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Car Review: New BMW 4 Series

“Four is more”

A new coupe, gran coupe and convertible are the latest editions to BMW’s 4 series range and after a total of nearly 400 000 sales worldwide since the launch of the first 4 Series, BMW’s slogan “Four is More” is the focus for the new 4 Series line up.

Yesterday, (6 July 2017) I attended the launch of the new BMW 4 Series in Mpumalanga and had the pleasure of testing two of the new engine derivatives for a whopping 500 kms. While the new convertible and gran coupe were available to test I stuck to the new coupe, (the 420i and 420d.)

What’s new?

BMW claims that “Dynamic driving” is the way of the new 4 Series family, and that its new range will write the next chapter in this success story with sharper styling and revised suspension.

On the outside, the new coupe isn’t noticeably different until closer inspection. That is of course barring the fact that two brand new colours are now available (Snapper Rocks Blue and Sunset Orange), and I have to say, these new colours are seriously striking! Apart from the new colours, restyled LED headlights take the place of the outgoing cars’ xenon units. Worth noting is that all models in the range are equipped with LED front foglamps as standard. The coupe’s track is slightly wider (+14 mm) and makes for better road handling and stability.¬†18 inch alloy wheels are also exclusive to the new 4 Series range.

Inside, a few new interior colour choices are available while everything feels nicely made, soft to touch and oh so BMW! One big change inside is the infotainment system. The interface now features a large tiled menu (much easier to use) while control pads can be arranged according to your preferences. Apple CarPlay is available as an option but as standard is BMW’s popular iDrive system.

There’s something about sitting inside a BMW that always makes me feel at home and the new 4 Series is no different. It doesn’t take much to feel comfortable when seated, whether you’re sitting behind the wheel, on the passenger seat or at the back. It’s roomy and offers enough comfort to enjoy a 500 km drive! What I loved about the new coupe model was the amount of legroom and overall space I had upfront and while I had a bit of a break from driving I managed to enjoy a 30 minute power-nap on the passenger seat (I can never usually sleep in cars).

Big door bins and a decent sized glove-box provide more than enough storage space. Speaking of storage space, the 4 Series Coupe’s boot is surprisingly large and even more so when the rear seats are folded down flat.

Four is More

The petrol engines are smooth even in the 420i, which is what I drove first. The diesel variant sounded a bit noisy and strained when accelerating but offered a good amount of punch when needed, especially when overtaking those slow-moving trucks.

All of the petrol engines and the four-cylinder diesel unit in the new 4 Series range stem from the latest BMW EfficientDynamics family of engines and are equipped with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. Three petrol engines are available: 420i, 430i and 440i, and one diesel option: 420d (the 4 Series Convertible is only offered in the petrol engine derivatives).

Power from the petrol units range from 135 kW in the 420i up to 240 kW in the 440i (fuel consumption combined: 7.5 – 5.5 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 154 – 127 g/km). The diesel units are at 140 kW (fuel consumption combined 4.0 – 4.2 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 111 – 106 g/km).

Improved suspension 

BMW’s made some changes to steering and suspension. The Coupe as well as the Gran Coupe now offer stiffer suspension to give the driver an even more sportier handling without compromising on ride comfort.

“Both the lateral and longitudinal dynamics have been improved, regardless of the load on board,” says BMW. “This applies not only to the standard suspension, but also to the M Sport suspension and the Adaptive suspension.”

BMW adds that all new 4 Series models now boast even more assured straight-line stability and more communicative steering.

Pricing

The new BMW 4 Series range is impressive but it’s got its work cut out for it when it comes to competitors like the new Audi A5 and Mercedes C-Class.

Once you hit the road the new 4 Series feels like a sports car (and looks like one) but still maintains its practicality, so if you’re big on driver experience then the 4 Series will impress you, especially on long road trips or drives through mountain passes!

Pricing is as follows:

Convertible 

BMW 420i: R715, 400 (M) / R736, 200 (A)

BMW 430i: R827, 600 (M) / R848, 400 (A)

BMW 440i: R986, 100 (A)

Gran Coupe

BMW 420i: R603, 200 (M) / R624, 400 (A)

BMW 420d: R639, 300 (M) / R660, 100 (A)

BMW 430i: R690, 300 (M) / R711, 100 (A)

BMW 440i: R861, 100 (A)

Coupe

BMW 420i: R603, 200 (M) / R624,400 (A)

BMW 420d: R639, 300 (M) / R660, 100 (A)

BMW 430i: R690, 300 (M) / R711, 100 (A)

BMW 440i: R861, 100 (A)

Source: BMW South Africa

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