2018 BMW 4 Series
Like the 3 Series Coupe it replaces, the 4 Series is a high-style two-door version of BMW's enthusiast-approved 3 Series sedan. Though quieter, cushier, and more tech-intensive than its predecessors, it still serves up an engaging driving experience to go along with its distinctive looks.
The 4 Series line-up includes the coupe detailed here, a convertible model, a four-door coupe, and the hot-rodded M4.
In years past, the 3 Series' coupe companion was known for conservative, understated styling, but the 4 Series breaks with tradition by wearing highly evocative sheet metal.
Its wide stance is accentuated up front by a muscular hood, a flared lower fascia, and BMW's fused grille/headlight design. In other words: it looks a lot like a 3 Series. The flanks feature sharply creased character lines and vent-like Air Breathers that reduce turbulence in the front wheels, while a racy, elongated roof line combines with a lengthy hood to create classic proportions.
The 4 Series is fitted with a lowered, specially tuned version of the 3 Series sedan's suspension. A strut located between the front axle's subframe unit and the body stiffens the front end for more precise steering and better body control, while the rear five-link suspension is also optimized for spirited driving. Note the electronically-assisted steering is less communicative than the hydraulic setup of the 4's predecessor.
Inside, the 4 Series' dashboard is largely identical to that of the 3 Series. That means there's simple, straightforward instrumentation, driver-focused controls, and premium materials.
Mounted front and center is a 6.5-inch infotainment screen that displays sound system, climate control and (when equipped) navigation system info. It's controlled by BMW's much-improved iDrive interface, although redundant buttons and voice commands give users alternate means of accessing the electronics. Navigation and Apple CarPlay compatibility are both offered at an extra cost.
Despite its attractive styling, the 4 Series boasts a reasonably spacious backseat that can hold two adults for around-town journeys. The rear backrest folds down in 40:20:40 segments for added utility, and when the center section is folded, it acts as a ski or snowboard slot.
The 4 Series line-up includes two models named 430i and 440i, respectively.
The 430i's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 248 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque from 1,450 to 4,800 rpm. It accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds in its fastest configuration.
The 440i benefits from a turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six that delivers 320 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 330 pound-feet of torque between 1,380 and 5,000 rpm. Its zero-to-60-mph time checks in at 4.6 seconds.
The 430i comes standard with rear-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission. An eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive are offered at an extra cost. They can be combined, but the stick is rear-wheel drive only.
The same applies to the 440i with one important change: the manual is compatible with xDrive.
The stick-shifted, rear-wheel drive 430i's fuel economy checks in at 21 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg in a combined cycle. The automatic, rear-wheel drive 440i posts figures of 21, 32, and 25.
Features and Options
The 430i comes standard with a multi-function steering wheel, SensaTec upholstery, 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped by run-flat tires, a universal garage door opener, a moon roof, auto-dimming mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, automatic LED headlights, LED fog lights, automatic climate control, and Bluetooth connectivity.
The 440i adds, in addition to the bigger engine, a Nappa leather-upholstered steering wheel, keyless entry, and a surround-sound system.
The list of extra-cost options includes metallic paint, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, 19-inch alloys, an adaptive M suspension, a heated steering wheel, a digital instrument cluster, wireless charging, a head-up display, and adaptive cruise control. There are also numerous option packages that make the 4 sportier, more luxurious, or both.
All 4 Series models come standard with dual front, front knee, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems and a tire pressure monitoring system.
Not sure the 4 Series is the right luxury coupe for you? Other options include the conservative Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, the shapely Audi A5, the Infiniti Q60, and the Cadillac ATS Coupe.