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BMW 4 Series: Buying guide and review (2014-on)

BMW 4 Series: Buying guide and review (2014-on) Classic and Performance Car
BMW 4 Series BMW 4 Series BMW 4 Series BMW 4 Series BMW 4 Series BMW 4 Series
Younger car fans may find it hard to believe but at the turn of the century BMW’s entire range comprised of just four models. Nearly two decades on and feverish niche filling pushes that number today to well over 20. In fairness, the 4 Series range we are covering today is more of a rebranded 3 Series coupe and (excepting the 4-door Gran Coupe) fits in with the odd/even numbering system employed throughout the range.
 
Detractors may point out that the 4 Series is hardly different from the 3 Series saloon it’s based on. While it does cost a fair bit more, the truth is that premium positioning has always been the case with previous 3 Series coupes, and in this instance justifies the pricing increase by offering far sportier looks and a sharper drive. Now approaching its fourth year of production, the 4 Series is still a great new buy and can make for a well-priced used buy too. Read on to see what to look for.
 

Which one to buy?

 
Launched in 2014, the 4 Series range was introduced in coupe, convertible and four-door Gran Coupe body styles. The Gran Coupe being a sleeker four-door 3 Series went directly against BMW’s own new numbering system, showing that the Germans do in fact have a sense of humour, and can’t resist a niche even if they have to invent it.  
 
Sharing only the bonnet and other minor components with its 3 Series sibling, the 4 Series coupe is lower, sleeker and a fair bit sportier looking. Detail suspension changes make the ride a bit firmer but overall the driving experience is a tad sharper than in the saloon. Drivetrain options mirror the 3 Series range but exclude the entry level 136bhp three-cylinder petrol engine. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard on all four-cylinder cars with an eight-speed automatic the only transmission available for six-cylinder variants, except for the 435i and 440i coupe’s. The convertible versions retain the folding metal top of their predecessors, which makes for a cabin as quiet as the coupes – at the expense of a heavier curb weight compared to a traditional soft top.
 
The recent 2016 update introduced some minor changes with the 428i and 435i receiving new power plants, a slight power bump and a rebadge to 430i and 440i respectively. For those living in the far reaches of the UK, X-drive is available on the 420i, 420d and 430d while the 435d can only be had with the system, which is probably a good thing considering the 465lb ft of torque at the driver’s disposal. 
 
The mid-life facelift will be introduced in 2017 and seeing as the engines have only just been updated the changes will be focused on a new infotainment system and a refresh to the exterior and interior trim. It may be worth waiting for if you are looking to buy new, but should not affect used car buyers as prices should not be adversely affected. 
 
Standard specification is slightly up on an equivalent 3 Series and the list of options is a long one. Comfort access, wireless charging, speed limit display and the Harman/Kardon loudspeaker systems are worthwhile extras while the adaptive M sport suspension and large diameter rims are great for sportier drivers, if you can live with the harsher ride on broken surfaces.
 
If diesel power is a must then the smooth and torquey six-cylinder 430d is the one to opt for, the 420d is quick but clattery. Petrol fans will head straight for the 435i/440i models but don’t discount the four-cylinder 428i/430i, which still offer seriously rapid real world performance with appreciably lower running costs – albeit without the six-cylinder soundtrack. Gran Coupes are an interesting body style too, combining the stylish coupe silhouette with added four-door practicality although not quite as spacious as a traditional 3 Series in the back.
 

Performance and specs

 
BMW 440i Coupe
Engine 2998cc turbocharged 32 valve DOHC inline-six 
Power 322bhp @ 5500rpm 
Torque 332lb ft @ 1380-5000rpm
Top speed 155mph (limited)
0-62mph 5.0secs 
Fuel consumption 40mpg 
Gearbox Eight-speed automatic
 

Dimensions and weight

 
Wheelbase 2810mm
Length 4638mm
Width 1825mm
Height 1377mm
Weight 1630kg
 

Common problems

 
• Most newer cars should still be under the manufacturer’s three year warranty while used models sold through the dealer network come with a 12 month warranty. 

• Cars that were purchased new with a BMW service inclusive package should still be covered for all servicing costs until they reach either five-years of age or 50,000miles.

• Despite the 4 Series’ freshness, the usual used car buying guideline still apply so check for regular servicing stamps and evidence of any accident damage. 

• A fuel pump recall was carried out on 4 series models built between 2013 and 2015 so check if your car was affected. A recall on a seatbelt malfunction during the same period was also issued.

• Some owners have complained of a hard ride with large rims on sports suspension while others find the 418d/420d to be a coarse power unit.

• Aftermarket modifications may invalidate the warranty so check this up if your car has been to a non-BMW approved specialist.
 

Model history

 
2014: BMW 4 Series launched, two-door coupe, convertible and four-door saloon body styles available. Engine and transmission options mirror 4 Series offerings with slightly higher standard specification levels
2016: Engines upgraded across the range; 420i receives updated engine with no power increase, 242bhp 428i replaced with 252bhp 430i; 302bhp 435i replaced with 326bhp 440i
2017: Mid-life Face-lift pending
 

Owners’ clubs, forums and websites

 
• www.4-seriesforums.com – BMW 4 Series forum
• www.bmwcarclubgb.uk – BMW car club
 

Common problems

 
As a new buy the 4 Series range starts at just over £30,000 for a 420i, rising to £45,000 for the tar rippling 435d xDrive. Add a further £2000 for some must have equipment and a similar premium for convertible and Gran Coupe versions.

Used cars have maintained strong residuals but still offer significant savings over buying new. A manual 435i is a rare beast and at £27,000 for a 2014 model, very tempting indeed.  The 428i though arguably offers a better mix of useable power and economy for everyday driving and the earliest cars start at £21,000. Add a few thousand more for the convertibles and Gran Coupes and you have a range of cars that offer style and dynamics that were the preserve of serious sports cars not that long ago.
 
Words: John Tallodi
BMW 4 Series BMW 4 Series BMW 4 Series BMW 4 Series BMW 4 Series BMW 4 Series
Last updated: 4th Nov 2016
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BMW 4 Series cars for sale

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BMW 4 Series
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  • BMW 4 Series Coupe

    £35,781 £35,781

    Variant: 2.0TD (184bhp) 420d M Sport

    • Year: 2016
    For sale
    Marshall Motor Group-Marshall BMW Hampshire
    01256 441790 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

    £29,000 £29,000

    Variant: 2.0TD 420d M Sport (s/s) PRE-REGISTERED NEARLY NEW BMW 420i Luxury Coupe AVAILABLE NOW FROM DICK LOVETT BMW IN Hungerford. This car is available for immediate delivery today with a fantastic saving of £10,120 vs. Cost New. AN AMAZING LIST OF ADDITIONAL SPECIFICATION WORTH £4,987. INCLUDES: Mineral Grey, Sport automatic transmission, 19" BMW Individual V-spoke style wheels, Reversing Assist camera,Sun protection glass,Exterior Mirrors - folding,Split-folding rear seats,Extended storage, Surround-view,Enhanced Bluetooth telephone with USB. The car comes complete with the remaining balance of its 3 Year BMW Warranty and 3 Year BMW Emergency Services Assistance. Until 31 January 2017 you can also benefit from a £500 DEPOSIT CONTRIBUTION when you purchase this car via BMW Financial Services (7.9% APR Representative). Not only that, your FIRST SCHEDULED SERVICE IS FREE with Dick Lovett BMW, giving you ultimate peace of mind. Terms and conditions apply, so to find out more, please contact one of our friendly Sales Team today by calling us or enquiring via our website – we will be delighted to assist you.

    • Year: 2017
    For sale
  • BMW 4 Series

    £25,895 £25,895

    Colour SatNav, Harman Kardon, Memory Seats, Full Leather, Cruise Control, 4x4 BMW SERVICE PACK UNTIL 2019! Rarely Do You Come Across a Car That Ticks So Many Boxes - Simply Incredible Specification, Upgrades - Loudspeaker System - Harman Kardon, Head-Up Display incl. Full Black Panel Display, BMW Professional Navigation, Adaptive M Sport Suspension, M Sport Braking System, Heated Front Seats, Adaptive Headlights, Alloy Wheels - 19in M Double-Spoke Style 442M, Xenon Headlights, High-Beam Assistant, DAB Tuner, Sun Protection Glass, Front Sliding Armrest, 3 months warranty, Last serviced on 20/06/2016 at 34,000 miles, Full dealership history, Red Full leather interior, Four wheel-drive, Standard Features - Cruise Control with Brake Function, Air Conditioning, Automatic with Two - Zone Control, Park Distance Control (PDC), Front and Rear, Tyre Pressure Monitor, Bluetooth Hands - Free Facility, Dakota Leather Upholstery, Rain Sensor, Comfort Go Keyless Engine Start, Hill - Start Assistant, Electronic Windows - Front with Open/Close Fingertip Control, Anti-Trap Facility and Comfort Closing Function, Alarm System (Thatcham 1) with Remote Control, Front Seat Electric Adjustment/Memory Driver, Metallic Paintwork. 4 seats, Grey, FINANCE PACKAGES - With a number of lenders on board we are able to offer packages to suit individual circumstances, including Sub Prime. HPI CLEAR - All vehicles are provided with full HPI reports. WARRANTY - At Velvis Cars we provide every vehicle with a standard 3 month warranty through Auto Protect. An upgraded 6 month warranty, or w

    • Mileage: 41000 mi
    • Engine size: 2993
    For sale
  • BMW 4 Series

    £24,990 £24,990

    ** £990 DEPOSIT £409 MONTHLY **, ** BUY NOW START PAYING MARCH 2017**, One Private Owner From New, ** CAR JUST IN FULL SPECIFICATION TO FOLLOW **, Finance For Example Only - Contact For Quote

    • Mileage: 20000 mi
    • Engine size: 1995
    For sale
  • BMW 4 Series

    £22,000 £22,000

    Satellite Navigation, Cruise Control, Parking Sensors, Brake Assist, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Headlamp Jetwash, LED Daytime Running Lights, I Drive System, BMW Assist, BMW Online, Front Fog Lamps, Front Centre Armrest, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Air Conditioning, Climate Control, Push Button Start, Auxiliary In, Isofix, ABS, Air Bag, Side Air Bags, Immobiliser, Alarm, Traction Control, Central Locking, Remote Central Locking, Trip Computer, Stability Control, Adjustable Steering Column, Sports Seats, Automatic Electric Windows, Radio, Head Restraints, Rear Armrest, CD Player, MP3 Player, Colour Coded Body, Electric Mirrors, M Sport Alloys, M Sport Bodykit, 18'' Alloys Click on this car for full specification. You can find more photos, enhanced specification, Service history, Log book and the HPI certificate on our web site. For a no obligation test drive, finance quote or part-exchange valuation call us today. This car has been inspected by trained technicians and passed a multi-point inspection. For a hassle, haggle free buying experience and drive away the same day visit Big Motoring World today.Award winning Big Motoring World stocks up to 2,000 BMW, Mercedes, Audi and VW cars

    • Mileage: 18530 mi
    • Engine size: 1995
    For sale
  • BMW 4 Series

    £20,000 £20,000

    Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth, Parking Sensors, Electric Seats, Heated Seats, Memory Seats, Headlamp Jetwash, Rain-Sensing Wipers, I Drive System, BMW Assist, BMW Online, Front Fog Lamps, Front Centre Armrest, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Air Conditioning, Climate Control, Push Button Start, Auxiliary In, Isofix, ABS, Air Bag, Side Air Bags, Immobiliser, Alarm, Traction Control, Central Locking, Remote Central Locking, Electric Front Windows, Trip Computer, Stability Control, Adjustable Steering Column, Sports Seats, Automatic Electric Windows, Radio, Head Restraints, Rear Armrest, CD Player, MP3 Player, Colour Coded Body, Electric Mirrors, M Sport Alloys, M Sport Bodykit, Height Adjustable Seat, 18'' Alloys Click on this car for full specification. You can find more photos, enhanced specification, Service history, Log book and the HPI certificate on our web site. For a no obligation test drive, finance quote or part-exchange valuation call us today. This car has been inspected by trained technicians and passed a multi-point inspection. For a hassle, haggle free buying experience and drive away the same day visit Big Motoring World today.Award winning Big Motoring World stocks up to 2,000 BMW, Mercedes, Audi and VW cars

    • Mileage: 40893 mi
    • Engine size: 1995
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  • BMW 4 Series

    £21,000 £21,000

    Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth, Parking Sensors, Heated Seats, Electric Seats, Memory Seats, Headlamp Jetwash, Rain-Sensing Wipers, LED Daytime Running Lights, USB Interface, I Drive System, BMW Assist, BMW Online, Front Fog Lamps, Front Centre Armrest, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Air Conditioning, Climate Control, Push Button Start, Auxiliary In, Isofix, ABS, Air Bag, Side Air Bags, Immobiliser, Alarm, Traction Control, Central Locking, Remote Central Locking, Electric Front Windows, Trip Computer, Stability Control, Adjustable Steering Column, Sports Seats, Automatic Electric Windows, Radio, Head Restraints, Rear Armrest, CD Player, MP3 Player, Colour Coded Body, M Sport Alloys, M Sport Bodykit, Anthracite Headlining, 18'' Alloys Click on this car for full specification. You can find more photos, enhanced specification, Service history, Log book and the HPI certificate on our web site. For a no obligation test drive, finance quote or part-exchange valuation call us today. This car has been inspected by trained technicians and passed a multi-point inspection. For a hassle, haggle free buying experience and drive away the same day visit Big Motoring World today.Award winning Big Motoring World stocks up to 2,000 BMW, Mercedes, Audi and VW cars

    • Mileage: 40971 mi
    • Engine size: 2993
    For sale
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