BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe hatchback
"The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe keeps the style and desirability of the standard coupe but with added practicality"
- Comfortable to drive
- High-quality interior
- Practical boot
- Not as much fun as a 3 Series
- Middle seat isn't much use
- Expensive to buy
The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is a more practical version of the standard BMW 4 Series coupe. BMW added it to the range for customers who like the sporty, more desirable image of the standard 4 Series but also want the practicality of rear doors and a hatchback boot lid.
There is a choice of diesel or petrol engines, all of which have plenty of power, and you can also spec certain models with BMW's xDrive four-wheel drive system. Though the car is quick and handles well, it never feels that sporty – it's more of a comfortable cruiser.
Sport and M Sport models are offered, both of which offer climate control, front and rear parking sensors and at least a 6.5-inch infotainment display, with DAB and navigation. BMW's 'remote services' are on hand on every model; these enable you to check things like your current fuel level, as well as operating some of the car's functions remotely using a smartphone app. There's also a lengthy options list, so you have plenty of scope to spec the car exactly as you'd like it.
When it was launched, the only major rival to the 4 Series Gran Coupe was Audi’s A5 Sportback, but other manufacturers now offer alternatives such as the Volkswagen Arteon and Kia Stinger. Buyers would also be wise to consider whether the BMW 3 Series would meet their needs better since it costs significantly less. Owners seem to like the 4 Series Gran Coupe though, with the car finishing 22nd out of the 75 cars ranked in our 2017 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey of cars currently on sale in the UK, even if with age it slipped in the rankings to 54th position in our 2018 survey. The 4 Series didn't appear in our latest rankings, and it's due to be replaced by a new model, so is starting to look dated in some areas.
Of all the premium four-door coupes in this section of the market, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is undoubtedly the drivers’ choice, offering a great experience from behind the wheel with very little compromise in other areas.
MPG, running costs & CO2
There are six engines to choose from when buying a 4 Series Gran Coupe and the diesels provide the best fuel-economy figures. The 420d uses a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine capable of returning up to 48.7mpg with CO2 emissions figure of just over 150g/km. This engine offers the best mix of performance and economy. The fastest diesel, the 435d with a 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine and four-wheel drive, returns up to 40.4mpg and from 183g/km of CO2. A less powerful version of this engine is to be found in the 430d, which returns up to 42.8mpg and just over 170g/km CO2 emissions.
The petrols are much less frugal, with the entry-level 184bhp 420i returning the best figures of up to 37.7mpg and 171g/km of CO2 with the manual gearbox. A faster 248bhp 430i manages virtually identical figures, but if you want the fastest petrol model, the 440i will only get 34mpg with CO2 emissions of over 180g/km.
All BMW 4 Series Gran Coupes attract road tax of £150 a year, while those with a list price (including options) of more than £40,000 are liable for an additional surcharge of £325 a year for the first five years of ownership, bringing the annual bill to £475 during that period.
All models bar the 430i and 440i can be mated to BMW’s xDrive four-wheel drive system but this causes a drop in economy to the tune of 3-4mpg. All xDrive models come with an automatic gearbox.
The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe comes with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty and if you have the car serviced by a BMW dealer during that time you can opt to extend the warranty at the end of the three years at extra cost.
Engines, drive & performance
All of the engines in the range, both petrol and diesel, have plenty of power. The entry-level 2.0-litre turbo diesel has 187bhp in the 420d model giving it a 7.4-second 0-62mph time. The 2.0-litre petrol engine in the 420i has 181bhp and has a 0-62mph time of 7.3 seconds. The same petrol engine tuned to produce 248bhp can be found in the 430i, taking the car from 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds.
If you’re after more performance than the 430i offers there are still three further models to choose from. The 430d has 254bhp and does 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds, while the most powerful petrol model, the 440i, has 321bhp for a 0-62mph time of 5.0 seconds. The range-topping model is the 309bhp 435d xDrive and it’s very fast indeed, using its four-wheel drive traction for a 0-62mph time of 4.8 seconds. Driving enthusiasts will look to the 440i and diesel 435d, plus some of the sporty extras, to get a car that feels really fast. For other people, the comfort and understated pace will add to the Gran Coupe’s appeal.
Despite the car weighing slightly more than the BMW 4 Series coupe thanks to the extra two doors, it still handles very well. The car feels balanced in corners and versions fitted with BMW’s xDrive four-wheel drive system have lots of grip.
Although the steering isn’t as fun as it is on some BMWs, it reflects the fact that the Gran Coupe is more of a refined cruiser rather than an all-out sports car.
Interior & comfort
Despite being billed as a sports coupe, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is no less comfortable than a BMW 3 Series. Access to the rear seats is, of course, far easier than in a BMW 4 Series Coupe due to the addition of two extra doors and a 12mm increase in the height of the roof, and once inside occupants will find plenty of legroom to stretch out.
Headroom is adequate despite the sloping roofline in the two outer seats, but the rear middle bench seat is best left for children. BMW bills the car as a ‘4+1’ seater, with the extra middle seat reserved for short trips and occasional use only.
The Gran Coupe's ride is generally smooth and refined. The M Sport trim levels gets you sportier exterior styling but the larger 18-inch alloys (also found on the Sport model) do take the edge off the ride comfort. Choosing the adaptive dampers (a cost option of between £500 and £750 depending on model) brings a Comfort setting for the suspension, which does improve ride quality. When compared directly to rivals like the Volkswagen Arteon and Kia Stinger, the 4 Series Gran Coupe feels just as refined, but with a slightly busier, more taught ride that reflects its sportier intent.
Practicality & boot space
The extra rear doors obviously increase the practicality of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe over the two-door coupe version, and the boot is more usable too thanks to a hatchback-style lid and a larger opening, which makes it easier to load bigger items.
Actual boot space is the same size as the 3 Series saloon at 480 litres, which is also the same as the Audi A5 Sportback, although considerably smaller than the 563 litres of the larger, cheaper Volkswagen Arteon. Putting the rear seats down increases capacity to 1,300 litres, which is significantly more than the 980 litres offered by the A5.
All 4 Series Gran Coupe models can be used for towing with the 420i capable of pulling a braked trailer weighing 1,400kg. Cars equipped with xDrive four-wheel drive have a towing capacity of 1,700kg with the 430d and 435d being rated up to 1,800kg.p
Reliability & safety
While the BMW 4 Series came an impressive 22nd out of the 75 cars ranked in our 2017 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey of cars currently on sale in the UK it performed less well in our 2018 survey, coming 54th out of 75 cars ranked, and didn't appear in our 2020 results. BMW as a brand placed a disappointing 27th out of 30 manufacturers in the 2020 survey, with 20.4% of owners telling us they experienced a fault in the first year.
BMW has a reputation for excellent safety – the BMW 3 Series and BMW 5 series saloon cars are two of the safest on the road, with five-star Euro NCAP safety ratings. The 4 Series Gran Coupe hasn’t been tested, and is unlikely to be this late in its model cycle, but the 3 Series on which it’s based scored highly both for adult and child safety.