If there are three aesthetic rules to live by, they could well be that style is subjective, strong designs soften over time, and it’s rude to comment on other peoples’ nose-jobs. Pity, then, the 2021 BMW 4 Series and its love-it-or-(more-likely)-hate-it grille, is as bold as the automaker’s boasts of driving prowess and lashings of technology.
As 2020 came to a close, we wrapped up the year by attending the BMW 4 series coupe launch down in sunny Cape Town. This car was controversial from its initial images that were released due to its larger than normal kidney grille. In those early days it was either you liked the car or didn’t.
I on the other hand thought it was a positive switch up since the newer models have a more distinct appearance which then made sense on this new model. Personally, I liked the vehicle then and like it even more now.
As mentioned, the exterior has evoked mixed feeling amongst car enthusiasts across the board. However, once you see this car in person for the first time you begin to feel different towards it. By feeling different I mean it in a positive way. The 4 has a sporty track ready appearance and that huge grille gives it’s that aggression. Even though much of its looks are derived from the 3 Series, The 4 has a much wider stance. Both rear and front lights have a slimmer design and personally I think the front lights were inspired by The 8. If you don’t believe me take a quick glance at them again.
The interior is much similar to other BMW’s most especially the dash area of which I’m happy about. The generous might say that there’s no need to fix what doesn’t need it, but it’s a reminder all the same that there’s less distance from the 3 Series than the outside might suggest. For one, I like getting into a BMW and knowing how the buttons and knobs work this makes for a pleasurable experience.
The customizable colour combinations of the interior leather and finishes give it much more personality and, dare we say, flavour to an individual’s needs and preferences. My favourite scheme during the launch drive had to be combination of grey and white interior. But one would have to steer clear of wearing blue denims when riding this specification.
Honestly, the cabin space is rather limited, I guess it makes sense why this car is targeted at individuals that don’t have kids or just one. If you fall under that segment then this really could be the car for you. However, don’t despair if you have a family because the Gran Coupé is designed just for you.
We test drove two variants; The 420d that churns out 140kW and the M440i xDrive that outputs an impressive 275kW. If I had to choose one I would take the 420d, I believe it produces the right amount of power and if you have driven a BMW diesel you would also know how fuel efficient they are. This particular model is claimed to do between 4,2 – 4,3 l/100km compared to the M440i that has an efficiency between 7.1-6,8l/100km.
Besides the fuel efficiency, the 420d delivers an exciting drive, obviously the xDrive and M sport package in the M440i make for a performance enhanced drive, I still feel the 420d is not to be underrated.
Additional features on the M440i xDrive include, M launch control, M Sprint function that gives you a burst of speed should you need it. The M Suspension and M TwinPower Turbo engine, M Steptronic Sport Transmission and the much-needed M Sport exhaust system. All of this gives you a 0-100km/h sprint in 4.5 seconds compared to the 420d that does it in 7.1 seconds.
Both the 420d and M440i drive very well and I feel the drivability of this coupé is better than the drive of its greatest rival the Mercedes Benz C200 Coupé. The low driving position is quite enjoyable and the steering is quite exceptional too. Even though the car is sporty in design the drive in both variants is very comfortable and suited for daily driving. One can expect to pay from R802 900 for the 420d and M440i from R1 117 450.
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