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BMW 4 Series Review

8 / 10
9 April 2024
BMW 4 Series coupe driving

Coupes are a bit of a dying breed, but the BMW 4 Series shows that there are still lots of reasons to buy one.

If you don’t regularly have back-seat passengers, the 4 Series gets sleeker looks than the 3 Series but most of its sibling’s strengths.

What we like:
  • Sporty handling
  • Same high-quality interior as 3 Series
  • Decently practical for a coupe
What we don't like:
  • Some confusing tech
  • More expensive than 3 Series
  • Previous 4 Series is more stylish

Should I buy a BMW 4 Series?

The BMW 4 Series is a sportier, swept-back alternative to the iconic 3 Series and, beneath its rakish styling, the two cars are twins. Which of them is best for you comes down to how often you’ll use the back seats.

From the outside, the differences are easy to spot – the 4 Series has tall, snouty grilles, angry pointed headlights and a swooping roofline. The styling has been a 4 Series talking point and, from some angles, the car can look a bit lumpen. But, while the last-shape 4 Series was arguably the prettier car, the new car’s muscular styling will grow on you. Promise.

Not to talk about the styling too much, but the 4 Series range was facelifted in early 2024 with updated light signatures front and tweaked bumpers.

The 4 Series range not only includes the coupe, but also a convertible and the Gran Coupe – a five-door fastback version that fuses the style of the 4 Series Coupe with most of the practicality of the 3 Series. The coupe and convertible are also available as ferocious M4 Competition range-toppers, too.

Interior and technology

Nowhere is the ‘sportier version of the 3 Series’ label clearer than in the 4 Series’ interior. The windscreen is more steeply raked and you feel like you’re sat a bit lower than in the 3 Series, but in most respects the two cars are exactly the same.

Not that that’s a bad thing, of course. While BMW’s interior design might seem a little conservative compared to the huge screens in the Mercedes C-Class and Tesla Model 3, the BMW offers the best build quality. A premium feel is ensured with lots of textured materials and two large screens with crisp graphics and blink-fast responses.


Coupes can make it tricky to get into the back seats – after all, if you planned to use the back seats everyday you’d probably just buy a 3 Series – but the 4 Series isn’t too bad in this respect. You don’t have to contort yourself into odd shapes just to access the back seats, and most passengers who are fit and mobile should have no issues. Once you’re sat in the back, there’s just enough headroom for a six-foot adult and a good amount of legroom.

The Gran Coupe is a better bet if you’re going to be carrying rear passengers regularly, as it has rear doors for easier access. Headroom is about the same as the coupe, which is slightly less than the 3 Series but shouldn’t be a problem for average-height adults.

The 4 Series coupe and convertible come with a saloon-like bootlid, while the 4 Series Gran Coupe gets a more versatile hatchback tailgate. Neither will be the best choice for furniture haulage, but even the coupe offers a large boot opening that’ll swallow everything you might carry on a day-to-day basis – it’s a good shape for golf bags, umbrellas or pushchairs.

Engines and performance

Apart from the 330e plug-in hybrid, the 4 Series offers the same range of powerful engines as the 3 Series. Petrol engines are badged 420i and 430i, and are both 2.0-litre engines with 184hp and 242hp respectively. Diesel 420d and 430d engines are similarly powerful, and swap a smoother engine note for better fuel economy.

If performance is rather more of a concern than fuel economy, the 4 Series lineup has you well covered. There’s the 374hp M440i petrol and 340hp M440d diesel, as well as the range-topping M4 – with furious performance and the costs to match. But there’s also the fully electric BMW i4, based on the 4 Series Gran Coupe, with its own M Performance hot one.

In the 2024 facelift, the engine range in the standard 4 Series was slimmed down to just the 420i and M440i, with no diesels to be seen any more.

Driving and comfort

The 4 Series is far better to drive than the Audi A5 and Mercedes C-Class Coupe – it’s more engaging and handles much better than its contemporaries. Its steering is intuitive and direct, and it has a pleasingly sporty feel. Even the 420i offers muscular, easy acceleration, but the M440i and M4 offer exciting and rapid speed increases.

Drive a C-Class Coupe and a 4 Series back-to-back and you’ll find that the 4 Series is firmer – potholes will be more noticeable, and more bumps from the road will be transmitted into the cabin. But the damping is really impressive, and the 4 Series settles down really quickly after a jolt – it won’t boing up and down on its springs more than once. The overall effect is a tied down, joined up feel.

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