BMW’s 4 Series has historically been the go-to coupe for those who desired a blend of style, performance, and luxury. With roots tied to the familiar 3 Series, the updated 4 Series seeks to set a higher bar in its segment, particularly against rivals like the Audi A5 and Mercedes C-Class Coupe.
Exterior Design and Styling
The BMW 4 Series Coupe doesn't shy away from making a statement. The boldest design feature is, of course, the massive kidney grille that's been a topic of heated debate among automotive enthusiasts. While traditionalists might balk at its pronounced size, seeing it as a departure from BMW’s understated elegance, others may view it as a brave step into modern design territory. Regardless of where you stand, there's no denying it's a divisive feature that's impossible to ignore.
Away from the grille controversy, the 4 Series has sharp, aggressive creases that embody its sporty aspirations. This is complemented by a sporty body kit that hints at its performance underpinnings. The sloping roofline gives it a streamlined look, reminiscent of its pricier sibling, the BMW 8 Series, but also poses a practicality challenge, potentially compromising headroom for rear passengers.
Side-by-side with its German counterparts - the Audi A5 and Mercedes C-Class Coupe - the 4 Series takes the limelight. Where the Audi and Mercedes might opt for subtlety, the 4 Series goes for audaciousness. However, whether this audaciousness works in its favour or not is purely subjective.
Interior and Tech
Stepping inside the BMW 4 Series, the cabin design speaks of sophistication, though it doesn't throw any radical punches. The ambiance is decidedly BMW: a blend of functionality and upscale materials. The driver-focused layout is complemented by a chunky steering wheel, which though laden with controls, might feel a tad too thick for some purists who prefer a more tactile connection to the road.
One noticeable drawback is the sea of buttons across the dash. While many appreciate physical controls in an era where touchscreens are taking over, the 4 Series might be trying to please too many at once, making the dash appear cluttered. This is especially evident when compared to the more streamlined setups in rivals like the Audi A5.
A significant highlight is the 10.25-inch infotainment display, which offers crisp graphics and a user-friendly interface. The rotary trackpad controller is a nod to safer control inputs while driving. But the system's voice command, touted as one of its modern features, doesn't always hit the mark. It often gets befuddled with even slightly ambiguous instructions, making you resort to manual controls. So, while saying "I'm cold" might adjust the temperature occasionally, don't be surprised if it sometimes results in a puzzled electronic silence.
Performance and Handling
When it comes to performance, the BMW 4 Series holds up to its lineage. It's evident that BMW has always taken pride in its sporty driving dynamics, and this model is no exception. The turbocharged engine, whether it's the four-cylinder or the more robust six-cylinder option, offers a gratifying punch. Acceleration is brisk, with the car moving from a standstill to highway speeds in a commendable timeframe. However, some might argue that while the engine is responsive, it lacks the raw, visceral feeling that driving enthusiasts often crave. There's a certain smoothness to the acceleration, which, while impressive, sometimes feels too refined, masking the car's actual prowess.
The gearbox deserves a mention. Shifts are smooth and almost imperceptible in most driving conditions. Yet, occasionally, in stop-and-go traffic or during rapid deceleration, the transition can be jerkier than one would expect from a vehicle in this class.
Handling is where the 4 Series really makes its mark. The car's nimbleness, combined with precise steering, ensures that corners are taken with confidence. The chassis feels balanced, allowing for spirited driving when the roads beckon. That said, some purists might find the steering to be overly assisted. The feedback, though accurate, lacks the raw communication that drivers of older BMW models might reminisce about. The car handles with precision, but it might not "talk" to you as much as you'd like.
Delving into the practical aspects of the BMW 4 Series, there's a lot to dissect. For starters, it's a coupe, and inherent to that body style are certain compromises, particularly when it comes to cabin space and accessibility.
The front seats are spacious, and occupants are unlikely to feel cramped even on longer journeys. Controls and storage pockets are conveniently placed, allowing for easy reach and utility. However, the rear seats tell a different story. Legroom is, as expected of coupes, on the tighter side. While children and shorter adults might find it comfortable for shorter rides, taller passengers may feel a bit hemmed in. Headroom can be an issue too, given the sloping roofline typical of coupes.
Speaking of accessibility, ingress and egress, especially for the rear seats, can be slightly cumbersome due to the two-door configuration. Elderly passengers or those with mobility challenges might find it a bit of a struggle.
Boot space is adequate but not segment-leading. The opening is wide enough for most luggage, but the depth and configuration might pose challenges for bulkier items. It's suitable for weekly shopping or a weekend getaway, but if you're planning an extended road trip with a full passenger load, you'll have to be judicious with packing.
The BMW 4 Series stands as a testament to the brand's commitment to offering vehicles that provide a dynamic driving experience. It showcases a blend of performance, luxury, and technology, albeit with some noticeable compromises.
On the open road, its performance shines, reminding drivers of why they might gravitate towards the BMW badge in the first place. However, this enthusiasm for the open highway does highlight its limitations in more constrained environments like city traffic.
Its design, both interior and exterior, is largely a success, with certain elements that might polarize potential buyers. The tech, while abundant, can be overwhelming for those not familiar with modern infotainment intricacies.
For those who prioritize driving pleasure, the 4 Series will undoubtedly satisfy. But potential buyers must ask themselves if they're willing to compromise on certain practical aspects for the thrill of the drive.Explore the BMW 4 Series