By Otsile Kadiege
After globally outselling the coupé and convertible variants, BMW’s first-ever 4 Series Gran Coupé has proven to be quite successful. The second-generation has arrived and the sleek new four-door coupé hopes to continue where its predecessor left off. We recently spent some time with the newcomer’s range-topping M440i xDrive.
Sleek exterior design
The new 4 Series Gran Coupé has an opinion-splitting design thanks to its larger than life radiator grille, which some people say its design up front is somewhat detached from its rear design. Being the range-topping M440i xDrive, our bold-looking test car sets itself apart from the rest of the range with Cerium Grey accents, trapezoidal exhaust tips unique bicolour 19-inch style 861M wheels and model specific bumpers. Adding a dash of jalapeño sauce to an already sporty design, our Aventurine Red III coated M440i is kitted with an optional carbon-fibre body kit courtesy of M Performance Parts.
Inside, the 4 Series Gran Coupé has a familiar design and layout with impeccable build quality. Our test car is treated with comfortable and supportive Vernasca Black leather seats, Aluminum Tetragon trims, M detailing throughout the cabin and a rather small sunroof. It’s also equipped with the optional and intuitive BMW Live Cockpit Professional, the ever-impressive Harman Kardon Surround Sound system, a nifty head-up display and ambient lighting with a handful of colours.
Thanks to its fastback shape, the 4 Series Gran Coupé has a large boot opening as well as luggage capacity which came in handy when loading bicycles and few other stuff.
Nestled behind the large kidney grille is the much-loved 3.0-litre straight-six engine making 285kW/500Nm and paired to the Bavarian automaker’s 8-speed automatic transmission. BMW claims theM440i xDrive will sprint from 0-100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds and will return a combined fuel consumption of 8.2l/100 km.
Straight off the bat, yes it’s ridiculously fast and it has that unmistakable straight-six soundtrack to match. However, due to the addictive exhaust note produced by the B58 engine, be prepared for regular stops at filling stations. In Eco Pro mode, the M440i tones down the mayhem and becomes more daily driving friendly. The suspension is sublime and cabin insulation is near perfect.
After spending the week on the byways and highways of Gauteng, we were left impressed by our nearly fully-fledged, sleek four-door coupé which ticks a lot of boxes. It is, without a shadow of doubt, a potent, modish companion which can easily manage daily commutes and satisfy your cravings for spirited jaunts. However, with pricing starting at a hefty R1,375,765 before options, some consumers might consider the slightly more expensive BMW X3 M40i xDrive a better buy.
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