BMW 4 Series variants
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BMW 4 Series 430d review: prettier than the new one – but is it better?

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Finance representative example (PCP)

Total cash price £31,599. Borrowing £25,279 with a £6,320 deposit at a representative APR of 9.9%.

49 monthly payments
£356.67
Fixed interest rate
9.9%
Total amount payable
£39,726.26
Cost of credit
£8,127.26
Optional final payment
£16,286.00
Annual mileage limit
6000 miles

BMW 4 Series buying guide

The BMW 4 Series continues the brand’s mantra that even numbers are more exciting than odd numbers. You get all the usual perks of BMW ownership – grippy, agile handling, powerful engines, premium build quality – but in a handsome, swoopy package. You don’t even have to compromise that much on practicality thanks to the spacious five-door Gran Coupe option. You can buy 4 Series models with a variety of different engine and trim options. Read on to learn more about each to help you pick the right version for you.

What BMW 4 Series trim levels are there?

You’ll find a choice of just two trim levels for the BMW 4 Series – Sport and M Sport. 2021 and newer versions are only offered in M Sport trim.

Sport trim, which is only available on 2020 and older 4 Series models, comes with lots of standard equipment. Details include two-zone climate control, an infotainment system with sat nav and Bluetooth integration, LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, and heated front seats.

Μ Sport is the sportier trim option. On 2020 and older 4 Series, M Sport adds more attractive alloy wheels, a meaner-looking body kit, dark detailing on the bodywork, and sports suspension on two-wheel drive versions. All 2021 and newer 4 Series cars come in M Sport trim with standard specification including three-zone climate control, sports suspension, front and rear parking sensors, digital dials and an infotainment system that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

BMW 4 Series interior and technology

BMW has a great reputation for building premium cars and it lives up to that with the 4 Series. The dashboard layout of both current and previous-generation 4 Series models is very similar, with a cockpit-like feel, emphasised by a centre panel that’s subtly tilted towards the driver. Newer models have tidied up the dashboard styling, with fewer buttons and more space devoted to the infotainment system.

BMW’s infotainment system remains one of the very best on the market, with a straightforward interface and offers the ability to use either the touchscreen or a rotary control to navigate its menus. The only real drawback is the lack of standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on 2020 and older cars, although it was offered as an optional extra so some cars will have it.

Practicality in the 4 Series, despite its coupe billing, is quite good. There are only four seats in Coupe and Convertible versions and, while rear passengers don’t have loads of legroom, they’re well served for elbow room. Of course, the five-door, five-seater Gran Coupe is a much better choice if you regularly carry rear seat passengers. Boot space is respectable across all versions, with all easily able to handle a week’s worth of holiday luggage.

Read more: New vs old BMW 4 Series – which should you buy?

BMW 4 Series engine range explained

BMW 4 Series 420i

Entry-level 4 Series models are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. This makes 184hp in both current and previous-generation cars, which is enough for a decent 0-62mph time of around 7.5 seconds.

BMW 4 Series 430i

If you’re after a little more of a thrill, step up to the 430i. Both current and previous-gen 430i models use the same 2.0-litre engine as the 420i, but turn the wick up to more than 250hp. This drops the 0-62mph sprint down to less than six seconds, comfortably into hot hatch territory.

BMW 4 Series 420d

Diesel engines have always been popular in BMW cars and the 4 Series is no exception. BMW offers the same 2.0-litre diesel across both current and previous-gen 4 Series models, with the 190hp unit offering a great blend of economy and performance.

BMW 4 Series 430d

430d models sit in something of a ‘Goldilocks’ zone, with the long-legged efficiency buyers look for in a diesel, combined with the meaty performance of BMW’s strong six-cylinder engines. This engine is available in both previous and current gen 4 Series models, and can hit 62mph from rest in less than six seconds, while returning more than 50mpg.

BMW 4 Series 435d

The 435d is only offered on 2020 and older 4 Series models. This takes the existing 3.0-litre turbodiesel from the 430d and turns it up to 11. With more than 300hp on tap, this version completes the 0-62mph sprint in less than five seconds, putting it in a similar ballpark to Ferraris of the 1990s.

BMW 4 Series M440i/440i

Just one step away from the full-fat M4 sits the M440i, which was called the 440i for 2020 and older versions. These models get BMW’s legendary turbocharged six-cylinder petrol engines, which make a simply enormous amount of power – 326hp for 2020 and older models and 374hp for 2021 and newer variants. Acceleration from 0-62mph falls to around 4.5 seconds, pitting it against some of the fastest cars from just a few decades ago.

BMW M4

The hottest 4 Series you can buy is the mighty M4. 2020 and older M4s make anywhere between 430 and 460hp giving them astonishing acceleration. The current generation has gone even crazier, with top models delivering 503hp to the road surface, allowing it to hit 62mph from rest in just 3.7 seconds, making it just as fast as many genuine supercars.

BMW 4 Series FAQs

4 Series models come in three different varieties. The lineup starts with the two-door, four-seat Coupe model or, for sunny days, you can get the two-door, four-seat Convertible. There’s also the slightly elongated 4 Series Gran Coupe, which is a five-door, five-seat part-saloon-part-coupe that offers a little more passenger space.

If you’re shopping for nearly new 4 Series models you’re likely to come across both current and previous-generation 4 Series models. The previous model was introduced in 2013 and sold until the end of 2020, while the current version arrived in the UK in early 2021. Inevitably, the newer version will feel more up to date, but pre-2021 cars still come loaded with technology and represent great value for money. Both old and new 4 Series cars look quite similar but can be told apart by small details such as the new model’s enlarged front grilles that stretch below the number plate, or the old model’s headlights, which subtly join the edges of the grille frame.

The 4 Series is an elegant coupe with the dimensions to match. 2021 and newer Coupe and Convertible models are nearly 4.8 metres long, making them longer than a 3 Series saloon (4.7 metres) and not far off a 5 Series (4.9 metres). Gran Coupe models gain an extra 15mm in length compared to the two-door versions. 2020 and older 4 Series models are all a touch over 4.6 metres long.

The sizeable dimensions translate to a spacious cabin, especially in Gran Coupe models, where there’s enough room for five adults to squeeze in for shorter journeys. However, the coupe-like roofline does mean rear-seat passengers get a little less headroom than in a 3 Series. Boot space is decent for most models (convertible versions of the 4 Series are a bit lacking in this department), with enough room for two large suitcases, or much more if you fold the rear seats.

BMW likes to call its cars the ultimate driving machines, so it’s a good thing that most nearly new versions of the 4 Series turn up to battle with a fair bit of firepower under the bonnet. The vast majority of cars come with smooth eight-speed automatic gearboxes, but a handful of 2020 and older models come with the six-speed manual alternative.

Entry-level 420i petrol and 420d diesel models are far from underpowered, but the 430 versions of both are a better bet if you want your BMW to feel as fast as it looks. Beyond those lie the 435d and M440i which are much more serious performance cars, or the full-fat BMW M4 if you want a proper thrill on a track day.

Maintenance costs are usually higher for premium and upmarket manufacturers. BMW fits into this category so you should budget a little more money to keep your 4 Series running smoothly than you might for a car from a more affordable brand.

Diesel-powered 4 Series models come with a diesel particulate filter (DPF). This can clog up if you don't take the car on the occasional long drive, which usually means an expensive cleaning job, or an even more costly replacement. Make sure your driving needs suit a diesel car before buying one.

BMW has improved its performance in recent reliability surveys, mostly outscoring direct rivals from Audi and Mercedes. Parts and engines in the 4 Series are widely used in other BMW cars, so shouldn't be too hard to replace if anything fails.