BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe review

Category: Coupé

A good mix of comfort, practicality and fun driving

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 front right tracking
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 front right tracking
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe rear right tracking
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe interior dashboard
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe interior rear seats
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe interior infotainment
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 rear cornering
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 front tracking
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 front right tracking
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 front tracking
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 left static
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 rear right static
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 alloy wheel detail
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 headlight detail
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 nose badge
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 interior front seats
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 interior driver display
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 interior steering wheel detail
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 interior detail
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 boot open
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 front right tracking
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe rear right tracking
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe interior dashboard
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe interior rear seats
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe interior infotainment
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 rear cornering
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 front tracking
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 front right tracking
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 front tracking
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 left static
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 rear right static
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 alloy wheel detail
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 headlight detail
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 nose badge
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 interior front seats
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 interior driver display
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 interior steering wheel detail
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 interior detail
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 2022 boot open
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Introduction

What Car? says...

The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé has its work cut out for it, because being all things to all drivers is pretty tough

You see, the 4 Series Gran Coupé straddles car niches, aiming to combine the style of the best coupes and the comfort of a five-door saloon, with the added practicality of a hatchback’s wide-opening tailgate. 

That might sound like a bit of a tall order, but as long as BMW hasn’t settled for any half measures in any of the areas, it should be a recipe for success. After all, it's based on the BMW 4 Series – a winner of the What Car? Car of the Year Coupe category.

The Gran Coupé's competition includes the Audi A5 Sportback, Mercedes CLA and slightly more left-field rivals, including the Kia Stinger and Volkswagen Arteon. So, how well equipped is it to compete with the other coupes you might be considering?

Well, you can have your BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé with a choice of two petrol engines, with power outputs of 181bhp and 241bhp, or one diesel that’s available with xDrive four-wheel drive for added traction. Fancy even more power? There's also the range-topping six-cylinder petrol M440i.

It all sounds pretty promising, but should you choose one over any of its rivals? Stick with us over the next few pages of this review, as we tell you whether the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé is as good as it looks. Our road testers have rated it in in all the important areas, including performance, comfort, practicality and reliability.

By the way, if you're thinking of going electric, the 4 Series Gran Coupé has an electrified twin. You can read about that in our BMW i4 review.

When you’ve decided which make and model is the right one for you, don’t forget to search our free What Car? New Car Deals pages to see how much you could save without any haggling. It's a good place to look for the best new coupe deals.

Overview

The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé is practical, stylish and fun to drive. The hatchback tailgate makes loading and unloading a breeze and the extra space will be alluring to those who want a coupe but don’t want the accompanying sacrifices. The M440i takes that one step further by adding explosive performance to that practicality.

  • Great ride
  • Hatchback boot makes loading easy
  • Better to drive than rivals
  • No adjustable lumbar support as standard
  • Head room slightly tight in the rear
  • Some wind and tyre noise
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Our Pick

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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé in entry-level 420i petrol form gets the cost versus performance balance right, making it our pick of the range. It feels brisk enough and offers sufficient power low in the rev range to make town driving a breeze. 

Out on the open road, you’ll need to work it hard to match its official 0-62mph time of 7.9sec, but when you do, it’ll hold its own against the similarly priced Audi A5 Sportback 35 TFSI when getting up to motorway speeds or overtaking slower cars. The more powerful 430i has 241bhp, and should get from 0-62mph in 6.2sec, but we’ve yet to try that engine.

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The most powerful engine in the range is the M440i. Unlike the 420i and 430i, the 3.0-litre six-cylinder unit gets added power from a mild-hybrid system. In total, it puts 367bhp at the mercy of your right foot and will fly from a standstill to 62mph in just 4.7sec. That’s a close match for the Mercedes-AMG C43 saloon and a fraction quicker than the Audi S5. It’s thrilling to rev out to the red line, with loads of power across the board. 

If you do lots of miles, you might want to consider the diesel offering: the 420d. It has only a few more bhp than the 420i but provides far more torque below 3000rpm and feels much quicker, as its swifter 7.3sec 0-62mph time attests. In fact, the low-down urgency makes B-road overtakes remarkably easy. BMW doesn't charge a lot more to add xDrive four-wheel drive, but we think it's unnecessary for most buyers.

You can’t have the 4 Series Gran Coupé with a manual gearbox, but that's no bad thing. Unlike the auto box in the A5 Sportback, its eight-speed automatic acts with little delay when you want to pull away and it’s more than happy to drop down a gear when you ask for a sudden burst of power. 

Every 4 Series has ‘variable’ steering as standard, and that avoids lots of excessive arm-twirling at town speeds and when parking. At faster speeds, even tiny steering inputs have a big say on your direction, and that can make the car feel a little flighty and nervous. It’s something you get used to, though, and the effect can be mitigated by switching the steering to its Sport setting, which adds more weight to the steering and gives you more confidence.

The 4 Series Gran Coupé has quite a firm ride, even compared with the BMW 3 Series. That works in its favour, though, and its suspension limits body lean much better than in the A5 Sportback and Mercedes CLA. It also handles more dynamically than those rivals, cornering with greater enthusiasm. 

While entry-level M Sport trim brings conventional non-adjustable suspension, other versions have M Adaptive Suspension as standard. The adaptive system helps keep the car’s body incredibly flat and stable through corners. Its advantages are best felt in the M440i, which is incredibly balanced and agile, making the Audi S5 feel wallowy in comparison.

Adaptive suspension also gives the 4 Series Gran Coupé an agreeably split personality. It behaves like a sports car in its firmest mode, but if you switch to Comfort, the ride becomes more pliant than you might imagine. It’s still firmer than the A5, but thanks to its excellent damping, there’s no crashing or shuddering over broken surfaces, as there sometimes is in the S5 and Mercedes C43 AMG. BMW's M Sport models without adaptive suspension do a good job in that regard, too, but they ride more firmly overall. 

The 420i petrol engine is generally quiet and smooth, and only really gets rorty when you put your foot down for a sudden burst of power. The 420d is prone to a bit more noise and steering wheel vibration at idle. Even so, the diesel thrum fades into the background once you’re on the move and it’s refined as diesels go, matching the A5 Sportback’s 40 TDI engine.

There’s some tyre noise at motorway speeds and a little more wind noise than you'll hear in the 3 Series. You can also hear the suspension working away along bumpy roads, so overall the 4 Series isn’t as quiet to travel in as the A5.

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe rear right tracking

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

If you like sporty driving positions, you’ll enjoy how the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé seats you low down. There's also lots of seat and steering wheel adjustment to help you find a comfortable position.

You don’t get adjustable lumbar support as standard with any trim level though, which is disappointing – even the entry-level Audi A5 Sportback includes that. Other than its pedals being slightly offset to the right, the Gran Coupé’s driving position is otherwise very good, with clear instruments and controls that are well laid out.

Interior quality is on a par with the A5 and better than in the Mercedes C-Class Coupé. The materials used are pleasant, and although there are some hard plastics, they're not in places you’ll touch often. The slightly tacky looking silver-painted buttons on the dashboard let the side down a bit, though. 

The 4 Series Gran Coupe's infotainment system is truly brilliant. All versions get a 10.3in display that you can either use as a touchscreen or operate by twisting and pressing the rotary controller between the front seats. The rotary controller is much less distracting when you’re driving and, combined with a super-intuitive operating system, is one of the main reasons we prefer the 4 Series’ infotainment system to the A5’s.

BMW gives you Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring on all trims so you can use your phone apps on the touchscreen. You also get DAB radio and built-in sat-nav. For more toys, the optional Technology Pack adds an upgraded Harman Kardon sound system, wireless phone-charging and a gimmicky gesture control function for the infotainment.

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe interior dashboard

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

There’s plenty of space in the front of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé for the driver and passenger, with loads of shoulder room and ample headroom for even those measuring more than six feet tall. Storage space is good too, thanks to a big glovebox, a useful cubby under the centre armrest, two cup holders, a tray for storing your phone and decently sized door bins.

Rear space is where the 4 Series Gran Coupé sets itself apart from the standard BMW 4 Series though. For starters, the presence of rear doors makes climbing into the rear seats an absolute breeze. There’s also slightly more headroom and legroom for rear-seat passengers, although six footers will still find their heads grazing the roof lining. 

That’s even more true of the middle. The centre seat is raised slightly, so even those just under six feet tall will find themselves having to bend slightly due to the limited headroom. When you don’t have a middle passenger, you can fold down part of the seat to create an armrest with two cup holders. 

At 470 litres, the 4 Series Gran Coupé's boot is 30 litres bigger than that of the regular 4 Series. It’s also a little bigger than those of the Audi A5 Sportback – which we managed to squeeze seven carry-on suitcases into – and the Mercedes CLA. The Gran Coupé will easily swallow a pushchair or a large weekly shop. Because it's a hatchback, it's easy to load and unload, too.

The rear seats can be split 40/20/40 and then folded to reveal an extended and totally flat loading bay. The A5 Sportback and CLA back seats split in the same versatile 40/20/40 configuration.  

If boot space is of great importance to you, you might want to consider the larger Volkswagen Arteon as it offers more boot space than the Gran Coupé or any of its rivals and will happily swallow an additional carry-on suitcase.

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe interior rear seats

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

As a cash buy, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé is priced very close to the standard BMW 4 Series, making it good value if you need the extra space. At first glance, it seems expensive compared to other rivals, but the Gran Coupé only comes with high trim levels, so an Audi A5 Sportback or Mercedes CLA with comparable equipment levels will set you back about the same. 

The 420d will be the one for company car buyers who want a low tax rate because its official CO2 emissions are lower than for the petrol models’. It’s also the most economical engine, returning more than 50mpg, but adding xDrive four-wheel drive will increase fuel consumption and emissions slightly.

The 420i will be the cheapest option for anyone that wants to buy using PCP car finance and, although less economical than the diesel, it’ll still manage around 41mpg. You can read about the 4 Series Gran Coupé's electric car equivalent in our full BMW i4 review.

Every 4 Series Gran Coupé comes with plenty of standard equipment. Even the entry-level M Sport has 18in alloy wheels and all the infotainment kit. 

Upgrading to M Sport Pro Edition adds 19in alloys, sportier styling, three-zone climate control, M Adaptive Suspension, and an M Sport Differential for all engines except the 420i. The range-topping M440i is similar to M Sport Pro Edition trim but with the addition of that mighty six-cylinder engine. 

The 4 Series Gran Coupé is too new to have featured in our 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey but BMW as a manufacturer placed a rather average 13th out of the 30 brands included. That's above rivals Audi and Mercedes, though. 

When it was tested by Euro NCAP for safety, the 4 Series scored five out of five stars. The A5 Sportback scored the same, but that was several years ago and tests have become much more stringent since, so while it's hard to compare the two, the 4 Series Gran Coupé might keep you safer in a crash. 

BMW gives you plenty of standard safety equipment, including automatic emergency braking (AEB) and lane-departure assist. The optional Driving Assistant Professional pack (which comes as part of the Technology Plus Pack) adds adaptive cruise control, a more advanced lane-keeping assistant, a front cross-traffic alert system and an automatic speed limit assist.

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BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe interior infotainment
At a glance
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RRP price range £45,415 - £61,535
Number of trims (see all)3
Number of engines (see all)2
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol
MPG range across all versions 35.3 - 41.5
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / No mileage cap
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £3,038 / £4,469
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £6,076 / £8,938
Available colours