BMW lopped $2200 off the 420i in June but it’s still over the odds compared to the newer Benz. The 420i gained Sport Line or Luxury Line packages at no extra cost. Servicing is condition based or pay $1340 upfront to cover the cost for five years/80,000km. Generous features include leather, premium audio and satnav, advanced infotainment, ample driver assistance and head-up display.
The 420i looks big, if innocuous, on the outside. Cabin is first-class in terms of style and function in generic BMW fashion. It gets a generous helping of the latest BMW technology, including uprated connectivity and extended phone functions..
The focus of the 2.0-litre twin scroll turbo four-cylinder is on smoothness and efficiency rather than outright sportiness, underlined by the modest outputs (135kW/270Nm) that are still good for a 7.5-second 0-100km/h sprint and 5.8L/100km on 98 RON. Drive is to the rear axle through an eight-speed auto — six-speed manual is a no-cost option.
Lacks little in terms of active and passive safety, has six airbags and earns a five-star crash rating. The entry level 420i gains the latest driver assist features, including pedestrian warning, light city braking, park distance control, head-up display, reverse camera with surround view, approach control ... and plenty more. The feel is positive — the 420i acquits itself admirably when pushed. Engine delivers acceptable performance and excellent fuel economy. The eight-speed auto is silky-smooth, aided by slick paddle-shifters and four-mode driving, from Eco to Sport+. The steering is sharp and well weighted, the suspension is supple and controlled making the 420i a fun car to drive. But there’s not much sizzle.