The BMW M4 is the benchmark by which other performance coupes and convertibles are measured, and with good reason. With its big wheels and bulging body panels, the M4 looks like an athlete, and that's exactly what it is. The M4 is powered by a twin-turbo inline-six that launches it to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, and its suspension is one of the best-tuned setups we've driven. A skilled driver can make serious time in a BMW M4.
That said, good performance alone isn't enough for benchmark status. The BMW M4 also has comfortable seats and a high-class interior, and it even offers a usable back seat — something we don't expect from a two-door car. And the ride, while firm, is entirely livable considering the level of performance the car delivers. Not that the M4 is perfect; the steering doesn't provide as much feedback as we'd like, and the soundtrack from the engine could be better. Still, the M4 is pretty darn good, and certainly deserving of its benchmark status.
Current BMW M4
The BMW M4 is sold in a single trim level; buyers must make the difficult decision between coupe and convertible. Both are well-equipped, with a nifty cloth and leather interior (upgraded to leather for the convertible), high-end Harman Kardon stereo and navigation. Convertible buyers get a power-retractable metal roof, while coupe buyers can choose between a sunroof or a lightweight roof panel made of carbon-reinforced plastic. More creature comforts are bundled into the Executive package, but we imagine driving enthusiasts will be more interested in the optional carbon-ceramic brakes and the Competition package, which ups the performance ante with more horsepower, bigger wheels, revised suspension settings and racier trim.
Power for the BMW M4 comes from a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six that produces 425 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, and drives the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic. We've clocked the manual-transmission car to 60 mph in a rapid 4.4 seconds. The Competition package ups the power to 444 hp and gives the M4 a sportier exhaust note, something we think is lacking in the 425-hp version. EPA fuel economy estimates are 20 mpg combined for all models save the automatic-transmission convertible, which is rated at 19 mpg.
Handling is, as you'd expect, outstanding. We measured 0.98 g of grip on the skidpad, a remarkable figure. That, combined with the car's impressive agility, make it a superior instrument for hustling down a curvy road. Our only complaint is steering feedback, or rather the lack thereof; we expect better from this class of car. It's a shame because this is an area in which BMW used to set the standard.
We make allowances for ride quality in a car of this caliber, but the BMW M4 surprised us: Its ride is firm but not uncomfortable, aided by extraordinarily supportive seats. We've found that with some performance cars, buyer's remorse can set in after a long highway drive, but that's not the case with the M4. Another surprise is the BMW M4's practicality. Again, we don't expect much from a two-door, but the M4's back seat is surprisingly roomy, and the coupe's trunk is generous. The convertible's retractable hardtop folds into the trunk, limiting cargo space with the top down, but there's adequate space under the folded roof for a couple of small, soft-sided cases.
Used BMW M4 Models
The BMW M4 was introduced in 2015 as a replacement for the M3 coupe. For 2016, BMW added more standard equipment, including keyless entry and ignition and an upgraded stereo. In 2017, the M4 saw the addition of adaptive suspension dampers as standard equipment and the availability of a Competition package that increased engine output. For 2018, the M4 got restyled headlights and taillights, a backup camera and a new version of BMW's iDrive infotainment system.
Read the most recent 2018 BMW M4 review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used BMW M4 page.