BMW has constructed all types of issues. On the 106-year-old Bavarian firm’s résumé are Fokker biplane engines, a Method 1 race group, a three-wheel microcar, and kitchen cookware. Regardless of that huge expertise, and immediately’s push towards electrification, the 4-series Gran Coupe is an instance of what BMW does finest. What you see here’s a glossy sedan with a silky inline-six that burns premium gasoline—a core car that BMW has constructed for many years.
Except for the exaggerated grille and flush door handles, the M440i xDrive Gran Coupe seems to be like a standard BMW sports activities sedan. It squats low on staggered tires that wrap oversize wheels and brakes. It has all the best creases and angles. The extra disruptive design factor is not the nostril—it is the Gran Coupe’s rear. Disguised as a small trunk when closed, the liftgate opens almost seven toes excessive to disclose a beneficiant 17 cubic toes of bags house—46 with the seats folded. That is almost as a lot as an X2 and far more than a 3-series.
From the driving force’s seat, the stoic design of the canted middle stack and the basic-looking controls evoke a enterprise lounge the place everybody is simply too necessary to say hiya. Let the iX SUV have an rectangular steering wheel and conceal its buttons within the wooden trim. Like an outdated E36, the M440i reminds you why you sat down. Wasn’t it to drive someplace? Nothing right here distracts or overwhelms. If you dive into the infotainment system, it dispenses every thing however bathroom paper. The M440i self-steers, self-reverses whereas retracing your path, reads your hand gestures, tasks complete metropolis blocks on the windshield, and sends a 360-degree digicam feed to your cellphone. It is all remarkably quick and intuitive. In a time the place know-how is common, BMW places sufficient pizazz in its electronics that they really feel opulent.
We additionally reside in a time when the M440i, which isn’t even a full-fledged M automotive, is simply as fast or faster than each customary M3 up by means of the earlier era. Aided by launch management, rear-biased all-wheel drive, and the non-compulsory sticky Pirelli P Zero PZ4 tires, the 382-hp M440i laid down a 3.9-second run to 60 mph. It additionally hustled by means of the quarter-mile in 12.4 seconds at 111 mph. And but, the i4 M50 Gran Coupe is even faster, zooming to 60 mph in simply 3.3 seconds and thru the quarter in 11.7 at 120 mph.
The Gran Coupe’s efficiency was roughly equal to the all-wheel-drive M440i coupe, the rear-wheel-drive M340i sedan, and the M440i convertible we have beforehand examined, aside from grip, the place the Gran Coupe’s wider entrance tires helped it attain 0.94 g on the skidpad. On the highway, the M440i’s wealthy torque—369 pound-feet—is the principle cause BMW drivers are at all times tailgating somebody.
The gas financial system is a nice shock, with EPA estimates of twenty-two mpg metropolis and 29 mpg freeway. You may do higher on the freeway, on condition that we hit 33 mpg in our long-term M340i and 36 mpg within the M440i convertible in our 75-mph freeway take a look at. The eight-speed automated performs an enormous hand in effectivity and response. It is faultless and predicts your each transfer whatever the chosen driving mode.
We’ll fault the fuzzy steering that muffles any communication from the entrance wheels. It is a disgrace, for the reason that suspension and adaptive dampers do such an distinctive job preserving the journey each taut and cozy—a compromise the Mercedes-AMG C43 cannot match. Artificial recordings drown out a number of the engine’s sonorous notes, and the exhaust is a bit quiet, which additional separates automotive from driver. Even at triple-digit speeds, it is too straightforward to get bored in an M440i when every thing is so easy and damped.
Prefer it or not, M Efficiency fashions like this are luxurious cruisers with huge engines, not sports activities vehicles. And although we chide the M440i, the competing Audi S5 Sportback is much more sterile. There is no different direct rival, until you lean towards a Genesis G70 3.3Tor Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing. Cargo house is way much less in these sedans, they usually’re mild on gee-whiz electronics, however they’re extra thrilling to drive.
The better risk to the M440i xDrive Gran Coupe, although, might be the i4 M50, which is way faster and begins under our take a look at automotive’s $69,570 as-tested worth. From that angle, the M440i Gran Coupe seems to be too sluggish and dear to run. We’ll take one other angle. Regardless of its muted dynamics, we would argue there is no sweeter engine or better-balanced chassis in a compact sedan at this worth.
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