The 4-series Gran Coupe is proof that there is a niche within a niche, and people are willing to pay the premium to be different.
The familiar 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and 3-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engines are offered in the 4-series gran coupe. However, the designations have changed to 430 and 440. The 430 trim turbocharged four-cylinder gets bumped up to 248hp while the 440’s turbocharged six-cylinder gets pumped up to 330hp. Pick of the range still remains the 430 trim. It remains the better value of the 4-series range and offers the better powertrain combo. The six-cylinder is lovely but the premium makes it hard to justify unless you have to have it and are willing to pay for it.
There really isn’t much of a distinction between 4-series gran coupe and a standard 3-series sedan. Both manage to combine excellent handling, communicative steering and ride comfort that can give even the more expensive 5-series a run for its money. However, this is partially due to the adaptive M suspension that our tester car came equipped with. We have yet to test drive a BMW on standard suspension and some will note that it is bitterly disappointing. Refinement is what you’d expect from a BMW. The engine stop/start technology is a sore spot for us. It sends shutters through the cabin when the engine is reactivated.
The infotainment system with iDrive interface has been vastly improved and is much easier to use. The controls and dials are logically laid out and of course BMW always sticks to the minimalistic approach for its dash design. The front seats offer plenty of support and adjustment while those in the back may suffer a little in terms of head room due to the slopping roof line. The boot offers plenty of space too, thanks to the hatchback design.
The 430 and 440 trims both are about equally equipped with similar features. Xenon headlights, power-folding mirrors, leather trimmed interior and keyless entry/start all are on the standard list. Strange though that you’ll have to pay extra for heated front seats, rearview parking camera and navigation system. There are a lot of cheaper options that offer at least two of these options standard on their base model. We can’t complain too much because the auto-dimming exterior driver’s mirror and auto climate control really do come in handy.
Does being different really matter? Well that all depends. If you’re the type that thinks the 3-series sedan is too mainstream? Then yes it does and this is the perfect option for you. Otherwise the 3-series sedan is more sensible and the 3-series touring combines both with more utility.
Likes: Turbo engines both offer decent flexibility and running costs; sleek coupe-like profile and the versatility of a hatchback all in one.
Dislikes: 3-series sedan is cheaper and the 3-series touring is more practical.
Devon’s choice: 430 trims both make the most sense. If you live in a snowy area the all-wheel-drive will make be appealing. Otherwise the rear-wheel-drive and turbocharged four-cylinder combo makes for one sweet deal. Plus it’s decently equipped and price as long as you steer clear of the options list.