BMW 4 Series (2013 – 2020) Review

BMW 4 Series (2013 – 2020) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
BMW created a winner with the 4 Series Coupe. Stylish looks, a quality interior and a refined but enjoyable driving experience all make for a comprehensive package. It explains why there are so many of them on the road.

+Handles as impressively as you’d hope, handsome styling makes the newer 4 Series look fussy, wide range of strong petrol and diesel engines, plenty on the used market.

-M Sport cars with bigger wheels have a restless ride, boot capacity is only average versus coupe rivals, six-speed manual gearbox is disappointing to use.

Insurance Groups are between 24–41
On average it achieves 75% of the official MPG figure

Produced between 2014 and 2020, the first-generation BMW 4 Series Coupe offers sporty handling, stylish looks and a luxurious interior. Its range of engines includes economical diesels and performance petrols. BMW’s xDrive four-wheel drive can also be found on certain models, providing extra traction for slippery conditions. Such a combination of factors makes for an appealing premium coupe, with only a handful of small downsides. The ride quality on M Sport models can be tough due to the sports suspension setup, while boot space is only average compared to class rivals. Beyond that, it is easy to see why BMW sold so many examples of this original 4 Series.


Some purists were surprised when BMW renamed coupe versions of the popular 3 Series as ‘4 Series’ in 2013. Several years later, any controversy has long been forgotten, largely thanks to how good the end product turned out to be. 

Handsome but understated styling helped differentiate the 4 Series Coupe from the related 3 Series saloon, with a swooping roofline the most obvious change. The wider rear end also enhances the sporty image, with M Sport models looking particularly racy. Compared with more recent BMW efforts – not least the new 4 Series – it’s easy to see why the car won near-universal praise. 

BMW has built a reputation over several decades for building cars that are good to drive. The 4 Series Coupe does not disappoint, offering a truly engaging experience. Compared with key rivals like the Audi A5 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the BMW will be the most fun to use on twisty country roads. The steering is accurate and well-weighted, while the engines are responsive and powerful.

M Sport models in particular offer the most involvement for the driver, with stiffer suspension allowing more energetic cornering.

This does come at a cost, though. The 4 Series Coupe, and M Sport versions in particular, does suffer with a firm ride quality. It never feels truly uncomfortable, but the impression of tautness never goes away, especially on cars with 19-inch alloy wheels. The optional adaptive suspension is important to look out for, delivering the best of both worlds with just a button-press. 

From launch, BMW has tinkered with the engine options for the 4 Series Coupe. The latest line-up includes three diesels and three petrols, ranging from warm to scalding on the performance scale.

Commuters will be drawn to the popular diesel 420d, given its impressive fuel economy, while speed freaks will yearn for the petrol 440i. The latter has a turbocharged six-cylinder engine capable of serious speed. 

Lower-level models come with a six-speed manual gearbox, but the majority of the range uses an excellent eight-speed automatic. It is generally preferred, with the manual adding little to the party. An xDrive four-wheel-drive system can also be found on key models, replacing the usual rear-wheel-drive layout. 

With the driving experience and styling up to scratch, the interior is another area where the 4 Series Coupe scores strongly. Although it might not be the most exciting cabin, BMW has at least maintained its reputation for quality.

Everything you touch feels well made, with plenty of soft-touch plastics throughout. Standard leather upholstery adds to the luxurious image. 

Where the 4 Series feels less generous is on space for those in the rear. Limited headroom due to the coupe roofline can make it uncomfortable for adults, even if legroom is reasonable. Boot space is also only average compared to rivals from Audi and Mercedes-Benz. These are still minor complaints, and do little to hold back the overall appeal

Ask Honest John

Do I need to change both tyres if I get a puncture on one?

"I have just had to replace a rear runflat tyre due to having had a puncture on my BMW 420i Convertible which had only done 8,000 miles, so I now have a new rear tyre and one that has about 4mm of tread . Do I need to bite the bullet and replace the other tyre, or am I okay with two tyres of different tread depth on the same axle?"
BMW recommends that there is a difference of no more than 2mm between tread depths on the same axle, so if you fit a new tyre on one side we would expect the difference to be 3 or 4mm. You could ignore this advice, but an alternative would be to get two new tyres but keep the older tyre as a back up in case of another puncture.
Answered by David Ross

I want a new-ish convertible to replace my old BMW 640d - what do you suggest?

"My 2013 BMW convertible has done 39,000 miles and is still going strong. I’m now thinking of selling and buying something newer (say 2-3 years old). I’m happy to add £30,000 to the sale price of my BMW, so purchase price will be in the region of £45k to £50k. I’m considering the BMW 4 and 8 Series and the Mercedes E-Class and older S-Class among quite a few others. What are your views and which one(s) do you think will last 10 more years with the least being spent on them in terms of maintenance and additional parts. "
All four of these options offer an appealing driving experience with premium quality, but it is worth considering the fact that they will all require regular maintenance in order to last 10 years or more. There are not really any shortcuts, other than potentially using an independent specialist rather than main dealer servicing. Of the four, the BMW 4 Series will be marginally cheaper to maintain, while the Mercedes-Benz S-Class will likely be the most expensive. Our choice however would be the superb BMW 8 Series.
Answered by David Ross

Can you suggest a replacement for my BMW 430i?

"I currently drive a BMW 430i. I love the car but want to replace it with a performance hatchback with a good-sized boot and excellent road handling. As a minimum, it must cover 0-62mph in less than seven seconds and return at least 33mpg. I like the new Honda Civic but it looks like most models will be hybrids with reduced boot size. Would the new Civic Type R suit my needs? "
We're yet to drive the new Honda Civic Type R. Many people do drive older Civic Type R models every day and find them a good compromise between performance and useability. It comes down to your requirements and tastes, though – personally, I'd much rather have something a little softer and more upmarket like your BMW 430i. Have you considered a Skoda Octavia vRS? It's a very practical hot hatch with a big boot and impressive performance. It'll probably be a bit more comfortable day-to-day than the Civic, too.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Is the BMW 4 Series supplied with a tool kit?

"Does the 2015 Bmw 430D convertible come with a tool kit as standard?"
The BMW 430d doesn't come with a tool kit or spare wheel. But this generation of the 4 Series was factory fitted with run flat tyres, as standard, which means you should be able to drive to an area of safety in the event of a puncture.
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions

What does a BMW 4 Series (2013 – 2020) cost?