Ticking all the boxes
THE BMW 4 Series Coupe reminds me of England cricket legend Sir Ian Botham as it’s a worldclass all-rounder. Whereas some other motors in this sector of the marketplace excel in individual areas, BMW’s beauty covers all the bases.
The two-door sibling of the 3 Series saloon was revamped earlier this year and the modern cabin, super chassis, excellent engines and sleek good looks seem set to maintain the classleading sales figures recorded in the UK since the model was launched in 2013.
Having clambered into the lowslung 420d M Sport, a couple of things became immediately apparent – the seats are incredibly supportive and this is a driver’s car with everything you require at your fingertips.
The instruments and dials are easy on the eye at while the steering wheel feels like it was custom-made just for you. The fit and finish is excellent and top-quality materials are used throughout the modern interior.
The iDrive system, featuring a 6.5-inch colour screen, has been around for a while and BMW has perfected its rotary controller and buttons to be as user friendly as possible. DAB radio and sat nav are included, plus the usual ways of hooking your smartphone up to a car.
The M Sport version I drove is a popular choice amongst 4 Series buyers and it’s easy to see why as the muscular looks, snazzy alloy wheels and lower suspension grab your attention.
A four-cylinder turbodiesel lurked under the bonnet which, linked to a slick six-speed manual transmission, added plenty of power to the mix – but not at the cost of frugality.
Despite performance stats that show it sprinting from 0-62mph in a shade over seven seconds, fuel economy in the real world approaches 50mpg. The oil burner also ensures the company car tax bill is kept down thanks to relatively low carbon dioxide emissions.
My test car was rear-wheel drive but, as with the majority of BMW models these days, the 4 Series can be specified with a fourwheel drive system. An eight-speed automatic transmission is also available which defies common wisdom and actually reduces fuel consumption.
Other power plants on the latest 4 Series include three petrol engines – the four-cylinder 420i and 430i plus the top-of-the-range six-cylinder 440i – and a choice of two other diesel engines – the six-cylinder 430d and 435d.
The M Sport is composed and refined on the road cruising along happily when required but also able to mix it on country lanes thanks to sharp handling, well-weighted steering, great body control and plenty of grip.
Practicality is assured, with genuine space for four adults without the two in the back having to impersonate sardines.
The boot is a decent size and there is plenty of cubby hole space for your bits and bobs.
Those seeking more versatility can opt for the 4 Series Gran Coupe offering four doors without losing the sleek look, while the 4 Series Convertible cuts the mustard if you want a tourer with a neat retractable metal roof.
On the safety front the usual suspects are included and there are a number of optional extras such as forward collision alert with city collision auto-braking, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.
The UK is crucial to the 4 Series’ future as it is second in sales only to the USA. BMW expects the latest models to be even more popular and there is every reason to think this will be the case.
Model: BMW 420d M Sport Coupe Price: £35,465 Mechanical: 190ps, 1,995cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving rear wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox Max speed: 149mph 0-62mph: 7.3 seconds Combined mpg: 62.8 Insurance group: 30 CO2 emissions: 119g/km BiK rating: 25% Warranty: 3yrs/unlimited miles