Home First Drives BMW 4-Series Coupé First Drive

BMW 4-Series Coupé First Drive

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BMW’s replacement for its much-coveted 3-Series Coupé, the all-new 4-Series Coupé will go on sale across Ireland this October. Prices will commence from €47,130 for the BMW 420d SE Coupé. Ahead of its Irish arrival we’ve travelled to the Scottish highlands of Inverness to test drive two variants of the new 4-Series Coupé. 

From launch Irish motorists can choose from three variants, two petrol-powered and one diesel. The petrol line-up consists of a 2.0-litre four-cylinder 245hp 428i and a brawny 3.0-litre six-cylinder 435i which produces a hefty 306hp and 400Nm of torque. The sole diesel model on sale initially will be the all-important 420d, it’s equipped with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder TwinPower turbo diesel engine that results in an output of 184hp coupled with 380Nm of torque. These models will be followed shortly after launch with the introduction of a further three variants, the 420i petrol and the 430d and 435d diesel models. BMW’s XDrive all-wheel-drive system will be available optionally on some models, and is the sole drivetrain for the range-topping 313hp 435d.

The 4-Series Coupé is available across a wide spectrum of trim tiers, SE, Sport, Modern, Luxury and M Sport. This fourth-generation mid-sized coupé has an elevated level of standard specification over its predecessor. Just some of the standard equipment includes Xenon headlights, Dakota leather upholstery, front and rear parking sensors, two-zone air conditioning and drive performance control.

 

The 435i sitting in M Sport guise (€70,140) looks athletic with intention to thrill. It’s flared wheel arches and 19” wheels wrapped in low profile sports tyres aid the sporty appearance of the coupé. The air breathers and air curtains behind and in front of the front wheel arches aren’t just there for form they have a purpose too, aiding airflow to reduce drag around the front wheels. It has a more purposeful look than its closest competitors which include the Audi A5 Coupé and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé. The interior is garnished with M Sport luxuries, the three-spoke leather sports steering wheel is as good to admire as it is to grasp with both hands. Our test car had the optional head-up display which displays your current speed and navigation directions if you’re using the satellite navigation. The information is displayed through the windscreen in clear detail for the driver. The six-cylinder engine at the core of the 435i is a silky-smooth machine that delivers copious amounts of power throughout the rev range. This however is disappointingly interrupted by the firm ride and excessive road noise from those immense wheels. The drive performance control does let you opt for a comfort setting which softens the dampers (suspension) and improves the ride on country roads, in sport mode it’s just too firm for our liking.

The 420d on the other hand in SE trim hits the spot on the twisty mountainous roads of our test route, around the Scottish highlands of Inverness. In this setup it visually lacks the deep front spoiler and twin rear exhausts of the M Sport variant, you can however have the sensible and more useable 420d finished in M Sport trim (€51,630). With similar torque to the 435i (380Nm versus 400Nm) the diesel power of the 420d is easily accessible with the added benefit of delivering excellent fuel economy.

 

The 3-Series E92 Coupé was no slouch around corners, this new F32 model takes a step forward in this regard, it handles on rails with an abundance of front-end grip on corner entry. Strengthening elements in the front section of the car sees a 60 per cent increase in stiffness in comparison to the 3-Series Coupé. It bodes well for the xDrive model which will put a stern challenge to Audi’s A5 Coupé quattro. This new model is larger then its precursor, it’s 26mm longer and 43mm wider, with a 45mm wider front track, key to the car’s impressive chassis dynamics. Another benefit of this increase in size is an improvement in interior space, with additional 12mm legroom for rear seat passengers. Our test car had the standard six-speed manual transmission fitted, it’s a no-nonsense gearbox that’s easy to use, our preferred choice would be the optional eight-speed sports automatic transmission which is a tried and trusted unit.

This new BMW 4-Series takes a step in progression from its predecessor. It has been improved in terms of technology and driving dynamics, the 3-Series demonstrated acute handling attributes, this new 4-Series impresses to the next level.  

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