arval review: bmw 4 series
The BMW 4 Series Coupe is the successor to the three-door version of the 3 Series. Born in 2013, it gave BMW the ability to better differentiate the two models and expand the range – the 4 Series Coupe is now joined by a five- door hatchback, the 4 Series Gran Coupe and a 4 Series Cabriolet [reviewed separately].
As with all BMWs, the 4 Series is a very rewarding driver's car. It's not only smooth and comfortable on a long motorway journey, but should you want to have a fun and involving trip on twisty B-roads the 4 Series will not disappoint. Steering is direct and offers good feedback and the rear-wheel drive or four- wheel drive set-up helps the car's dynamics and stability.
All engines are turbocharged giving the sporty BMW coupe impressive power outputs, but more importantly, it also means the cars are efficient too. There are two diesel (2.0 and 3.0) and two petrol engines (again 2.0 and 3.0) available in a host of power outputs. The fleet favourite is the 2.0-litre diesel which is available in three powers; 150hp in the 418d, 190hp in the 420d and 218hp in the 425d. There's also the 430d with 258hp and the 435d with 313hp – which is only available as a four-wheel drive. The petrols offer 184hp in the 420i, 245hp in the 428i and 306hp in the 435i.
BMW offers a four-level specification set-up starting with the SE trim level which includes 17in alloys, digital radio, air conditioning, Bluetooth, USB connection, cruise control, leather upholstery, drive performance control, sat nav, front & rear parking sensors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, powered driver's seat and heated seated front seats. Sport (over SE) adds 18in alloys, Sport+ mode, sports seats, sports trim and sports instrument cluster.
Luxury (over SE) adds 18in alloys, automatic gearbox and metallic paint on 3.0-litre cars, higher grade leather, chrome trim and sports front seats.
M Sport (over SE) adds 18in alloys, Sport+ mode, M Sport interior trim, M Sport suspension, sports front seats and exterior aerodynamic bodystyling.
Options on the BMW 4 Series Coupe are many and varied. The key items to look out for include head-up display which is a real boon for high mileage drivers, online services are extremely useful too. There's a reversing camera or full surround-view option to make parking super-simple and if you need it, there's also a park assist option which parks the car for you (although you still need to control some of the car's functions yourself). What will it cost to run? The 420d is the most popular business car option and has CO2 emissions starting from just 111g/km which puts it in the 19% benefit-in-kind tax band. However, larger alloy wheel options can raise these figures. The 418d is almost identically efficient with CO2 at 110g/km and again the 19% BIK band. Despite emissions of 139g/km the 420i with the automatic gearbox sits in the respectable 21% BIK band and could be an option for lower mileage drivers. What safety features does it have? The 4 Series carries a host of safety kit including six airbags and a clever anti- skid control system. There's also a host of optional safety kit including auto braking, auto full-beam headlights and lane keeping assist.
Being based on the 3 Series platform means there's plenty of rear seat leg room, although the swooping roofline means head room for rear passengers is limited.
The boot is an impressive 445 litres which is easily enough for a couple of sets of golf clubs and it matches the 4 Series' main rival, the Audi A5.
In a niche segment, the main alternatives to the 4 Series Coupe include the Audi A5 and Mercedes C Class coupe. However, looking a bit wider, the Toyota GT86, Peugeot RCZ, VW Scirocco and Nissan 370Z could also be classed as rivals offering slightly more affordable or rawer coupe thrills.