When we first heard that BMW was making a four-door version of their stylish 4-series, extreme nervousness set in. We originally thought the 4-series was placed on this planet to replace the now defunct 3-series coupe, and didn’t understand the four-door Gran Coupe’s appeal. After spending a week logging over 500 miles on the odometer though, we came to the realization that, not only is the 4 Series Gran Coupe a versatile machine, but it may just be one of the best cars in BMW’s arsenal.
If you’re not a BMW aficionado then at first glance you may mistake the 2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe for a 3 Series sedan. Both car have four doors, both are about the same size, and both share a similar design philosophy. Look closely though and you’ll see that there’s much more to the Gran Coupe than meets the eye. A lower and sleeker roofline, integrated side vents and a more aggressive front fascia, all help to give the 4 Series Gran Coupe a sportier presence compared to the venerable 3 Series. BMW’s signature kidney grille has also been enlarged and thus helps lead the eyes to the raked and sculpted headlamps.
Integrating a hatchback into such an attractive design added not only enhanced versatility, but a more aerodynamic shape. Our tester was optioned out with the M Sport package. That means blacked out trim around the windows and side vents, special M Sport brakes, M badging and unique 18-inch twin-spoke alloy wheels.
If you’ve been in a 2015 BMW 3 Series then guess what – you’ve been in the 2015 4 Series Gran Coupe, too. There are a few minor changes but honestly, the two feel almost identical. This is not a bad thing though, as the quality of the interior is superb. Although highly stylized, the layout is quite comforting. Leather, aluminum and soft touch plastics have been strategically placed and live in harmony with each other. Heck, even with our test car’s Dakota Coral (red) interior, we still felt that the 4 Series Gran Coupe was leaning more towards the luxury end of the spectrum rather than to that of a full-on sports sedan.
Eight-way power front seats provide all-day comfort, while rear passengers are treated to more room thanks to the addition of two more doors. Where the beauty of the Gran Coupe really comes into its own is when you open the rear liftgate. With more room than the standard 4 Series, the Gran Coupe now becomes a car that can adapt to a wide variety of situations.
Remember when everyone used to scoff at 4-cylinder automobiles? Well, those days are over. In the past 10 years many manufacturers have gone from V8’s and V6’s to small displacement turbocharged 4-cylinder engines and 8-speed transmissions that not only lend to enhanced fuel economy, but better performance.
With 240 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque, the 4-cylinder 428i Gran Coupe scoots to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds and runs the quarter-mile in around 14.3 seconds. Considering it also pulls 34 mpg on the highway, we’d say those are some pretty impressive numbers. If you opt for the M Sport package you’ll receive enhanced sport suspension (with three settings), crisper steering, better brakes and special 18-inch wheels. Stomp the pedal with the car set in Sport Plus mode and the little 4-cylinder engine pulls all the way to its 7,000 redline. The 8-speed automatic transmission also shifts flawlessly and allows for manual shifts via the steering wheel mounted paddles if you so choose.
Handling on the Gran Coupe is surefooted and confidence inspiring. There is little in the way of understeer, and when in the right setting, oversteer can be induced by using liberal amounts of throttle in conjunction with some high revs. Braking is spot on as well, with good pedal feel and very little in the way of travel.
If there is one downside to the 2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe it’s that everything is an option. The M Sport package for instance is $3,500. The premium package is another $2,200. Heck, even our test car’s Estoril Blue Metallic paint will run you $550. Yet, if you can overlook the fact that many expected standard features in the 4 Series Gran Coupe are in fact optional, you’ll find you’ve purchased one of the best looking and most rewarding BMWs currently available.
|Price as Tested:||$52,300.00|
|Engine:||2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo Inline-4|
|Horsepower / Torque:||240 horsepower / 255lb-ft of torque|
|Transmission:||8-speed automatic w/ paddles|
|Fuel Economy:||34 Hwy / 27 City / 23 Combined|
|Curb Weight:||3,610 lbs|