BMW M4 review

Category: Performance car

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:petrol
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BMW M4 2021 gear selector
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RRP £76,115What Car? Target Price from£73,916
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Compared with the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and Audi RS5, the BMW M4 Competition looks rather expensive, but it does undercut the Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupé (a model that is only available in its maker's range-topping Night Edition Premium Plus trim). Like the C63 S, the Competition is also the most potent incarnation of the M4 (in Germany, the starting price is quite a bit lower because the M4 is available in non-Competition specification with a manual gearbox). 

The M4 Competition is also predicted to enjoy slower depreciation than the Quadrifoglio and C63 S (the RS5 is fractionally stronger than the M4 in this respect), but don’t expect it to be a cheap car to run; on our real-world test route, an average of 26.3mpg was the all it could manage. Now, that’s not bad going by the standards of the class (under the same conditions a C63 S Coupé returned just 23.3mpg), but should you use the full might of the engine, you can expect that fuel economy to plunge into the low teens. You’ll also need deep pockets to run an M4 as a company car; its high list price and hefty CO2 emissions places it in the top 37% band, so benefit-in-kind payments (BIK) will be substantial.

On the plus side, and befitting its lofty price, the M4 is marvellously well equipped. It has 19in alloy wheels up front and 20s on the back (what BMW calls a staggered set-up), a leather interior, a carbon-fibre roof and heated seats are just some of the key highlights. That said, the options list is eye-watering, most of them being bundled into the several packs you can choose from. For example, the Ultimate Pack gives you carbon fibre exterior highlights, the fantastic M Carbon bucket seats we mentioned earlier, laser headlights, keyless entry, a heated steering wheel, a more advanced parking assistant function and additional safety kit, all bundled together in one package. 

The M4 hasn’t been crash-tested by Euro NCAP, but we suspect it would perform very well. That’s because, as we mentioned earlier, the 4 Series upon which the M4 is based, is closely related to the 3 Series saloon and that car scored the full five-star rating when tested. As such, it has plenty of safety kit as standard, such as automatic emergency braking, a lane-departure warning system, a lane-keeping assist function, an attentiveness assistant and a warning against traffic crossing behind you. 

BMW M4 2021 gear selector

Overview

Not only is the BMW M4 Competition staggeringly quick in a straight line, but it’s also one of the most visceral and engaging performance cars we’ve tested to date. And while it perhaps isn’t as instantly approachable as a Mercedes-AMG C63 S, we reckon that keen drivers will enjoy the M-car’s broader performance window. Factor in its beautiful interior, impressive levels of refinement and a pair of usable back seats, and the M4 is a truly fantastic all-rounder.

  • Staggering straight-line performance
  • Surefooted yet playful handling
  • Classy interior
  • Mercedes-AMG C63 S sounds better
  • Needs to be driven hard to come alive
  • Expensive to buy

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