Used 2016 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe Review

A combination coupe, sedan and hatchback, the four-door 2016 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe blends stylish fastback looks with refined performance and utility.




what's new

The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe shuffles some equipment for 2016, loses the previous Sport package and essentially renames the Dynamic Handling package the Track Handling package.

vehicle overview

Figuring out BMW's latest scheme initially seems simple enough. A 3 Series has four doors and a 4 Series has two doors. Case closed, right? But then there's the 2016 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, which, despite its number and name, is really a four-door car. And, to top it all off, it even has a hatchback trunk. BMW might be a master of mechanical precision, but logic seldom plays a big role in trunk lid badges these days.

So let's just put naming logic aside and focus on what the car is, rather than what it's called. Essentially, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is a 3 Series sedan with sleeker styling, a more practical hatchback trunk and a steeper price tag. Its basic dimensions -- wheelbase, length and width -- are roughly on par with BMW's venerable sport sedan, the interior design is identical and most of the same features are available. It also delivers the same superior driver engagement we've come to expect from BMW sport sedans. Or coupes... or hatchback coupe... whatevers.

There aren't as many engine choices available (there is no equivalent to the 320i's base engine or diesel-powered 328d), but the core gasoline engines are shared. The 428i Gran Coupe model gets the remarkably gutsy 240-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Step up to the 435i (the 3 Series equivalent is now the 340i) and you'll get a turbocharged inline-6 that puts out a healthy 300 hp. Both engines come mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. Rear-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available as an option.

So if it's so similar, why pay extra for the Gran Coupe? You do get a more versatile cargo area than the sedan, as the hatchback design makes it easier to load items. However, you also don't get as much rear headroom, and the price is steeper. Styling could be the ultimate factor here, as the 4 GC just looks sleeker and cooler than the regular 3 Series sedan, and that can make it easier to justify the price.

Given the unique position BMW has carved out with this distinctive design, the 4 Series Gran Coupe has no direct competitors, per se. However, you can easily compare it to the same impressive lineup of 3 Series competitors, including the Audi A4, Lexus IS and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. All are fine cars, though the 4 Series Gran Coupe does deliver slightly more driver engagement and cargo versatility. In the final measure, we really like the 2016 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 's combination of style, sporty attitude and usefulness, and that earns it a resounding Edmunds "A" rating.

trim levels & features

The 2016 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is a five-passenger, four-door hatchback styled as a coupe. It is offered in two primary trims that correspond to a different engine: 428i and 435i.

Standard equipment on the 428i Gran Coupe includes 18-inch wheels, automatic and adaptive xenon headlights, LED running lights, foglights, automatic wipers, a sunroof, a power liftgate, auto-dimming side and rearview mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, "SensaTec" premium vinyl upholstery, eight-way power front seats (with power-adjustable side bolsters and manually adjustable thigh support), driver memory settings, a 40/20/40-split folding rear seat, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, BMW's iDrive electronics interface, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, basic BMW Assist emergency services (see Safety section for details) and a nine-speaker sound system with a CD player, a USB interface, an auxiliary audio jack and HD radio.

Apart from its more powerful engine, the 435i's extra equipment is available on the 428i as separate options. These include keyless ignition and entry, satellite radio and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system.

Several option packages are available to help you customize the 4 Series Gran Coupe. Two optional equipment lines -- Luxury and M Sport -- include unique wheel designs (18- and 19-inch diameters), color schemes and trim and upholstery types. The M Sport also includes summer performance tires, a performance-tuned suspension, different exterior styling and a sport steering wheel.

The Premium package (428i only) equips the Gran Coupe with leather upholstery, four-way power front seat lumbar, keyless ignition and entry, and satellite radio. The Technology package adds a navigation system with a larger display, a touchpad iDrive controller, a head-up display, BMW Apps (allows control of smartphone apps including Pandora, Stitcher and Facebook) and BMW Remote Services.

The Lighting package adds LED headlights and automatic high beam control. The Cold Weather package adds headlight washers, heated front and rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. The Driver Assistance package adds a rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors, and can be enhanced with the Driver Assistance Plus package, which adds blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, frontal collision warning and mitigation, and a side- and top-view camera system.

Finally, the Track Handling package adds variable-ratio sport steering, an adaptive suspension, upgraded brakes and special 18-inch wheels (19-inch wheels can be added instead).

Individual options include the adaptive suspension, adaptive cruise control, automatic parallel parking assist, heated front seats, the navigation system, and side- and top-view parking cameras.

performance & mpg

The 2016 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe offers two engine choices, both paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission (a manual transmission is not offered). Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive (denoted as "xDrive") is optional.

The 428i uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 240 hp and 255 pound-feet of torque. Its EPA fuel economy ratings are 27 mpg combined (23 city/34 highway) with rear-wheel drive and 26 mpg combined (22/34) with all-wheel drive. In Edmunds performance testing, a rear-drive 428i went from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, which is very quick for a turbocharged four-cylinder in this segment.

Going with the 435i gets you a turbocharged inline six-cylinder that generates 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, and returns an EPA-estimated 24 mpg combined (21 city/31 highway) with rear-drive and 23 mpg combined (20 city/30 highway) with all-wheel drive. BMW estimates that it will hit 60 mph in 4.9 seconds.

safety

The 2016 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and front knee airbags.

The stability control system integrates several features designed to improve braking performance, such as periodically wiping the brake rotors dry when the windshield wipers are in use and automatically snugging the pads to the rotors when the driver abruptly lifts off the gas pedal. BMW Assist emergency communications is standard and includes automatic crash notification and roadside assistance. The optional Remote Services adds stolen vehicle recovery, remote door unlocking and use of the BMW Remote smartphone app.

Other safety options (many of which come bundled in packages) include front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, side- and top-view cameras, blind-spot monitoring, a lane-departure warning, and a frontal collision warning and mitigation system.

In Edmunds brake testing, a 428i M Sport came to a stop from 60 mph 115 feet, which is actually a bit long for a car with summer tires.

driving

To get an idea of what it's like to drive the 2016 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, think of all the good qualities you've come to expect from the 3 Series. These include things like strong brakes, precise steering and a suspension that makes the car nimble around turns, while still delivering a decent ride quality. The optional sport suspension firms things up noticeably, though it retains enough suppleness so as not to feel harsh (this is especially true with the optional and highly recommended adaptive suspension).

There's no doubt the 435i's smooth turbocharged six-cylinder engine will make your heart beat quicker. But the 428i's turbo-4 still provides surprisingly strong acceleration and relatively excellent fuel economy. Really, you can't go wrong.

There's no manual transmission available, which is curious, as it's offered in other models built off these same underpinnings. Nonetheless, the eight-speed automatic is quick shifting and highly responsive, whether in fully automatic mode or in Manual, with the driver running through the gears via the steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles.

interior

While the outside of the 2016 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is somewhat unconventional, the cabin design is virtually indistinguishable from the 3 Series. From its classic analog gauges and center stack controls angled toward the driver, to the long list of design, comfort and convenience options, there's not much here that will surprise long-time BMW fans. The look is luxury and the quality of the materials is also first-rate.

The standard 6.5-inch display screen is fine, but we think most buyers would be happier with the Technology package's larger 8.8-inch screen and touchpad atop the iDrive controller that lets you hand write inputs using your finger. Apart from those elements, though, BMW's iDrive functionality is the same. Both systems feature crisp graphics and quick processing times, but it typically requires a few more clicks and twirls to get what you want compared to rival systems.

The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe's claim to fame is the design's blend of coupelike proportions and hatchback versatility. There are 14 cubic feet of luggage space behind the rear seats, which is 1 cubic foot more than the 3 Series sedan's trunk. Also, the Gran Coupe's hatchback makes it easier to load and carry bulkier items. With the 40/20/40-split rear seats folded down, the Gran Coupe can easily swallow 45.9 cubic feet of cargo through the wide-opening rear hatch.

Unfortunately, that sloping rear roof line results in a lack of rear headroom even for normal-sized adults.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.