BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe Review
Sporty coupe styling and family car practicality are perfectly blended together in the sleek BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe
Strengths & weaknesses
If the long, low shape of a sporty coupe appeals to you, but you need a practical family car, then the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe should be just the ticket. It’s closely related to the two-door 4 Series Coupe and the regular BMW 3 Series Saloon, but with its swoopy styling and low, wide stance you won’t mistake it for a 3 Series, while the extra doors and hatchback boot clearly differentiate it from the two-door 4 Series.
And despite the fact that the looks will definitely split opinion - especially that in-your-face front grille - it definitely stands out from the crowd. There’s also actually plenty of room in the back - despite those sleek looks the 4 Series Gran Coupe is actually taller than the 3 Series saloon, so there’s no issue with headroom (or legroom for that matter). It’s a rival for the similarly configured Audi A5 Sportback - but there’s not much else out there that takes the coupe vibe and adds rear doors and a hatchback.
The choice of engines isn’t quite as broad as you’ll find in the 3 Series, but the ones that are available are excellent. There are two 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engines (the 184hp 420i and the 245hp 430i), plus the high-performance 374hp M440i, which has a 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine. As for diesel options, these include the 190hp 420d 2.0-litre, the 286hp 430d and the 340hp M440d xDrive. Most feature mild hybrid technology to help boost performance and efficiency, too.
A smooth and quick-shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox is standard on all 4 Series Gran Coupes, and most versions are available with four-wheel-drive, which BMW calls ‘xDrive’. Some models - the M440i and M440d - are only available with four-wheel-drive.
Like the 4 Series Coupe, the Gran Coupe’s suspension is lower and stiffer than in the 3 Series. This means you get a more sporty driving experience - and the 3 Series is already a fun car to drive in the first place. At the high-performance end of the range, the M440i xDrive is very enjoyable to drive.
In comparison, the similar Audi S5 Sportback feels quite cumbersome. In part, this is down to the BMW’s adaptive suspension, which lets you flick between sporty handling setups and more comfort-focused ones.
The interior of the 4 Series Gran Coupe is excellent. Upfront, it’s virtually identical to the 3 Series, which means there’s an intuitive layout to the buttons, screens and switches, while the large central touchscreen media system - which is tilted slightly towards the driver - is large and clear.
There’s also a digital driver’s display instead of a traditional speedometer and rev counter, plus BMW’s impressive 'iDrive' rotary controller setup, which allows you to adjust most of the car’s systems without having to use the touchscreen and means the time you need to take your eyes away from the road is reduced when you’re doing so on the move.
You feel a bit lower to the ground than you would in a regular 3 Series, which helps the car feel more sporty than its key rival, the Audi A5 Sportback, and all models are available only in one high-spec trim: M Sport. This includes 18-inch alloy wheels, three-zone climate control, Bluetooth and Apple Carplay/Android Auto connectivity. There’s also the M Sport Pro Edition, which adds larger 19-inch alloy wheels, sportier styling add-ons and the previously mentioned adaptive suspension.
The real trump card of the Gran Coupe, though, is its versatility. The rear doors mean that access to the spacious rear seats is easy, while the hatchback tailgate makes the boot much more versatile - and indeed the boot itself is only 10 litres smaller than you’ll get in a 3 Series Saloon, which lacks the practicality of a hatchback.
Should I get a BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe?
✔ Good fun to drive
✔ Economical yet powerful engines
✔ Great interior
✘ You can’t get a plug-in hybrid
✘ High spec means no entry-level bargains
✘ Front end styling won't be to all tastes
In general, coupes primarily only need to look good and to be fun to drive. In the case of the 4 Series Gran Coupe, it puts two big ticks in those checkboxes - provided you don't find the controversial grille too offensive - plus you can add genuine family-car practicality to that list.
Provided you feel that the car’s looks are dramatic rather than ugly, then the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s mix of fuel-efficient engines, boot space and seating for the whole family is seriously compelling.
- Trim levels
- Best 4 Series GC for...
- Boot space
- Should I buy used?
|M Sport||Limited stock: There’s not really an ‘entry-level’ model for the 4 Series Gran Coupe as there is for the 3 Series. So the M Sport gets heated leather seats, three-zone climate control, a digital driver’s display and plenty of other goodies.|
|M Sport Pro Edition||Limited stock: On top of the regular M Sport trim, the Pro Edition brings a sportier set of exterior styling add-ons, plus 19-inch alloy wheels and adaptive suspension.|
Every engine in the 4 Series Gran Coupe range is more or less excellent, each delivering impressive performance and great fuel economy (albeit in different proportions to one another). There is one engine that really stands out, however: the 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol six-cylinder in the M440i xDrive.
It makes 374hp, which is enough to make it sports-car fast. Yet while the car can accelerate from 0-62mph in just 4.7 seconds, it’s still capable of 40mpg on a gentle motorway cruise. Deeply impressive.
Best BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe model for…
The muscular, relaxed and economical diesel engines and powerful, smooth petrol models mean there’s a broad range of choices when it comes to the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.
|BMW 420d Gran Coupe: The 420d might only have 190hp, but it’s still sufficiently powerful to make overtaking effortless and to deliver relaxing motorway performance. What’s more, with claimed fuel economy of 58.8mpg, you won't need to fill up very often.|
|BMW 420i Gran Coupe: The 2.0-litre petrol models are a little more affordable than the 420d diesels, plus they still deliver claimed fuel economy of 42.8mpg, so if you don’t need to do too many long motorway journeys but want the extra space of the Gran Coupe this is a great option.|
|BMW M440i xDrive: The 374hp 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine in the M440i is deeply impressive. It sounds fantastic, can power the car from 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds, which is seriously quick, and yet still achieve around 40mpg if you take it gently.|
|BMW 430i: With more fuel-efficient diesels available and more powerful petrol models on the price lists, the 430i is in a bit of a limbo. If the other engines in the lineup didn’t exist, we’d be singing its praises, but it loses out here by not being quite brilliant enough.|
As a sleek four-door coupe with a hatchback boot, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is an unusual car - there’s not much out there that you could consider a direct rival for it. The most obvious rival, though, is the Audi A5 Sportback, which is a little less fun to drive, but equally smart inside. Really, though, there’s little to choose between them, so your choice will be down to personal taste - or which brand you prefer.
At the performance end of things, the only alternative to the M440i xDrive and M440d xDrive is the Audi S5 Sportback, but this is available as a diesel model only.
A slightly left-field alternative is the Kia Stinger, which is fun to drive, larger than the 4 Series and significantly cheaper - but which doesn’t quite have the brand cachet of the Audi or BMW. It does come with a seven-year manufacturer warranty from new, though, which makes it a great second-hand option, as even three-year-old versions should have four years' worth of warranty remaining - four years more than an equivalent 4 Series Gran Coupe.
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe practicality: dimensions and boot space
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is a little longer than the two-door version, at 4,783mm, though the difference is only a couple of centimetres. At 1,852mm wide (just over 2 metres if you count the door mirrors), however, its width is identical to the two-door coupe’s.
It is, however, 1,442mm tall, which gives it not only a higher roofline than the regular Coupe, but also a higher one than the regular 3 Series Saloon – with benefits to the interior headroom, particularly for rear passengers.
These proportions do mean that the 4 Series Gran Coupe is quite a large car, but it’s not too difficult to negotiate tight car parks, thanks to reasonable all-round visibility and rear parking sensors, which are fitted as standard.
|Length 4,783mm||Width 1,852mm|
|Height 1,442mm||Weight 1,625kg - 1,930kg|
With 470 litres of space in the boot, the luggage capacity of the 4 Series Gran Coupe is only 10 litres less than you’ll get in a 3 Series Saloon - and the hatchback tailgate means access is much easier than in the 3 Series, too.
It’s also a little more than the 465 litres of space you get in the Audi A5 Sportback. Furthermore, the boot is noticeably larger than the 406-litre one in the Kia Stinger - despite the Kia being a significantly larger car.
|Seats up 470 litres||Seats down 1,290 litres|
At the time of writing, this version of the Gran Coupe is too young a model to have been a significant feature in many reliability or owner satisfaction surveys, but the broader 4 Series range has - and the news isn’t brilliant. The two-door coupe ranked just 56th out of 75 models surveyed in the 2021 Auto Express Driver Power survey.
That being said, the 3 Series fared better, placing 31st. Meanwhile, another large reliability survey has placed the brand as a whole just in the top half of manufacturers listed, which still beat rivals Audi and Mercedes.
BMW limits its standard new-car warranty to three years - just like rivals Mercedes and Audi. Where it differs is that, while other manufacturers impose a 60,000-mile limit on their new-car warranties, BMW’s is unlimited. This is good news for high-mileage drivers who plan to purchase a relatively new car and rack up lots of miles.
That said, BMW’s warranty does lag behind the likes of Hyundai and Renault, which give you cover for five years, and way behind that offered by Kia, which gives you a seven-year warranty on its new cars.
|3 years||Unlimited miles|
AVERAGE REPAIR COST PAID BY WARRANTYWISE: £721
The Gran Coupe accounts for around half of all 4 Series sales, so finding a good used one won’t be too much of a challenge.
Diesel models are less common than they will have been in the past, too, despite the fact that the 4 Series Gran Coupe diesel models - the 420d, 430d and M440d - all conform to the latest very strict emissions regulations. This is because buyers are increasingly moving towards petrol versions plus electric and hybrid models when they’re looking for fuel-efficient options, and the Gran Coupe doesn’t provide these last two choices.
Nevertheless, for high-mileage drivers especially, a 4 Series Gran Coupe diesel (and in particular the 420d) will make a lot of sense.
Petrol models are more common and, of these, the entry-level 420i or high-performance M440i are the best propositions on the used market. The middle-ground 430i suffers from neither being sufficiently powerful for those after a high-performance model, nor sufficiently cheap for those on the hunt for a bargain.
BuyaCar prices Limited stock
BuyaCar prices Limited stock
BuyaCar prices Limited stock
There’s plenty of equipment fitted as standard in all 4 Series Gran Coupe models, so every car will get heated seats trimmed in leather, cruise control, three-zone climate control, built-in sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and a digital driver’s display in place of a conventional speedometer and rev counter.
This high level of standard equipment - and the fact that the only trim level choice is M Sport - means that your choice only really comes down to which engine you might want. Therefore, if you make regular long journeys, we would recommend the 420d, with its near-60mpg claimed fuel economy.
On the other hand - and since there is no full-fat M4 version of the Gran Coupe - we would suggest you try an M440i xDrive if you can afford it, especially since its standard four-wheel-drive means there’s plenty of traction available even on slippery surfaces.
*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:
|PCP representative example||APR rates available|
|Cash price £12,000||APR 7.90%||Value of loan||From|
|Fixed monthly payment £218.12||Annual mileage of 8,000pa||£25,000+||6.9%|
|Total cost of credit £2,755.55||Term 48 months||£12,000-£24,999||7.9%|
|Optional final payment £4,285.79||Loan value £12,000||£8,000-£11,999||8.9%|
|Total amount payable £14,755.55||Deposit £0||<8,000||9.9%|
BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.
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