Thursday, October 16, 2014

Devon test drives the 3-series coupe replacement


BMW wants to separate the coupes from the sedan. Thus the 3-series coupe is no longer the 3-series coupe it’s the 4-series coupe, with a new platform to separate it from the 3-series sedan. Has BMW achieved new feat?

The 428 uses the familiar turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder engine pumping out 240hp. Top of the range 435 trim uses a 3-liter turbocharged six-cylinder pumping out 300hp. Pick of the range is the more sensible 428 trim. You can have both trims with all-wheel-drive but we only suggest adding this option if you really need the traction or live in snowy areas where rear-wheel-drive will be cumbersome.

Our biggest gripe with BMW is the optional adaptive M suspension which is only optional and not standard. With this option the 4-series drives the way it is supposed to, we still have yet to drive a BMW without this expensive option and we’ve been put under the impression that BMW doesn’t want you to either. But at least with this option everything feels right and with the suspension set at comfort the daily commute with this car is actually quite comfortable. Slip it into sport mode on tight corners and bends you’ll be treated to an amazing experience as long as the road isn’t too lumpy and bumpy. This will bring out the firmness of the suspension which is to be expected of course.

The driver’s seat offers plenty of support and adjustments. You’ll find a seating position that best fits you to a tee. The dashboard looks like it was taken from a 3-series sedan. This is not a bad thing, however sticking a 4-series badge on this coupe we were hoping BMW would jazz up the interior more since the price tag has been jazzed up. At least there’s plenty of ample space four two in the rear seat and the boot offers decent cargo space.

All three trims are equipped pretty much the same. The only real matter of picking between all four is if you want a faster engine and do you want it with or without all-wheel-drive. We were a bit appalled that Bluetooth isn’t even standard across the range. You can buy pretty much a ton of cars not even in the same price bracket with Bluetooth standard. The standard form doesn’t even get real leather seats. But at least you get bi-xenon headlamps, rain sensing wipes and iDrive on-board computer with 6.5 inch display.

Buying a 4-series won’t be a cheap proposition because most of the options that you’ll want aren’t cheap. Plus you’ll have to pay to make the 4-series drive and handle the way it supposed to. Discounts will be hard to come by too, but resale value will be strong as will all BMW vehicles plus you won’t really have to worry about safety because BMW has that sorted well.

The 4-series maybe sleeker than the 3-series sedan but we still aren’t convinced that it’s any different from the 3-series sedan. Dynamically they feel the same and interior wise they look the same. Some may not be ready to fully accept the 3-series coupe new replacement. On paper the 4-series is a great coupe but in reality there are a few short comings we would strongly look into first before fully making up your mind.

Likes: Styling is sleeker and slightly more appealing design than the 3-serie sedan. With the right options the 4-series is a dream to drive.

Dislikes: So many options and so many of them are expensive. Bluetooth not standard is absurd. Interior doesn’t look or feel any different from 3-series sedan.

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