2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe Review

A Coupe With More

If you’re one to avoid the mainstream trends, you likely find the BMW 3 Series a bit too commonplace. Fortunately, BMW is offering the new 4 Series Gran Coupe, a four-door, hatchback version of the 4 Series coupe based on a 3 Series sedan.

A very unique vehicle that combines the best of the 4 Series Coupe and 3 Series Sedan, the truth is that no matter it’s body style, name and platform, it’s a nice alternative to new car buyers that are looking for something different.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe is a touch wider and longer than the 3 Series, but more than an inch lower. That stance along with the frameless doors gives the 4 Series a subtle, yet sportier and unique appearance when compared to the 3. I like the athletic look, which is accentuated by the optional 19-inch wheels outfitted to our car. The 4 Series comes standard with 17-inch wheels, while opting for any of the “line” trims trades those out for 18-inch alloys. Further enhancing the look are the gills that are found on the body of the car just behind the front wheel wells.

That sportier exterior hints at the 4 Series power under the hood. The 3.0-liter turbocharged straight six-cylinder engine that sits under the hood of this 435i model. Making 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, this engine is now a staple of the BMW lineup, offered on just about every model the brand sells. Also offered is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which makes 240-hp and 255 lb-ft of torque. No matter the engine, the four-door coupe comes standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission, while a six-speed manual is offered on the rear-wheel drive four-cylinder models in Canada. All-wheel drive equipped models like our tester are only available with an automatic transmission.

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The bigger engine is full of grunt and helps the all-wheel drive four-door 4 series sprint to 60 MPH in less than six seconds.  A 435i without all-wheel drive would manage this dash in less than five. The accompanying eight-speed automatic transmission helps deliver that speed with quick shifts when pushed hard or docile highway cruising, reminding you that this still is a luxury car. As mentioned, our tester also featured BMW’s rear-biased xDrive all-wheel drive system that eliminates any doubt in your mind about the capability of the car. It is quick and has excellent grip, even in snowy conditions, but all isn’t perfect when it comes to the dynamics of the car.

2015-BMW-4-Series-GC-Review-wp-3The suspension sits on the sporty end of the spectrum, which is to say it can be a bit stiff at times. Equipped with the Adaptive M Suspension, as our tester was, the car doesn’t get softer. Instead, it can be tightened up to offer an even sportier feel on the road. Put the car into its sport or sport plus mode and there’s a distinct difference as the electronically controlled shock absorbers start to adjust the dampers to current conditions of the road. The steering too, adjusts depending on the drive mode, offering a heavier feel when pushed into the more athletic settings.

Put the car into the comfort or “eco pro” mode and the throttle response is dulled while the steering gets loose and effortless. One thing I kept hoping for was a little bit more feedback through the steering wheel. While the steering weight is ideal, I would like more communication from the wheels about what is happening on the road.

Interior Style

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While the 4 Series Gran Coupe clearly exudes character through its driving dynamics, the interior and body style contrast it nicely. Although the seats give you a sporty first impression, the rest of the cabin feels modern and mature. The front seats are power adjustable eight ways and also feature power lumbar and bolster adjustment to suit your driving needs and body style.

The cabin is full of tactile, clearly labeled buttons that feel great to the touch. Furthermore, there’s little to complain about with BMW’s iDrive infotainment system, which now gets a touchpad for handwriting support and easier map navigation. During the especially cold winter, the cold-weather package was well worth the $950 for heated seats (for back seat passengers too) and a heated steering wheel.

2015-BMW-4-Series-GC-Review-wp-5The Gran Coupe moniker on this car means that the 4 Series (which was first sold as a coupe) gets a pair of extra doors and a liftback. In terms of interior space, the rear seat accommodations are acceptable, although if you regularly have passengers in the back, you may want to opt for the regular 3 Series, which gives about an inch and a half more legroom and half an inch more headroom. While that may not sound like much, adult passengers will definitely complain about their heads touching the liner.

With 17 cubic feet of storage, the trunk space is on par with the 3 series sedan, meaning that it can swallow up large loads of groceries with ease. For bigger items, the rear seats fold down to offer 45 cubic feet of space. For extra convenience, the car features a 40/20/40 split rear seat.

Pricing

The price of entry for a 4 Series Gran Coupe stands at $41,250 including destination. That price gets you a rear-wheel drive 428i. At $48,750 after destination, the 435i xDrive costs just $2,050 more than a base 335i xDrive. Our well-equipped model would cost you $62,325.

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The Verdict:

At first glance, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is a confusing product. But after a week of driving, its clear that it’s another well crafted vehicle from the BMW lineup. It’s sexy, practical and fun to drive while offering loads of equipment. If you’re not interested in the entry-level looks and mainstream appeal of the 3 Series, the 4 Series Gran Coupe will fit the bill.

  • Justin Fuller

    In the US you can not get a manual transmission on the 4-Series Gran Coupe

  • Sami Haj-Assaad

    Right you are. The manual is offered to Canadian customers.