2018 BMW 4 Series

2018 BMW 4 Series Review

The 2018 BMW 4 Series remains a strong choice, but newer competitors have it beat for now.
7.9 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Mark Takahashi
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

BMW is strongly associated with luxury sport coupes and convertibles. The company practically invented the modern interpretation of this class with its 3 Series. Four years ago, the 4 Series replaced the 3 Series coupe and convertible in name, but not in spirit. The 4 Series has been delivering all the performance, refinement and strength of its predecessor.

Recently, however, the competition has stepped up its game. You've also got redesigned versions of the Audi A5 and S5 and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe to consider. In our opinion, these rivals have unseated the 4 Series from the top spot in the class, but not by a significant margin. This could be partially attributed to the 2018 BMW 4 Series' age, even though it's updated this year. The changes just aren't significant enough to push it to the top. Overall, though, the 4 Series remains a solid choice for a luxury sport coupe or convertible.



What's new for 2018

For 2018, the BMW 4 Series receives a variety of minor updates. They include subtly freshened front and rear styling, revised suspension tuning, a newly optional virtual instrument panel, and some minor changes to the steering wheel and interior trim materials.

We recommend

While the 440i's power is intoxicating, we recommend the 430i for the majority of 4 Series shoppers. It is a strong performer in its own right and its lower price could free up more space in your budget for some desirable options such as the Premium package that adds heated seats, navigation, a virtual instrument panel and emergency telematics.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 BMW 4 Series is available in three body styles: a coupe, convertible and four-door Gran Coupe. Within these models, you can choose between the 430i or 440i trims that differ mostly by engine type. The 430i is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque), and the 440i receives a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine (322 hp and 332 lb-ft). All of these 4 Series models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels, though you can get a six-speed manual on the coupe as an option. BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system is also offered as an option.

Standard features for the 430i include 18-inch wheels, automatic LED headlights and foglights, a sunroof (coupe), power-folding and heated mirrors, auto-dimming mirrors, automatic wipers, selectable drive modes, cruise control, a rearview camera, BMW's Assist eCall emergency telematics and smartphone app control over some car functions.

On the inside, you get dual-zone automatic climate control, simulated leather upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable front sport seats, 40/20/40-split folding rear seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a universal garage door opener, BMW's iDrive infotainment system, a 6.5-inch display, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, and a nine-speaker audio system with a CD player, HD radio and a USB input.

The 440i adds keyless entry and ignition and a premium 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system with satellite radio. These features are options on the 430i. Convertible models have a power-operated retractable hardtop with a removable wind deflector.

Notable options include various sporty exterior touches, adaptive headlights, automatic high beams, an M Sport or adaptive suspension, an automated parking system, a head-up display, a navigation system, premium leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power rear sunshade, a surround-view camera system, Apple CarPlay and a wireless charging pad. On the safety front, you can also add front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning and mitigation, a lane departure warning system and adaptive cruise control.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our First Drive of the 2018 BMW 440i Coupe (turbo 3.0L inline-6 | 8-speed automatic | RWD).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall7.9 / 10

Driving

8.0 / 10

Acceleration7.5 / 10
Braking8.5 / 10
Steering8.5 / 10
Handling8.0 / 10
Drivability8.0 / 10

Comfort

8.0 / 10

Seat comfort7.5 / 10
Ride comfort8.0 / 10
Noise & vibration8.0 / 10
Climate control8.0 / 10

Interior

8.0 / 10

Ease of use8.0 / 10
Getting in/getting out6.5 / 10
Driving position8.5 / 10
Roominess8.0 / 10
Visibility8.0 / 10
Quality8.0 / 10

Utility

7.5 / 10

Small-item storage6.5 / 10
Cargo space8.0 / 10

Technology

8.0 / 10

Audio & navigation8.0 / 10
Smartphone integration7.5 / 10
Driver aids7.5 / 10

Driving8.0

The BMW 440i used to be the top dog in the luxury sport coupe class, but recent redesigns from Mercedes and Audi have it playing second fiddle. That said, the 4 Series remains an excellent sport touring car that will exceed most drivers' expectations.

Acceleration7.5

The 440i produces an overabundance of power. Acceleration is effortless, with smooth and quick gear changes. To a slightly lesser degree, the 430i also confidently gathers speed and will certainly satisfy most drivers.

Braking8.5

The brake pedal has a reassuring weight and is very intuitive, whether you're driving hard on a twisty road or just cruising to a smooth stop on the boulevard.

Steering8.5

Steering effort is light in parking lots and gets appropriately weightier as your speed builds. There's not much feedback to the driver, though it is hard to come by in any car nowadays. On the highway, the 4 Series tracks true and needs very little driver input to stay in the lane.

Handling8.0

On a curvy mountain road, the 4 Series instills a lot of confidence and should satisfy more enthusiastic drivers. Adding the sport and adaptive suspension options further enhance this feeling. Non-sporty drivers will find this reassuring in evasive maneuvers.

Drivability8.0

The 4 Series is easy to drive in any condition or situation. The selectable drive modes aren't as drastically different as rivals, but drivers of any persuasion will easily find their preferred setting. It's a highly capable and accessible vehicle.

Comfort8.0

The 4 Series does an admirable job of providing driving engagement without sacrificing comfort. You'll always feel like you're in a sporty car but won't be reminded of it every time you hit a bump in the road.

Seat comfort7.5

The standard sport seats provide ample lateral support to keep you firmly planted when cornering. At the same time, there's adequate padding, and the well-shaped surfaces will keep you comfortable for hours on end.

Ride comfort8.0

Most moderate road imperfections are smoothed as well as the competition. Even in the Sport modes, the ride never gets choppy or rough. It's a good blend of feeling connected to the road and not feeling every little rut.

Noise & vibration8.0

Wind and road noise is reduced to near silence, even with the convertible, on rougher pavement and at highway speeds. It's so quiet that BMW thought it necessary to add engine noises through the interior speakers.

Climate control8.0

The automatic climate control does an excellent job of either heating or cooling the cabin quickly. In typical BMW fashion, there's a separate temperature selector for the top vents as well.

Interior8.0

The BMW 4 Series remains a pleasant middle ground to the more traditional Mercedes and starkly modern Audi interiors. The quality of materials and construction meet expectations for luxury coupes, even in the face of newer rivals.

Ease of use8.0

There are a lot of buttons and knobs in the 4 Series, but they're grouped together and placed logically. If you've been in any BMW vehicle in the last decade, it should operate much the same.

Getting in/getting out6.5

The long doors limit access in tight parking spots, as we expect from any coupe. The seat-belt presenters eliminate the awkward reach back once you're seated, though. Rear passengers will need to squeeze past a narrow opening, which is also typical for the class.

Driving position8.5

The range of movement and numerous adjustments ensure that drivers of any size will be able to find their optimal position. Extendable thigh cushions are particularly nice for taller passengers.

Roominess8.0

The 4 Series coupe is best described as snug but not confining. There's just enough room to be comfortable while still having a sporty wraparound feel. Average-size adults will barely fit in the backseats.

Visibility8.0

Overall outward visibility is decent for the class. Narrow roof pillars make it easy to see through sharp turns, and the standard rearview camera takes any guesswork out of backing into a tight spot.

Quality8.0

The quality materials used throughout the interior justify the 4 Series' price. The simulated leather in the standard 430i is very convincing and breathes just as well as the genuine article. The cabin feels durable and well assembled for a luxury coupe.

Utility7.5

There's enough space for luggage and personal items to rate the 4 Series as average for the class.

Small-item storage6.5

There aren't a lot of bins or pockets for your personal effects, and they aren't particularly big. But the typical items like smartphones, water bottles and coffee cups all have appropriate holders.

Cargo space8.0

Trunk space in the coupe isn't as generous as in some competitors, but it will likely fit everything you need. The convertible's trunk is even smaller, but we were surprised that two carry-on bags will still fit (with the top up).

Technology8.0

This 2018 refresh updates the already strong iDrive infotainment system, but it's far from being a major step forward. The available virtual instruments have a certain wow factor, but Audi's is more functionally useful.

Audio & navigation8.0

BMW's iDrive system has a wealth of features, which means it can take some time to get familiar with all the controls and menus. After that it is intuitive, though some rivals are easier to acclimate to.

Smartphone integration7.5

With Apple CarPlay available as an option, smartphone control is as good as any other system (as long as you have an iPhone). Otherwise, you will have quite a bit more scrolling and commands to operate many functions.

Driver aids7.5

The advanced safety features are well tuned to catch your attention when needed without being so sensitive that it sends out false or premature alarms. You get the impression that they're there when you need them, and only then.

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.