If “BMW 4 Series” doesn’t ring a bell, it’s because that’s the latest name for the coupe version of the BMW 3 Series, @@@@@””. For years, BMW has earned a reputation as the benchmark for everything a sports sedan should be, no matter how many doors it provides. This coupe is a little lower and wider than the sedan, and to most eyes at our track, it looks sleeker and sportier.
If this feels one better than the earlier 3 coupe, we recently rented a new 2014 435i from BMW to preview and to see.
Under the hood is a 300-hp, 3.-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine. An eight-speed automatic is standard; a six-speed manual is actually a no-cost option. Considering the evolved demeanor if this car, one could believe that the automatic is pretty apt, although ours had the manual.
I quickly noticed that the potent six-cylinder is considerably punchier than the standard 240-hp, 2.-liter turbo four cylinder in our last-tested 328i sedan.
The 435i is a pleasure to drive-capable, refined and quick and high-tech-but it’s not quite the exhilarating sports car that this long-time 3 Series fans, me one of them, had grown to love.
Our car, equipped with the M Sport and Dynamic Handling packages and the practically mandatory Premium package totaled $57,225. With all of-wheel drive, cold-weather package and navigation it will easily crest over $60,000-a pretty steep price to pay for the cachet of the 3 Series-I am talking about 4 Series. A convertible version just gone discounted.
On the road, the 435i moves with gracious athleticism. Every nudge of your throttle draws an immediate and creamy-smooth response regardless of the gear you’re in. Whenever you hit the gas, you’re greeted with a forward thrust as addictive like a morphine pump, and even sixth gear delivers plenty of punch. All the while, the engine hums with a subdued baritone. There is nothing in your face. This is surely a car for grownups.
While easy to row, the six-speed shifter doesn’t feel as crisp as some of Honda’s and Mazda’s manuals. Clutch effort is well judged, though, and gear ratios seem perfect. Even just in stop and go traffic, the 435i proved easy to manage, for my wife in high heels.
Handling is capable and responsive, and the body stays well tied down. But if you’re looking for instant gratification and continuous tactile feedback, you’ll have to keep looking. Besides, the electric power steering feels rather artificial, possessing none of some older 3 Series’ awesome feedback. Body control is exemplary and the 435i gobbles up bumpy side roads completely unfazed, staying settled and securely planted.
Toggle the mode move to “Sport” and responses tighten up a lttle bit. Neither mode brings any dramatic metamorphosis, though one notch further, “Sport Plus,” forgoes the traction services.
Consider the 4 a gentleman’s coupe. The ride is steady and extremely absorbent, and also the cabin stays blessedly hushed. That unflappable atmosphere, combined with the aforementioned immediate throttle response, makes it all too easy to foray well into triple-digit speeds without really noticing.
Like the 3 Series, the dashboard and the interior present a high-quality, understated, and businesslike ambience. It is a sophisticated cabin befitting the car’s price and demeanor. One nice detail will be the seat-belt presenter: It brings the belt closer to you as soon as you close the door. In back, you’ll find that rear-seat room is definitely pretty decent for a coupe.
So, who is the four Series intended for? Younger individuals our driving staff were rather unimpressed with it, while they missed the edginess of some previous BMWs. Would rather not drive a 5 Series sedan, while the more, shall we say, mature team members considered this car an ideal concoction-quick, capable and stylish and refined-and just suited to someone who’s been on the scene long enough to completely have $60,000 on hand.
Anyone who aspired to, or actually owned, a 3 Series Coupe from the 1990s and 1980s has probably matured a lot, and will easily discover out their BMW has evolved right as well as them.