It’s been well over a year since BMW shocked us all with the new 4 Series design, and while it’s still a controversial look, we’ve come to enjoy the car — in its many forms — behind the nose. The 2022 BMW 4 Series offers superb performance, a luxurious interior and top-notch tech befitting its high price. And while all of those qualities would easily translate into success for any other luxury vehicle, the grille design is enough to make several of our editors completely turn away from the car.
If the grille is something you can get past, a spunky four-cylinder and dynamite inline-six engine await. These can be paired with a body style of your choice: Coupe, Convertible or Gran Coupe (five-door hatchback). You can tack on M Sport packages to make a 4 Series as capable or as docile as you please, and fully decked out, the performance of the M440i models is shockingly high. If driving dynamics are your bogey, the 4 Series is a winner amongst the other Germans — we’ll need to revisit this once the new C-Class Coupe emerges, though. Truthfully, there are few downsides to the 4 Series outside of price and design, and the latter might just be a plus if you’re one who likes, or at least doesn’t mind that controversial nose.
What’s new for 2022?
BMW extends the 4 Series lineup this year by returning the four-door Gran Coupe body style to the mix. Comparisons to the traditional 3 Series are inevitable, and we’ve already touched on that subject in our 4 Series Gran Coupe First Drive, where you can find all the details on the revamped car.
In addition to the gas-powered 4 Series Gran Coupe, BMW is launching its electric i4 that uses the same Gran Coupe body style. We’ve yet to drive the i4, but you can find all the details on this electric 4 Series alternative here — just like the M4, we’ll review the electric i4 separately.
The 4 Series interior design and in-car technology are identical to that of the 3 Series, so forgive us if much of what you’re about to read generously borrows from our 3 Series review. Like that of its sedan sibling, the 4 Series interior sacrifices some ergonomic functionality in favor of a more eye-catching design with richer materials. Considering that controls are still easily reached and there’s storage aplenty, we think it’s a net positive, even if the design remains more staid than what you’d find in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe. To dig a little deeper, check out our 3 Series Interior Driveway Test as virtually everything we mention in it also applies to the 4 Series.
The 4 Series comes standard with the latest BMW iDrive 7.0 tech interface. We generally like it, especially the myriad ways to accomplish the same tasks – knob, buttons, touchscreen, voice controls. Basically, it allows you to operate the car as you’d prefer. That said, iDrive is still pretty complex, and some may find its menu structure a little overwhelming, especially at first. Both wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto are on the menu for free, and they work flawlessly. However, the wireless phone charger slot itself is a little small, and it doesn’t fit all of our staff’s phones.
This is the biggest 3/4 Series generation ever, growing to proportions that 20 years ago would’ve been in the same ballpark as the 5 Series. While that isn’t great news when it comes to being a lithe, sporting coupe, it does improve the 4 Series’ day-to-day functionality.
The back seat is surprisingly spacious in the coupe (above left), and even more surprisingly spacious for the convertible (above right). There’s actually decent legroom back there for folks of average height in both, though reduced headroom in the coupe will make it a tight fit for anyone surpassing 6 feet. As a result, both body styles are far more practical than their competitors (even BMW’s own 8 Series isn’t as spacious in the back seat). Getting into the back seat is even made tolerable by a power-operated mechanism that, while slow, remembers where the front seat was last placed.
The Gran Coupe (pictured above) rejoining the lineup this year means it’s the new 4 Series utility king, though. Real doors always beat crawling into the back past a seat. That said, the rear seat still isn’t as good as a 3 Series. You’re met with a narrow rear door opening that still forces some contorting to squeeze in, and while legroom is sufficient for most adults, it’s still tighter versus the 3. Headroom is also compromised due to the fast-sloping roofline. It’s all a bit better than the coupe and convertible, but the Gran Coupe’s backseat is still no roomy paradise.
In terms of cargo capacity, the coupe’s trunk (pictured below left) doesn’t seem to lose that much in comparison to the 3 Series sedan (certainly not the 5 cubic-foot difference the specs would suggest). Each passenger should be able to bring along a decent-sized suitcase. The back seat also folds down, and there’s a center pass-through. As for the convertible (below right), we discovered in our 4 Series luggage test that it’s also pretty good for a drop top. As with most convertibles, how much space you have depends on whether the top is raised, but up or down, we still managed to fit four suitcases inside. It was just the size of the suitcases that differed. The real utility sneaks in with the hatchback-equipped Gran Coupe (above left). This model offers a giant opening to stuff it full of more cargo that is possible in the 3 Series. You can put the rear seats down, and maximum carrying capacity goes up even more. If you want carrying utility, the Gran Coupe is the best of the 4 Series lineup, and it’ll best the 3 Series, too.
The 4 Series is offered as the 430i and M440i. The differences between them largely come down to the engine, but there are some chassis and styling differences as well. We review the high-performance BMW M4 separately.
The 430i has a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four good for 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic is standard – there is no manual transmission available on any 4 Series apart from the M4. This makes us sad. At least rear-wheel drive is standard, but you can add BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system to the Coupe and Convertible. BMW’s 0-60-mph estimate is 5.5 seconds for the 430i Coupe and 5.3 with xDrive. The rear-drive Convertible is 5.9 seconds, and the xDrive drops it down to 5.8 seconds. Lastly, the 430i Gran Coupe (only available with rear-wheel drive) does 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds.
Fuel economy figures for the 430i Coupe, Convertible and Gran Coupe are identical, and are an exceptional 25 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined. Getting xDrive in either Coupe or Convertible lowers those to 23/33/27.
The M440i Coupe and Convertible are both available in rear-wheel drive or xDrive all-wheel drive, but the M440i Gran Coupe comes exclusively with all-wheel drive. In any case, the engine is a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six that produces 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The 0-60 mph time for the rear-drive Coupe is 4.6 seconds, and that drops to 4.3 seconds with all-wheel drive. The M440i Convertible is estimated at 5 seconds flat, but that drops to 4.7 seconds with all-wheel drive. The M440i xDrive Gran Coupe accomplishes the feat in 4.4 seconds.
The M440i Coupe remarkably returns the same fuel economy as the 430i at 25/34/28 mpg. Opt for xDrive, and the numbers dip to 23/32/26 mpg. An M440i Convertible (in rear- or all-wheel-drive) nets you 23/31/26 mpg. The M440i xDrive Gran Coupe gets the worst fuel economy of them all at 22/29/25 mpg.
This is a tricky one. The current-generation 4 Series has righted the ship after its dynamically disappointing predecessor. The new one is sharper and more involving, with responsive powertrains. The steering is also better than before, imparting more information to the driver’s hands and gaining an increased-yet-uncontrived amount of effort. That said, it’s still numb and artificial in feeling, and certainly doesn’t represent the sort of benchmark status enjoyed by past BMW 3 Series coupes and convertibles. In general, the 4 Series just lacks snap when viewed as a sport coupe/convertible. You want more communication through the wheel, more response from the throttle, and more noise from the powertrain and exhaust. Yes, it’s impressively capable, but you end up gauging whether you can go faster by results rather than what your hands and seat of the pants are telling you. Nope, no understeer yet. Nope, the tail isn’t getting squirrelly. Go ahead and nudge even faster. While it’s true that a luxury coupe and especially convertible like the 430i does not need to be performance-oriented, something wearing an M badge like the M440i’s should inch a little closer to the exceptional, more feelsome M4.
All of that said, however, one has to keep in mind how few competitors the 4 Series has left. Is it less fun or engaging to drive than a Mercedes C-Class or Audi A5? Though its German rivals have certainly closed the gap, neither has established a clear lead, either. Meanwhile, fun-to-drive alternatives like the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Genesis G70 aren’t offered as coupes, let alone convertibles and hatchbacks — though the A5 Sportback does exist. If there is an outside-the-box suggestion to be made, it would be the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. They’re available as coupe or convertible; they’re fun to drive and surprisingly refined with the right boxes checked.
What other BMW 4 Series reviews can I read?
Our first drive of the new 4 Series came in an M440i coupe. We were impressed by its performance and chassis, and although a bit underwhelmed by its cabin design found it to have a worthwhile uptick in luxury. Oh yeah, and that nose.
We test both the 430i and M440i convertibles. The biggest news is the new soft top roof in place of the old retractable hardtop. It’s a good change. Incredibly quiet, maintains an attractive roofline, and doesn’t suffer from the same packaging and weight detriments of all that folding metal.
The base model 430i doesn’t really wow us. It’s not a bad drive, but it also leaves too much on the table for those expecting a true sport coupe.
We take a deep dive into the surprisingly spacious trunk of the 4 Series Convertible.
We drive the 4 Series at its finest: the M4, which adds the sort of zest in abundance we feel the other 4 Series versions are so dearly lacking. It’s great.
Standard features on the 430i Coupe include 18-inch wheels, power-folding mirrors, automatic LED headlights and wipers, a sunroof, three-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power front seats (includes power side bolsters and manual thigh support adjustment), SensaTec vinyl upholstery, the latest BMW iDrive 7.0 infotainment system (8.8-inch touchscreen, center console controllers, voice controls), four USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, BMW Assist emergency telematics, and a 10-speaker sound system with satellite radio.
Besides its bigger engine, the M440i features a variety of chassis improvements from BMW’s M Division (though not to the extent of the M4). Otherwise, it comes with the same ample amount of standard features.
There are then a multitude of options, available within packages and/or stand-alone items. You can find a full breakdown of features, specs and local pricing for the 430i here on Autoblog and for the M440i here.
All prices below include BMW’s reasonable $995 destination charge.
4 Series Coupe Pricing
BMW 430i: $46,795
BMW 430i xDrive: $48,795
BMW M440i: $57,695
BMW M440i xDrive: $59,695
4 Series Convertible Pricing
BMW 430i: $54,295
BMW 430i xDrive: $56,295
BMW M440i: $65,195
BMW M440i xDrive: $67,195
4 Series Gran Coupe Pricing
BMW 430i: $46,195
BMW M440i xDrive: $59,195
Every 4 Series comes standard with the “Active Driving Assistant” suite of features that includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and blind-spot warning. A driver inattention warning system, auto high-beams and front/rear parking sensors are also all standard. The optional Driving Assistance Professional package (only available on M440i models at the time of this writing) adds front and rear cross-traffic warning, evasive steering assist and an adaptive cruise control system with stop-and-go capability and lane-centering steering assistance.