Review: BMW 4 Series (2013)


Effectively the replacement for the 3 Series Coupe. Longer wheelbase means more interior space. Best looking BMW in the range.

Firm ride on larger wheels.

BMW 4 Series (2013): At A Glance

The BMW 4 Series Coupe is effectively the replacement for the 3 Series Coupe in the BMW range. In terms of engines you won't be surprised to find the 4 Series follows the 3 Series range. So from launch in October 2013 there will be a 420d, a 428i and a top of the range 435i.

The 420d is expected to make up a third of all cars sold and it certainly makes the most sense on paper. It has 184PS plus plenty of poke with 380Nm of torque and yet impressively will average 60.1mpg according to the official figures.

Compared to the outgoing 3 Series Coupe prices have risen. A 420d is £540 more than the 320d Coupe it replaces but then the 4 Series is considerably better equipped with things like heated and electric seats as standard. Total up the value and the 420d actually has £1475 worth of extra kit fitted.

As desirability goes, the 4 Series is right up there alongside the Audi A5. It's a great bit of BMW design and there's not a duff engine in the line-up - every model gives impressive performance. With the convertible and M4 versions in the pipeline, the 4 Series will have few problems emulating the success of the 3 Series Coupe.

BMW 4 Series Coupe Road Test

What does a BMW 4 Series (2013) cost?

List Price from £29,490
Buy new from £24,868
Contract hire from £244.15 per month
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BMW 4 Series (2013): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4638–4640 mm
Width 2017 mm
Height 1377–1392 mm
Wheelbase 2810 mm

Full specifications

Inside it's very much BMW business as usual, with a high quality finish and well laid out controls. You sit low down while the high central console and sports steering wheel help to make the 4 Series feel that extra bit sporty and a little bit special. The seats are mightily impressive too, with loads of adjustment and good side support for when you decide to throw it round a few corners.

Of course there's not too much room in the back, but it's pretty good for a coupe of this size and more spacious than the old 3 Series Coupe, helped by a longer wheelbase.

The seats have apparently been designed to look like two individual seats - we can't really see it ourselves - but they are surprising comfortable. All models come with the iDrive system, which now has a larger control dial and a sleek 6.5-inch screen on the dash top that is cleverly designed to be seen, even in bright sunlight.

Child seats that fit a BMW 4 Series (2013)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the BMW 4 Series (2013) like to drive?

The 4 Series sits lower to the ground and is longer than the 3 Series Coupe, with a swooping roofline and shorter rear boot deck. We think it's a real success. Some of BMWs modern designs haven't quite hit the mark (the jury is still out on the revised 1 Series...) but this 4 Series looks great from every angle. And crucially it's different enough from the 3 Series to justify the new badge number.

In terms of engines you won't be surprised to find the 4 Series follows the 3 Series range. So from launch in October 2013 there will be a 420d, a 428i and a top of the range 435i. The 420d is expected to make up a third of all cars sold and it certainly makes the most sense on paper. It has 184PS plus plenty of poke with 380Nm of torque and yet impressively will average 60.1mpg according to the official figures.

That's with the standard six-speed, but opting for the excellent eight-speed automatic, which suits the 20d engine really well, sees this improve further to 61.4mpg while CO2 is 121g/km - frustratingly close to the 120g/km limit which would mean £30 a year tax. The 420d will offer plenty of performance for most and it's suitably quiet, even when you push it hard. Not that you need to - it's pace comes from its low down pulling power.

At the other end of the scale is the sublime 435i - the twin turbo version of BMW's six-cylinder 3.0-litre engine. It's stunningly fast with a 0-62mph time of just 5.1 seconds and sounds superb, especially with the auto box at high revs.

Those neat twin exhausts sound great on start up too, with a deep throaty burble. Shortly after launch BMW will introduce the 420i, 430d and 435d with more engines coming next year. There will also be xDrive versions of the 420i, 420d and 435d available - making them a strong rival to the A5 quattro.

While BMW is keen to promote the 4 Series as more dynamic than the 3 Series, in truth it's very similar to drive. That's not a bad thing of course. It means the 4 Series has nice weighty steering - although the thick-rimmed wheel won't be to everyone's taste - and superb front end grip. It's a real joy to flow from corner to corner with that rewardingly precise feeling through the steering wheel.

One criticism is the ride. The fact the 435i we drove was on optional 19-inch wheels didn't help, but in Sport mode - which stiffens the damper settings - it was not a pleasant experience on below par roads. Sticking it in Comfort mode is better, but still far from comfortable. We drove a 420d on 18-inch wheels and that was noticeably better but again not exactly forgiving.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
418d 63–67 mpg 8.6 s 118 g/km
418d Automatic 64–69 mpg 8.6 s 117 g/km
420d 59–67 mpg 7.3–7.5 s 119–127 g/km
420d Automatic 60–71 mpg 7.1–7.3 s 114–124 g/km
420d xDrive 58–64 mpg 7.4–7.5 s 125–129 g/km
420d xDrive Automatic 54–64 mpg 7.2–7.3 s 124–128 g/km
420i 43–49 mpg 7.3 s 141–147 g/km
420i Automatic 46–51 mpg 7.3–7.5 s 134–139 g/km
420i xDrive 41–43 mpg 7.4–7.6 s 159–161 g/km
420i xDrive Automatic 43–48 mpg 7.5–7.8 s 144–149 g/km
425d 55–57 mpg 6.7 s 131 g/km
425d Automatic 58–60 mpg 6.5 s 124 g/km
428i 42–43 mpg 5.9 s 154 g/km
428i Automatic 44–45 mpg 5.8 s 147 g/km
430d Automatic 51–55 mpg 5.5 s 129–134 g/km
430d xDrive Automatic 48–52 mpg 5.2 s 137–142 g/km
430i 44 mpg 5.9 s 151 g/km
430i Automatic 46–49 mpg 5.8 s 136 g/km
435d Automatic 52 mpg 4.7 s 146 g/km
435d xDrive Automatic 46–50 mpg 4.7 s 146–147 g/km
435i 35–36 mpg 5.4 s 185 g/km
435i Automatic 38–39 mpg 5.1 s 169 g/km
440i 37 mpg 5.2 s 179 g/km
440i Automatic 38–42 mpg 5.0 s 159 g/km

Real MPG average for a BMW 4 Series (2013)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

21–60 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the BMW 4 Series (2013)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

I've seen a used BMW 4 Series for £36,999 - so why is the road tax £450?

I’m confused with the new road tax rules. I want to buy a used BMW 4 Series. I've found a nice car, registered in June 2017 - so new road tax rules apply. It's £36,999 - so my understanding is that I would be paying £140 VED, but the dealers' website states £450 VED. Do I have to pay an extra £310 because the original list price was over £40,000?
Yes. If the car was originally listed at more than £40,000 (not including first year tax), the annual tax for the second, third and fourth year is £450.
Answered by Honest John
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