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BMW 4 Series Coupe
The Top Gear car review:BMW 4 Series Coupe
What is it like on the road?
The 4 is on safe ground here. It’s simply the best car to drive in its class, with a genuine appetite for being leant on through corners, a deft and sweet balance thanks to 50:50 weight distribution between the front and rear axles, and exceedingly honed powertrains. When the 4 Series was facelifted in the middle of 2017, BMW said it made tweaks to the steering, suspension and ABS, but perhaps BMW ought to check its software engineers clocking-in cards, because the changes are infinitesimal. It maybe steers a mite more cleanly, with a direct, decent-speed rack that shimmies less than the old car’s.
But you’d struggle to tell: there’s never any feel, but the steering is still better than what Mercedes and Lexus offer. So too the suspension: we’d say avoid the adaptive dampers, because the car is comfortable enough without them, and the sport mode doesn’t tie up body roll by a massive amount – this is a road car after all, not a track day goer’s runaround.
Plus you’ll be unlikely to see the £750 needed for adaptive suspension back at resale time, since buyers tend to be unimpressed by unquantifiable gadgets they can’t physically show off. Better to put that towards the £1,690 needed for the sport-auto transmission, which far improves the 4 Series experience versus the sloppy six-speed manual.
You pretty much cannot go wrong, engine-wise. All are turbocharged, all are at the top of their game, though the 430i, now sporting just four rather than the previous six cylinders, is a tad rough-sounding. The 440i’s creamy smooth straight six is a lovely throwback to BMWs of old, revs sweetly and its power output is far more appropriate to the 4 Series’ chassis talents that the overblown M4.