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Car of the Year Awards 2023: Coupé of the Year

A good coupé isn’t just about style. The trick if it’s to be among the class leaders is that it must feel on point whether you’re enjoying a great road or enduring a terrible commute...

WINNER: Coupé of the Year

BMW 4 Series Coupé 420i M Sport (Pro Pack)

Car of the Year 2023 main logo

It's a BMW tradition to take a saloon, remove two doors, squash the roofline and call it a sportier coupé version. And on the face of it, the BMW 4 Series Coupé fits that mould: you could mistake it for nothing more than a sleeker, more expensive BMW 3 Series.

Take a closer look, though, and you’ll see that there’s far more to the 4 Series to justify its billing as a model in its own right. True, it shares the brilliant underpinnings of its saloon sibling, but it’s also wider and has retuned suspension for better handling.

Coupe of the Year 2023 - BMW 4 Series rear

BMW’s efforts have succeeded; the 4 Series will tackle any corner more enthusiastically than its Audi A5 and Mercedes C-Class Coupé rivals, and it’s enormous fun to hustle along a winding road. We recommend going for the optional M Sport Pro Pack, because it includes adaptive suspension, which gives the car exceptional body control and a more comfortable ride in its softest setting.

With our favourite engine, the entry-level 2.0-litre petrol, the 420i is quicker and more efficient than the equivalent A5 and C-Class Coupé, with plenty of power low down yet also an eagerness to be revved hard. The muted engine note isn’t as fruity as the Audi TT’s but suits the 4 Series’ more grown-up feel well.

Inside, it’s very similar to the 3 Series, which is a big plus point, because it means you get first-rate materials and the same fantastic infotainment system. It has a rotary controller for navigating the 10.3in infotainment display’s well-designed menus, making it less distracting than trying to prod the right icon on the screen.

Coupe of the Year 2023 - BMW 4 Series dashboard

As is often the case with a coupé, the 4 Series’ sleek silhouette makes it a bit less practical than the 3 Series in terms of rear seat space and access. However, only exceptionally tall people will hope you make full use of the car’s performance so they don’t have to ride in the back for long; there’s plenty of leg room there to keep a couple of six-footers happy.

All in, the 4 Series is such a great all-rounder that it’s even good at many of the things coupés don’t traditionally do well. Its various abilities mean that, for three years in a row now, no other model has been able to steal its crown in this category. That really is a rare and impressive achievement.

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