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BMW 4 Series interior, tech and practicality

Comfort and visibility

The interior of the BMW 4 Series is a soup bowl of modern and traditional – you’re treated with the large glossy screens and all the latest tech, but a lot of the controls are still managed by proper buttons and dials. So, while a Tesla or Mercedes might look more flashy, the BMW will be easier to use and to live with.

Quality is top notch, as you’d hope, and the whole interior feels like it’s built to last a long time.

The slim infotainment screen doesn’t get in the way of front visibility, and over-the-shoulder visibility is decent enough as well. The sleek rear windscreen and thick pillars slightly reduce your view out the back, but you’re not likely to load anything behind the seats so at least rear visibility will be pretty consistent. Front and rear parking sensors are fitted as standard to take the stress out of parking.

Standard equipment

Current-shape 4 Series models are only available in sharp-looking M Sport trim in the UK. Standard equipment includes cruise control, LED headlights, two-zone climate control, 18-inch alloy wheels, black exterior trim, heated front seats, ambient lighting and a leather steering wheel.

Extra equipment is bundled into option packs, including the Technology Pack – a head-up display and extra driver assistance – and the clunkily named M Sport Pro package, which gets a whole host of extras including a discreet boot spoiler, red-and-blue striped seatbelts and darkened trim. Other standalone options include a heated steering wheel, uprated seats and adaptive cruise control.

The fiery BMW M4 Competition shares much of the standard 4 Series’ interior, but with lots of extra sporty touches – things like bright red buttons on the steering wheel to quickly get you into the most aggressive driving modes. If you want, you can add snug bucket seats, ceramic brakes, garish upholstery options and even increase the top speed to 180mph.

Infotainment and audio

The 4 Series has this section well and truly ticked off. Every new-shape car gets a pair of large screens – 10.25 inches for the one you can touch and 12.3 inches for the one that sits behind the steering wheel. Both have super clean graphics and the reactions of a water boatman, but the sheer amount of information they can provide to you means they can sometimes look a little busy, with lots of different messages and symbols fighting for your attention.

Built-in sat nav comes as standard, as does DAB radio and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Slightly frustratingly, Android Auto has only recently been added, so many used cars won't have it. You can control it all by poking at the screen, or by using BMW’s familiar iDrive rotary controller, which makes it easy to adjust the menus and screens while you’re driving.

The 4 Series also comes with gesture control, with the theory being that you can swipe through menus in thin air, without touching the screen at all. In reality, this only really works when you don’t want it to, if you’re gesturing mid-conversation for example.

While we had no complaints with the standard audio system, you might want to upgrade to the Harman Kardon sound system if you want speakers with badges on them.

Rear seat space

Some coupes are tricky to get into the back seats, making it look like you’ve got all the grace of a reversing dump truck without any tyres on. But it’s not all that difficult to get into the 4 Series, as the door opening is a good size and the sills you have to clamber over aren’t huge. The seats slide forwards electrically and should remember where you had them before they moved.

Once in, adults up to six-foot tall should have enough headroom, but taller passengers might find they have to slouch a bit. Legroom is pretty decent and, overall, the 4 Series is a bit more practical for rear-seat occupants than its main rival, the Audi A5 coupe.

There are Isofix points on the back seat, but it’ll be fairly uncomfortable to get child seats in and out and you’ll need to lean far into the car to strap kids in. If you’re dead-set on a 4 Series and have kiddos to transport, get the Gran Coupe – its proper rear doors make access much easier.

Boot space

The 4 Series Coupe’s 440-litre boot is long and wide, and it’ll swallow a fair few bags or suitcases. For a saloon-style bootlid, the opening is a decent size, so only really bulky items will defeat the 4 Series. A powered bootlid is offered on the options list.

Again, with a more versatile hatchback boot, the Gran Coupe is a bit more practical than the two-door coupe – it has a marginally bigger boot and you can load to the roof if you need to, rather than just the parcel shelf.

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