The practically minded enthusiast has always been a tricky shopper.
A car that feels good to drive, with tight and responsive control, can sometimes contrast with the desire for a reasonable amount of cargo and passenger space. A certain German brand thinks it’s cracked this nut with the 2022 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, a vehicle that, at first glance, seems like an odd compromise. After some time behind the wheel of this four-door “coupe,” it’s clear that the automaker understands its market well.
The front-end design isn’t for everyone, and it will look even stranger with a front plate stuck in the middle of it. Fortunately, the rest of the 4 Series design lines continue pretty cleanly in this four-door model. The profile looks sleek and, yes, coupe-like; and the door handles are flush with the body, which isn’t the case with the two-door version. The rear looks nice, save for a black part of the lower bumper that creeps up awkwardly.
Inside is worthy of all the praise one can give for a reorganization. The cabin feels less cluttered, with a logical layout for buttons and controls. It leaves a clean dash that has a depth and architecture to it. BMW avoids harsh, cheap-feeling plastic (except for an area near the gear selector) and even seems to stray from the fingerprint attracting piano-black finishes in our testers. Additionally, kudos to the automaker for acknowledging the possibility of impeding forward visibility with an infotainment screen perched on the dashboard. Instead, the screen is placed in the dash, which means despite the raked windshield the driver has a decent view ahead.
The automaker only offers a turbocharged inline six-cylinder in the 4 Series Gran Coupe, and it’s a strong motor with 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. To help out with any lulls or lagginess, this model also sports a 48-volt mild-hybrid system with an 11-hp boost to improve responsiveness. It never feels dull, delivering a sub-five-second sprint to 100 km/h. The motor is paired with an excellent eight-speed automatic transmission, which sends power to all four wheels. When it comes to picking out a perfectly matched drivetrain, from the engine to the transmission to the all-wheel drive system, this BMW package is hard to beat. It just simply performs with no hesitation or hiccups. It’s also variable, with a selection of drive modes to customize your experience.
Driving Feel: 8/10
As expected, the 4 Series Gran Coupe delicately balances the premium experience of the 3 Series sedan and the sporty responsiveness of the 4 Series coupe. The drive is a bit stiffer than expected for a luxury-branded four-door, but this leads to an engaging feel and one more in line with the brand’s sportier options. The steering is heavy, but the car reacts with an agility that belies its size. This is a thoroughly larger car than the old 4 Series Gran Coupe and even features a longer wheelbase and wider track than the 3 Series.
These dimensions are properly hustled through streets and along highways thanks to the car’s strong drivetrain. The motor and transmission are worth crediting again here since they work so well at delivering the confident feeling on the road that BMW is known for. We piloted the new 4 Series Gran Coupe on the pristine highways and windy canyon roads in Palm Springs, Calif., so our assessment doesn’t include how surefooted the new four-door coupe feels in wet or cold conditions. However, the all-wheel drive system has typically featured a rear-biased power delivery, which should be appreciated by enthusiasts while still providing all-weather traction.
BMW rarely skimps on the features and offers a long list of equipment for the new 4 Series Gran Coupe. Heated front and rear seats are available, as well as front-seat ventilation and a heated steering wheel. The automaker also automates the vehicle’s best element, the tailgate, while the cabin includes a generous amount of USB ports and can be equipped with a wireless charging pad. Three-zone automatic climate control, a large sunroof, and customizable ambient lighting help to round out the non-M offerings of equipment, and shoppers can also upgrade the sound system to a unit that features 16 speakers and a digital seven-channel amplifier delivering 464 watts of audio power.
User Friendliness: 8/10
Wrapping around the driver, the cabin is well organized with controls and switches in easy-to-reach places. Our tester featured a large 10.25-inch screen as well as a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. While BMW’s rotary dial-controlled infotainment system has been around forever and is pretty approachable to newbies, the screen is also touch-capable, making it easy to pick your preferred method of operation.
The automaker offers wireless Apple CarPlay compatibility and also supports Android Auto and Amazon Alexa. iPhone users get an extra cool piece of tech in the form of an app that allows owners to lock and unlock their car with the near-field communication system on their phone.
Though the ride is a bit firm, the seats are supportive and keep you planted when the road gets windy. Material choices throughout the cabin skew towards the softer side, so you won’t get any sore elbows or knees through the car. Noise is also decently muted, though you’ll hear plenty of wind noise over anything else.
BMW boasts nearly 40 automated assistance features – some standard, some optional – that are offered on the 4 Series Gran Coupe. That includes items like forward collision warning, speed limit information, lane-departure warning, parking sensors, a self-parking system, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, a surround-view, and a drive recorder that fulfills the duties of a dashcam when a collision occurs. It saves 20 seconds before and after the crash in case you need some extra data to share with insurance or to fill an accurate police report.
The 4 Series Gran Coupe is a clever blend of two-door style with four-door practicality, with the added benefit of a handy tailgate. There’s 470 L of storage behind the rear seats, which expands to 1,290 L when you fold those down. The four-door coupe also includes the handy 40/20/40-split folding rear seats, which means you can accommodate long items without sacrificing a seat or two.
Headroom in the front is improved, while passengers in the rear get a decent amount of legroom. Rear headroom is tight, and perhaps ideal for shorter passengers or children.
Fuel Economy: 6/10
The automaker has yet to publish figures for its 2022 4 Series Gran Coupe, but based on the previous M440i coupe and the M340i sedan, which share many components and the powertrain with this model, we have a fairly educated guess on what to expect at the pumps. Those vehicles returned 10.5 L/100 km in city driving conditions, 7.7 on the highway, and a combined 9.2. That’s premium-grade gas, of course.
Pricing of the new 4 Series Gran Coupe hasn’t been finalized, but we imagine it carries a premium over the two-door M440i, which starts at $67,030 including freight. Unlike the traditional 4 Series coupe or 3 Series sedan, the Gran Coupe will only be offered with the six-cylinder motor, which certainly limits its appeal. If you’re after a four-door coupe BMW will likely make you upwards of $70,000 for it, with options and extras pushing that price higher still.
With crossovers and SUVs dominating sales reports, it’s getting harder and harder to find a fun-to-drive car, let alone one that puts the driver first. The 2022 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe manages to walk the line between being a driver’s car as well as something suitable for the everyday commute or a small family. Loaded with tech and a smartly packaged cabin, the 2022 BMW M440i Gran Coupe manages to impress in every way except for the price. But something has to give, and for the enthusiasts looking for this blend of performance and practicality, this is the price to pay.
|Engine Cylinders||Turbo I6|
|Peak Horsepower||382 hp|
|Peak Torque||469 lb-ft|
|Cargo Space||470 / 1,290 L seats down|
|Model Tested||2022 BMW M440i Gran Coupe|
|Base Price||$70,000 (est.)|
|A/C Tax||$100 (est.)|
|Price as Tested||n/a|