M8 Coupe and Gran Coupe are the quickest examples of the 8 Series, able to hit 60 mph in 3 seconds flat.
Testing the M850i xDrive Gran Coupe reveals it to be the real sweet spot of the lineup. Its suspension is softer than the more hardcore M8 Competition, making it more livable day to day. At the same time, the V8 engine’s 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque are more than enough to make the M850i feel exciting from behind the wheel, especially thanks to its responsive steering and well-balanced handling characteristics.
Fuel Economy: 12/15
Even with its powerful I6 engine, the BMW 840i Coupe, Convertible and Gran Coupe are relatively efficient. Both the rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive examples are estimated by the EPA to return 24 miles per gallon combined, 21 city and 29 highway. Stepping up to the more powerful V8 comes with a hit to overall efficiency, with M850i xDrive and Alpina B8 variants rated at 19 mpg combined, 17 city and 24 highway. If you want the full-bore M8 Competition, those ratings drop even further to 17 mpg combined, 15 city and 22 mpg highway.
By comparison, though, the 8 Series’ fuel economy ratings don’t look too bad. A base, six-cylinder Porsche Panamera tops out at 20 mpg combined, while a base Audi A7 with all-wheel drive returns 24 mpg combined. That said, it’s worth noting that Porsche also offers several plug-in hybrid versions of the Panamera, with up to 19 miles of all-electric range.
Safety & Driver Assistance Tech: 11/15
Even though the 2023 BMW 8 Series range starts well over $85,000, it lacks a number of standard driver-assistance technologies. Instead, standard equipment is limited to lane-departure warning and forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
BMW offers a couple of active safety packages, the most inclusive of which is the $1,700 Driving Assistance Professional Package. Here, you get a ton of supplemental driving aids, including parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, a surround-view camera system, lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control, along with BMW’s Extended Traffic Jam Assistant that combines those last two technologies for easier highway commuting.
Don’t think stepping up to more expensive 8 Series models will roll in those active safety features, either. Even on the top trim Alpina B8 Gran Coupe, the Driving Assistance Professional Package is a $1,800 upcharge.
None of the 2023 BMW 8 Series variants have been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which dings it slightly on our ratings.
The rear passenger compartment is equally as well appointed as the front, but space is limited in the coupe and convertible. The four-door Gran Coupe offers additional legroom, but there are better and bigger sedans for buyers planning on transporting passengers regularly. Alpina
Comfort & Room: 13/15
Whether you’re in the least-expensive 840i Coupe or a fully loaded Alpina B8, the BMW 8 Series has legitimately nice accommodations. The leather seats are soft and supportive, as well as heated and cooled. Heck, even the steering wheel and armrests have standard heating, a boon for chilly days. The 8 Series is a low-slung car, so shorter drivers will want to raise the power seat to get a better view of what’s ahead. But no matter how tall or broad you are, the driver and front passenger have ample head-, shoulder- and legroom, and the whole cabin is quiet and made of high-quality materials.
The front seats tilt and slide forward for easy access to the rear seats of the 8 Series Coupe and Convertible. But if you’ll be carrying passengers regularly, the 8 Series Gran Coupe is the way to go. The rear seats are relatively spacious, with 37.0 inches of headroom and 37.1 inches of legroom, making the 8 Series Gran Coupe nearly identical to the Audi A7 and S7, which measure up with 37.1 inches of rear headroom and 37.0 inches of rear legroom.
The 8 Series doesn’t have BMW’s latest iDrive 8 infotainment suite—something you’ll find in newer models like the i4, iX and 7 Series—but the iDrive 7 setup is nevertheless robust. New for 2023, all 8 Series models have a standard 12.3-inch touchscreen, up from the old model’s 10.3-inch display, and iDrive quickly responds to inputs, whether being operated by touch or via the controls on the center console.
iDrive 7 comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a wireless charging pad. Natural-speech voice commands will let you change the automatic climate control simply by saying things like, “Hey, BMW, I’m cold.” If you want, BMW’s silly gesture controls can be used to raise or lower the volume by twirling your finger. Thankfully, these gesture controls can also be turned off.
All 8 Series models come with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster behind the steering wheel, which is reconfigurable and can be simplified to only show a few gauges in the sporty M8 Competition. The arrangement of the information in the gauge cluster can be a little complex and packed together, but the system is nevertheless easy to work through via buttons on the steering wheel.
The BMW 8 Series design telegraphs subtle strength, like an athlete cloaked in a finely tailored designer suit. (M8 coupe pictured.) Alex Kwanten
Cargo Space & Storage: 11/15
Cargo space is an area where the BMW 8 Series really lags behind the competition. The Gran Coupe offers the most capacious trunk, with 15.5 cubic feet of space, but that pales in comparison to something like the Audi A7, which has 24.9 cubic feet.
On top of that, the Audi A7 and Porsche Panamera have an extra advantage: they’re hatchbacks. While the 8 Series has a traditional fixed trunk, its German rivals have more functional liftback designs, and if you fold the rear seats in the Audi or Porsche, there’s enough cargo space to rival some compact or midsize SUVs. If you’re planning to haul more than groceries or luggage, the 8 Series is not for you.
Style & Design: 9/10
Every single BMW 8 Series looks great. No matter the color, wheel size or body type, the 8 Series is a car that exudes luxury and grace, and it really has presence. The two-door 8 Series Coupe has a lovely sloping roofline that tapers down to a short decklid, but the four-door Gran Coupe arguably has the best proportions of the lineup, with its long hood, short front overhang and graceful roofline.
That luxurious aura continues inside, where everything in the 8 Series looks and feels great. The real metal trim is super attractive, and the optional glass controls give an extra bit of pizzazz, especially with the illuminated “8” in the gear shifter. It’s a nice bit of a wow factor.
Compared to its rivals, the 8 Series is far more elegantly designed than the Porsche Panamera, and its interior is more sumptuous than the Audi A7. The Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class is likely the closest competitor in terms of outright luxury, but the BMW comes with better, easier-to-use infotainment tech. Design-wise, it’s the best overall package of the bunch.
The Alpina B8 Gran Coupe puts a slightly different tune on the turbocharged 4.4-liter V8, with 612 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Alex Kwanten
Is the 2023 BMW 8 Series Worth it? Which 8 Series is the Best Value?
Looking at the entire BMW 8 Series range, there isn’t a dud in the group. All are stylish, luxurious and great to drive—then again, considering their price tags, they should be.
The M850i represents the best overall value of the 8 Series range, and the $103,495 Gran Coupe is the most functional of the three body styles. Here, you get V8 power and excellent handling chops without the unnecessary aggression or super-high price tag that comes with the M8 ($136,095) and Alpina B8 ($145,895) variants.
How Much Does it Cost to Insure the BMW 8 Series?
The 8 Series costs a little more than its rivals to insure, but not much. According to our data, the average 30-year-old female driver with a good record can expect an average annual premium of $4,256 for the 840i and about $100 more for the xDrive model. The 840i Gran Coupe runs about $4,639, with the M performance versions commanding from $5,000 to $6,000.
The average annual premium for a base Porsche Panamera is $4,483, and up to $5,838 for a Panamera Turbo S Sport Turismo E-Hybrid. A Mercedes-Benz CLS450 4Matic runs about $3,657, while the Audi A7 starts around $3,500 and the high-performance RS7 cresting $6500. To get a more accurate picture of your potential insurance expenses, see our car insurance calculator.