Review

BMW 4 Series coupe

Price  £29,425 - £45,045

BMW 4 Series coupe

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Sporty looks
  • Decent practicality
  • Fun to drive
Cons
  • Expensive to buy and run
  • Ride can be too firm
  • Poor rear headroom

At a glance

The greenest
420d SE 2dr £31,795
The cheapest
420i SE 2dr £29,425
The fastest
435d A xDrive M Sport 2dr £45,045
Top of the range
435d A xDrive M Sport 2dr £45,045

“The BMW 4 Series coupe is a stylish and powerful new alternative to the Audi A5.”

The BMW 4 Series coupe is based on the 3 Series saloon and replaces the old 3 Series coupe in the BMW range. That means that while it sounds like a totally new model, it is really a renamed 3 Series with a stylish new body shape and lots of standard equipment. The BMW 4 Series sporty looks are complemented by tweaked suspension and a lower ride height to make it more fun to drive than an Audi A5, and it is available with a range of powerful engines, including two 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines and a powerful 3.0-litre model. There will also be three more engines available in the future, including a powerful diesel model and an entry-level petrol version.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.2 / 5

BMW’s powerful engines are thirsty

All models in the BMW 4 Series range use the company's EfficientDynamics technology to improve efficiency and economy. This tech involves aerodynamic exterior features, start-stop technology for the engines and more efficient electric power steering. The entry-level 420d model has fuel economy of 60.1mpg and does 124g/km in emissions, while the 428i petrol gets 42.8mpg and 154g/km. Company car tax on the cheapest 420d model will be 19 per cent, but with plenty of standard equipment it shouldn’t be too much extra for adding options. However, the top spec 435i gets just 35.8mpg and 185g/km emissions, so will appeal only to those with deep pockets – especially as the company car tax will be 29 per cent.

Interior & comfort

3.9 / 5

Comfort settings can be adjusted to suit your tastes

The Drive Performance Control system on the 4 Series lets you change the feel of the car, ranging from Eco Pro to Comfort and Sport – that means you can change the level of comfort depending on your needs, and unlike some cars the system works well. Sport and M Sport spec models also include a Sport+ mode, which improves the steering and hardens the suspension significantly. The first two modes are pretty soft and comfortable, although small bumps and lumps in the road are transmitted through the interior by the big wheels and run-flat tyres – overall it's still a bit too firm. The front seats have an automatic seatbelt feeder that works well, as long as you don’t grab your seatbelt before the extending arm pushes the belt out to you – it can get tangled up.

Practicality & boot space

3.5 / 5

More room in the boot than you might expect

The two-door coupe style of the BMW 4 Series means it's never going to be as usable as the 3 Series saloon, but it's better than you might think in this area. All models come with a key that means you can open the boot just by waving your foot under the back bumper – great for when you have your hands full with shopping or luggage. The boot is ten litres smaller than the Audi A5's at 445 litres, but that's actually only 35 litres smaller than the 3 Series’. The rear seats have enough space to accommodate adults, but headroom is a bit limited. Visibility is good, despite the low seating position, and the car can even connect to the Internet to give traffic information.

Reliability & safety

3.9 / 5

Based on the ever-reliable 3 Series

The BMW 4 Series shares many of its parts with the 3 Series, and the tried-and-tested engines available will likely prove to be largely trouble-free. BMW came in 15th place in our 2013 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, which is the lowest of the German premium brands, but this was mainly down to practicality and running costs rather than reliability. The BMW 4 Series hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP yet, but it does get optional safety equipment such, cruise control that automatically adjusts your speed, and a tired-driver warning system that sounds an alarm if you drive erratically.

Engines, drive & performance

4.5 / 5

Not that much better than the 3 Series - but still great to drive

All models in the BMW 4 Series range use the company's EfficientDynamics technology to improve efficiency and economy. This tech involves aerodynamic exterior features, start-stop technology for the engines and more efficient electric power steering. The entry-level 420d model has fuel economy of 60.1mpg and does 124g/km in emissions, while the 428i petrol gets 42.8mpg and 154g/km. Company car tax on the cheapest 420d model will be 19 per cent, but with plenty of standard equipment it shouldn’t be too much extra for adding options. However, the top spec 435i gets just 35.8mpg and 185g/km emissions, so will appeal only to those with deep pockets – especially as the company car tax will be 29 per cent.

Price, value for money & options

3.1 / 5

Expensive, but there’s plenty of equipment

The 4 Series is about £3,000 more expensive than the 3 Series on which it's based, and is only available with the larger engines – so there's no option for buyers who want the looks without the running costs. All cars have BMW's EfficientDynamics technology to save fuel though, so it's not all bad news. It's also about £500 more than the old 3 Series coupe, although it does add extra equipment and a totally new design. There are plenty of accessories as well: all cars get xenon lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, a 6.5-inch display, a sporty steering wheel, sports seats, front and rear parking sensors and heated front seats Bluetooth, USB, digital radio, automatic lights, automatic wipers and a clever self-opening boot are all standard as well. 

What the others say

4 / 5
based on 2 reviews
  • 4.0 / 5

    "Although the BMW 4 Series remains closely tied to its smaller saloon brother, the stunning looks ensure it's worthy of its own badge. It oozes kerb appeal like no 3 Series can, and is in a different league to its predecessor."

  • 4.0 / 5

    "True, the 4 Series carries a premium of just over £3000, but this isn’t excessive given the extra style and equipment it offers. The 4 Series is also priced in line with the rival Audi and Mercedes Coupe, and is better to drive than both, at least in the form we tried it."

Last updated 
18 Mar 2014

Disqus - noscript

How are the powerful engines thirsty? Utter rubbish. The 435i has over 300bhp!!...name another petrol car with this power that is as good.

It'll be a sad day when BMW only sells 2.0L diesel models...

435d coming soon this should be good as the 335d coupe was the fastest non m car

There is nothing to worry about when it comes to Diesels, the Petrol engine has a new lease of life and there is more to come, Diesels are dirty chucking little particles of burnt oil in the air whilst we breath it in, any car manufacturer would be mad to go only one way, we will find really small Petrol engines in bigger cars in future, but they will have turbos that are reliable and devices that will release the pressure really fast like a dump vavles but may not make that nice noise that makes people jump when driver releases the accelerator, these things make the engine more efficient believe or not .........

"Diesels are dirty chucking little particles of burnt oil in the air whilst we breath it in" -Never heard of DPF, then? And turbos have proved to be reliable for several years now. Dump valves are not necessary with variable geometry turbos. I think you may need to update your knowledge

Similar spec vehicles with more cylinders use more fuel. Take the 135i vs AMG 45. AMG has more power, and better fuel economy. It's to do with engine friction being greater when you have more surfaces. Simple really.

Now, if only BMW could get the indicators and mirrors to work properly.....

Where are the reviews for the 435d xdrive on the net ? The fastest 4 series and very economical to boot !!

The BMW 4 Series is the best looking coupe in its class

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