The BMW 4 Series is the company's replacement for the two-door 3 Series. BMW's recently revised nomenclature dictates that odd numbers indicate a sedan, SUV or wagon, while even numbers denote a coupe or convertible. The 4 Series, which is available as both a coupe and convertible, boasts top-notch build quality, spirited performance and a pleasing balance of sporty handling and a comfortable ride quality. Although it is heavily related to the 3 Series sedan, the sleeker 4 is distinguished by a lower height, a more swept-back roof line and front fender vents.
If you are at all familiar with BMW's long-running, incredibly popular 3 Series coupe and convertible, then there are really no surprises here. Given the 4 Series' handsome styling, welcoming cabin, strong yet efficient engines and athletic handling, we think this is one of the best entry-level luxury sport coupes and convertibles available.
Current BMW 4 Series
The BMW 4 Series debuted for the 2014 model year and is available as a coupe or convertible. Trim levels consist of the 428i and 435i. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive (called xDrive) is available on the coupe.
Powering the 428i is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. For the 435i, BMW employs a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 with 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, and a six-speed manual is available on rear-drive coupes. All 4 Series feature an automatic engine stop-start function that turns off the engine when the car stops in order to save fuel.
Inside the 4 Series, you'll find classy styling and top-grade materials. There's a 6.5-inch display screen standard, though the larger optional screen is more user-friendly. The iDrive multifunction controller is fairly easy to use, thanks to logical menus and quick response. Seats are supportive and comfortable front and rear, and compared to the previous-generation 3 Series coupe, there's more legroom and enough headroom for a pair of average-sized adults to sit in back without much complaint.
In reviews, we've been impressed by both versions of the BMW 4 Series. Choosing the 428i doesn't mean you're settling for the "base" model given its very strong performance and the four-cylinder engine's entertaining soundtrack. Of course, the 435i doesn't disappoint with its even stronger output. The one demerit on the 4 Series is the automatic engine stop-start function, which isn't the smoothest when the engine restarts (though this feature can be disabled).
A curvy road is this car's playground, and getting up early for a Sunday drive is well worth it. Compared to the sedan, the 4 Series rides a bit lower, and both the suspension and the steering have a sportier state of tune. Those who find the ride too firm can opt for the driver-selectable adaptive suspension, which nearly erases road imperfections while further boosting the car's stability.
Used BMW 4 Series Models
The 4 Series is new, but if you're looking for a used two-door BMW, the 4 supplanted the previous 3 Series coupe and convertible.
Read the most recent 2014 BMW 4 Series review.