The BMW 4-series – Taking the Gran Coupé for a grand tour

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BMW 4 series Gran Coupé

> 23rd March 2017

Ok, ok, I have to admit my tour wasn`t that „grand“, it was more a rainy afternoon at the outskirts of Munich. But maybe the 4-series BMW is really „gran“?! I had the chance to figure that out because ap Sportfahrwerke just started to offer a new coilover-kit for the bavarian car and so I needed to write an article about both, the car and the coilover-kit.

A little 4-series story
The 4-series BMW was supposed to become the successor for the 3-series coupe and convertible. Years ago somebody has said: The 4-series is the trick to sell a not very practical 3-series for the price of a 5-series BMW. I will not comment on that but I can at least assure that the 4-series Gran Coupé is not impractical. Besides that you have to give BMW credit because in the meantime most of the car makers are selling cars in every little tiny niche of the market. The good thing is, typical for BMW you can expect Power and they sell the 4-series with different diesel/gasoline engines from 150-326 hp.

My test-car
My test-car is a 420d with Steptronic. In short words: This may be the most popular configuration for the car on the german market with the 190 hp diesel engine combined with the 8-speed automatic transmission. The pricetag on the car was almost 55.000 Euro when it was new. Now, 30.000 kilometers later you may get it for a little bit more than 30.000 Euro. Still a lot of money but a little bit more in the reach of many of us normal people. My car is black at the outside and black at the inside. Black „Dakota“ leather and an all over neat interior make you feel welcome when you enter. Unfortunately the whole things runs on a bit small 17 inch rims.

BMW 4 series Gran Coupé

First contact
The coupe style 4 door sedan is really very well designed and beats the BMW 3-series looks by far if you ask me. But of course, the personal taste is always a very personal thing, so let us talk about some facts. Like in pretty much every BMW I ever drove – the drivers seat and position fits me perfectly. You can sit really low and that, together with the good comfort of the seats, gives you the right feeling for a sporty car. The steering wheel can also be adjusted perfectly, so all that together makes you feel good. An additional plus for me? There is a real hand-break and not one of these electric gadgets. I push the Start button and the engine awakes.

Interior
In addition to lots of space for the driver and the co-driver there is still enough room at the backseats (actually more than I thought it would be) and a big trunk (480-1300 liter) which is easy to load because of its huge tailgate. Other highlights? Easy to use navigation with modern looks, a very well designed gearstick for the automatic (which shifts super soft by the way) and an all over premium interior which is a bit businesslike and pristine. Well, I have to admit, besides all that, the interior lacks a real „wow“ effect to me. Ok, thats probably just me or it is just because the competition from all around the world made a lot of progress here in the last years. Anyway, my test-car also offers xenon-lights, heated seats, parking-sensors and some other extras. But talking about a premium car of this class, there are many more extras you could order: BMW M-package, even more leather, driving- and parking assistant-systems, head-up display, a wonderful Harman-Kardon surround soundsystem and much, much more. But if we would talk about a 4-series packed with most of the goodies and the biggest engine than we are also talking about 80.-90.000 Euro and thats a completely other world again. So let`s stick to our test-car!

On the street
To me, the 2-liter diesel engine is the perfect engine for long-distance traveling. The 190 hp are really enough to drive fast and relaxed at the same time. We are talking about 231 km/h top-speed and 7,3 seconds from 0-100 km/h. Regarding to the brochure it has a combined fuel consumption of 4,3 liter/100km. In my reality it needed a bit more, but that`s ok I guess. To me there is nothing to criticize regarding the engine. You get what you order – a great traveling- or business car. The suspension fits that all over set up perfectly, it is very comfortable with a little bit of sportiness. I personally would like some more sportiness, but thats just my feeling about the car.

BMW 4 series Gran Coupé

The suspension
If you feel the same way than I do about the suspension, you may be interested in the new ap-coilover-kit for the BMW 4-series Gran Coupé (except 4-wheel drive). It is characterized by the perfect combination of an uncompromising performance and dynamic lowering without suffering on comfort. This is possible by the ap engineering that combines an optimum balance between sporty driving, comfort and safety. In accordance with the certificate, 40 to 65 mm of lowering is possible on the front and the rear axle. The recommended retail price of the new ap suspension for the Gran Coupè is 695,00 Euro incl. VAT plus shipping.

Text: Andreas Leffler
Pictures: Andreas Leffler

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