The exterior of a blue BMW 4 Series

BMW 4 Series review

The BMW 4 Series is the coupe version of the popular 3 Series. Nippy yet efficient, this well kitted out car offers a fantastic drive.

Pros

  • Sporty coupe styling is attractive
  • All models are great to drive
  • Well built throughout

Cons

  • Not the most practical
  • The ride is a little firm
  • Boot access isn't great

Summary

“The BMW 4 Series range is all about being stylish and sporty in a premium package.”

The 4 Series is a nippy car with excellent driving dynamics and great performance, thanks to a choice of engines that range from thrifty diesels to performance petrols.

All cars are beautifully stylish with interiors designed to meet the needs of the driver. As you would expect from BMW, models are well equipped with state-of-the-art technology such as sat nav and cruise control. Sporty in appearance, the 4 Series has just enough boot space for the weekend luggage.

The 4 Series models include a coupe and convertible which are both two-door and a more practical four-door Gran Coupe.

The exterior of a blue BMW 4 Series

What’s the interior like?

“A low, sporty driving position and lots of dark trim give it a sporty feel.”

Inside, the 4 Series is dark and sporty with lots of black BMW trim that’s nicely broken up by aluminium-look inserts. There’s a great quality about the materials, fit and finish.  

The 4 Series has a good infotainment system, controlled by the iDrive controller in the centre console which is within easy reach of the driver.

The rear seats have reasonable legroom for a coupe. That said, getting in and out is going to be harder than with a 3 Series and taller people won't enjoy longer journeys. You can always go for the Gran Coupe for increased space and comfort.

Boot space is 420 litres in the coupe. It’s not the most practical shape, but you’ll be able to fit in a number of suitcases. The convertible boot space is only 370 litres but the Gran Coupe has a decent 480 litres.

Interior of of a BMW 4 Series

What’s it like to drive?

“An engaging drive, but it's relaxed in traffic.”

The 4 Series is a great car with fantastic handling and a wide range of engines. The 2.0-litre diesel is really efficient with petrol choices that range from the popular 2.0-litre to the 3.0-litre, which powers the more sporty models.

All models provide an excellent driving position and can be as relaxing or engaging as you want them to be. Being a coupe, rear visibility isn’t as great as a saloon but most have parking sensors and a reverse camera.

Automatic transmissions are the most popular - you can relax in traffic or take control on sportier expeditions. You can even use the paddle shifts which allow you to change gears while keeping your hands on the steering wheel. 

It’s worth trying to find a used 4 Series with the optional adaptive suspension which allows you to change how comfortable or firm you want the ride to be.

Side shot of a BMW 4 Series

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“Most deliver well on efficiency and fixed price servicing helps keep the costs down.”

Depending on the model, the 4 Series usually depreciates more than other cars, which is good news if you're buying a used one. Manual models are usually cheaper, but they aren’t as fuel-efficient as the eight-speed automatic models.

Running costs vary depending on which model you go for. The diesel-engined line up gives you the best combination of performance and economy, but the 420i petrol version also delivers a decent 40 mpg average. Tax and insurance for the 4 Series are comparable to rivals.

BMW 4 Series seats

How reliable and safe is it?

“The 4 Series has a good reputation for reliability and great safety technology.”

Although BMW hasn’t done well in recent reliability surveys overall, the 4 Series has maintained a good reputation. The slightly older engines have proven to be strong and reliable. Most of the materials have a quality feel that’s designed to last.

Safety equipment levels are high with stability control systems, while later models have items such as autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning.

BMW 4 Series dashboard

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - 420d

Best for family - 420i Gran Coupe

Best for fun - M4

The 2.0-litre diesel which powers the 420d is a great combination of performance and economy, meaning it will suit most people. If you're likely to drive fewer than 12,000 miles a year, the 2.0-litre petrol or 420i is a great choice. 

All models are well equipped, but it’s worth considering whether you want the softer suspension or trims, such as the SE and Luxury, or the firmer ride of the more thrilling Sport and M Sport versions. 

If you have your heart set on a 4 Series coupe but still need some four-door practicality, then the Gran Coupe is the one to have a look at.

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