BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe review
“The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is a stylish alternative to the 3 Series and has a more practical boot”
- Hatchback boot
- Polarising design
- Low roofline
- More expensive than 3 Series
Verdict – Is the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe a good car?
If you’re after a sleeker, more stylish version of the evergreen BMW 3 Series, then the 4 Series Gran Coupe could be exactly what you’re after. It’s great to drive, comes loaded with the latest technology, and has a superb range of engines. It’s not cheap, though, and ultimately a 3 Series is more practical.
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe range
At first glance, it might be hard to understand why the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe exists. The car uses the same basic platform as the BMW 3 Series but it’s more expensive and has a more divisive look. A more favourable interpretation is that it’s a sporty car, like the standard BMW 4 Series Coupe, but with the added practicality of four passenger doors and a hatchback boot.
The design is arguably the most cohesive in the 4 Series range. If it looks familiar, it’s because the styling is shared with the electric BMW i4, BMW’s new rival to the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2. The petrol and diesel-powered 4 Series Gran Coupe, meanwhile, competes with the Audi A5 Sportback and the now-discontinued Kia Stinger.
There are three petrol engines and one diesel to choose from. Kicking off the range is the 420i, a 2.0-litre petrol with 181bhp. Above that is the 430i, which has a tweaked version of the same engine that produces 242bhp, and then there’s the range-topping M440i xDrive with its smooth 3.0-litre engine. This model, which is like a less extreme BMW M4, has 369bhp and is capable of hitting 0-62mph in just 4.7 seconds – in almost any weather, thanks to that all-wheel drive system. The sole diesel is the 187bhp 420d, which is the most economical in the range and can also be had with four-wheel drive.
Besides the M440i, all UK cars come in M Sport or M Sport Pro Edition trims. This means that all Gran Coupes get a sporty body kit and big alloy wheels, while the latter also gets a spoiler, adaptive suspension, upgraded brakes and an M Sport differential.
Like the 3 Series on which it’s based, the 4 Series Gran Coupe features a luxurious interior with two large screens, plus leather upholstery and sports seats. Build quality and the amount of tech on board are both excellent, although as it stands, the 4 Series Gran Coupe misses out on the slick curved display found in the updated 3 Series. If this matters to you, we’d suggest waiting for the facelifted 4, likely due in 2023.
MPG, running costs & CO2
The sole diesel model is the most efficient 4 Series Gran Coupe, but it’s around £2,500 more expensive than the entry-level petrol – so be sure you’ll recoup the cost before taking the plunge. It’ll achieve up to 56.5mpg, or up to 53.3mpg if you spec the xDrive all-wheel-drive system.
At the time of writing, diesel is a lot more expensive than petrol, so unless you’re going to be doing lots of long journeys, we’d recommend the 420i. The cheapest version is also the most efficient petrol engine, returning up to 41.5mpg, and even the more powerful 430i gets close to 40mpg. M440i models will cost a bit more to run, with up to 35mpg possible; we got 25-30mpg on our test drive.
With CO2 emissions from 130g/km, the 420d diesel will be the best option for company-car drivers. However, with no proper hybrid model in the range, the 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t occupy particularly low Benefit-in-Kind tax bands. In comparison, provided you can recharge at home or at work, the all-electric BMW i4 has the potential to dramatically lower your bills.
VED (road tax) will be a considerable expense for 4 Series Gran Coupe buyers too. As all models cost more than £40,000, every version is subject to the additional tax surcharge until the car is six years old. Between years two and six, you’ll be paying nearly £500 annually.
Like any BMW, the 4 Series Gran Coupe gets a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty. If you’re intent on keeping your car for a number of years, the Kia Stinger’s seven-year/100,000-mile warranty may be more appealing, though this model is no longer available to buy new, since Kia shifted its focus to the all-electric EV6. A service plan is available for the 4 Series for roughly £25 per month.
Experts suggest the 4 Series Gran Coupe will lose around half of its value over the first three years or 36,000 miles – about par for the course in this area of the market. That is, on average, a little better than its 3 Series stablemate, and roughly the same as what you’d lose on an A5 Sportback.
Engines, drive & performance
Most BMW 4 Series Gran Coupes will be sold with a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine – either petrol or diesel. Petrol models get 181bhp in the 420i and 242bhp in the 430i, with 0-62mph times of 7.9 and 6.2 seconds respectively. The diesel 420d produces 187bhp, and is available with two or four-wheel drive. Note that opting for xDrive all-wheel drive may improve traction but the added weight increases the 0-62mph time from 7.3 to 7.6 seconds.
The 420i, 430i and 420d are joined by the range-topping M440i xDrive with its 369bhp 3.0-litre, six-cylinder petrol engine. In this model, 0-62mph takes just 4.7 seconds – less than a second off the flagship BMW M4 coupe, which is £20,000 more expensive.
The M440i also gets a host of suspension tweaks and bespoke damper settings, not to mention launch control for super-quick standing starts. Compared to the M4, it’s been engineered to feel less aggressive and more relaxed, so it’s more comfortable when you just want to cruise. The M440i will also be the fastest version of the Gran Coupe, with no full-on M version planned.
Don’t be fooled, however – this is still a very quick car; press the accelerator and you’ll still be pushed back in your seat. The engine creates a fantastic soundtrack too, even if some of the noise has been muted by a particulate filter in the exhaust system.
Perfect weight distribution means the M440i feels balanced, with more of the power sent to the rear wheels in normal driving. This gives a lot of grip but also makes the car feel more fun than if the four-wheel-drive system sent equal power to the front and rear wheels. It also feels precise enough even in the softest suspension mode, which also gives it an uncanny ability to soak up bumps.
Interior & comfort
Inside the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, you’ll find the same mix of quality materials and glossy screens as in other 4 Series models. It even feels quite similar to the more expensive BMW 5 Series, despite missing out on the latest-generation infotainment setup found in the 3 Series and the new i4 electric saloon.
The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s dashboard currently features a 10.25-inch infotainment screen with the brand’s iDrive software, plus a 12.3-inch digital dial cluster. We expect the four-door to get the new infotainment when the car is facelifted in the near future.
Like the 4 Series Coupe, sports seats are standard and they’re upholstered in leather. Other bits of standard equipment include LED headlights, a powered bootlid, automatic air conditioning, cruise control and a reversing camera. There’s also Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa integration.
Most of the options list is condensed into packs. The Comfort Pack adds a heated steering wheel and keyless entry and start, while the Technology Pack adds wi-fi, a Harman Kardon stereo system, a head-up display and wireless smartphone charging. The M Sport Pro pack gifts sportier styling and mechanical upgrades.
Practicality & boot space
The 4 Series Gran Coupe is billed as a sleeker alternative to the 3 Series, but the drop in practicality is fairly inconsequential – especially as the Gran Coupe switches the 3’s saloon bootlid for a hatchback-style tailgate. The boot is officially 10 litres smaller than the 3 Series (at 470 litres), but we found it much easier to load large items and the overall space much more usable. The rear seats individually fold for extra flexibility.
It still has enough headroom (there's a 13mm reduction for rear passengers versus the 3 Series) and plenty of legroom, so the Gran Coupe will appeal if you need space but don’t want to sacrifice on style. That lower roofline may make it harder to load kids into the back however – we’d recommend you try before you buy.
Reliability & safety
With the same underpinnings, engines and interior as the 3 Series, the 4 Series may feel derivative but it should at least mean that any problems that occur are likely to be fairly minor.
While the 4 Series doesn’t sell in big-enough numbers to feature in our annual Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, the 3 Series placed 32nd in our 2022 rundown of the top 75 cars – a single-place drop on the previous year. BMW’s infotainment, engines and practicality were all praised, but scores for running costs, reliability and value for money were slightly less impressive. BMW finished 16th out of 29 manufacturers in our list of brands – above Audi and Mercedes and a decent improvement on 2021; 23.2% of BMW owners reported faults in the first year.
The 4 Series Gran Coupe won’t be individually tested by Euro NCAP but the five-star score of the coupe and convertible applies here too. In fact, the 3 Series and 4 Series coupe both achieved a phenomenal 97% safety rating for adult occupants, while the 3 Series also scored 87% for both child and pedestrian safety. Standard safety equipment includes autonomous emergency braking, pedestrian and cyclist detection, and a driver’s knee airbag.