Used 2016 BMW M4 Review
Edmunds expert review
The 2016 BMW M4 is a two-door version of the M3 sedan with a sleeker body. From track-day heroism to the daily commute, the M4 represents an ideal all-around coupe or convertible for enthusiasts.
What's new for 2016
A handful of automakers build high-performance luxury coupes and convertibles, but seldom do the results rise to the level of the 2016 BMW M4. Based on the 4 Series (which is the two-door version of the 3 Series sedan), the M treatment starts with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that puts out a robust 425 horsepower. The engine's power is transferred to the rear wheels via a slick-shifting six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission (M-DCT). The resulting 0-60-mph acceleration is close to just 4 seconds flat.
When you see a 2016 BMW M4 in your rearview, there's no doubt that it means business.
Other M4 upgrades include 18-inch staggered-width alloy wheels, special aluminum suspension components, an active rear differential and optional carbon-ceramic brakes. Custom body panels like the bulging aluminum hood and front fenders and the coupe's carbon-fiber-reinforced roof shave precious pounds. Inside, the M4 looks very much like the standard 4 Series, but it boasts nicer materials, sportier carbon-fiber trim and plenty of M logos to get you in a racy mood. Given that the regular 4 Series can also be had with a turbocharged inline-6, it's natural to wonder how much different the M4 really is, but it becomes clear once you're in the driver seat of this purpose-built beast. It accelerates ferociously, corners tenaciously and brakes so hard that you'll be thinking it has thrown out some boat anchors.
So, yes, the M4 is quite awesome. Interestingly, so is the new race-ready Ford Shelby GT350 coupe. While not a luxury-branded vehicle, it boasts a high-revving naturally aspirated 526-hp V8 engine that's more viscerally engaging than the M4's clinical turbo-6. The Lexus RC F coupe might be worth a look given its high-quality interior, but it's slower and not as nimble as the M4. Normally, Mercedes-Benz would have something to offer, but the new AMG C-Class coupe will be a 2017 model. If you can do without a backseat, the rakishly styled 2016 Chevrolet Corvette will deliver outstanding bang for the buck. All things considered, though, it's fair to say that the BMW M4 is still sitting quite comfortably atop the 2016 small luxury performance car podium.
Trim levels & features
The 2016 BMW M4 is a two-door, four-passenger high-performance car that's based on the company's 4 Series and offered in coupe and convertible body styles.
Standard equipment on the M4 includes 18-inch alloy wheels with summer tires, a sport-tuned suspension, an active locking differential, adaptive xenon headlights, a performance exhaust system with quad tailpipes, a sport body kit, exclusive exterior body panels (including a "powerdome" hood and wider rear fenders), power-folding auto-dimming heated side mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated 10-way power front seats (with four-way power lumbar), driver memory settings and fold-down rear seatbacks that also include a center cargo pass-through in case the rear seats are occupied.
The 2016 M4's well-equipped cabin makes the base model a compelling proposition, while its extra-cost interior options crank up the luxury quotient.
Standard technology features include Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, an 8.8-inch central display screen, a navigation system, a suite of smartphone and online applications under the BMW ConnectedDrive banner, BMW's iDrive electronics interface and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system with HD radio, satellite radio, a USB audio input, an auxiliary audio jack and a CD player.
An optional Executive package adds headlight washers, front and rear parking sensors, a head-up display, a heated steering wheel and a rearview camera. The Lighting package further adds adaptive LED headlights and automatic high-beam control. The Driver Assistance package gets you blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, a side- and top-view camera system, speed limit info, frontal collision warning and automatic braking for collision mitigation.
Some items within the bundled packages are available as stand-alone options. Other options include 19-inch wheels, carbon-ceramic brakes, adaptive suspension dampers, automated parallel-parking assist, a power rear sunshade (coupe only) and enhanced smartphone connectivity.
On the coupe, you get your choice of either a visible carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastic (CFRP) roof or a traditional steel roof that includes a sunroof. The M4 convertible has a power-retractable hardtop with a wind blocker, as well as extended leather upholstery and door trim incorporating sun-reflective technology. When equipped with the Executive package (see above), the convertible also includes front-seat neck warmers.
Performance & mpg
The M4 is fitted with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that puts out 425 hp and 406 pound-feet of torque. Two transmissions are available: a standard six-speed manual or an optional seven-speed automated manual (M-DCT) with integrated launch control. Both transmissions feature automatic rev-matching on downshifts.
Standard quad tailpipes give a strong hint as to the 2016 M4's performance potential.
When equipped with M-DCT, the M4 will deliver a 0-60-mph time of about 4 seconds flat, according to BMW. At our test track, an M4 coupe with the manual transmission sprinted to 60 in 4.4 seconds.
Automatic engine stop-start (which shuts off the engine to save fuel while the car is stopped, such as when at a red light) is standard. EPA fuel-economy estimates for the M4 coupe with the manual transmission are 20 mpg combined (17 city/26 highway). We recorded an impressive 25 mpg on our diverse 120-mile Edmunds test loop. Opting for the automatic lowers efficiency to 19 mpg combined (17 city/24 highway). Although it weighs about 500 pounds more than the coupe, EPA estimates for the M4 convertible indicate identical fuel mileage numbers.
Every 2016 BMW M4 comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, active front knee protection and rollover protection (convertible). The BMW Assist system for the M4 includes both emergency services (SOS button and automatic collision notification) and remote services (stolen-vehicle recovery and remote lock/unlock).
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.
Optional safety features include rearview and top-down cameras, front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, frontal collision warning (including pedestrian protection) and automatic braking for frontal collision mitigation. High-performance carbon-ceramic brake discs are also optional.
In simulated panic stops from 60 mph at our test track, an M4 coupe covered 106 feet, which is a short distance but pretty much expected for a performance car in this rarefied class. The longest stop by any current Corvette we've tested, for example, was 104 feet.
The BMW M4 is equal parts responsible citizen and back-road burner. What's most impressive is how seamlessly these two divergent personalities are integrated into one well-rounded machine. The turbocharged engine is well behaved in everyday driving, giving only occasional hints of its massive performance potential. Squeeze the ultra-responsive gas pedal halfway down, though, and the engine's midrange torque comes on in a rush above 2,000 rpm, while flooring it truly unleashes the beast. If there's anything wrong with this picture, it's that the M4 has embraced the current trend of piping in synthetic engine noises through the speakers, and those noises may seem loud and shrill to some during enthusiastic driving.
Although the 2016 M4 is compliant enough for the daily commute, its race-bred acceleration and handling are eager to be unleashed.
The M4's standard suspension delivers such a livable balance between ride compliance and handling as to make the available adaptive suspension seem unnecessary. The ride is firm but completely acceptable for daily use, while the handling is of course massively capable, aided by highly responsive steering and a trick active differential that distributes power to the appropriate side depending on myriad variables. The optional carbon-ceramic brakes are pricey but work well, delivering fade-resistant stopping power and unusually good pedal feel and modulation.
Inside the 2016 BMW M4 you'll find a cabin very much like that of the standard 4 Series, done up in high-quality materials including some handsome carbon-fiber and matte silver aluminum trim. As expected from BMW's Motorsport division, M logos are abundantly present. Other standard upgrades include the regular 4 Series' optional larger display screen, a navigation system, a touchpad-enabled iDrive controller and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.
A driver-focused dashboard design and snug sport seats imbue the 2016 M4 with a sense of purpose.
The company's classic analog gauges provide a historical link with BMWs of previous decades, while the available head-up display projects digital information onto the windshield at the bottom of the driver's sight lines. The standard iDrive interface is pretty easy to use thanks to straightforward menus, crisp graphics and quick processing times.
Up front, the M4 feels roomy and the sport seats offer good comfort and support in enthusiastic motoring. The backseat is also respectably spacious, with enough head- and legroom for two normal adults. The trunk offers a decent amount of cargo room, even in the convertible. Speaking of which, the convertible's power-operated retractable hardtop will take you from a snug enclosed cabin to open-air motoring in roughly 20 seconds.
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.