BMW’s 4 Series Gran Coupe offers a more flexibly stylish choice than competitor mid-sized premium executive cars. For once, two rear doors don’t compromise the visual appeal of a model of this kind, nor does their extra weight dilute the handling purity. Of course, there are more practical choices in this segment – and certainly cheaper ones. After considering a lease on this BMW though, you might not be quite so attracted to them. Here, I’m going to tell you why.
Business carparks are full of cars owned by people who’d really rather be driving something else. In many cases, they’ll have something practical with five doors – when what they’d really like is a smart sports coupe. Any brand with a product able to offer the best of both will have a hit on its hands & BMW delivers both with the 4 Series Gran Coupe.
You might already be familiar with the kind of car this is – a coupe that also offers a set of conventional rear doors, while managing to stay relatively stylish and individual. As long ago as 2008, Volkswagen arguably pioneered this idea in the mid-sized class with their Passat CC, Audi then developed it in 2010 with their A5 Sportback. The 4 Series Gran Coupe was launched as the A5’s main competitor in 2014.
Inside, this design uses BMW’s older cabin architecture, but it still feels of high quality, with a large central 8.8-inch iDrive infotainment screen. It features as standard the BMW Navigation and BMW Professional Navigation set-ups. There’s more room in the back than the swept-back roof line might suggest. And out back, you get a decently-sized 480-litre boot, extendable further to 1,300-litres by folding the split-rear bench.
Vanarama customers get a choice of two core 4 Series Gran Coupe trim levels – ‘Sport’ and ‘M Sport’. As for engines, there’s a choice of three diesel units. Starting with the 190hp powerplant found in the 420d - a variant available with either two or four wheel drive. Above that come the six cylinder diesel models. You can have both rear wheel drive and xDrive 4WD versions of the 258bhp 430d, before you get to the 435d xDrive diesel range-topper with a potent 313bhp at its disposal.
If you’re considering petrol power, there’s the base four cylinder 184bhp 2.0-litre unit found in the 420i, which comes in both rear wheel drive and xDrive 4WD guises. The same powerplant is available in an uprated 252hp state of tune with a '430i' badge where it offers 252bhp. Beyond that, there’s a six cylinder petrol model, the 326hp '440i' variant.
This car’s closest competitor is probably the Audi A5 Sportback, but you could also compare the 4 Series Gran Coupe to cars like the Peugeot 508 Fastback, the Volkswagen Arteon and the Kia Stinger. The BMW though, is the only one of these models with rear wheel drive – which is a key reason why it’s the best of the bunch to drive.
One great car can create many such models. Certainly, there seems to be an almost never-ending series of ways that BMW can use the underpinnings of their segment-defining 3 Series saloon to suit ever-changing customer preferences. Here perhaps, in this good looking 4 Series Gran Coupe, we have the most appealing example of what BMW can do in the mid-sized executive segment.