New Car Review

2016 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader April 2016

The 2016 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is the 4-door version of BMW's 2-door line based on the 3 Series. It sounds confusing -- and it kind of is. BMW did some renaming of its vehicles and originally designated the 4 Series as 2-door versions of the 3 Series (the coupe and convertible). But with the rise in popularity of the 4-door coupe affecting sedans and crossovers alike, a 4-door 4 Series was almost inevitable.

Basically, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is like a 3 Series sedan with a sleeker rear roofline and a hatchback trunk. That rakish roof means less headroom than in a 3 Series, yet the Gran Coupe costs more.

However, this is no time to be griping about naming conventions and quibbling about money -- we have an excellent car to celebrate! A close inspection reveals some intriguing facts: For example, the Gran Coupe shares the 2-door 4 Series coupe's length, width and wheelbase (although the roof is 0.5 of an inch higher). Against the coupe, it provides an extra pair of doors without having to compromise.

Compared with the sedan, the Gran Coupe has an advantage with its handy hatchback, including fold-down rear seats that open up some serious cargo space. And next to the oddly proportioned 3 Series Gran Turismo hatchback, the Gran Coupe is far sleeker. This car has something for almost everyone.

What's New for 2016?

This model comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, which replace last year's 17-in wheels. The former optional Sport Line appearance package (which included features such as gloss black inserts in the grille and matte-black side-window elements) is now absorbed into the standard equipment list. And the 435i version receives a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system as standard.

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?

$42,645-$48,945

Fuel Economy

The 428i Gran Coupe uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that develops 240 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque. An 8-speed automatic is the sole transmission. When driving the rear wheels only, this engine is rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 23 miles per gallon in the city, 34 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg combined. BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system changes these figures to 22 mpg city/34 mpg hwy/26 mpg combined.

The 435i Gran Coupe, which is also available as a rear-drive model or with all-wheel drive, has a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine generating 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The 8-speed automatic is again standard, and EPA estimates fuel consumption at 21 mpg city/31 mpg hwy/24 mpg combined with rear-wheel drive or 20 mpg city/30 mpg hwy/23 mpg combined with all-wheel drive.

Standard Features & Options

The 2016 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe comes in 428i or 435i versions. All-wheel drive is a $2,000 option.

The 428i ($42,645) comes standard with 18-in wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, fog lights, a sunroof, a power hatchback, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, auto-dimming mirrors, automatic wipers, Driving Dynamics Control (offering four settings for throttle sensitivity and steering effort), 8-way power adjustable front seats, leatherette upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, iPod/USB/auxiliary connectivity, a 9-speaker audio system with HD Radio and BMW's iDrive infotainment system with a 6.5-in screen.

The 435i ($48,945) adds the 6-cylinder engine, keyless entry/ignition and a Harman Kardon audio system with satellite radio.

Either trim level can be customized with options packages. The Luxury and M Sport packages add styling flourishes, special wheels and upgraded interior decor. M Sport also includes an adaptive sport-tuned suspension and a sport steering wheel.

The Premium package includes keyless entry/starting, leather upholstery, satellite radio and power lumbar support for the front seats. The Cold Weather package contributes a heated steering wheel, along with heated front and rear seats and headlight washers.

The Technology package adds a widescreen iDrive display, an upgraded gauge cluster, navigation, smartphone-app integration, a touchpad controller and a full-color head-up display. The Track Handling package upgrades the brakes, adds special 18-in alloy wheels (or 19-in alloys) and brings an adaptive suspension, plus a variable-ratio sport steering system.

Additional options include adaptive LED headlights, a side-view/top-view camera system and a self-parking function for parallel spaces.

Trunk space measures 17 cu ft. behind the rear seats (which is 4 cu ft. more than the 3 Series sedan's trunk). Folding those seats down results in an impressive 45.9 cu ft., which is just 7 cu ft. away from 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). When the wipers are activated, a drying function for the brake discs is activated, as well.

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

This vehicle has not been crash-tested by any agencies in the United States.

Behind the Wheel

From a driver's perspective, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is similar to the 3 Series, but the seating position is a little lower, imparting a slightly sportier feel. As 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.

This package also adds a beautiful 8.8-in central display that's a must-have for those who demand the latest gadgets. And the iDrive controller interface (augmented by a touchpad with the larger display) has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years.

The standard front seats provide plenty of adjustability, although their mediocre lateral support makes the optional sport seats a no-brainer upgrade for enthusiasts. Rear accommodation is one of the few weak spots. The stylish rear roofline means taller passengers may rub their heads on the ceiling. Still, there's more people-carrying capability than in the regular 4 Series coupe.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe delivers a master class in driving dynamics. The suspension is never stiff (even in optional sport-tuned form) but provides the kind of control found in 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. The 435i's turbocharged inline-6 is stunningly quick. And the 428i's 4-cylinder engine isn't far behind while being more affordable and more fuel efficient. Either way, the 8-speed automatic's shifts are fast and slick. Or you can change gears yourself using the steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles -- chances are that you'll want to do that more and more.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 Audi A4 -- There's a new generation of Audi coming out soon. While it's a sedan, it's still going to look pretty darn special.

2016 Lexus IS -- The current IS has bold looks that have worn well. Its sharp handling and rich interior make it a natural Gran Coupe competitor.

2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class -- The C-Class is stylish enough to make shoppers interested in the 4 Series Gran Coupe think twice, and the 362-hp C450 AMG Sport model has plenty of performance.

Used BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe -- This model is based on the super-luxurious 6 Series. There are some appealing prices via BMW's certified pre-owned program.

Autotrader's Advice

Both engines are phenomenal. The handling is excellent. If your lifestyle and budget can incorporate a premium 4-door with a hatchback and restricted rear-passenger space, then the operative word here is "bingo."

Find a BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe for sale

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.
2016 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe: New Car Review - Autotrader