Purchasing a 2019 BMW M4 brings a few dilemmas. There’s the fundamental question of coupe or convertible. Some enthusiasts have strong opinions on the merits of fixed roofs. Then the issue of options arises. The Competition package brings more power, as if 425 horsepower isn’t enough in a premium compact car.
The thing is, the 2019 model year sees a new generation of 3 Series. A fresh 4 Series will soon follow and, inevitably, a new M4 (perhaps for the 2021 model year). Which could have all sorts of interesting gadgetry.
If it cannot wait, and/or you’d rather have a generation where all the bugs have been ironed out, then it’s time to make exciting plans. Because this M4 is one of the most compelling sport-luxury cars on the planet. No exaggeration. It has sublime handling, a stellar engine and a civilized disposition.
What’s New for 2019?
The previously optional Apple CarPlay smartphone integration is now standard. The same goes for front and rear parking sensors, as well as speed limit information, which was part of last year’s Executive package.
There’s also a limited-edition M4 CS Coupe, of which 500 units are earmarked for the United States.See the 2019 BMW M4 models for sale near you
What We Like
- Thunderous acceleration
- Incredible handling
- Well-appointed interior with great technology
- Retractable hard top in the convertible
What We Don’t
- Fake engine noise piped through the speakers
- Still no Android Auto
The rear-wheel-drive M4 is propelled by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine that develops 425 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, while a 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual (known as M-DCT that works like an automatic) is optional.
The coupe-only M4 CS has its engine tuned to produce 454 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. This links up to the automatic transmission as standard.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fuel consumption for the coupe with the manual transmission is estimated at 18 miles per gallon in the city, 25 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg in combined driving. With the automatic transmission, it’s 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined. The convertible achieves 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined (manual) or 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined (automatic).
The engine has an auto stop/start feature that conserves fuel by shutting off when the car is stationary.
Standard Features & Options
The 2019 BMW M4 comes as either a fixed-roof coupe or a convertible with a retractable hard top.
Standard features in the coupe ($70,145) include an aerodynamic body kit with flared fenders and a powerdome hood, a carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof, adaptive M-tuned suspension (specific springs, dampers and anti-roll bars, plus specially calibrated driving modes of Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus), M-spec performance brakes, Active M torque-vectoring rear differential, 18-in staggered-width alloy wheels with performance tires, rain-sensing wipers, LED headlights, keyless entry/ignition, heated/power-folding/self-dimming side mirrors, a self-dimming rearview mirror, sport exhaust with quad tailpipes, heated/10-way power-adjustable front sport seats with adjustable side bolsters (plus a backlit M logo on the backrest) and driver’s-side memory settings, leather upholstery, carbon fiber interior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, front/rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, a Harman Kardon 600-watt/16-speaker surround sound system with HD/satellite radio, and the iDrive infotainment system with an 8.8-in widescreen display, navigation, speed limit information, voice controls, hard-drive music storage and a USB port.
The M4 convertible ($78,645) adds a power-retractable hard top, rear window defroster, and extended leather upholstery with sun-reflective technology.
Both the coupe and convertible are eligible for a few options packages. The Executive package includes adaptive LED headlights and automatic high beams, a head-up display, a side-view/top-view camera system, and a self-parking system.
The Competition Package hikes engine power up to 444 hp and brings 20-in alloy wheels. The dynamic stability control system and Active M limited-slip rear differential are also re-calibrated for track work. An M Driver’s package includes a day’s tuition in high-performance driving and top speed is raised to 174 mph.
Other options include carbon ceramic brake rotors, 19-in and 20-in wheels, a leather-covered dashboard, a heated steering wheel, neck-warming vent system (convertible only), wireless charging, Wi-Fi, active blind spot detection, forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, and lane-departure warning. Coupes are also eligible for a sunroof and a powered rear sunshade.
The CS Coupe ($104,095) has 19-in alloy wheels up front and 20-in wheels at the back, plus its own engine and suspension tuning.
The convertible’s trunk measures a generous 13 cu ft. with the top up, dropping to 7.9 cu ft. when the top is folded and stowed. The coupe offers 11 cu ft.
All M4 models come standard with anti-lock disc brakes and traction/stability control. The coupe has eight airbags (front, front side, front knee and full-length side curtain). The convertible’s eight airbags cover slightly different ground (front, front side, front knee and extended front thorax). BMW Assist emergency telematics system — which includes automatic accident notification, stolen vehicle tracking and roadside assistance — is also standard.
The M4 hasn’t been crash tested in the United States, but the 3 Series on which this car is based recieved five stars overall from government tests and is a Top Safety Pick of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Behind the Wheel
According to BMW, the coupe with the M-DCT transmission (which includes a launch control feature) sprints from 0-to-60 mph in just 3.9 seconds (4.1 seconds with the 6-speed manual transmission). The convertible takes 4.2 seconds (4.4 seconds with the manual). The CS does it in 3.8 seconds. Both transmissions also feature automatic rev-matching for slick, race-style downshifts.
The materials and design are sufficiently upscale to help justify the considerable price. You can see and feel the attention to detail, which sets the M4 apart from such cars as the high-end Chevrolet Camaros that are developed primarily for speed. The standard front sports seats are fabulously supportive and their wide range of adjustment ensures that just about anyone can get comfortable behind the wheel. The modest rear seats, however, are mostly for kids or cargo.
Every M4 has iDrive, one of the best infotainment systems around, as standard. Highlights include a beautiful 8.8-in widescreen display, navigation, touchpad interface and hard-drive music storage.
The twin-turbo inline six delivers massive power at virtually any engine speed. It isn’t always necessary to downshift for supreme acceleration. Just flatten the gas pedal and ride that surge of torque. On the downside, the turbos muffle the exhaust note, so BMW provides simulated noises that play through the speakers. The intensity doesn’t always match with the drive, and the actual noises themselves don’t sound quite like those of an inline six. But no one will find the engine low on performance.
This M4 is larger than previous generations of M3, and that becomes more apparent in tight corners. The steering doesn’t have quite the same intimate feel. Get a rhythm going, though, and few cars are agile enough to keep up.
Other Cars to Consider
2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS — This generation of Camaro has handling that comes close to the best of Europe. And the SS version sports a 455-hp V8 that sounds truly wonderful. Updated for 2019, including a 10-speed automatic transmission.
2019 Lexus RC F— Nice build quality as always, plus a 467-hp V8 to play with. But the M4’s chassis has a more pleasing and satisfying flow to it.
Used BMW M3 — Thanks to depreciation, a V8-powered previous-generation M3 coupe or convertible could cost a fraction of the new M4’s price. Source one through BMW’s certified pre-owned (CPO) program for extra reassurance.
Maybe it doesn’t really matter which generation of M4 is acquired, this one or the next. Compact BMW M cars have always been highly desirable. The 2019 M4 is certainly that. And it’s not as if this model falls short on relevant technology. Find a BMW M4 for sale