Test Drive: BMW 4-Series

BMW 4-SeriesWhen it made its debut for the 2014 model year, the 4-Series was a sort of new vehicle. Meaning, it replaced the much-loved 3-Series coupe in the lineup, affording BMW the opportunity to shake things up and give their coupe offering little more style and pizzazz than the 3-Series sedan. Not to mention, a bit of a price bump over the previous years’ coupe.

We’re not saying that the 4-Series has an identity crisis, but it does look suspiciously similar to the model it replaces. Which is not a knock on its looks by any means. However, there are some minor cosmetic facelifts to enhance this fifth-generation coupe, including slimmer headlamps, rounder taillamps and other details. It is low and lean, with a wide stance. The elongated hood and side character lines give it a more sleek and aggressive look than the model it replaces.

BMW’s self-reference of “The Ultimate Driving Machine” fits with the 4-Series, which is imbued with technology that simplifies everything from parking to staying firmly planted in your lane, to handling at high speeds or adjusting the cabin functions such as audio and climate control. However, some might quibble at attaching the word “simplify” to the iDrive user interface.

BMW 4-SeriesAs is the tradition at BMW, there are several iterations of the 4-Series to be had: coupe, Gran Coupe (with four doors), and convertible, all with several more engine and trim options added to the mix. It’s all a matter of preference in terms of engine power, amenities, and style items.

Our test model, the 435i Coupe, came equipped with a 300-horsepower six-cylinder engine; a 240-horsepower turbocharged four cylinder is standard on 428i models. The nomenclature and horsepower will change slightly for 2017.

Whatever your choice, the 4-Series is one of the best driving cars to be had. Power is immediate, and the automatic transmission thrums seamlessly through the gears. The Dynamic Handling Package earns its $1000 price tag by making the already precise steering near perfect, and keeping the 435i firmly planted during aggressive cornering. If you love to drive for the thrill of it, the 4-Series will not disappoint. Like the perfect date, it has good looks, poise, and manners, but is also one helluva good time.

Base pricing for the 4-Series ranges from $41,850 to $50,150. With options, our coupe topped out at $55,325.

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