BMW 4 Series Coupe

Car details navigation



Solid, enjoyable and desirable, but not quite a thoroughbred sportster.

Additional Info

  • Clean yet powerful engines, sophisticated suspension, classy looks
  • Top Gear wildcard

    Everything’s trying to be a coupe these days. None more so than a Range Rover Evoque: the coupe off-roader

  • Next steps

    Powered by

What is it?

The number 4 is a new one for BMW. But don’t be deceived, because really this is the new 3-Series Coupe. The ‘coupe’ bit may have been dropped – to help give it a personality all of its own – but the 4 is wider and has a lower centre of gravity than the car it replaces. So it’s actually more koop-ish than ever, and up to 45kg lighter. Although it’s based on the 3-Series saloon (with a couple of doors removed, of course), it’s been fiddled with so it behaves in a more sporty manner than the four-door 3. Though it was never in danger of becoming too edgy – save that for the upcoming M4 version…


We’ve already touched on the clues: less weight, wider track, lower centre of gravity. All of which are good news when faced with an empty road. The 4 relishes them.

The steering has been sharpened versus the 3-Series saloon, to which you can add a variable system with adaptive ride. We’d recommend doing so. Then pop it into Sport mode, where it feels instantly attentive. Whether you’re making a tight turn or going through a fast corner, the nose always feels in sync with your wrists. It smoothes over lumps and rarely loses its temper when the road bucks or ripples. There’s no limited-slip diff, but unless you find yourself on a track, you’re unlikely to notice. The only letdown is the slightly gristly manual gearbox, which requires considered placement. As for engines, the range kicks off with a 181bhp four-cylinder diesel, from which you can expect mid-60s mpg on a careful motorway cruise. There are 2.0-litre turbo petrols with 181bhp and 242bhp, an excellent twin turbo 3.0-litre petrol with 306bhp and a pair of six-cylinder diesels with 252bhp and 309bhp. Plus an eight-speed auto – one of the best out there.

On the inside

The front seats could give you more of a squeeze, as could the two in the back. But after a while it doesn’t matter – you sit low, steering wheel just where you want it, head-up display keeping you focused. Get inside and a robo-arm passes the seatbelt from over your shoulder. The cabin is from the 3-Series, so the steering wheel is round and there’s a proper handbrake. And the widescreen satnav display renders landmarks and even nondescript buildings in 3D.


A basic 420d SE costs £31,795 and will cause you minimal stress when it comes to paying for fuel and tax. But be picky with optional extras – the upgraded satnav is a no-brainer, but others will swallow your wallet without greatly improving the fundamental experience. They’ll eat into the otherwise excellent predicted retained values, too. You have been warned...

Now share it...

Latest road tests

8/10 BMW 428i Gran Coupe
July 2014
6/10 BMW 435i Convertible driven
April 2014
8/10 BMW 4 Series Coupe driven
September 2013

What do you think?

This service is provided by Disqus and is subject to their privacy policy and terms of use. Please read Top Gear's code of conduct (link below) before posting.

Search BMW 4 Series Coupe for sale