4 Series Coupe
Anyone who liked the 3 Series Coupe is going to fall in love with its replacement – the 4 Series Coupe. With beautifully-crafted streamlining, combined with a generous level of technology and outstanding driving dynamics, it’s not for the faint-hearted. There are also Convertible and Gran Coupe models.
The goodLooks, styling and driving dynamics
The badNot cheap and add-ons really bump up the price
BMW 440i M Sport Gran Coupe
With the athletic styling of a sports coupe combined with the comfort of a saloon car plus the practicality of a hatchback, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is quite the all-rounder and it recently gained extra appeal after undergoing a mid-life refresh.
BMW launched the 4 Series back in 2013 and it has gone on to sell more than 400,000 cars globally with the USA being the biggest market followed by the UK and Germany. Customers can choose between Coupe, Convertible or Gran Coupe body styles and the latter has been the most popular accounting for 50 per cent of sales.
We tested the most powerful 440i Gran Coupe model in range-topping M Sport trim level priced at £46,090 (£51,910 with options) and this car, powered by a 3.0-litre, 326hp petrol engine delivering 450Nm of torque, could sprint from 0-62mph in just 5.1 seconds, maxing out at 155mph. According to official figures, the vehicle could deliver combined fuel economy of 33.6-34.4mpg (WLTP) with carbon emissions of 165g/km (NEDC).
The 440i Gran Coupe looks powerful and attractive from any angle thanks to its sporting DNA with eye-catching features such as the elegant streamlining, a sloping roof and contoured flanks, a wide stance with short overhangs, sweeping light clusters, twin tail pipes, along with the traditional BMW kidney grille, 19-inch alloys and blue brake callipers.
The interior is just as impressive and the latest car boasts upgraded materials with lots of high gloss black trim around the control console. As is the BMW way, the cockpit is driver-orientated with many systems accessed via a smart touchscreen and BMW’s iDrive dial that’s very simple to use on the move. A new user interface features tiles on the touchscreen across three pages making it easy to switch from navigation to music, phone contacts or vehicles settings etc.
On-board technology is plentiful and includes the likes of a navigation system, DAB radio, Bluetooth and full smartphone connectivity via apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are heated seats upholstered in attractive, but not that practical, ivory white Dakota leather and the steering wheel can also be heated to fend off the winter chill.
The instrumentation panel behind the steering wheel can be personalised according to taste and the readouts alter as you switch through the different drive modes. The Eco setting offers lots of data regarding energy levels and has a blue colour theme, the Comfort setting is more traditional in its appearance and the Sport settings get a red glow and offer more in the way of performance stats with engine revs.
When it comes to performance, the 440i Gran Coupe drives as good as it looks. BMW wanted to develop a car with thrilling sporting character, combined with precision handling for all-round driving perfection and they have succeeded. The eight-speed automatic gearbox is perfectly timed for instant acceleration and quick fire gear changes and the rear-wheel-drive model grips the Tarmac like glue no matter how enthusiastically corners or bends are approached.
The body control cannot fail to impress with minimal lean and the vehicle boasts perfectly weighted steering too. Switching through the drive modes alters the car’s character considerably and there are steering wheel-mounted paddles for a little extra driver control.
BMW engineers have upgraded the suspension set-up on the latest model without impacting upon the car’s ride comfort. The stiffer suspension features more advanced damping technology along with an improved steering system. It all sounds very technical, but the outcome of these advancements is reduced body roll, greater straight-line stability and precision steering.
However, when a calmer, more sedate driving experience is called for, the vehicle is happy to conform with a completely composed and relaxed performance. Comfort levels are very high and there is room for a couple of adults in the rear of the car provided the front seats are not pushed back too far.
The powered boot has a capacity of 480-litres, but this can be increased to a whopping 1,300 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped down. And there are numerous handy storage compartments scattered throughout the car, including a lockable glovebox, front and rear cup holders, a compartment by the driver’s right knee, door bins, a central cubby, nets in the seat backs and some practical trays.
Factor in the comprehensive list of safety features and it would appear that BMW has developed the ideal car for technology, creature comforts, styling, performance, practicality, safety and all-round entertainment.
BMW 420d xDrive M Sport Coupe 2.0d
There’s no denying the fact that coupe models have always been very easy on the eye with their elegant streamlining and sporty characteristics, but sometimes they fall short when it comes to comfort, practicality and driving dynamics … but not so the BMW 4 Series coupe.
With its chic flowing lines, sweeping headlight clusters, distinctive kidney grille, 19-inch alloys and M Sport styling traits, the car has a muscular yet athletic appearance that is guaranteed to stop onlookers in their tracks.
Step inside and you are greeted by a wealth of state-of-the-art technology and on-board infotainment systems. The test car costing £36,860 featured a number of optional extras which bumped up the asking price to £43,895, but introduced the likes of electric heated front seats with memory settings, internet access, online entertainment, enhanced Bluetooth with USB and voice control, a head-up display and a pitch perfect Harmon Kardon surround sound audio system.
All the instrumentation is ideally positioned for driver usability and many functions are controlled through BMW’s iDrive system which is one of the finest in the business. The driver can access all the infotainment functions via a controller dial in the central console which works in tandem with a clear and precise display screen. It’s this simplicity which enables the driver to avoid distraction and concentrate on the task in hand – driving.
And when it comes to performance, the 4 Series Coupe produces a totally engaging driving experience with its low centre of gravity and assured dynamics. The 2.0-litre 190bhp diesel driven engine delivers all the power and acceleration you could wish for and the car’s grounded footing and precise steering means road-holding is exceptionally poised. This means tight bends can be attacked at pace with confidence.
The test car sprinted to 62mph from a standing start in 7.3 seconds and redlined at 142mph. According to official figures it can deliver combined fuel economy of 60.1mpg with carbon emissions of 124g/km.
Acceleration through the automatic gearbox is perfectly timed and can be as rapid or sedate as you want. And there are steering wheel-mounted paddles on offer if you want to take a little more responsibility and control.
As expected with a low-slung coupe, you will feel a few bumps and dips along the way and there is a little engine noise when the car is pushed particularly hard, but it’s not too loud in all honesty. Another plus factor is the xDrive all-wheel-drive system which reacts to changes in traction in one tenth of a second to keep you safe during those colder months.
Two-door coupe models are not usually designed to be practical buys, but the BMW actually offers quite impressive space for back seat passengers and the boot is generously sized too with a capacity of 445 litres. In addition, there’s numerous handy storage compartments scattered throughout the car.
And of course, as one would expect from a premium manufacturer such as BMW, the vehicle is packed with all the latest safety innovations to help protect occupants and pedestrians alike.
The 4 Series Coupe was introduced to replace the 3 Series Coupe back in 2013 and it has gone on to offer a dynamic, feature-rich and beautifully-styled option in the Bavarian company’s line-up.
BMW 4 Series 435i M Sport Convertible
They say 50 is the new 40 when it comes to age and at BMW 4 is the new 3. That’s because the Bavarian company has shaken up its number sequences and there are now plenty of 2 and 4 Series models to be explored.
One is the beautifully-crafted 4 Series Convertible (which replaces the outgoing 3 Series Convertible) and really ups the ante.
It’s slightly longer and wider than the 3 Series model and looks drop dead gorgeous from any approach.
With its hard-top roof up, it looks like a traditional sleek sports coupe but within seconds that folding top packs away neatly into the boot and it’s converted into an open-top that oozes elegance, class, finesse and style.
The test car was certainly a head-turner and boasted 19-inch alloys with blue brake callipers, front and rear fog lights, M Sport aerodynamic body-styling, adaptive LED headlights, large twin tailpipes and plenty more eye-catching features along the way.
The interior is equally impressive and certainly has a certain flamboyant edge to it – especially when fitted out with the Coral Red Dakota leather upholstery.
There are techno treats at every turn to be explored and these include a head-up display, air conditioning, DAB radio, enhanced Bluetooth connectivity, BMW’s Professional Multimedia package which introduces sat nav, BMW Apps, emergency call-out, real time traffic updates and lots more.
In addition there is a brilliant Harman Kardon sound system and connectivity to a wealth of media devices. And to keep any winter chill at bay, the steering wheel can be heated and there are even neck warmers.
For a low slung convertible, the comfort levels are surprisingly good and there is plenty of room for passengers in the back too.
The price you pay for choosing the convertible is a reduction in storage space – especially with the roof down, but that’s a very minor drawback when the sun puts in an appearance and the open road beckons.
That’s because the 4 Series is a tremendous car to drive and the open-top version really adds to the fun factor.
The driver has the option to change gears manually via the steering wheel-mounted paddles or via the gear shift, or simply let the car’s automatic transmission go through its paces, which it does in a very efficient manner.
The 3.0-litre 306bhp petrol-driven engine delivers plenty of power and acceleration through the eight–speed Sport automatic transmission is very fast indeed. A choice of ECO, Comfort, Sport or Sport+ modes can be utilised to change the dynamics of the car and automatic stop/start helps to preserve fuel in slow-moving traffic.
But economy aside, this is a car that really likes to crank up the volume and show exactly what it’s capable of. And, believe me; it’s not for the faint-hearted.
It can sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 5.5 seconds and tops out at a limited 155mph, but it’s the ease in which it drives that cannot fail to impress.
When pushed hard it reacts instantly, it cruises effortlessly at motorway speeds and in busy traffic it simply attracts plenty of green-eyed monster attention from other grid-locked motorists.
It is not the most economical to run with combined fuel economy of 36.7mpg and the 180g/km of carbon emissions won’t win you any friends amongst the green brigade,
But this car – priced at £45,470 (plus £10k extras) – is guaranteed to bring owners hours of driving pleasure and to be honest, no journey seems too far behind the wheel of the 4 Series Convertible.
BMW 4 Series Coupe
BMW has a new model line-up in the shape of the stunning 4 Series Coupe and anyone who might be thinking that the move is just a glorified rebadging exercise would be very mistaken because this stylish and athletic coupe boasts character and individuality by the bucket load.
It’s true that the 4 series Coupe does replace the 3 Series Coupe, but apart from both having two doors and a steering wheel there are very few similarities!
That’s because the 4 Series features a much sportier appearance with sleek streamlining, new dimensions, enhanced driving dynamics, superior equipment levels and improved economy.
The car is an instant attention-grabber with its athletic stance. Eye-catching features include a lower and flatter kidney grille to emphasise the vehicle’s width, a very fluid roofline to help show off the car’s length and incredibly flared rear wheel arches which help accentuate its muscular proportions.
Dimension-wise, the 4 Series is 26mm longer with a 50mm increase in wheelbase, 43mm wider and16mm lower. Back seat passengers gain an additional 12mm in legroom and the boot’s storage capacity has been increased by 5 litres to 445 litres.
It’s impossible not to be wowed by the richly-equipped and rather lavish interior of the car which is fitted with a whole host of state-of-the-art techno treats along with the finest leathers and trimmings throughout. All these factors help to create the ideal premium quality environment.
With three engines at launch and three more being introduced just a few weeks down the line, there is ample choice for buyers and they can also select from five generously equipped trim levels.
In addition, the BMW xDrive which delivers fully automatic all-wheel-drive that reacts to changes in traction in just 0.1 seconds is also available on three models – the 420i, 420d and 435d. This optional extra adds £1,500 to the asking price.
I tested out a couple of models in the remote Scottish Highlands where there was an abundance of winding country roads with very little traffic on them and I have to say both models impressed.
The first test car was the 420d SE Coupe with six-speed manual transmission, priced at £38,840 including just over £8k in options. This car can reach 62mph from a standing start in 7.5 seconds and tops out at 149mpg. According to BMW figures, it has carbon emissions of 124g/km and can deliver 60.1mpg on a combined run. I managed a return of 55.9mpg.
This was the basic entry level model, but it was packed with equipment. Information is easy to access via the user-friendly iDrive system and the colour display screen. And the car was also fitted with a head-up display (£825 extra) which is a first in the C-Class segment.
Acceleration was swift and smooth and all controls were ideally placed for ease of use in what can only be described as a very driver-focused and sporty cockpit. In addition, the car was extremely comfortable for a low-slung coupe model.
My only concern, apart from a little road surface noise, was the sloping roofline which could be a little claustrophobic for taller passengers in the back of the car.
Next up, was the all-singing, all dancing 435i M Sport Coupe with six-speed manual gearbox, priced at £48,160 with £6,725 added extras. This model can sprint to 62mph in just 5.4 seconds and has a top speed of 155mph. Carbon emissions are 185g/km and according to BMW it can achieve 35.8mpg on a combined run. I managed 31.8mpg and wasn’t exactly hanging around!
This car featured all the M Sport trimmings such as 19-inch alloys, an M Sport aerodynamics package, an exclusive Estoril Blue paint option, a three-spoke sports steering wheel, M Sport brakes and suspension, plus plenty more besides.
The driver can choose from four driving modes– ECO PRO, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ – and they each alter the driving dynamics of the car accordingly.
Acceleration in the M Sport was blisteringly fast and the road-holding exceptional even when confronted with tight bends.
And with the engine roar, the beautiful design and dazzling colour option, it was this model that turned the most heads.
BMW believes the diesel engine from the first car combined with the M Sport spec of the second will prove the most popular with UK buyers. That way, they certainly get the very best of both worlds with all the economy and benefits of the frugal 420d engine plus all the razzmatazz that the M Sport brings to the party.