BMW

Review: BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe – Sleek Design and Performance

The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé aims to merge coupe styling, sedan comfort, and hatchback practicality, drawing from the acclaimed 4 Series platform. Competing with models like the Audi A5 Sportback and Mercedes CLA, it offers various engine choices including two petrol and one diesel option, with the powerful M440i topping the range. The automatic gearbox is efficient, and the adaptive suspension adds versatility. Inside, it combines high-quality materials with excellent infotainment. The Gran Coupé provides ample space, especially in the rear, and a practical boot. Although priced high, it matches its rivals in equipment levels and offers strong safety features and solid reliability.

Introduction

The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé has a tough task at hand – being the perfect fit for a diverse range of drivers. Notably, it blends the elegance of the best coupés, the comfort of a five-door sedan, and the practicality of a hatchback’s broad rear door.

Indeed, that’s a lofty goal. However, if BMW excels in every area, it promises success. After all, it’s based on the BMW 4 Series, the winner of the What Car? Car of the Year Coupe category. Competing with the Audi A5 Sportback, Mercedes CLA, and even the bold Kia Stinger and Volkswagen Arteon, the Gran Coupé aims to stand out in a crowded field.

Offering two petrol engines with outputs of 181bhp and 241bhp, as well as a diesel variant available with xDrive four-wheel drive, BMW caters to different power needs. Those craving more power can eye the range-topping six-cylinder petrol M440i.

Let’s dive deeper to see if the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé lives up to its promise. We’ll assess its performance, comfort, practicality, and reliability.

Performance and Drive

The entry-level 420i petrol variant strikes a good balance between cost and performance, making it our top pick. It feels lively and is perfect for city driving. While you might need to work a bit harder to match its 0-62mph time of 7.9 seconds on open roads, it still holds its own against the similarly priced Audi A5 Sportback 35 TFSI.

The more powerful 430i boasts a 241bhp engine, promising a 0-62mph sprint in 6.2 seconds, although we haven’t tested it yet. The top dog, M440i, features a mild-hybrid six-cylinder engine producing 367bhp, zipping from 0-62mph in just 4.7 seconds. This makes it a close rival to the Mercedes-AMG C43 sedan and slightly quicker than the Audi S5.

For long-distance drivers, the diesel 420d option might be the most appealing. It offers more grunt below 3000rpm, with a 0-62mph time of 7.3 seconds, blending efficiency with performance. While xDrive four-wheel drive can be added for additional traction, it isn’t necessary for most buyers.

Unfortunately, the 4 Series Gran Coupé doesn’t offer a manual gearbox, but the standard eight-speed automatic is responsive and effective. The variable steering standard makes city driving easy, with precise adjustments at higher speeds.

While the ride is on the firm side, especially compared to the BMW 3 Series, it limits body roll better than rivals. Adaptive suspension, available on higher trims, provides a dual personality. It offers sporty handling in its firmest mode and a more comfortable ride in Comfort mode.

On the quieter side, the 420i petrol engine remains smooth and unobtrusive, while the 420d diesel can be a bit noisier at idle but settles down once on the move. However, at highway speeds, you might notice some tire and wind noise.

Interior

If a sportive driving position appeals to you, the interior of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé won’t disappoint. Adjustable seats and a well-laid-out control panel ensure comfort and ease of use. However, the lack of standard adjustable lumbar support is a letdown, especially when rivals offer it even on entry-level models.

Quality-wise, it matches the Audi A5 and surpasses the Mercedes C-Class Coupé. The interior design features soft-touch materials, though some silver-painted buttons detract slightly from the overall impression.

The highlight inside is the 10.3-inch infotainment system. Its intuitive nature and rotary controller make it superior to the A5’s setup. All trims include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, DAB radio, and built-in satellite navigation. The optional Technology Package enhances the experience with a Harman Kardon sound system, wireless phone charging, and gesture control.

Passenger and Boot Space

Front occupants will enjoy ample space in the 4 Series Gran Coupé. Rear space is where it truly differentiates itself from the standard 4 Series. Rear doors facilitate easy access, and there’s more headroom and legroom, albeit tall passengers in the middle seat might find headroom limited.

The boot impresses with 470 liters of space, besting the A5 Sportback and Mercedes CLA. It’s practical for daily needs, from shopping to carrying a pushchair. The rear seats’ 40/20/40 split-folding configuration adds versatility, matching the A5 Sportback and CLA.

If cargo space is paramount, the Volkswagen Arteon offers even more capacity.

Buying and Owning

Despite being slightly pricier than rivals, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé offers high-value trim levels comparable to competitors. The 420d engine is the best choice for buyers concerned about taxes and fuel efficiency, offering over 50mpg.

On a more economical note, the 420i will appeal to those financing their purchase. It offers a balance between performance and reasonable fuel consumption at around 41mpg.

Standard equipment is generous across trims, with even the entry-level M Sport boasting 18-inch alloys and comprehensive infotainment. Opting for the M Sport Pro Edition adds sporty styling and additional tech, while the top-tier M440i provides sheer power.

Reliability-wise, BMW ranked 13th out of 30 brands in the 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey, beating Audi and Mercedes.

Regarding safety, the 4 Series Gran Coupé earned a five-star Euro NCAP rating, hinting at robust crash protection. Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking (AEB) and lane departure assist. The optional Driving Assistant Professional package provides enhanced safety tech like adaptive cruise control and forward cross-traffic alert.

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