2014 BMW 428i Coupe (2.0L 4-cyl. Turbo 8-speed Automatic w/opt M Sport)
Among entry-level luxury sport coupes, the BMW 428i sets a new standard. It delivers comparable levels of comfort and luxury along with a more engaging experience. Though the 428i M Sport can get pricey for a 4-cylinder, it offers driving satisfaction that's hard to beat.
PerformanceWith brisk acceleration and our test car's M Sport suspension, brakes and aerodynamic kit, the 428i's performance far exceeds expectations of a "base" model BMW. It bests the performance of comparable entries from Mercedes-Benz and Audi.
The 8-speed automatic makes good use of the base 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder's 241 hp with rapid upshifts and matched-rev downshifts, getting up to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds.
Highly effective and fade-free in our panic brake tests. It stopped from 60 mph in a short 110 ft. The optional M Sport brakes lack some feel and are touchy, but still good for the class.
The optional variable-ratio steering and thick steering wheel offer excellent precision and response, though it could use more feel. But for an electric-assist system, this one's pretty good.
High in confidence and capability, the M Sport and Dynamic Handling packages deliver on their promise. This is a fine-handing machine that gives huge driver confidence.
The delayed and gruff restart nature of the auto stop-start engine (which can be disabled) is awkward at first. The same holds true for the M Sport brakes. All else is excellent.
ComfortDespite the optional performance-oriented M Sport equipment, our four-passenger 428i provided ample comfort even for non-enthusiast drivers. Excellent front seats, compliant ride, admirable quietness.
Optional M Sport front seats are exceptionally supportive yet still comfortable for long-haul road trips. Rear seats (just 2) are a little tight on space, but otherwise well-contoured.
Optional adaptive M Sport suspension manages to sort out road irregularities so well that usually-rough roads seemed new again. Impressive.
Even with the reedy intake/exhaust overtones, the 428i never sounds strained. Good wind and road isolation as well.
InteriorExcellent ergonomics combine with an uncharacteristically airy cabin for a coupe. Rear-seat access and rear vision aren't bad considering this is a two-door coupe. Plenty of optional gadgets address some of these shortcomings.
Improvements to iDrive, highly intuitive switches and gauges, plus a bonus point for the console shift lever's push-forward-for-downshift orientation, along with paddles on the steering wheel.
The front seats are slightly lower than in the sedan, but when considered among its coupe brethren the 428i offers good access to the rear seats with an obvious and effective seat-top release lever.
Comparable interior volume to other coupes, but the 428i manages to feel open and airy, even with its dour black surfaces. The rear seat can feel confining on a long drive, though.
Slightly problematic sight lines out back. But optional parking sensors, cameras, blind-spot and lane-departure warning and forward collision detection provide helpful driver aids.
Large door pockets and glove box, plus plenty of small item storage throughout the cabin. Also, split-fold load-through rear seats expand on generous 15.7 cu-ft trunk.
ValueThe 428i starts just over $40,000, but with a few options it can quickly nudge $50K. Practical standard equipment, good fuel economy, excellent build quality and materials, along with a competitive warranty maintain its relevance.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Few manufacturers possess the engineering depth, quality control standards and workforce skill to assemble a car as well as BMW.
Plenty of standard equipment: automatic climate control, sunroof, radar cruise control, adjustable drivetrain control, xenon headlamps, power seats, HD audio with MP3, Bluetooth, iDrive w/6.5-in screen.
The 428i starts at $41,425, with our M Sport/Dynamic Handling packaged example topping $47,125. That's more than many better-equipped coupes, but it almost feels justified here.
A Scion FR-S earns virtually the same mileage, so the BMW 428i's 27 mpg Combined (23 City/35 Highway) EPA ratings are quite good. As was the 32 mpg we averaged on our 120-mile test loop.
Both the basic warranty and drivetrain coverage last for 4 years/50,000 miles on the 2014 BMW 428i.
There's a 4-year/unlimited-mileage roadside assistance program, along with free scheduled maintenance for 4 years/50,000 miles, which includes oil services, wiper blades, brakes and belts.
Fun To DriveImpressive power, sharp handling, precise steering and an enthusiast-friendly automatic transmission combine to instill a high level of driver confidence. And, therefore, fun.
Smooth, confident, compliant, and surprisingly capable, the BMW 428i offers the kind of rewarding driving experience one expects of a sport-minded coupe from BMW.
Many choose a BMW purely for the status of the badge. But those who can appreciate the 428i's inherently good dynamics will endure the stigma because it's worth it.
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