2017 BMW 440i Gran Coupe Review

2017 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe Road Test, Review

BMW did raise some eyebrows when they announced the would be splitting the 3 Series in two, popping the Gran Coupe, coupe and convertible version into its own 4 Series classification.

The Munich-based manufacturer did the same with the 1 Series and 5 Series and now that we’re used to it we can see the logic behind it.

In regards to the 4 Series Gran Coupe, in this case the top-spec six-cylinder 440i, it is quite a different car to your average 3 Series sedan.

With the ‘hatchback’ rear and sloping tail-end also comes frame-less door windows and that gives the car quite a different feel from the get go.

I would say, as the image below shows, that rear visibility isn’t quite as good as the 3 Series sedan though.

While a constant observation with the current 3 and 4 Series cars is the rather chunky A pillars (the pillars next to the windscreen).

These require you just to take that bit of extra care to make sure there isn’t a person or a car sitting in that blind spot.

The hatchback rear though seems to give you a bit more usable cargo space, the area is not particularly deep, but quite long and wide and perhaps would make for a better fit for golf clubs etc.

On the Road

There is very little not to like about BMW’s 3.0 litre straight-six, in fact it remains one of my favourite engines.

A lot more willing at low revs than the BMW four-cylinder engine, this makes for a more enjoyable drive around town.

240kW/450Nm makes sure you will never feel let down in the performance stakes.

The BMW 440i Gran Coupe remains available with a six-speed manual transmission as a no cost option - personally, I would find that tempting, though the eight-speed auto is certainly hard to fault.

I was recently in Munich, checking out some products from a different vehicle manufacturer, and what they say about the quality of German roads can’t be understated.

Back here at home, well our roads are pretty dreadful in comparison and that means you will likely find just about any BMW has a fairly firm ride.

While our many road cracks and holes can be exacerbated by the low-profile tyres that most BMW models also come with.

The trade-off is an always hard to describe sporty feel - BMW cars very much have their own feel and if you’re a fan you normally stay one forever.

Fuel economy in my week of city and suburban driving was about what you might expect - I averaged 11L/100km.

On the Inside

The BMW 3 Series/4 Series sits in the mid-size passenger car segment and that means the car is around the same dimensions as a Toyota Camry.

So, legroom up front is better than adequate, however in the rear, as the image shows, it’s a bit tight for taller adults.

The white leather trim in my test car is not child friendly (from personal experience), and (as with any car with light trim) would certainly require more frequent cleaning and maintenance.

Everything else though is traditional BMW - it all fits nicely and feels good to the touch. I particularly like the steering wheel design in this car.

As with other BMW models that I have tested, my suggestion to BMW would be a change in the functionality of the iDrive infotainment system.

I reckon it would be better if you could continuously scroll through selections, rather than have to go back in the opposite direction when you reach the end of your selection options.

This current BMW 3/4 Series has really generously sized door pockets, and the glove box is better than average, though the centre console bin is pretty small.

Just ahead of that storage bin is an old fashioned parking brake arrangement - in a world of mostly electronic parking brakes it feels just a little out of place.

The Summary

I scratch my head when I see the monthly sales figures for the BMW 3 Series and 4 Series - these cars are serious under performers.

Great all-round cars, sporty, luxurious and practical, I would like to see more premium car buyers give these offerings a go.

Would I buy the Gran Coupe over the sedan? You know what, I think I would!

NUTS and BOLTS - 2017 BMW 440i Gran Coupe:

  • Engine: 3.0 litre six-cylinder producing 240kW/450Nm
  • Transmission: Eight-speed auto or six-speed manual
  • Safety: Not tested
  • Warranty: Three years
  • Origin: Germany
  • Price: from $99,900

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