It is the sedan for coupé lovers, want­ing max­i­mum space with­out sac­ri­fic­ing aero­dy­namic style.

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Yes, the 4-Se­ries Gran Coupé has the same di­men­sions—length, width, wheel­base—as the two-door coupe. But thanks to its four doors, the roofline is no­tice­ably 4.4 inches longer, and the in­te­rior more spa­cious. The re­sult is an ex­cel­lent sec­ond en­trée into BMW’s new niche—in 2012, the Ger­man auto gi­ant rad­i­cally re­named its 3-Se­ries coupé and con­vert­ible the 4-Se­ries—join­ing its shark­like stun­ner of a big brother that bears the 6-Se­ries badg­ing.

For the 4-Se­ries Gran Coupé, one body style is of­fered with a choice of two en­gines: the 428i pro­duces a re­spon­sive 240-horse­power via a 2.0-liter TwinPower tur­bocharged four-cylin­der with 255 lb-ft of torque while the 435i, a throaty 300-hp mated to a 3.0-liter in­line six-cylin­der. Both en­gines nicely bridge the gap be­tween the more clas­sic 3-Se­ries sedan and in­tense M-pow­ered sports vari­ants.

Mated to both en­gines is BMW’s fab­u­lous eight-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, which shifts ef­fort­lessly. The Driv­ing Dy­nam­ics Con­troller al­lows the driver to se­lect one of four modes: ECO PRO, Com­fort, Sport and Sport+—great op­tions to have when you find your­self idling in traf­fic on the I-95 or rac­ing up the Pa­cific Coast High­way.

All mod­els comes with frame­less win­dows, which add an ex­tra touch of svelte and make the Gran Coupé eas­ily the most beau­ti­ful of all the 3-and 4-Se­ries in the cur­rent lineup. Ul­ti­mately, buy­ers will have to de­cide if a tra­di­tional sedan will suit their needs or be se­duced by the fast­back roofline, which also adds the perk of a ‘kick to open’ (and close) hatch­back for both fun and con­ve­nience.

Ei­ther way, the 4-Se­ries Gran Coupé al­lows for nearly 46-cu­bic feet of cargo space with seats folded, eas­ily swal­low­ing two bi­cy­cles with their wheels in­tact. While some com­bi­na­tion of the lux­ury, tech­nol­ogy, and pre­mium pack­ages will no doubt come equipped with most 4-Se­ries that are sold—not to men­tion xDrive all-wheel-drive for those in the Snow­belt—the $3,500 M Sport of­fer­ing is rec­om­mended. It won’t gen­er­ate the power of an M4, but it does of­fer nice dis­tin­guish­ing de­tails: an ag­gres­sive front fas­cia, blacked-out green­house treat­ment, per­for­mance-tuned sus­pen­sion (with sum­mer per­for­mance tires), a 10-way ad­justable sport seat and a gor­geous sport steer­ing wheel that stands out in an oth­er­wise straight­for­ward, business-like in­te­rior. All this, with an MSRP that won’t de­liver sticker shock and a check­list that ac­tu­ally ful­fills the needs of an ac­tive life­style, the 4-Se­ries Gran Coupé is a well-bal­anced four-door mas­querad­ing as a coupé but with added in­trin­sic ben­e­fits of the ever-popular sport ac­tiv­ity ve­hi­cle genre. Just don’t call it

a hatch­back.

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