Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
Company car drivers and private buyers alike will be pleased with the running costs of the 4 Series.
For business users, the diesel versions are very competitive when it comes to CO2 emissions (and therefore company car tax), although the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé is slightly better still.
Private buyers will like the 4 Series' strong residual values; it holds its value extremely well.
The automatic version of the 420d claims an official fuel economy figure exceeding 60mpg, while in our real-world tests it recorded a combined figure of 52.0mpg. Even the 440i is claimed to return a respectable 41mpg when paired with the auto gearbox, although we have yet to run out own tests on this model.
BMW offers competitive PCP leasing deals, often over a four-year period with a reasonable rate of annual interest and the option to buy the car at the end. The brand’s servicing plans are equally good value, with five years’ maintenance for the price that some companies would charge for a single interim service.
Equipment, options and extras
Part of the justification for the higher price of the 4 Series over its 3 Series sibling is that it’s better equipped. Indeed, even the entry-level Sport version comes with all-round parking sensors, heated leather seats, a DAB radio, brighter LED headlights and a multi-function steering wheel.
The M Sport model comes with a stiffer suspension set-up, although the firmer springs can be removed as a no-cost option. M Sport also features an aerodynamic bodykit, deeper air intakes in the front and rear bumpers and 18in alloy wheels. It is expensive, though, so you’re better off sticking with Sport trim and spending your money on a few choice options.
BMW’s reliability record is reasonable rather than outstanding – it finished solidly in the middle of the table (17th out of 32 manufacturers) in our latest reliability survey. Mercedes-Benz did worse, but Porsche and Audi both finished higher up in the rankings. The 4 Series finished an impressive second out of eight cars in the coupé class.
BMW offers a three-year unlimited-mileage warranty and, for total peace of mind, you can buy an insured warranty to keep your car covered for a few years longer.
Safety and security
Standard safety equipment includes six airbags and a sophisticated stability control system. There’s plenty of high-tech optional kit, too, including a system that warns you if you unintentionally move out of your lane.
Adaptive cruise control is another stress-reducing option, although it’s disappointing that this feature also includes automatic emergency braking, which should really be standard on a car costing this much.
While the 4 Series hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP, we’d expect it to match the five-star rating of the 3 Series saloon on which it’s based.
An alarm system is standard across the range and the 4 Series scores highly in the Thatcham Research security tests, so it’s a difficult car to break into.
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