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2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader January 2015

The all-new 2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe may have a coupe-style fastback profile, but there's otherwise not much truth in the advertising. More accurately, the 4-door 4 Series Gran Coupe is like a 3 Series sedan with a sleeker rear roofline and a hatchback trunk. That rakish roof means there's less headroom than in a 3 Series, yet the Gran Coupe will cost you more. Is it worth the stretch over BMW's already excellent bread-and-butter sedan?

At first glance, it may not seem so, but a closer inspection reveals some intriguing facts. For example, the Gran Coupe shares the 2-door 4 Series coupe's length, width and wheelbase; if you're comparing it to the coupe, it gives you an extra pair of doors without compromise. And if you're comparing it to the sedan, the Gran Coupe wins with its handy hatchback body style, including fold-down rear seatbacks that open up some serious cargo space. As for the oddly proportioned 3 Series Gran Turismo hatchback, the Gran Coupe's just plain cooler. This 4-door coupe has a little something for everyone.

What's New for 2015

The 2015 4 Series Gran Coupe is an all-new model.

What We Like

Strong and efficient engines; excellent interior materials; cutting-edge cabin technology; sporty driving feel; versatile hatchback trunk

What We Don't

Costs more than a 3 Series; less rear headroom than a 3 Series

How Much?

$41,250-$46,750

Fuel Economy

The rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive (xDrive) 428i Gran Coupe uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that cranks out 240 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque. Paired with the mandatory 8-speed automatic transmission, this engine is rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 23 miles per gallon in the city and 34 mpg on the highway with rear-wheel drive, or 22 mpg city/32 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive.

The high-performance 435i Gran Coupe, also available with either rear- or all-wheel drive, features a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine that's good for 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The 8-speed automatic is again standard, and the EPA rates the 435i Gran Coupe at 21 mpg city/32 mpg hwy with rear-wheel drive, or 20 mpg city/31 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive.

Options and Standard Features

The 2015 BMW 428i Gran Coupe comes in two trim levels, 428i or 435i, which mainly differ in what's under the hood. All-wheel drive is a $2,000 option on both trims.

The base 428i ($41,250) comes standard with 17-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, fog lights, a sunroof, a power hatchback liftgate, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, driver memory settings, Driving Dynamics Control (offering four settings for throttle sensitivity and steering effort), power front seats, leatherette upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, iPod/USB connectivity, a 9-speaker audio system and BMW's iDrive infotainment system with a 6.5-in screen.

The 435i ($46,750) adds the 6-cylinder engine and 18-in wheels.

Either trim level can be customized with one of three trim packages: Sport Line, Luxury Line and M Sport. These packages add such items as unique styling flourishes, special wheels and upgraded interior decor. The M Sport also includes an adaptive sport-tuned suspension and sport seats.

As expected, the options list is extensive. The Premium package's features include keyless entry and start, leather upholstery, front power lumbar support and foot-activated opening and closing for the hatchback. The Cold Weather package contributes a heated steering wheel and heated front and rear seats. The Technology package adds a widescreen iDrive display, an upgraded gauge cluster, a navigation system, smartphone-app integration and a head-up display for the driver.

Additional options highlights include adaptive LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, a self-parking system, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and variable-ratio sport steering.

Trunk space in the 4 Series Gran Coupe measures 17 cu ft. behind the rear seatbacks, which is 4 cubes more than you get in the 3 Series trunk. Folding those seatbacks down yields an impressive 45.9 cu ft., just seven off the pace set by the 3 Series wagon.

Safety

The 4 Series Gran Coupe comes standard with stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (with automatic collision preparation) and eight airbags (front, front-side, front-knee and full-length side-curtain).

The available Driver Assistance Plus package includes front and rear parking sensors, a 360-degree parking camera system, a blind spot monitor, lane departure warning and a frontal-collision warning system with low-speed automatic braking.

Behind the Wheel

The 2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is similar to the 3 Series from the driver's perspective, but you sit a bit lower in the Gran Coupe, which provides a slightly sportier feel. Per usual, the gauges are crisp and understated, with BMW's trademark red illumination casting a soothing glow at night. An attractive high-resolution information display between the speedometer and tachometer is included with the Technology package.

Speaking of the Technology package, it also adds a beautiful 8.8-in central display that's a must-have for those who demand the latest gadgets. If there's a finer display at this price point, we haven't seen it, and the iDrive controller interface (augmented by a touchpad if you get the larger display) has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years.

The Gran Coupe's standard seats provide plenty of adjustability, though their mediocre lateral support makes the optional sport seats a no-brainer upgrade for enthusiastic drivers. As for the back seat, it's one of this 4-door's few weak spots; the stylishly raked rear roofline means taller passengers may rub their heads on the ceiling. Still, there's a lot more people-carrying versatility than in the 2-door 4 Series coupe.

On the road, the 2015 4 Series Gran Coupe delivers a master class in driving dynamics. The suspension is never stiff (even in optional sport-tuned form), but it puts you in control like you're driving a sports car, with quick reflexes and minimal body roll. Remarkably, the ride around town remains quiet and supple. The hard part is deciding between the two engines: Although the 435i's turbocharged inline-6 is stunningly quick, the 428i's 4-cylinder engine isn't far behind, and it's both cheaper and more fuel efficient. Either way, the 8-speed automatic serves up shifts that are fast and slick. Unfortunately, stick-shift fans are out of luck for now, even though you can get a manual transmission in both the 3 Series and the 2-door 4 Series.

Other Cars to Consider

2015 Audi A4 -- The A4 is ancient by segment standards, but it has timeless grace and a classy cabin, not to mention highly responsive handling.

2015 Lexus IS -- The current IS has bold looks that have worn well, and its sharp handling and rich interior make it a natural Gran Coupe competitor.

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class -- The all-new 2015 C-Class is stylish enough to make shoppers interested in the 4 Series Gran Coupe think twice, and it's C400 trim brings plenty of performance.

Used BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe -- The granddaddy of the 4 Series Gran Coupe is based on the super-luxurious 6 Series, and you can find some pretty appealing prices via BMW's certified pre-owned program.

AutoTrader's Advice

Both engines are phenomenal, but they're at their best when paired with the M Sport's heavily bolstered front seats. The included adaptive sport suspension is pretty neat, too.

Find a BMW 4 Series for sale

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe: New Car Review - Autotrader