Chris Miller road tests and reviews the 2015 BMW 4 Series.
The new 2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe really does offer the best of both worlds; the functionality of a four door sedan and the svelte, seductive lines of a coupe.
Complementing the BMW 4 Series Coupe and Convertible, the Gran Coupe is only slightly taller than the two door coupe but runs on exactly the same wheelbase. It’s also exactly the same price as the coupe.
Elegant frameless doors and some extra headroom provide comfort for four, while the boot has the same amount of space as the BMW 3 Series sedan.
Priced from $70,000 for the 420i Gran Coupe, the diesel 420d Gran Coupe adds an extra $2,300 while the 428i starts at $81,000. Our test car was the top of the line 435i, priced from $109,000.
Under the bonnet is the world famous turbo charged inline six cylinder engine that just loves to rev, yet is always smooth, creamy and utterly delicious. With 225kW on tap combined with a healthy 400Nm, the 435i Gran Coupe will sprint to 100km/h in just 5.2 seconds. Hooked up to possibly the best 8-Speed automatic gearbox in the world today there is always plenty of power available, with the full 400Nm of torque online at 1200rpm.
The engine note is intoxicating, and when you take manual control of the 8-Speed auto via the metal paddles on the steering wheel, the 435i Gran Coupe is a sheer delight.
Standard on the 435i Gran Coupe is the M-Sport pack which adds Adaptive M suspension, variable sport steering and high performance four-piston fixed calliper brakes with ventilated discs…all riding on 19-inch M double-spoke alloy wheels and providing the 435i Gran Coupé with the poise and handling characteristics you would expect of a thoroughbred.
Well weighted steering that provides plenty of feedback complements the brilliant suspension tune that equates to staggering levels of grip. The BMW 435i Gran Coupe loves a winding mountain road, and it’s something you’ll regularly seek out when you get behind the wheel.
The pay-off for all that grip and handling prowess is a firmish ride that doesn’t particularly like rough roads – but it is far from a deal breaker, and on smooth chip roads the 435i Gran Coupe deals well with wind and road noise and is a great long distance cruiser.
With such a performance orientated machine you’d probably expect economy to suffer…again the BMW 435i Gran Coupe surprises. Over a week of spirited driving the economy reading was 9.7 litres per 100km, undoubtedly helped by the faultless stop/start system that almost imperceptibly shuts down the motor when you come to a stop, and then firing it up again as brake pedal pressure is reduced.
Inside the 435i Gran Coupe it is familiar BMW fare – minimalist, sophisticated and with a lack of storage areas. Yes, there are cup holders and a few shallow bins to store your bits, but inevitably you’ll run out of room for your day to day stuff with much of it having to be relegated to the glove box. That is however about the only complaint.
Ergonomics are excellent, the quality of the materials first class.
The BMW iDrive system remains the benchmark for the industry; it’s easy to use elegantly and it acts as an interface to a multitude of settings to really personalise your driving experience.
Standard equipment includes a high-res 8.8-inch colour screen and 20Gb hard drive storage for music files, a 12-speaker 500W Harman/Kardon surround sound system, keyless entry and contactless opening of the tailgate. A colour Head-Up display is also standard along with PDC Park Distance Control.
The option list must be read sitting down to avoid sticker shock…and it’s a long list; Glass Sunroof $2,920, Heated Front Seats $850, Adaptive Headlights $3,300, Active Cruise Control $1,600, Metallic Paint $1,840…we could go on, but you get the picture.
Even though the option list is long (and tempting) the essentials and much more are covered in the standard package, so if the budget is a bit tight, fear not, you’ll be able to make do.
With the looks, performance, dynamics and economy boxes ticked, along with (by BMW standards at least) a generous amount of standard kit, the BMW 435i Gran Coupe could well be the best sporting saloon yet produced by the Bavarians that doesn’t have an M badge. Graceful, athletic, intelligent and oh so sexy, the 435i Gran Coupe is everything a BMW should be, and more.
NUTS and BOLTS - 2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe (435i)
Engine: 3.0 litre turbo-petrol producing 225kW and 400Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Safety: Not tested
Warranty: Three years
Price: From $109,000