Offered as a coupe or convertible (retractable hardtop); the 4-Series is essentially a more lively and shapely two-door sibling to BMW’s 3-Series sedan. New engines go into 2017 models, turning the 428i into the 430i, just as the six-cylinder 435i evolves into a 440i.

Pricing and Equipment

The regular 430i coupe starts at $43,145 (destination charge included), while the Gran Coupe (listed separately) is $200 less. All-wheel drive adds $2,000. Convertible models start at $51,295.

The new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine develops 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, available at just 1,450 rpm. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard on rear-drive coupes, with there's an optional eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive versions and convertibles come only with the automatic.

Reaching beyond the base model, BMW sells the 430i in Sport or Luxury trims, or for another $2,600, there's a stylish M Sport package. A Track Handling package also is available for drivers demanding a nimbler 4-Series.

In base trim, the 430i coupe includes:

  • Power front seats with driver’s memory
  • SensaTec leatherette upholstery
  • Moonroof
  • Keyless ignition
  • Automatic climate control
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Dynamic Stability Control
  • Anthracite wood trim
  • Bluetooth audio/phone
  • HD radio
  • Adaptive xenon headlights

Performance Pros

BMW 430
  • Manual gearbox is available and is plenty fun.
  • A 430i coupe with the automatic is EPA-estimated at 23 miles per gallon city, 34 highway, 27 combined. Convertibles with all-wheel drive are significantly, and unsurprisingly, less frugal at 20 city, 30 highway, 24 combined mpg.
  • Sure-footed and poised on the road, with good steering weight and feel, the 430i exhibits sporty driving dynamics – though less so than BMW’s 2-Series. Ride comfort is satisfying.

Performance Cons

  • Overall, the 430i is feels less spirited than an equivalent 3-Series sedan.
  • Steering becomes rather heavy if bigger tires are fitted.
  • Getting the six-speed manual requires living with rear-wheel drive.

Interior Pros

  • Front seats are excellent, with plenty of space, though the driver sits low. A seatbelt presenter is handy.
  • Trunk space is sizable, as is in-cabin storage.
  • Near-silent, driver-oriented cockpit. Convertibles get a standard windblocker, neck warmers, and additional sound insulation to quiet the ride.

Interior Cons

  • Rear seats provide minimal space for adult passengers – worse yet on the convertible. Cargo space is limited, too. The 430i’s roofline is 2 inches lower than that of the 3-Series. Long doors make it difficult to enter and exit in a tight garage or parking spot. Shoppers who really need back-seat space might want to consider the 430i Gran Coupe (a five-door hatchback).
  • Standard SensaTec leatherette upholstery fails to impress, and doesn’t resemble leather effectively. Spend the money on the real hides.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The Driving Assistance Plus Package is moderately priced $1,700 and includes five active safety features. The option group also includes side and top-view cameras, and speed limit information. Still, they should probably be standard in the 4-Series’ price class.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Sparse back-seat space is the foremost drawback (as is the case with most coupes). Also, base models don’t even have a standard rearview camera, and aren’t as well-equipped as might be expected in this price class.

The Bottom Line

Though relatively conservative in design, the 430i looks more enticing – even daring – than today’s 3-Series. The 4-Series qualifies as a smooth-operating grand touring machine. Still, the smaller 2-Series come closer to recalling those sought-after “Ultimate Driving Machines” from BMW’s past.