BMW 4 Series (2013 – 2020) Review

BMW 4 Series (2013 – 2020) At A Glance

4/5
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 76% 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

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
Is it normal for runflats to lose air more than regualr tyres?
"I have a 2017 BMW 4 Series with 225/40 R19 tyres on the front and 255/35 R19 tyres on the rear (runflats). Over a two month period, both rear tyres have lost 0.3 bar and the front tyres 0.1 bar. The BMW dealer states this is not unusual with runflat tyres. I would appreciate your view on whether this is normal please."
It's not the fact that they are runflats. It's the extremely low profile of the tyres that means the rimseals take a greater pounding.
Answered by Honest John
Will a diesel BMW 4 Series hold its value?
"Any views on the 435d? A 2015 model with less than 15,000 miles can be bought for £25,000 which is only £4000 - 5000 more than the equivalent 420d. The mpg isn't a million miles off the 420d and given the considerable power increase and x drive it seems a relative bargain. Any downsides? How well do you think it will hold value given the demonisation of diesel cars? Perhaps I'm better with a 435i as I only do about 8000 miles per year, albeit those miles are mainly motorway so DPF shouldn't be an issue."
Massive torque. Very quick car. But yes, it will suffer from diesel demonisation. It's probably the difference between about 40mpg in the 435d x drive auto and 30mpg in the 435i auto (see: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/realmpg/bmw/4-series-f32-2013). See what the price difference is between the 435d xdrive and the 435i.
Answered by Honest John
Is there an insurer that will get me to the airport if I sustain a puncture on my way?
"I have a three year old BMW 4 Series, 10,000 miles done and runflat tyres with no spare. I live in North Devon and often drive to Gatwick (240 miles, four hours) for a flight. If I sustain a puncture and a suitable replacement Pirelli 17-inch tyre cannot be found quickly, is there an insurance that will endeavour to complete my journey to the flight?"
A friend of mine returning from Spain punctured an RFT on the Spanish border and phoned me to ask what to do. I told him that though BMW advises no more than 50 miles, in fact RFTs have been driven more than 1000 miles with no pressure. My friend got back to the UK fine. So basically you're probably safe to get to the ends of your journeys. But the answer to your question, if you're worried about it then join the AA because they now carry modular emergency wheels to fit any car.
Answered by Honest John

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