What is it like on the inside?
Don’t come looking in here if you’ve got a new 8 Series. You’ll only be left wondering how on Earth your car costs twice as much this one. On the other hand, great news for 4 Series fans. The interior has come on in leaps and bounds to finally challenge Audi’s perceived cockpit quality.
From the pictures, you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about. Besides the digital instrument screen, and its idiotic backward hexagonal dials, it looks pretty much the same in here as the old 4 Series. You still get an unfashionable but refreshingly logical line of physical numbered buttons to assign radio stations, favourite contacts and most-used nav destinations to. iDrive now has touchscreen capability, but BMW’s mercifully reprieved the tactile clickwheel controller, making this probably the safest infotainment to use on the move of any car in the world.
It’s a familiar dash from the 3 Series, but you sit low, with the windscreen raked back towards you, in a supportive, highly adjustable seat. The materials are of a higher spec than the old, rather dour and in places cheaply finished predecessor. Noise and vibration’s been much reduced too. This 4 is a quieter cruiser, a more relaxing GT, and at this point it’s really difficult to think of any reason you’d buy an 8 Series instead of a 4. Oh yeah, the looks…
Despite the longer wheelbase and extra width, the 4 Series is not what you’d call ‘a proper four seater'. The rear screen eats too far into headroom in the back for that: they’re for occasional child use only. The boot now offers 440 litres of space.
Back in the cabin, the armrest cubby, cupholder cavern and door bins offer enough storage for the usual road trip paraphernalia. Because BMW prefers you access Apple CarPlay via Bluetooth, you can wirelessly charge your iPhone while it’s connected to the infotainment, so there’ll be no cables getting in the way while you flail around attempting to harness the gimmicky gesture control function.