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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
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  • BMW 4 Series

    £20,480 £20,480

    Variant name:Diesel Coupe Sport ,Derivative:Sport ,Variant: 420d [190] Sport 2dr [Business Media] BMW 4 Series 420d [190] Sport 2dr [Business Media]

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 14998 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
    £20,480 £20,480
    Marshall Motor Group-Marshall Volvo of Cambridge
    01223 663340 View contact number
  • BMW 4 Series

    £11,695 £11,695

    Variant name:418D LUXURY GRAN COUPE ,Derivative:2.0 418d Luxury Gran Coupe (s/s) 5dr ,Variant: 2.0 418d Luxury Gran Coupe (s/s) 5dr Metallic Black, AA INSPECTED AND 3 MONTH AA WARRANTY, , THE INDEPENDENT AA INSPECTORS COMPLETE A 128 COMPREHENSIVE MULTI-POINT CHECK INCLUDING ROAD TEST PRIOR TO THE CAR BEING ADVERTISED., 1 owner, Last serviced on 27/07/2018 at 124,143 miles, 18¿ ALLOY WHEELS, BI XENON HEADLIGHTS, L.E.D DAYTIME RUNNING LIGHTS, AUDIO / VISUAL FRONT AND REAR PARKING SENSORS, STOP / START TECHNOLOGY, KEY-LESS GO, FULL BLACK LEATHER INTERIOR, 3 STAGE HEATED FRONT SEATS, DIGITAL DUAL ZONE CLIMATE CONTROL, CRUISE CONTROL, WIDESCREEN DIGITAL DISPLAY, SATELLITE NAVIGATION SYSTEM. (NAV MEDIUM AND / OR ACTIVATION REQUIRED), CD / DAB STEREO SYSTEM, BLUETOOTH, SPORT / ECO PRO / COMFORT VEHICLE MODES, AUTOMATIC / TIPTRONIC GEARBOX, AND MANY MORE. 5 seats, This Car Has Only 1 Registered Owner And Has Been Used For Business Purposes, BMW Main Dealer Service History, 12 Months Road Tax Is £120 Value Financing Options Available, Fixed Prices, According to Autotrader, 94% Of Our Cars Are Below Market Value Or Offer Excellent Value For Money, V12 Sports And Classics For The UK's Lowest Prices., , Excellent Finance Options Available And Part Exchanges Welcome, Open 7 Days A Week., , Vehicle Specification Can Be Found Below., £11,695 p/x welcome

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 124330 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
    £11,695 £11,695
  • BMW 4 Series

    £34,990 £34,990

    Variant name:M4 ,Derivative:F83 ,Variant: 2014 64 BMW M4 M-DCT New to our stunning range of handpicked sports and performance vehicles in white the 2014 64 BMW M4 M-DCT completed 43,319 miles. You can rest assured this vehicle has been cared for and meticulously maintained. Included on this stunning M4 M-DCT is a selection of extras that when ordered brand new from the supplying BMW dealership cost £8,020 and comprises of; M Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic, Adaptive LED Headlights, Head-up display, Convertible Comfort package, Loudspeaker system - harman/kardon, Comfort Access system, Reversing Assist camera, Aluminium Blade, Speed limit display, Front armrest with sliding function and Internet. Also includes; Cruise control, Electric Power steering with Servotronic, Enhanced bluetooth telephone functionality with USB audio interface + voice control, External temperature indicator with acoustic signal, Stop/start button, Auxiliary point for auxiliary devices, BMW professional radio/CD/MP3,DAB Digital radio, 3 spoke leather steering wheel, Extended lights package, Media package, daptive M Sports suspension, M differential lock and much more. All of our cars are subject to meticulous care and preparation by our skilled technicians and bodywork experts to guarantee peace of mind. To request a personalised presentation, arrange a test drive or to simply ask for additional info, then call 01642 813 376 or speak to us on Live Chat today.

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 43319 mi
    • Engine size: 3
    For sale
    £34,990 £34,990