May 13, 2022
| author: Richard Bush
The 4 Series Gran Coupe aims to combine saloon luxury, coupe design and performance. But do you pull it off?
The coupe is not as one-dimensional as it used to be. While the c-word usually signifies low efficiency, practicality, and overall family-friendliness, there are tons of cars nowadays meant to bridge the gap. The collection of Coupe’s most livable creations includes the Mercedes CLA, Audi A5 Sportback and, in fact, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.
The 4 Series Gran Coupe—not to be confused with the three-door coupe—is essentially a halfway house between a saloon and traditional coupe, with a sporty exterior and high-performance petrol options, as well as a five-door and hatchback box.
There’s no denying the Gran Coupes blend of DNA in the cabin, where you sit low to the floor, with a tech-laden instrument panel wrapped around you. The overall cabin quality is excellent as well, with a soft touch to everything and just a slight whiff of the cheaper plastic underneath. The dashboard remains free of button clutter, too – although BMW has insisted on keeping the radio station’s shortcut controls for an unknown reason.
The main attraction is the 10.3-inch infotainment system, which can be controlled smoothly via the center console’s turntable, although it can be used as a touchscreen as well. When combined with simple system menu layouts and a fully digital instrument cluster behind the wheel, the Gran Coupe has one of the most intuitive and practical in-car technical settings.
Although you will have to slow your head down a bit and graze your rear butt onto the wheel arch when going up to the butt, leg and headroom is plenty when you’re actually sitting down. Overall comfort drops slightly for the average passenger, but two will travel in amazing comfort, with individual air conditioning controls and conveniently placed USB chargers adding to its chauffeur character.
The trunk is arguably where the 4 Series Gran Coupe showcases its duality most. You won’t find any compromising hinged boot design – instead you’ll get a full hatchback-style hatch that makes loading larger items so much easier. The box-load bed and 470 liters of storage space make the Gran Coupe very practical, as are the fold-flat rear seats. And while you don’t get quick release levers for the rear seats and have to deal with a small loading lip, the practicality on offer is downright baffling given the 4 Series’ plush exterior.
The 420i 2.0-liter petrol engine we drove is the base variant in the range, with 184 horsepower and a 0-62 mph sprint speed of 7.9 seconds. Even when you’re driving hard, you don’t need to perform with this gasoline. And when paired with the eight-speed automatic gearbox – no manual – shifting up and down gears is smooth and efficient. For those who need more performance, the 245hp 430i and 374hp M440i have you covered. There’s even a 190 horsepower and 420 diesel engine if you fancy it. So, do you drive like a coupe or saloon? Well, both. With variable steering and adaptive suspension, you can set up the 4 Series however you like, with Sport mode providing heavier steering and a stiffer, more stable ride – and a Comfort mode that easily eliminates imperfections on the road. You can also set your own custom modes, tweaking things like steering, suspension, brakes and adjusting the throttle accordingly.
The overall feel across the wheel is impressive, inspiring a strong relationship between the driver and the front wheels. Variable steering, which reduces the input required from the driver to complete things like maneuvers and turns, makes the bulk of the Gran Coupe more manageable. And while its size may take a bit of getting used to, the Gran Coupe is incredibly nimble and feels as at home on twisty roads as it does when cruising in a straight line.
BMW 420i M Sport Pro Edition Gran Coupé
Residual value: 42.4%
fuel: 7,301 GBP
Service, maintenance and repair: 3134 GBP
Cost per mile: 61.78 p
oil consumption: 56.5 mpg
Carbon dioxide (BIK%): 130 g/km (31%)
20% / 40% per month: £239 / £478
Luggage capacity: 470 liters
Engine Size/Power: 1,998 cc / 184 hp