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James Flammang
Contributing Editor - September 24, 2015

Expert Rating

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17 City / 25 Highway

Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

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4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

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1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.


Following the lead of other “M” models in the BMW lineup, M4 is the high-performance offshoot of the recently-launched 4 Series coupe and convertible. With 425 horsepower on tap, it’s intended for drivers who seek maximum exhilaration from BMW's newest compact platform. Weight-saving materials and the twin-turbo engine combine to delight enthusiasts, while retaining the dignity and stature of the BMW brand.

What's New for 2016

Added to the BMW lineup last year, the M4 sees only minor revisions for 2016. Harman Kardon surround-sound audio is now standard. So are satellite radio and Comfort Access keyless entry. A power trunk lid also is newly standard.

Choosing Your BMW M4

Available as either a coupe or a hardtop convertible, the rear-wheel-drive M4 packs a twin-turbo 3-liter six-cylinder engine, generating a hefty 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. You have two transmission choices: a performance-spec six-speed manual or, for $2,900 extra, a seven-speed dual-clutch automated-manual unit. The M4’s sport-tuned suspension makes extensive use of aluminum components. So does the body itself. The coupe roof panel and trunk lid are made of plastic, reinforced with carbon fiber, as is the driveshaft.

Rolling on V-spoke 19-inch forged alloy wheels with increased-width rear tires, the M4 gets an electric power steering system with three levels of assist. The optional ($1,000) five-mode Adaptive M suspension can accommodate every requirement, from leisurely highway driving to sprinting around a race track. Carbon-ceramic brakes are available as a standalone option, at $8,150.

Acceleration to 60 mph can be achieved in as little as 4.1 seconds. Fuel economy is estimated at 17 mpg city/26 mpg highway with manual shift, or 17/24 mpg with the automated-manual.

Every M4 contains 10-way heated power seats in leather (mixed with cloth in the coupe), along with a driver’s memory, a 200GB hard drive-based navigation system, and a Harman Kardon 16-speaker 600-watt surround-sound stereo with satellite and HD radio. Also standard are adaptive xenon headlights, USB and Bluetooth, and an expanded instrument cluster. The interior can be trimmed in your choice of wood, aluminum or carbon fiber.

Since the M4 includes so much standard equipment, only three option packages are offered:

  • Driver Assistance Plus adds blind-spot detection, lane-departure warning, front collision warning, city collision mitigation, side- and top-view camera systems, and speed-limit information.
  • Adaptive full LED headlights with automatic high beams make up the Lighting Package.
  • The $3,200 Executive Package comes with a head-up display, headlight washers, heated steering wheel, rearview camera, and front/rear parking sensors.

Only a handful of individual options are available, including enhanced USB and Bluetooth with smartphone integration, sunroof (no additional cost), parking sensors, side- and top-view cameras, and 19-inch wheels

CarsDirect Tip

You get a lot of standard equipment with an M4, but some options and packages are worth considering. When selecting options, we recommend starting with the Adaptive M suspension. A bargain at $1,000, it makes more sense in a car of this nature than some of the convenience-oriented upgrades, which are a matter of personal taste.

Get your price on a BMW M4 »

Read our review on the BMW M4 »

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