You might recall last year when I drove the BMW 3 Series for what felt like 500 hours around the Western Cape? I thought I would hate it for life. You see, I am not a big road trip fan, despite what I do for a living. Then I was given the 3 Series for a week a couple of months later and fell in love with it. Fast forward to 2020 and off I headed to the launch of the new BMW 4 Series Coupé. I was apprehensive. Not about the car, but about the epic drive that might await me. I am so thrilled to say that not only did I love the car, but the drive was lovely too. (Apparently I am not a professional motoring journalist and should really appreciate the hours it takes to test drive a car to the max. *insert eye roll).
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
I am just going to kick this off with what everyone seems to be obsessed with (in a good or a bad way) and that is the grille. Does anyone get this vibe?
I can’t explain it, but that is kind of what I see. Anyway, it doesn’t bother me as much as what it bothers others, but I do feel the designers could have done something slightly more elegant with it. The rest of the car, however, makes up for it. It is rather stunning. And just to note, in the metal, the grille isn’t as ‘gapey’ as it looks in pics.
Sharing the same platform with the 3 Series, it does offer up a more sporty suspension setup. Which is the whole point isn’t it? Otherwise why not just get a sensible 3 Series? Because…the 4 Series is not meant to be a sensible buy. It is a passionate one. One that pulls at your heart strings. But it isn’t impractical. It is spacious and the boot offers 440-litres, which is pretty generous. I do love a car that can offer it all.
WHICH MODEL IS FOR YOU?
You’ve got a choice between two turbopetrol engines and one turbodiesel engine. Kicking off the range is the 420i with its 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing 135 kW and 300 Nm. Then comes the 420d with its 2.0-litre four-cylinder forced-induction diesel unit which produces 140 kW and 400 Nm. And then…gearing us up for the M4…is the M440i xDrive which boasts a 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine pushing out 275 kW and a whopping 500 Nm. It will get you to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds. And it is, of course, a flipping blast to drive. But the 420d is the model I spent the most time in on the launch and I was more than satisfied. Look, I am always the one who is going to go for the more comfortable of the models. I hate low-profile tyres and firm suspension. A standard 420d would do the trick for me, any day.
Most BMW models leave me a little bit underwhelmed, especially when it comes to the cabin. The new 4 Series is no different, but, I still find it a very luxurious place to be. And there is plenty of storage for things such as water bottles, keys and phones…all the important things you see. But here, you have a look at the cabin:
It looks pretty stunning, right? I just don’t know what it is that leaves me feeling a bit blasé about it. But look, this kind of thing is very subjective and as a very professional, very objective motoring journalist, I shall keep all my thoughts to myself and not reveal how I really feel. Haha, ya sure! Ag each to their own hey?!
WHAT WILL THE BMW 4 SERIES COST YOU?
BMW 420i: R755 400
BMW 420d: R802 900
BMW M440i: R1 117 450