BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

Athletic and exquisitely crafted

"The Grand Coupe felt as athletic as any Beemer of past and present," said Nabil

"The most beautiful variation of the 4 Series family architecture"

"There's the Sport+ mode that makes the whole car more intense and nervous"

"Inside it is elegantly simple and it all looks classy and practical" 

After the 6 Series, BMW has chosen its new 4 Series to transform it to another four door coupe or Gran Coupe that expands BMW already massive lineup to new grounds. ArabWheels tested this hybrid recently in Spain and found out that it is a BMW where it really matters.

The four door coupe mania was started by (who else) Mercedes-Benz in 2005 with the CLS, a four door sedan with a traditional tail boot that looked like a coupe thanks to a special design language. The car was a sensation and it caught attention and made money. This encouraged the rest of the Germans to follow suit, so Volkswagen was next in 2008 with its 'CC', followed by Audi not with one car but two: the A5 Sportback and the A7. BMW was last to enter this segment in late 2011 with a four door version of its 6 Series Coupe dubbed Gran Coupe.

Now, the carmaker from Bavaria has implemented the same treatment to its 4 Series family creating another four door coupe that BMW describes as "the most beautiful variation of the 4 Series family architecture". And that architecture, it already includes four body styles: a coupe, a cabrio, this four-door sedan and a new SUV dubbed the X4.

Exterior
From a design point of view, the car has 4 Series family detailing like the sloping roofline, frameless windows and front and rear-end design cues. It is very elegant and dynamic looking and much more substantial and attractive than the 3 sedan, which becomes too ordinary looking and mundane when parked next to it. Size wise, the 4 Series Grand Coupe shares the same wheelbase of the 3 Series sedan and the 4 Series coupe, and it is also has the same exterior overall length of the 4 coupe, being a bit longer than the 3 Sedan. And the 4 GC has a higher roofline than the 4 Series coupe but still lower than of the 3 sedan.

Interior
Inside, it's BMW cues all over again with the all-familiar dashboard and switchgear, but it is elegantly simple and it all looks classy and practical. And though it is billed as a coupe, the interior of this 4 Series is really as big as a station wagon and as practical. The rear seats are '40/20/40' individually split, so you can fold the part you only need. And when all three parts go down, cargo space increases from 480 to an amazing 1300 liters. Sure, that's less than in the tall and long 3 Series Gran-Turismo, but we're sure you'd rather be seen in the more stylish 4 Grand Coupe. Also on practicality, the rear hatch door is powered operated and can be opened by a simple flick of the foot under the rear bumper and it can also be stopped at already pre-programmed opening angles.

Drivetrain
BMW offers the 4 Grand Coupe with three all-turbo engines: two are 2.0 liter pumping out 184 and 245 hp respectively designated by 420i and 428i models. The third is the omnipresent 3.0 in-line six with 306 hp (435i). Drive is rear-wheel for all and only the 428i gets BMW's x-Drive and transmission is by an eight speed automatic gearbox.

Driving Impressions
We sampled the 245 hp turbo four banger and it is torque off idle and fervent at redline thanks to its high torque content of 350 Nm available at a very low 1250 rpm. With a reasonable 1.58 ton weight, our car recorded a 6.0 second zero-to-100 km time and a top speed of 250 km; that's fast in any book. On sun-soaked Spanish roads, the Grand Coupe felt as athletic as any Beemer of past and present; the engine was powerful at most of its range, the gearbox shifts on time, the ride always firm and composed but never harsh or punishing. And when the desire came for an even sportier drive, there's the Sport+ mode that makes the whole car more intense and nervous, and most of all tightens the electric steering and adaptive dampers, and the whole car becomes live and fun and the variable-ratio steering quickens as you dial in more lock. On the twisted rods of Basque country and with Sport mode, the car's nearly even front-to-rear weight balance ensured tidy body control, an obedient change of heading, and the firm and graceful compression of the suspension as it settled after every hard cornering. 

Verdict
With an attractive design and luxurious cabin, the 4 Series Gran Coupe will remain the choice of many BMW admirers. 

Pros: attractive design, luxurious cabin, big boot with individual folding seats, all BMW when it comes down to driving
Cons: too familiar dash
Rivals: Audi A5 Sportback 

Specs

Engine: Turbocharged in-line four cylinder, 245 hp, 350 Nm
Transmission: rear-wheel drive, eight speed auto transmission with manual shifting and paddle shifters
Performance: 0-100 km (6.0 seconds), top speed (250 kph)
Economy: 6.3 liters/100 km
Weight: 1580 kg
4 stars

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