2017 BMW 4 Series Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Balances sharp handling with a ride quality that won't beat you up
- Engines are both powerful and fuel-efficient
- Interior is upscale with straightforward design and controls and spacious seating
- Automatic stop-start system can be intrusive
The 2017 BMW 4 Series' sleek exterior promises driving excitement, and the car largely delivers — at least the models with the old engines did. Last year's 428i delivered remarkably punchy and quick acceleration, along with an engaging engine and exhaust note that would have you randomly downshifting just for fun. We expect the revised engine, 8 horsepower richer, to be even better.
The 440i's engine gets an even bigger boost, up 20 horsepower and 30 lb-ft of torque, and will perhaps address our primary criticism of last year's six-cylinder model: It wasn't all that much faster or better than the four-cylinder.
Transmissions haven't changed, and the available six-speed manual transmission is bound to please traditionalists with its buttery feel through the gates. The eight-speed automatic works exceptionally well in both full-auto mode and manual mode via the paddle shifters. Either way, the refinement is hard to top. One annoyance, however, is the gruff restart nature of the automatic engine start-stop function, though it can be disabled.
When the road bends, the 4 Series is marvelously balanced, immediately instilling driver confidence with its firmly planted feel. The steering is very precise, though it lacks the detailed feedback that used to set BMW apart. Some might find the ride quality overly firm, but the Track Handling package's electronically adjustable adaptive suspension nearly erases road imperfections while further boosting the car's stability.
The 4 Series cabin is mostly borrowed from the 3 Series, featuring the same classy, understated design and premium materials. The company's traditional analog gauges provide a historical link with BMWs of previous decades, and the various trim options let you tailor the cabin to your taste.
In terms of technology, the basic 6.5-inch display screen is adequate, but you'll want to get the larger, optional screen for a true luxury-electronics interface. Overall, iDrive is pretty easy to use, thanks to straightforward menus, crisp graphics and quick processing times. This year's model also includes an upgrade to the latest iDrive software for 4 Series models with navigation. Compared to some rival systems, however, it seems like a few more twirls and clicks are sometimes required to get what you want.
A lower seating position than in the sedan helps create a distinctly sporting vibe inside the BMW 4 Series. The standard front sport seats are very supportive and comfortable, even boasting power-adjustable side bolsters, an extraordinary standard feature in this class. Less form-fitting seats can be specified with the Luxury package if desired. Rear headroom is limited by the roof line, but there's still enough space back there for average-sized adults.
Luggage space is generous by two-door standards, including the convertible. Lowering the convertible's power-folding hardtop takes about 20 seconds.