£30,260 - £45,745 Price range
40 - 70 MPG
The 4 Series Gran Coupe fills yet another niche in BMW’s lineup, joining more conventional 4 Series models like the Coupe and Convertible. As with the larger 6 Series Gran Coupe, the 4 Series-based model provides coupe-style looks with a more practical layout.
As with the rest of the 3 and 4 Series ranges, testers generally bestow high praise on the Gran Coupe, commending the fine handling and range of powerful engines, which combine strong performance with excellent efficiency. BMW hope that the practicality-boosting hatchback and extra pair of doors will tempt buyers.
There are two ways of looking at the 4 Series Gran Coupe – either you can consider it as a 4 Series coupe with easier access to more spacious rear seats, or as a more stylish 3 Series saloon with compromised rear headroom.
Either way, the dashboard design has much in common with both of them, and in general this is no bad thing – it’s well screwed together and the design is pleasant enough. One or two testers note that some of the plastics feel a little cheap, which is disappointing from a brand like BMW.
A 480-litre boot volume is equal to what is offered from the 3 Series saloon, but the tight central-rear seat means that it’s better suited to carrying four rather than five.
Testers have many reasons to cheer about the driving experience of the 4 Series Gran Coupe. It handles beautifully, with “fine balance” and a “playful nature” while the steering is sharp and accurate, if not exactly the most feelsome.
For £1,700, buyers can opt for a four wheel drive system, which will help traction in slippery conditions, but most of the year round it’ll just add unnecessary weight and reduce fuel efficiency. Whichever variant you go for, the brakes are strong and the ride is generally very composed, though one critic notes that it’s “a little busy” over poorer surfaces.
Although hugely capable, it isn’t exactly the most thrilling car on sale. Despite the excellent weight distribution and composed chassis, you’ll never quite fully feel dialed in to the car on a twisty road, which is a shame for something that alleges to be sporty.
BMW offer a very wide choice of engines in the Gran Coupe, ranging from the wallet friendly 418d to the impressively rapid 435i. Thanks to a great mix of performance and economy, the 420d is the strongest seller, yet many testers agree that the four cylinder diesels are starting to sound a little too gruff now. Many would recommend the smoother and quieter petrols, particularly if you don’t cover lots of miles.
Buyers have a choice of a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox. The auto is definitely worth the extra expense as it offers smooth, fast shifts, while the manual has a springy, slightly vague action and is difficult to put into reverse. The auto costs an extra £1,550, but returns marginally better fuel economy figures.
Although the Gran Coupe hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP, given it’s similarities to the rest of the 3 and 4 Series range, it will likely be a five-star car. Six airbags are equipped as standard, while a whole range of preventative systems are available.
An optional head up display offers drivers access to speed and satnav instructions via an image projected onto the base of the windscreen, while cameras offering a 360-degree view make manoeuvring much more simple.
It’s hard to judge the value of the Gran Coupe. Although it costs about £3,000 more than the more practical 3 series, it does come better equipped, while it costs the same as the regular coupe, but offers two extra doors.
An automatic tailgate can be handy when lugging heavy items around, while heated leather seats and climate control are standard across the range. If you want to add a little aggression to your 4GC, you can opt for the M Sport pack. You’d have to be pretty committed to the cause though, and you’ll need to fork out £3,000 for the privilege.
Overall, testers are impressed by the breadth of abilities that the 4 Series Gran Coupe offers. It is nice to drive, well-built and offers a great range of engines. However, the same can be said of the regular 3 Series saloon, which is also cheaper.
Sure, you won’t be disappointed if you decide to buy one, it’s just a little bit of a struggle to understand why it was made in the first place…