BMW 4 Series Coupe (2013 - ) review
Read the BMW 4-Series (2013- ) car review by Auto Trader's motoring experts, covering price, specification, running costs, practicality, safety and how it drives
- Dynamic all-rounder
- Breadth of class-leading engines
- xDrive will extend appeal further
- Not the aesthetic break in form its name suggests
- Popular M sport trim is also the most expensive
- Smaller boot than key rivals
At a glance
The BMW 4 Series coupe remains a two-door version of the 3 Series, but the visual changes are now more significant to justify the new badge. The car is 10mm lower, 26mm longer and 43mm wider than the saloon, offering a much sportier stance that has something of the BMW 6 Series’ sleek profile. All cars receive 18-inch alloys as standard, wrapped in the now-customary run-flat tyres. Top spec M Sport models will account for nearly 55% of UK sales and receive restyled bumpers as well as the option of this bespoke Estoril Blue paintwork (pictured).
Aside from a few gloss black highlights around the centre console, and some two-tone colourways on the dashboard trim, the cabin layout is standard 3 Series. For anybody new to the 3 Series range, you’ll find it a wonderfully finished and high quality environment, though existing customers may feel a little short-changed. In keeping with the sporting brief, you sit marginally lower than a 3 Series saloon, while the rear retains individual seats for two adults with a divider down the middle, concealing the large transmission tunnel.
The BMW 4 Series coupe is crammed with cubbies, including two large cup holders up front, a central armrest with a charging point for your phone and door cards that can swallow one-litre bottles of water. The lower roofline makes access into the back a bit trickier for taller passengers, but the space on offer is good. The 445-litre boot capacity is marginally behind the Mercedes C-Class Coupe (450-litres) and Audi A5 Coupe (455-litres) but the standard fit 60:40 split folding rear seats make it easy to extend.
Ride and handling
The Coupe’s relatively long wheelbase helps high speed stability and offers a more mature character, which is in keeping with its new position alongside the 5 Series. All versions receive Drive Performance Control, which allows you to adjust steering, throttle and damper settings between Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and in conjunction with speccing Sport and M Sport trim levels, Sport+. The ride in Sport+ feels a little fidgety at low speed, but the trade-off is tauter body control through corners. That said, this car behaves less like a sports car and more like a grand tourer.
Being based on the 3 Series means you get the same engine and transmission options as well as the first ever option of xDrive four-wheel drive. The well-established 20d diesel engine is still very capable in this bodystyle, but the engine note remains very gruff and unsatisfactory from the cockpit of a coupe. That’s why we’d stump for the 435i, whose turbocharged, six-cylinder warble is only matched by the satisfaction of its creamy, lag-free delivery. It never encourages you to drive fast, but with a 0-62mph time of 5.1secs through that seamless eight-speed auto, you know it’s there. However, the biggest surprise comes in the form of the debutant xDrive 435d, which will hit 62mph in under five seconds – sounds like the BMW M4 has its work cut out.
CO2 emissions start from 121g/km for the 420d SE auto, which also manages 61.4mpg on the combined run. The 435i auto manages 169g/km of CO2 and 39.2mpg, which is impressive considering the performance available. This is due, in part, to the air current system designed into the front bumper that channels air around the car to reduce drag.
It’s too early to accurately predict reliability, but the chassis and powertrains are proven in the 3 Series, so there shouldn’t be any nasty surprises with the BMW 4 Series.
All cars come fitted with a Thatcham 1 category alarm system, front, side and curtain airbags, dynamic stability control and run flats with tyre pressure warning system. You also get child car seat ISOFIX attachment points in the front and rear, plus passenger airbag deactivation.
Standard equipment on the 4 Series coupe is more generous than the 3 Series saloon and includes front and rear parking sensors, heated front seats, cruise control, DAB digital radio, two-zone air conditioning and the iDrive infotainment system with a 6.5-inch screen. There are five trim levels to choose from: SE, Sport, Modern, Luxury and M Sport. We’d recommend upgrading to the BMW Business Media package, which is standard on Luxury and M Sport, and includes business navigation presented on a bigger widescreen. Another killer option has to be the heads up display, which projects both your speed and sat-nav directions onto the windscreen, so you never need to take your eyes off the road.