There's no shortage of debate among petrolheads about who makes the fastest car in the world, the most economical, the prettiest. But what is the best car to be ill in? It's probably not something you've considered for long, and nor was it a topic I had dwelt upon until I found myself coming down with the flu and facing a 500-mile round trip to Devon in this, the new BMW 6 Series.
And, you know what, the Beemer came up trumps. It is incredibly economical for its size (the last thing you want to do when you're sick is to get out of the car to refuel), it is powerful when you need it to be (useful in cases of nausea), it has the option of 'soft-close doors' (an absolute necessity when you have a thumping headache) and, most importantly, it is the most comfortable thing this side of a hospital bed.
The leather seats are so versatile and malleable that you could be on your sofa at home. The ride can be adjusted from hard to soft, according to how sporty you feel, but the softest option, labelled 'comfort +' is so smooth and floaty that it may as well be renamed 'flu'.
Meanwhile, the engine, which is described by BMW as the 'world's sportiest diesel', not only doesn't sound like a diesel, but at cruising speed it doesn't even sound like an engine. I found the whole experience so soothing that at the end of 10 hours of driving, I even slowed down and delayed my dose of Night Nurse because I wanted to get to the end of my Julian Barnes audiobook.
The new 6 Series is also fantastic when it comes to ease of use, the other great requirement of the sickly. The head-up display means that you never really have to look at the controls. Connecting your smartphone is more straightforward than brewing a mug of Lemsip. And with options including surround-view, night vision with pedestrian recognition, parking assist, lane change and lane departure warning systems, and a speed limit display, the car more or less drives itself.
Frankly, the only reason this masterpiece of a car doesn't get five stars is that it doesn't come with a thermometer.
**** - 4 out of 5
BMW 640d M sport
Engine 3-litre, twin-turbo, 6-cylinder, diesel
Power 313 bhp @ 4,400 rpm
Torque 465 lbs/ft @1,500 rpm
Transmission eight-speed auto
Fuel consumption 51.4 mpg (combined cycle)
CO2 emissions 145 g/km
0-62 mph 5.3 seconds
Top speed 155 mph (limited)