The 2021 BMW M4 is the coupe variant of the M3 sedan, which has enjoyed a storied history among driving enthusiasts for decades. The engine remains a twin-turbo straight-six, as in the previous generation, but it's heavily renewed. The entire car is bigger and more high-tech. All-wheel-drive is an option for the first time.
2021 BMW M4
2021 BMW M4 Review
- Muscular acceleration
- Grippy handling, with lots of available driver-set adjustments
- More rear passenger and cargo space than many competitors
- Steering lacks road feel
- Some drive settings are needlessly complex
- Polarizing grille design
- Redesigned for 2021
- Incrementally better acceleration and handling
- New performance and track analysis features
- Part of the second 4 Series generation introduced for 2021
The 2021 BMW M4 is the coupe variant of the M3 sedan, which has enjoyed a storied history among driving enthusiasts for decades. The M4 (and M3) has been fully redesigned for 2021. The formula is simple and the same as before: Take a 4 Series coupe, stuff a monster turbocharged inline-six under the hood, and beef up the suspension and driveline to help put all that power to the road.
The new engine produces 473 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. If a 48-horsepower increase over the previous M4 isn't spicy enough for you, step up to the Competition model with 503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. The M4 also gets wider fenders that cover lightweight wheels and a carbon-fiber roof to lower the car's center of gravity. Inside, the new M4 looks similar to the standard 4 Series, though aggressively bolstered sport seats, a M Sport steering wheel and a few other touches let you know you're driving something special.
Naturally, there are a few rivals you might also want to consider. Besides fellow German sport coupes such as the Mercedes-AMG C 63 coupe and Audi RS 5, there are more traditional sports cars including the Porsche 718 Cayman, Chevrolet Corvette and top-level versions of the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. What's going to be the best one for you? Read our Expert Rating below to get our take on the new M4's performance, tech features and even the new grille design.
7.9 / 10
The redesigned BMW M4 is faster and more powerful than the car it replaces. The turbocharged inline-six is great, but it's too bad the M4's lack of steering feel can make the car feel disconnected from the road. Beyond performance, the M4 is a surprisingly comfortable, spacious and practical coupe.
How does the M4 drive?
The new BMW M4 packs one magnificent engine. There's copious amounts of power from just off idle until redline, and turbo lag is fairly minimal. Competition models like our test vehicle get a slight bump in power along with some other small upgrades. In Edmunds' testing, the M4 Competition blasted from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds and covered the quarter-mile in 11.6 seconds at 122.7 mph. That's on par with the latest Chevrolet Corvette and Mercedes-AMG C 63 coupe.
Our test car had the automatic transmission. It shifts crisply and reacts quickly when you need a downshift during aggressive driving, but it also works great for commuting around town too. The optional carbon-ceramic brakes (also on our test car) are fade-free even under hard driving. Our test car stopped from 60 mph in 106 feet, which is a little shorter than average for this class.
The standard adaptive suspension does a good job of keeping the car planted when you're hammering around turns, but we found the firmest setting to be a bit too stiff on the street. Our main complaint is the steering. While it's an improvement over the last M4, it lacks the level of feedback and precision you'll find elsewhere.
How comfortable is the M4?
As with any performance car, comfort is a relative term. The M4 Competition's ride is firm, but it's better tuned and more compliant than some of BMW's other M Competition models. The standard adaptive suspension manages most situations well, absorbing impacts without rattling your teeth. Its stiffest setting is too much for public roads, but it's easy to dial it back. Noise and vibration are low for a performance car. It's not whisper-quiet, but the M4 is more refined than its burbly exhaust might suggest.
Our test vehicle had the optional carbon-fiber bucket front seats. These snug, lightweight seats are thin on padding and have a small bump in the seat bottom that fits between the driver's legs. BMW's designers presumably added it to boost lateral support when cornering, or maybe because they just thought it would look cool. But our shorter drivers (under 6 feet tall) found it bothersome. Consider sticking with the standard M4 seats.
The climate control system works fairly well, though we found it runs a bit on the warm side. The controls are mostly easy to use, though the lack of a dedicated sync button to equalize both sizes of the dual-zone system seems like an oversight.
How’s the interior?
Getting in and out of the M4 can be a pain given the long doors and low seating. But once you're inside, everything seems to come together nicely. The front seats offer lots of adjustment for head- and legroom. Even the rear seat is spacious for adults, at least on short trips. The steering wheel and pedals are perfectly placed for enthusiastic driving. Forward visibility is fine for a coupe, but you'll need the large mirrors and rearview camera to help when backing up because of the blind spots caused by the rear roof pillars.
All major controls are easy to see and reach. The plethora of buttons can look overly busy, but we do appreciate BMW sticking with physical buttons and knobs rather than stuffing everything into the touchscreen interface.
How’s the tech?
The M4 features the latest in-car tech BMW has to offer. The standard navigation system is one of the better systems on the market, though its constant traffic updates get annoying. If you prefer to run things from your phone, the M4 offers Apple CarPlay (with wireless connectivity) and Android Auto integration. The M4 also has both USB-A and USB-C ports for both charging and phone connection. You can also use a decent list of voice commands to do things like change the radio or input an address into the navigation system.
The M4 comes with a mix of standard and optional driver aids, including adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and parking sensors. Overall, BMW does a nice job of tuning these features to be helpful without being overly sensitive.
How’s the storage?
The M4 offers an impressive amount of storage. The trunk space is pretty roomy, and the opening is wide and tall. The rear seats fold down to open the space up further. It's arguably even more impressive inside, with large door pockets and a large center console bin. Even rear passengers have small storage bins.
Got small kids and need to install a child safety seat? That back seat should provide a reasonable amount of room, though the long doors might make getting a kid in and out a bit of a pain. The seat anchors are easy to find and connect to.
How’s the fuel economy?
The BMW M4 gets an EPA-estimated 19 mpg combined (16 city, 23 highway). That's close to the bottom of an already somewhat thirsty class. That said, we saw much better fuel economy during our testing, including an impressive 26.6 mpg on our 115-mile evaluation route. That's better than we've seen in nearly all of the competition.
Is the M4 a good value?
This is a real sticky spot. The BMW M4 Competition is priced right on par with direct rivals such as the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupe and Audi RS 5. But our car was loaded with more than $25,000 in extra options. That's a lot of dough and it still didn't have an upgraded audio system or adaptive cruise control. Value drops even further when you consider performance cars such as the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray or Ford Mustang Shelby GT500.
BMW includes a four-year/50,000-mile basic and powertrain warranty, which is average for the class. You do get an excellent four years/unlimited miles of roadside assistance and three years/36,000 miles of service visits.
Right, so about the M4's new grille ... Looks are subjective, but that massive twin grille just does not work for us or really anyone we've asked. We even asked BMW, and its reps said M4 buyers want a car that looks different from the non-M models. Well, on that front, the automaker succeeded. If we were buying an M4, we'd get it in a dark color to better blend in the grille. The rest of the car looks like a scaled-down BMW M8, and not in a bad way. There are some excellent paint and interior colors to choose from too.
We might be more willing to overlook that face if the M4 was a bit better to drive. While we're big fans of this new engine, the disconnected steering left us wanting more. It's supremely fast and capable, but it doesn't provide quite the same thrills as cars such as the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupe, Ford Mustang Mach 1 and Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0.
Which M4 does Edmunds recommend?
BMW M4 models
The 2021 BMW M4 Coupe is available in two trim levels: Coupe and Competition. Both models are powered by a new twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder that produces 473 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque in the standard model and 503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque in the M4 Competition. Both trims are rear-wheel-drive. (Starting in 2022, BMW will offer all-wheel drive for the first time in the M4.)
A six-speed manual transmission, a rarity these days, is standard in the coupe. An eight-speed automatic is optional on the standard model and the only available transmission on the Competition.
Standard features include:
- 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels with performance tires
- Adjustable drive modes
- M Sport rear differential for improved traction
- Adaptive suspension dampers (adjust to improve ride comfort and handling)
- LED headlights
- Keyless entry with push-button start
- Leather upholstery
- Power-adjustable, heated front sport seats
- Automatic climate control
- Harman Kardon audio system
- Navigation system
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration with wireless connectivity
- Parking sensors
The M4 also comes with:
- Forward collision warning with pedestrian detection (alerts you of a possible collision with the car in front)
- Automatic emergency braking (warns if a front impact is imminent and applies the brakes if you don't respond in time)
- Lane departure warning (alerts you if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane)
- Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while in reverse)
You can further customize your M4 through a handful of options. Notable picks include:
- Executive package
- Head-up display (displays important information in your sight line onto the windshield)
- Adaptive LED headlights (swivel as you turn the steering wheel for better illumination in curves)
- Wireless charging pad
- Wi-Fi hotspot
- Heated steering wheel
- Power-operated trunklid
- Sunroof (removes lightweight carbon-fiber roof)
- Ventilated front seats
- Carbon-fiber bucket front seats
- Carbon-ceramic brakes
- M Drive Professional package (includes Track mode as well as other performance displays and settings)
The M4 Competition comes standard with the same features as the regular M4, but it ups the ante with the extra power noted above, plus:
- 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels with performance tires
- Gloss black exterior trim including spoiler and exhaust tips
- Different seat belts
Additionally, the M4 Competition is available with one extra package:
- Driving Assistance Professional package
- Adaptive cruise control (adjusts speed to maintain a constant distance between the vehicle and the car in front)
- Lane keeping assist (steers the M4 back into its lane if it begins to drift over the lane marker)
- Front and rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle is about to cross your vehicle's path)
2021 BMW M4 pricingin Ashburn, VA
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Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 16 City / 23 Hwy / 19 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 15.6 gal. capacity
- 4 seats
- Type: rear wheel drive
- Transmission: 6-speed manual
- Inline 6 cylinder
- Horsepower: 473 hp @ 6250 rpm
- Torque: 406 lb-ft @ 2650 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 4 yr./ 50000 mi.
- Length: 189.1 in. / Height: 54.8 in.
- Overall Width with Mirrors: 81.9 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 74.3 in.
- Curb Weight: 3830 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 12.0 cu.ft.
Our experts’ favorite M4 safety features:
- Active Driving Assistant
- Bundles a number of driver assistance features, including a blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert.
- Parking Assistant Plus
- Steers the vehicle into a parallel or perpendicular parking spot with minimal driver interaction.
- Extended Traffic Jam Assistant
- Drives and steers the vehicle at low speeds while on the highway to reduce the tedium of driving in traffic.
BMW M4 vs. the competition
2021 BMW M4
2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
BMW M4 vs. Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Mercedes-AMG has been turning out hopped-up variants of mainstream Mercedes products for decades, and it doesn't take long behind the wheel of one to feel it. The current C 63 is nearing the end of its life, but its sharp handling and wonderful V8 make it just as enjoyable as the M4. It's not quite as spacious as the BMW, and AMG only offers an automatic transmission in its cars.
BMW M4 vs. Audi RS 5
The third member of the hot-rod German trio is the Audi RS 5. It comes standard with a performance-tuned all-wheel-drive system and a turbocharged V6 engine. The RS 5 has a premium look and feel that the BMW can't quite match, but we found it to be a bit lifeless when it comes to driving characteristics. It's fast and extremely capable, but it's missing that bit of joy you get when you're driving the M4.
BMW M4 vs. BMW M2
The BMW M2 Competition is the M4's smaller sibling. It uses a less powerful turbocharged inline-six than the M4, but it's tasked with moving less weight and feels nearly as quick on the road. It offers less cargo and passenger space than the M4, and the M2's interior looks and feels dated in comparison. That said, it's a hoot to drive and considerably less expensive.
2021 BMW M4 First Impressions
The new M4 gets the same powerplant as the redesigned M3: a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder that produces 473 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. If a 48-horsepower increase over the previous M4 isn't spicy enough for you, step up to the Competition model with 503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. That represents healthy extra output for a relatively modest $2,900 price bump.
We're happy to report a six-speed manual transmission will be available alongside a sport-tuned eight-speed automatic transmission, though the Competition model will be automatic-only. It's an eight-speed torque converter auto, not the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission of the previous generation. Quick shift times and close ratios are arranged especially for the M3/M4 pair.
All M4s (and M3s, for that matter) have been rear-wheel-drive, and the newest version is no different. However, starting for the 2022 model year, you'll be able to spec as an alternative an all-wheel-drive system on Competition models. As with the M5 and M8, the M4 Competition has a rear-drive mode for gifted drivers with a substantial tire budget.
BMW estimates the standard M4 will reach 60 mph in 4.1 seconds with the automatic transmission; we expect the manual to trail slightly. Meanwhile, the Competition should reach the same threshold in 3.8 seconds on its way to a 155-mph top speed. Too slow for the back straight at Road Atlanta? Add the optional M Driver's package to reach 180 mph.
The M4 receives extra cooling systems compared to the standard 4 Series, and the Competition variant adds a transmission cooler. So at least the huge nasal intakes serve a purpose beyond frightening aesthetically sensitive bystanders. Since cornering is a staple of the M4's skill set, a dual-sump oil system ensures the engine won't implode on turns with sustained high lateral force.
The M4 drives just like the M3, and BMW says there are no steering or handling differences between them. But perhaps it has to be seen in a different context. The M3 is one of the greatest driver's sedans, no question. But some of the M4's potential buyers could choose a two-seater. And suddenly the M4 has to compete with true sports machines, notably the Corvette or Porsche Cayman S. Viewed that way, it's up against some sublime driver's cars.
Still, whatever its rivals, you can never accuse the M4 of lacking performance. Our test car is a rear-wheel-drive M4 Competition. It might be just a 3.0-liter, but the two turbos and high-pressure direct injection give it vast midrange muscle. In third and fourth gears, it rockets ahead. Indeed, it's deceptively quick, because the noises don't change much as you acquire speed, only the dizzying numbers on the speedometer. It serves up a smooth straight-six engine sizzle, and revs out to the 7,200 rpm redline with unabated zeal. But there are V8 and flat-six rivals with more raw charisma.
All its handling moves are well-damped, beautifully communicated and tremendously precise, with no slack or lost motion. Steering is sharp, and resistant to understeer. Turn it into a smooth curve and it's super accurate. In the rear-wheel-drive M4, you have to devote most of your attention to the feel from the rear tires, sensing how they cope with the engine's force. You feel the tail just hinting at an outward movement, and then the electronically controlled differential closes up and finds traction, albeit not as much as in a mid-engine car. The M4, unlike the old model, surrenders its grip progressively, which adds to your confidence in it and the fun factor.
Perhaps the only vice appears on bumpy roads, when the steering gets disturbed, nudging left and right instead of tracking straight and true. So you have to grip the wheel firmly.
The ride is always firm, perhaps overly so in city traffic. But get a little speed under it and the dampers allow it to take the hard edges off sharp road bumps. At really high speed, you might want to engage the sport damper mode to keep tighter check on body movements.
Tire noise on coarse surfaces and freeway expansion joints is an annoyance. Other than that, the M4 cruises quietly when you're done showboating.
As expected, the M4 sports an interior similar to that of the 4 Series that it's based on. Differentiators include slick red ignition and driving mode buttons, optional carbon-fiber trim elements, and new M Sport seats with more aggressive side bolstering. Hardcore enthusiasts might want to opt for the carbon-fiber bucket seats with cutouts for multipoint racing belts. They retain electric adjustment in several dimensions.
The instruments are busy and harder to read than the two big round dials BMW used to provide. On the plus side, they show far more subsidiary info. In any case, that's a good reason to spring for the optional head-up display.
Quality of materials and switchgear is high, as you'd expect. Basically it's the same driving environment as the M3, and thus the 3 Series sedan. Yet again, the M4's coupe status pits it up against some pure sports cars with more charismatic interiors (such as the Corvette).
Then again, the Corvette doesn't have a back seat. Two shortish adults can fit in the M4's rear. The issue isn't legroom because the M4 has the same wheelbase as the 3 Series sedan. But headroom is constrained, in pursuit of that fastback coupe styling. And access is poor, because the front seats motor forward slowly.
Powering the M4's infotainment system is BMW's latest iDrive 7.0 interface. In our experiences with the current 3 Series — which also features iDrive 7.0 — we've found it to be one of the most intuitive systems on the market. It helps reduce driver distraction thanks to an advanced voice recognition system, as well as its support for inputs via touchscreen or dial controller. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as are a navigation system and M-specific performance applications.
For those who plan to take their M4 to the track, the new M Drive Professional option includes a built-in lap timer. In addition to seeing your times on the fly, you can further analyze your performance with the BMW M Laptimer app on compatible iPhones. If style points for driving are your thing, the M Drift Analyzer records the duration, distance and angle of a drift. It's like a video game, just with real-world consequences. So resist the temptation to use it as you leave your local Cars and Coffee meet-up, OK?
M Drive Professional also gives you the ability to fine-tune the M4's traction and stability control systems. There are 10 levels of traction control intervention, so you can dial in a level that meets your skill. It sounds similar to the knob found in the Mercedes-AMG GT R, which we absolutely love. A brake mode selector is new and lets you pick a firm and responsive setting for the track or a softer pedal for everyday driving. But the sport setting is all you need. The 'comfort' setting is a bit spongy.
Configurable M1 and M2 buttons allow you to store favorite settings for (deep breath): throttle map, transmission response, adaptive damping program, brakes, steering weight, stability control, exhaust note. For the first several hours, they'll prove a distraction, so you have to be disciplined to settle on a bunch of settings that suit you, and leave it there.
The M4 remains a blazingly exhilarating and sharp tool for drivers, and a competent everyday car, too. But it's sedan-derived rather than a ground-up coupe, which makes it a little less special. As to the styling, nothing we say, for or against, will change your mind.
Is the BMW M4 a good car?
What's new in the 2021 BMW M4?
According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 BMW M4:
- Redesigned for 2021
- Incrementally better acceleration and handling
- New performance and track analysis features
- Part of the second 4 Series generation introduced for 2021
Is the BMW M4 reliable?
Is the 2021 BMW M4 a good car?
How much should I pay for a 2021 BMW M4?
The least-expensive 2021 BMW M4 is the 2021 BMW M4 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $71,800.
Other versions include:
- 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M) which starts at $71,800
- Competition 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A) which starts at $74,700
What are the different models of BMW M4?
2021 BMW M4 Overview
The 2021 BMW M4 is offered in the following submodels: M4 Coupe. Available styles include 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M), and Competition 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A). The 2021 BMW M4 comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed manual, 8-speed automatic. The 2021 BMW M4 comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What do people think of the 2021 BMW M4?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 BMW M4 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 M4 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 M4.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 BMW M4 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 M4 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our 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.
What's a good price for a New 2021 BMW M4?
2021 BMW M4 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M)
2021 BMW M4 Competition 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)Available Inventory:
We are showing 1 2021 BMW M4 Competition 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.
Which 2021 BMW M4s are available in my area?
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What is the MPG of a 2021 BMW M4?
2021 BMW M4 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M), 6-speed manual, premium unleaded (required)
19 compined MPG,
16 city MPG/23 highway MPG
2021 BMW M4 Competition 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A), 8-speed automatic, premium unleaded (required)
19 compined MPG,
16 city MPG/23 highway MPG
|EPA Est. MPG||19|
|Drive Train||rear wheel drive|
|Curb Weight||3830 lbs.|
Should I lease or buy a 2021 BMW M4?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
Check out BMW lease specials