BMW 4 Series (2013-present)

The BMW 4 Series is a stylish two-door coupe that's great to drive

Strengths & Weaknesses


Stylish looks
Involving to drive


Firm ride on some models
Well-equipped cars are expensive
Cheapest diesel engine is noisy

The BMW 4 Series is a stylish two-door coupe that competes with the likes of the Mercedes C-Class Coupe, Audi A5 and Lexus RC. It’s available with a range of petrol and diesel engines and trim levels, plus you can also get it as a convertible with retractable hard-top, or a more practical four-door hatchback called the GranCoupe. All engines and trim levels are available in all bodystyles.

From the outside, the 4 Series is a very attractive car. Whether you go for the entry-level SE or the sporty-looking M Sport, all models look sleek and sporty, including the more practical GranCoupe, which still has a sloping roofline and nice proportions. It’s a similar story inside, with the 4 Series sharing its interior with the popular 3 Series saloon. That means it’s all very high quality and made from expensive-feeling materials, plus there’s a wide range of colour choices for the leather seats and dashboard trim.

On the road, the 4 Series is very enjoyable to drive. All engines are powerful, but the diesels are especially impressive because they feel fast, while remaining economical at the same time - even the higher-powered models. On the motorway, the 4 Series is a very quiet and relaxed car to drive, but when you get to a country road, it feels sporty and agile, thanks to precise steering and firm suspension that keeps the car in check. It never feels uncomfortable, though, even on models with larger alloy wheels.

You can choose from four trim levels, range from SE to Sport, Luxury and M Sport. There’s also a performance-oriented M4, which is powered by a 424bhp engine, and feels incredibly fast and powerful. This is the most expensive model in the range, and is available only in the coupe or convertible. You can also get BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system across various models in the range, so if you regularly make journeys in slippery or wintry conditions, this’ll make the car very adept at dealing with these situations, and means you don’t necessarily have to buy a 4x4 if you want to drive to the Alps, for example.

The 4 Series is a safe and reliable car, too. Although it hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP for its crash safety, the 3 Series on which it’s based scored an impressive five-star rating, while the car also came in 19th place in the 2015 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey.

Last Updated 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - 16:45

Key facts 

Three years / unlimited miles
Boot size: 
445 litres
Tax (min to max): 
£20 to £265

Best BMW 4 Series for... 

BMW 418d SE
The 418d SE is not only the cheapest model to run in the 4 Series range, it’s also the cheapest diesel to buy in the first place. It should do up to 67mpg and, with CO2 emissions of 110g/km, your annual road tax bill will be just £20. It’s worth noting, though, that the more powerful 420d has the same fuel economy figures as the 418d, so if you want a bit more power then you don’t have to compromise on efficiency.
BMW 420d M Sport GranCoupe
The GranCoupe adds a dose of practicality to the 4 Series range with a pair of rear doors and a practical hatchback tailgate. There’s enough room for a family of four, but don’t go mistaking it for a load-lugging estate car. M Sport trim really suits the 4 Series’ style, with some stylish and sporty add-ons, so mum and dad can still feel youthful.
The M4 is seriously fast. Its 3.0-litre engine produces 424bhp and it’ll go from 0-62mph in just 4.1 seconds. It sounds pretty good too, plus you can add a Competition Pack, which adds a sports exhaust system and some unique trim extras.
BMW 420i xDrive SE
The BMW 4 Series is great to drive in all trim levels and engines and, while the 420i is a powerful engine, the xDrive four-wheel drive system isn’t really worth paying the extra unless you regularly drive on slippery surfaces. SE trim has enough equipment, but it doesn’t look as special as M Sport or Luxury trims, which suit the 4 Series shape much better.

BMW 4 Series History 

October 2013 The BMW 4 Series goes on sale in Britain
February 2014 More powerful 425d and 430d xDrive models added to the range
January 2016 Revisions to the engine range announced - 428i becomes the 430i, 435i becomes 440i. Both engines are more powerful and more efficient than the ones they replace

Understanding BMW 4 Series car names 

  • 4 Series
  • Engine
  • Trim level
    M Sport
  • Driven wheels
  • Engine
    Most 4 Series model names begin with a 4. The following two numbers show you how powerful the engine is: the bigger the number, the more powerful the engine. the only exception is the top-of-the-range M4.
  • Trim level
    Each trim level comes with different amounts of standard equipment. SE is the cheapest and least well-equipped, followed by Sport, Luxury and then the most-expensive gadget-filled M Sport.
  • Driven wheels
    Four-wheel drive versions of the 4 Series are badged xDrive.

BMW 4 Series Engines 

Petrol: 420i, 430i, 440i & M4 Diesel: 418d, 420d, 430d & 435d

The 4 Series range has quite a bewildering number of different engines to choose from, but that also means you’ve got plenty of choice as a buyer.

On the petrol side of things, the 420i kicks off the range. It’s powered by a 2.0-litre unit that produces 181bhp, so it’s still got plenty of punch for the entry-level engine. Move up to the 430i and you get 249bhp, also from a 2.0-litre engine, while the 440i is powered by a 3.0-litre engine and produces a hefty 322bhp. This engine is only available in M Sport trim. The fastest (and least efficient) petrol engine you can get is reserved for the M4. It’s a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre engine and produces 424bhp and will go from 0-62mph in just 4.1 seconds. This is also the most expensive model to buy and run, so be prepared for that if you’re interested.

The diesel range in the 4 Series line-up is particularly impressive. They are all powerful, yet they return impressive economy figures when you consider the performance on offer from some models. The 418d is the one to go for if you want the most efficient 4 Series, because it should return up to 67mpg. However, if you want a bit more power, the 420d has around 30bhp more than the 418d, but the same impressive economy figures.

Step up to the 430d and it should return up to 55mpg, but it’ll also go from 0-62mph in just 5.5 seconds, while the 435d has particularly impressive performance figures - 0-62mph in just 4.7 seconds, 309bhp and a top speed of 155mph, but it’ll still do 50mpg if you’re sensible. This model is only available with xDrive four-wheel drive, though.

Fuel economy


0 - 62mph

Top speed




7.3 secs





5.9 secs





5.2 secs





4.1 secs





8.6 secs





7.3 secs





5.5 secs





4.7 secs


BMW 4 Series Trims 

SE, Sport, Luxury & M Sport

The model range for the 4 Series is pretty simple to understand. SE is the entry-level model, but it still comes generously equipped with climate control, alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, DAB radio, leather trim and satellite navigation.

Sport models have larger 18-inch alloy wheels, ambient lighting, sports seats and some unique trim inside.

Luxury trim is the one to go for if you want a posh-looking 4 Series, as it boasts chrome detailing outside, different alloy wheels and more expensive feeling leather, while M Sport has a sporty-looking bodykit, unique M Sport trim inside and a sports steering wheel.

This model is particularly popular because of its enhanced look and larger alloy wheels. You can also add what BMW calls the M Sport Plus Pack to this car, which adds 19-inch alloy wheels, uprated brakes, a Harmon Kardon stereo and a few extra luxuries.

BMW 4 Series Reliability and warranty 

The 4 Series comes with a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, so you’re well covered if anything goes wrong. However, BMW has a good reputation for reliability, and this shows in the 4 Series’ performance in the 2015 Driver Power survey. It came in 19th place overall, with owners rating it particularly well for performance and road handling, ease of driving and ride quality in the sports car class. It came 34th overall for reliability, too, so potential buyers can take peace of mind from this.

Used BMW 4 Series 

The BMW 4 Series is a very attractive and desirable car, and this shows when it comes to depreciation. The 4 Series holds its value very well, with popular M Sport models commanding a premium over the rest of the range. This is the most popular model, though, so there are plenty to choose from on the second-hand market.

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BMW 420d M Sport GranCoupe






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