BMW M4 (2014-present)

Spacious, comfortable and wickedly fast, BMW’s M4 is proof you can have supercar-baiting performance in a relatively sensible package

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Brutally powerful
Adept at motorway cruising
Decent size boot and rear seats

Weaknesses 

A bit of a handful in the wet
Potentially uneconomical
No estate version
Best New Discount

BMW M4 Convertible m4 2dr dct [competition/ultimate non-carbon]

Total RRP £76,280

Your quote £61,130

You Save £15,150

BMW M4 prices from £33,280  Finance from £458 per month

BMW’s iconic M-badging needs very little introduction, seeing as it has long stood at the very pinnacle of motorsport engineering for the road. Only Audi’s revered RS badge and Mercedes’ potent AMG models can match the sheer performance offered by anything boasting the famous shiny blue and red insignia.

As a result, many will see the BMW M3 as the ultimate practical sports car and its latest M4-badged models - the coupe and convertible versions of the M3 saloon - are essentially an evolution of a vehicle that has been transporting four people and their luggage at great speeds since the 1980s.

Granted, the latest version might be lacking the sheer drama of a V8 engine underneath the bonnet but that’s not to say it is any less lunatic on the road. It still packs supercar-baiting performance, but now goes about its business in a more fuel efficient and cleaner manner.

Customers also get a luxuriously appointed interior, which comes festooned in leather and carbon touches, while BMW’s latest media system is up there with some of the best on the market.

Practicality is not quite as strong as its M3-badged sibling (that now confusingly boasts four doors), with boot space down 35-litres against its slightly larger brother.

Accessing the two individual rear seats is slightly more awkward in the two-door variant and anyone over six-feet tall will be bashing their head on the roof-liner, due to the sloping curves of the M4’s exterior silhouette.

Although perfectly practical to use everyday, those thinking of tackling the daily school run in their M-badged vehicle might want to look towards the four-door M3 and anyone considering the convertible version of the M4 will have to make do with even more cramped conditions in the back.

It also must be said that anyone used to the more pliant ride of standard 3 and 4 Series cars might find the M4 errs on the firm side. After all, this is a sports car at heart and has been tuned with all-out performance in mind.

But despite the M4’s ability to out-perform some of the fastest cars on the road, it is happy to tackle the longest road trips and deliver its driver to his or her intended destination feeling relatively refreshed and relaxed. A stripped-out Caterham this is not.

The ride is firm but due to the fact that it rides on clever active shock absorbers, it is possible to switch it out of the hairy-chested sports modes and into more comfortable settings. This also has the benefit of dialling down the engine note and relaxing the throttle input, making the business of threading it through traffic jams or congested city streets fairly simple.

The BMW M4 is also available in a convertible version, while more powerful and performance orientated CS and GTS models have previously been released to appease those who want the absolute best the company offers.

History has seen the M3 often compared to some of the best sports cars produced by German rivals Porsche - only eminently more practical - and this latest iteration proudly carries on the tradition.

Last Updated 

Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 14:30

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years
Boot: 
Up to 445 litres
Width: 
2,014mm
Length: 
4,671mm
Height: 
1,383mm
Tax: 
£1,805 in the first year, £145 thereafter

Best BMW M4 for... 

BMW M4 CS
More power and liberal use of carbon fibre for a reduced kerb weight make this the model to own if all-out performance is top of the shopping list.
BMW M4 Coupe
Although not quite as practical as the more spacious M3 Saloon, the regular M4 Coupe still offers a decent boot and two rear seats.

BMW M4 History 

2013 BMW revealed that it would separate its Coupe and Saloon models with the introduction of M3 and M4 badges. It would also ditch its potent V8 for a new 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine.
2015 A Competition Package is released for earlier models that increased power and improved handling with suspension revisions.
2016 A limited edition M4 GTS is unveiled and sees power from the twin-turbocharged engine rise to a heady 500hp. It sells out and quickly becomes a modern classic.
2017 BMW unveils an M4 CS that aims to appeal to those who missed out on the fiery GTS. Power figures are not quite as eye-watering (460hp) but it offers more light weight materials and track-focussed technology than the Competition Pack.

Understanding BMW M4 car names 

  • M4
  • Trim
    Competition
  • Engine
    3.0
  • Gearbox
    DCT
  • Trim
    There aren’t really trim levels as such, but customers can choose to option a Competition Package across the M4 range, which adds aggressive styling extras and additional power from the engine.
  • Engine
    Just one petrol engine is currently offered and that’s the latest 3.0-litre, twin-turbocharged straight-six. Power outputs rise from 431hp to 450hp in Competition Pack models.
  • Gearbox
    Most M4 cars will come fitted with the marque’s excellent seven-speed DCT twin-clutch automatic gearbox. However, it is also available with a six-speed manual transmission.

BMW M4 Engines 

3.0-litre

True BMW M-division fans were up in arms when the German marque decided to ditch its non-turbocharged V8 engine and replace it with a smaller capacity turbocharged unit.

Simply put, the buttery smooth power delivery and dramatic soundtrack will never be the same again but on the upside, customers of the new M4 could still enjoy the monstrous performance on tap without the crippling fuel and tax bills associated with such a polluting and thirsty powerplant.

With a punchy 431hp on tap, the standard M4 remains a vehicle that leaves many sports car owners doubting their purchase and although the soundtrack is now assisted with some trick synthetic acoustics, it still sounds exceptional from inside the cabin when the mood takes, yet settles down into a hushed hum on those dreary motorway hacks.

All models come with Launch Control as standard, which allows drivers to keep a foot on the brake, floor the throttle and then lift the anchors for a seriously ferocious blast away from the line. In automatic transmission models, expect the 0-62mph sprint to be dispatched in just 4.1 seconds.

Opt for the M4 CS and the liberal use of lightweight carbon fibre, as well as slightly more power from the engine, sees that 0-62mph sprint time reduced to an astonishing 3.9 seconds. To put that into perspective, the Ferrari 458 (that costs twice the price) tackles the same run just 0.5 seconds faster.

Competition Pack models (regarded as the top trim spec) also come as standard with a special sports exhaust system, which adds lots of pops, crackles and bangs when the car is flicked into its sportiest driving modes. Of course, much of these theatrics are dramatised, rather than being natural sounds, but it does add a little extra ‘shock and awe’ to any drive.

Purists can also opt for a six-speed manual transmission but the seven-speed twin clutch DCT is so smooth and easy to live with, it would take a real track day enthusiast to pass it up.

In everyday traffic situations, it proves silky and effortless, but flick the car into its manual mode, pull on the paddles located behind the steering wheel and it cycles through the cogs like an F1 car.

 

Fuel

Mpg

Hp

0 - 62mph

Top speed

3.0-litre petrol manual

Petrol

27.7mpg

431hp

4.3s

155mph

3.0-litre petrol DCT

Petrol

28.5mpg

431hp

4.1s

155mph

3.0-litre petrol Competition Pack

Petrol

27.7mpg

450hp

4.0s

155mph

3.0-litre petrol CS

Petrol

27mpg

460hp

3.9s

170mph

BMW M4 Trims 

Coupe, Convertible, Competition Pack

There are no real trim levels to choose from, merely a choice between the Coupe or Convertible body styles and the option to part with extra money for the Competition Package.

However, a lack of trim levels shouldn’t worry buyers, as specification is generous across the range. As you would expect for a £60,000 car, BMW throws plenty of technology at the M4, no matter its body style.

The latest cameras and ultrasonic sensors take care of parking, including optional highly automated Park Assist functionality, while adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings and the full gamut of driver assist and safety functions come part and parcel.

All cars receive the 8.8-inch BMW Professional Navigation system and the gorgeous M Sport multi-function steering wheel its also incorporated into the design. This boasts buttons on the wheel that allows the driver to quickly flick between preset driving modes.

LED lighting, M Sport badging, electric seats and Anthracite cloth fabrics are used throughout the range.

Of course, customers can specify plenty of options to make their M4 as individual as they are, with a head-up display, Apple CarPlay, Surround View parking cameras and premium Harman/Kardon sound systems all tempting buyers away from their hard earned cash.

On top of this, there’s the option to add a Competition Pack. Many believe the additional kit, which adds larger alloy wheels, adaptive M suspension, an Active M differential, lightweight sports seats and liberates additional power from the engine, addresses some of the quibbles customers have with the base model cars - particularly those who like to extract every ounce of performance from the vehicle.

The slight spike in power does very little to the overall 0-62mph sprint time, but the welcome addition of revised suspension, body-hugging sports seats and liberal sprinkling of M-sport touches throughout the cabin add a greater sense of specialness.

There is also the upgraded exhaust, which gives the car more character, while the tweaked dynamic stability control system and active differential allow for more precise control of the car at the very limit.

The Convertible, which is also available with this Competition Pack, is offered with all of the same mod cons but also throws in a storable wind deflector that reduces buffeting when the roof is folded away.

BMW M4 Reliability and warranty 

All M4s are covered by BMW’s standard three-year, unlimited mileage warranty and the vehicle itself shares many of its underpinnings with the base model 3 and 4 Series vehicles, so there should be few worries about the reliability of these tried and tested parts.

That said, BMW has consistently ranked at the lower end of the spectrum in the Auto Express Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, but it is a similar story with many of its rival German manufacturers.

This is likely down to the cost of parts and servicing, which are even more expensive when talking about a high performance machine like the M4.

Used BMW M4 

There are currently 43 BMW M4s available on BuyaCar, with prices ranging from £33,280 to £68,590 for nearly-new models.

Monthly finance payments start from £458 per month.

Thanks to the M4 celebrating its fifth birthday in 2019, it is possible to find used examples on the secondhand market flaunting very tempting price tags.

Granted, these models will show fairly high mileage on the clock (expect around 50k miles on the cheapest models) but a quick search on the BuyaCar website revealed savings of up to 50 per cent over brand new cars.

Bear in mind these earlier models will lack some of the technological advances found in 2019 vehicles, but £30,000 for more than 430hp seems like a cracking deal to us.