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
- Depreciation concerns
- More expensive than 3 Series
At first glance, it might be hard to understand why the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe exists. Much of the car is the same 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 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. 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 you should perhaps expect that given that the 4 Series is more expensive than the 3 Series.
MPG, running costs & CO2
The sole diesel model is the most efficient 4 Series Gran Coupe and it isn’t too much more expensive than the entry-level petrol. It’ll achieve up to 56.5mpg, or up to 53.3mpg if you spec the xDrive all-wheel-drive system. Unless you’re going to be doing lots of long journeys, we’d recommend one of the petrol engines. The cheapest 420i 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 a CO2 output starting at 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 bands. In comparison, provided you can recharge at home or at work, the all-electric BMW i4 will cost just a few pounds a month in BiK tax.
VED (road tax) will be a considerable expense for 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. A service plan is available for the 4 Series for roughly £25 per month.
The previous model was one of the fastest-depreciating new cars - meaning it lost a lot of its initial value quite quickly. It’s too early to say whether the new 4 Series Gran Coupe will suffer the same rate of depreciation but it’s worth bearing in mind, as it could make your payments higher than for the A5 Sportback.
Engines, drive & performance
Most BMW 4 Series Gran Coupes will be sold with a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine. Petrol models get 181bhp in the 420i and 242bhp in the 430i, and 0-62mph times of 7.9 and 6.2 seconds respectively, while the diesel 420d produces 187bhp. The 420d is the only engine that is optionally available with four-wheel-drive but adding it increases the 0-62mph time from 7.3 to 7.6 seconds.
These 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. 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. Press the accelerator and you’ll still be pushed back in your seat. The six-cylinder engine creates a fantastic soundtrack too, even if some of the noise has been muted by a necessary particulate filter in the exhaust system.
Perfect weight distribution means the car feels balanced and more of the power is sent to the rear. 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.
Engaging Sport mode gives more weight to the steering (we found it a bit light in Comfort), but there isn’t much feedback through the wheel, so this is one area where an Alfa Romeo Giulia or Jaguar XE is more enjoyable. You’ll also find that, when changing gear using the paddles in Sport Plus mode, the shifts can be a little jerky.
Interior & comfort
Inside the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, you’ll find the same mix of quality materials and glossy screens as in other 3 Series or 4 Series cars. It even feels quite similar to the more expensive BMW 5 Series, but it isn't the next-generation infotainment setup found in the BMW i4. The dashboard features a 10.25-inch infotainment screen with the brand’s iDrive software, plus a 12.3-inch digital dial cluster. Like the 4 Series Coupe, sports seats are standard and they’re upholstered in leather.
Standard equipment includes 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 comfort access, while there are Technology packs adding WiFi, a Harman Kardon stereo system, a head-up display and wireless smartphone charging, along with an M Sport Pro pack with 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. It still has enough headroom (there's a 13mm reduction for rear passengers) and plenty of legroom, so the Gran Coupe will appeal if you need space but don’t want to give up on style or buy a wallowy SUV.
As with the previous model, the advantage of the 4 Series Gran Coupe over the 3 Series saloon is its hatchback tailgate. It makes the boot much more versatile and loading large items is much easier. The boot is a mere 10 litres smaller than the 3 Series, at 470 litres, and the rear seats individually fold for extra flexibility.
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. The 3 Series featured in our 2021 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, and placed 31st in our rundown of the top 75 cars. BMW’s infotainment, engines and handling were all praised, but scores for reliability and value for money were slightly less impressive. BMW finished 21st out of 29 cars in our list of brands (above Audi); 19.3% of owners reported faults in the first year, which is a little above average.
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.