We first drove BMW’s all-new 4-Series in the Scottish highlands last year, it impressed us with its blend of high-end technology and refinement across all variants. There’s more to the name change with this 3-Series successor.
The 4-Series Coupé is available across five trim levels, SE, Sport, Modern, Luxury and M Sport. Our BMW 420d test car was finished in SE specification, it 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 styling is certainly one of the car’s strong points, it appears sleeker then its predecessor, more 6-Series like and elegant to admire from any angle. In fact it’s 43mm wider and has a 50mm longer wheelbase in comparison to its 3-Series precursor. The interior fit and finish excellent, something we have become accustomed to with recent BMW’s. There’s a quality tactile feel to the entire car’s switch gear, there’s something a little bit special felt when sitting in this 4-Series that puts a smile on your face. The driving position is typical BMW with all the key instruments focused clearly on the driver, the 6.5” iDrive control display is simple to use and navigate your way through the various menus.
Powering the 420d is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder TwinPower turbo diesel engine that produces 184hp and 380Nm of torque. The power delivery is smooth and linear, enhanced by BMW’s optional superb eight-speed sports automatic transmission. It provides lightening fast gear changes and certainly takes the strain out of city driving. If you select sport mode through the Drive Performance Control and put the transmission in Sport, the gear change is more noticeable and involving for a spirited drive. The ride is comfortable with plenty of feedback through the steering wheel, there’s 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.
Apart from the 420d model Irish motorists can chose from two petrol variants at present, the 2.0-litre four-cylinder 245hp 428i and the brawny 3.0-litre six-cylinder 435i which produces a hefty 306hp and 400Nm of torque. Soon more variants will be added to the range including, a 420i petrol model, and a 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 BMW 4-Series impressed us in Scotland and we’re pleased to say it certainly didn’t disappoint on Irish soil. It’s grown up a fair deal from the 3-Series Coupé it replaces, and with it brought a superb mix of style, technology and efficiency.
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