2018 BMW M4

2018 BMW M4 Review

It's equally capable of arcing along a twisty road, lapping a racetrack or just commuting to work.
7.3 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Carlos Lago
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

The 2018 BMW M4 represents an ideal marriage of sporting capability and luxury in one car. Based on the brand's 4 Series, the M4 receives comprehensive upgrades that make it equally capable of flying along a mountain road, lapping a racetrack or just comfortably commuting to work.

Essentially, the M4 is the hot-rodded version of the 4 Series coupe and convertible. It gets the typical BMW M division treatment, including a significantly more powerful twin-turbo inline six-cylinder engine, stickier tires, bigger brakes and subtly more aggressive styling. The conversion to M status doesn't diminish the 4 Series' luxury quotient either. The ride is compliant enough to drive the M4 and enjoy it daily, the seats are comfortable for a road trip and the interior still boasts attractive materials and logically placed controls. And even though it's a two-door, the M4 has decently roomy rear seats and a useful trunk.

If you're looking for a sports car that's more livable day to day or you want something a little more exciting than the standard luxury coupe or convertible, you'd do well to pick the 2018 BMW M4.



What's new for 2018

Aside from a few changes in options and packages, the 2018 M4 carries over largely unchanged. It gains a standard rearview camera, an updated version of the brand's iDrive infotainment system, and restyled headlights and taillights.

We recommend

The 2018 BMW M4 comes in one trim level, so your big choices are whether to choose coupe or convertible and manual or dual-clutch automatic transmission. The manual gives you a level of driver engagement that you don't get with the dual-clutch; the dual-clutch is quicker-shifting and much easier to live with in congested traffic. Beyond that, our top picks on the options list are the Competition package, if only for the amazing-looking 20-inch forged wheels, and the Executive package for its LED headlights and head-up display, among other upgrades.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 BMW M4 is a two-door, four-passenger high-performance car that's based on the company's 4 Series and offered as a coupe or a convertible. We're big fans of the M4's excellent balance of performance and comfort. And while we'd recommend buying a few optional extras, the M4 is going to be a joy to drive every day regardless of how you equip it.

As you'd probably expect with a high-end two-door such as the M4, there's plenty of standard equipment. For starters, you get a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine (425 hp, 406 lb-ft) and either a six-speed manual transmission or an optional seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic. Also included is launch control, automatic rev-matching on downshifts, 18-inch wheels with summer tires, an adaptive sport-tuned suspension (a standard nonadaptive suspension is a no-cost option), an electronically controlled rear differential, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, power front sport seats with heating, driver-seat memory settings and fold-down rear seatbacks.

In addition to the performance and cabin basics, the M4 has a decent amount of standard tech equipment, including an 8.8-inch display screen with BMW's iDrive infotainment interface, a rearview camera, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system, Bluetooth, navigation, a suite of smartphone and online applications under the BMW ConnectedDrive banner, HD radio and satellite radio, a USB audio input and a CD player.

A few key optional packages are available for the M4 as well. The Competition package ups the M4's power rating to 444 hp and adds 20-inch wheels, revised settings for the adaptive suspension, an even sportier exhaust and some interior trim upgrades such as M stripes on the seat belts. The Executive package adds full LED headlights, automatic high beams, side- and top-view cameras, an automated parking system, head-up display, and speed limit information.

Other options include 19-inch wheels, carbon-ceramic brakes, a heated steering wheel, parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, a power rear sunshade (coupe only), a head-up display, Apple CarPlay and wireless device charging.

On the coupe, you get your choice of either a roof made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic or a traditional steel roof with 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, the convertible also includes front-seat neck warmers.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our Full Test of the 2015 BMW M4 Coupe (turbo 3.0L inline-6 | 6-speed manual | RWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current BMW M4 has received some revisions, including the addition of standard adaptive suspension and an optional Competition package, which increases horsepower. Despite those changes, our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's BMW M4.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall7.3 / 10

Driving

8.0 / 10

Acceleration9.0 / 10
Braking9.0 / 10
Steering7.5 / 10
Handling7.5 / 10
Drivability8.5 / 10

Comfort

7.0 / 10

Seat comfort8.5 / 10
Ride comfort7.5 / 10
Noise & vibration5.5 / 10
Climate control6.5 / 10

Interior

7.5 / 10

Ease of use7.0 / 10
Getting in/getting out6.5 / 10
Driving position9.0 / 10
Roominess8.0 / 10
Visibility7.0 / 10
Quality7.5 / 10

Utility

6.5 / 10

Small-item storage6.5 / 10
Cargo space7.0 / 10

Driving8.0

The M4 drives a lot like a sports car. It accelerates with potency, turns sharply and stops quickly. There's little reason to crave more performance, though the steering doesn't communicate much road feel to the driver. Still, this is a car that does an impressive number of things very well.

Acceleration9.0

The turbo 3.0-liter six-cylinder feels eager, alert and powerful. Sharp at low revs, has a strong midrange and is willing to rev with great throttle response at any speed. In Edmunds testing, an M4 with a manual transmission hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and the quarter-mile in 12.4 seconds at 116 mph.

Braking9.0

The M4's brake pedal is firm. The powerful (optional) carbon-ceramic brakes on our test car have excellent modulation and great stopping power. There are some groans at low speeds but that's expected. In a simulated-panic stop from 60 mph to zero, the M4 took just 106 feet, an excellent result.

Steering7.5

Steering on the M4 is well-weighted and precise, but it's lacking the feel we expect from cars in this class. That lack of feel becomes even more pronounced when you get closer to the car's elevated handling limits, but in-town steering should be sufficient for most drivers.

Handling7.5

No surprises here: The M4 has lots of grip and excellent agility. The car's immense handling capabilities inspire lots of confidence while you're driving fast. This is especially rewarding for drivers who are attentive in managing weight transfer. We measured an impressive 0.98g around our skidpad.

Drivability8.5

This car is a great example of cohesive integration of the primary driving controls. The manual gearbox in our test car had slick, bright and fast shifts. Drive this car every day and you'll be able to tell that its nuances were fussed over.

Comfort7.0

Everyday use is no problem for this car. It's properly sporting but totally user-friendly. The ride is supple enough for your commute, and noise will never wear you down. Its seats in particular stand out for their ability to do it all.

Seat comfort8.5

Outstanding front-seat comfort no matter whether you are exploring a mountain road or just cruising. The combination of leather and cloth is unusual but effective. The backseat is reasonably comfortable for adults.

Ride comfort7.5

This is a firm-riding car, no doubt, but there's a suppleness to the dampers that rounds off the edges. Nobody will mistake its ride quality for that of a Bentley, but for a sporting vehicle it is quite good.

Noise & vibration5.5

Some road noise is evident from the low-profile tires on optional 20-inch wheels, but there is very little engine noise at a cruise. Prod the throttle and the engine perks up nicely, augmented by the stereo. Wind noise is not an issue.

Interior7.5

The M4 has a practical driving position and intuitive cabin. Rear-seat access and rear vision are acceptable considering this is a two-door. The interior is easy to live with on a daily basis.

Ease of use7.0

Logical and well-laid-out cabin controls make the M4's interior easy to use. The iDrive screen is large, bright and crisp, as are the simple gauges. Climate controls consist of temperature knobs and buttons for the rest. Limited brightwork prevents distracting reflections.

Getting in/getting out6.5

Being based on a sedan has its benefits. The door openings are easy to navigate gracefully. The stepover height is low, and the seat is higher than in a sports car. The backseat access is a bit more awkward, of course, but not bad as coupes go.

Roominess8.0

This is a larger car than you might guess. The ample width allows plenty of shoulder and elbow room in front. Without the sunroof, headroom is no problem for 6-footers. In back, kids fit fine and adults will be OK on short trips.

Visibility7.0

Forward and side visibility are good, thanks to the relatively upright seating position and greenhouse. As with most modern cars, there are large blind spots at the rear roof pillars, and the deck is high-ish.

Quality7.5

Excellent fit and finish defines the M4's cabin. Cabin controls and features move smoothly and with precision. Materials are rich and appear to have been chosen to minimize distraction. The mixed-material seats are unusual but very effective.

Utility6.5

There's enough space inside this coupe for four passengers, but cabin storage isn't very impressive. There are a few large door pockets, but the center console is shallow and the glovebox tiny. The split backseat, which folds, is nice, and should help with loading a set of golf clubs or skis.

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.