SPECS & VERDICT Model:
I made a buddy of mine sit in the back of the Gran Coupé and he’s still my buddy. There’s enough room back there, I guess. And it could be argued this car is fairly practical: the boot is basically a hatchback tailgate so the orifice will take large things, and the rear seats split 40:20:40. Seats up, it’ll take just as much load as a 3 Series.
However, somewhere in the midst of all these transitions from a fourdoor to a two-door back to a four-door, the 4 Series Gran Coupé picked up a few kilos. You’d think all that hard work would help it shed some, but the 435i four-door here weighs more than the 435i two-door, obviously, yet it also weighs 65kg more than the 335i. Now, the whole purpose of the 4 Series range was supposedly dynamics and performance, but if you can truly tell the difference between this and the 335i on the move, well hello there Bruno Spengler, can you sign this napkin please?
It helps that the 3 Series is brilliant to drive, so tight, taut; lovely rear end that’s never out to get you, even when some invisible spilt diesel on the tarmac attempts to spit you off into the roadside rocks. And so it is with the 435i Gran Coupé M Sport, all composure, you just know everything is bolted on properly. I’m aware I’m supposed to be objective and all, but all of us here at wheels shake our heads somewhat startlingly at the same impression: why is it that every time you jump out of a rival machine and then into a BMW, the Bavarians just seem to be tightening those screws a little bit tighter? Oh, but then there is the 4 Series Gran Coupé’s electric steering. What’s there to say? It’s electric. It sucks.
Relatively speaking, of course. As far as these systems go, it’s brilliant, if you compare it to the mushy pulp you get in an Infiniti or an Audi. BMW’s not on Porsche’s level, but the industry seems to be getting there at least. Let’s let these V1.0s run their course, and I’m sure future electric steering systems will improve. In fact I’m not sure of that at all, I’m just blindly hopeful.
Somewhere in the midst of all these transitions, the 4 Series Gran Coupé has picked up a few kilos
The 3.0-litre straight-six turbocharged engine and that eight-speed ZF gearbox that’s being passed around the industry like an office stapler, they’re a lecture in smoothness, and the professor is Otis Rush. Wunderbar power delivery, linear, and an evenly sprung throttle pedal travel with a precise matching between your right toe and the rear wheels. But it’s been a few years now, and I can’t help thinking there’s so much left in the 3.0-litre – 306bhp feels like merely a shrug of its shoulders, like it could handle a lot more. I guess that’s what the 425bhp M3 is for.
Look, in summary the 435i Gran Coupé M Sport is good. Really, very good. You want one? Well buy it. I’ll be right behind, on your rear bumper in a 50-grand-cheaper 335i, and you won’t shake me.