BMW introduced its 4-Series line after decades of selling 3-Series coupes and convertibles. And since that launch, these stylish two-doors – and the newer Gran Coupe body, have begun to develop their own identity, embracing the visual and dynamic athleticism that BMW is known for.
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2018 BMW 4-Series Overview
What's New for 2018
For 2018, the chassis and styling take center stage following last year’s new engine lineup. There are upgrades to the suspension and steering, and reshaped front and rear bumper highlight the changes.
Choosing Your BMW 4-Series
The 4-Series is offered in three body styles: coupe, hardtop convertible, and Gran Coupe, which is BMW speak for a four-door sedan wrapped in a coupe’s sleek shape.
All 4-Series models come equipped with LED exterior lighting, a rearview camera, BMW’s iDrive infotainment system with a 6.5-inch display, and a 10-way power driver’s seat with adjustable side bolsters. Additional standard goodies include 18-inch wheels, BMW’s Connect digital assistant, ambient lighting, and power-folding-heated mirrors.
The standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine – found in the 430i – generates 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque and returns an EPA estimated 24 miles per gallon city, 34 mpg highway, and 27 combined. You can grab the base engine in coupe, convertible, and Gran Coupe bodies.
The 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder from the 440i packs 320 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque and returns 21 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. Again, all three body styles are available with this engine.
The 4-Series starts with rear-wheel drive, although regardless of body style or powertrain, customers can step up to all-wheel drive – the premium is $2,000 across the board. There's not quite as much freedom with the transmission selection, though. Like its mechanical twin, the 3-Series, every 4-Series comes standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission. although a no-cost six-speed manual is available. But like the 3er, the 4-Series only offers the stick on a few variants – the rear-drive 430i and 440i Coupe, and the all-wheel-drive 440i Coupe.
Every 4-Series is available with a range of option packages. The most common is the no-cost Essentials Package, available as standard on each coupe, convertible, and Gran Coupe. It adds proximity entry, front and rear parking sensors, and a one-year subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio. The next step up is the Premium Package, which adds navigation with real-time traffic, heated front seats, and an instrument cluster that features a high-resolution display for vehicle information and driving data.
The next two items are mutually exclusive and require the Premium Package. The Luxury Package adds chrome exterior accents, 18-inch wheels, and fancier interior wood trim, while the M Sport Package adds a sporty body kit, a firmer suspension, an M-branded steering wheel, dark window surrounds, more expressive colors, M-branded wheels, and a wider selection of upholstery and interior trim. Customers can add 19-inch wheels to their M Sport-equipped cars for $900 and an adaptive sport suspension for $700.
You'll need to grab one of those two packages to obtain the Executive Package and its gear. Like the 3-Series, it adds adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams, a surround-view camera system, a head-up display, an automatic parking system, and speed-limit recognition.
If you want to expand on the performance of your 4-Series, the Track Handling Package builds on the M Sport Package with variable steering and M-branded brakes. It also includes the adaptive suspension that the M Sport Package offers as a standalone option
As intoxicating as the sound of BMW's 3.0-liter inline-six is, the 2.0-liter turbo's lower starting price and improved economy make it the smart buy. Body style will depend on personal needs, but the Gran Coupe is arguably the most attractive version of the 4-Series. In terms of optional gear, you'll at least want the Premium Package, but where you go from there will, again, is a subjective decision.
2018 BMW 4-Series Review
When BMW released the 4-Series as the replacement for the 3-Series Coupe, the world made sense. But then came the 4-Series Gran Coupe to muddy up the waters a bit. Little did anyone know that the roomier Gran Coupe would end up being the 4-Series model experts preferred.
There are no traditional trim levels for the 4-Series, per se. Instead, there are two main models, the 430i and 440i, with various packages. The 440i is a great pick because of its potent powertrain, but the 430i is the better value and still performs well.
The 2018 BMW 430i starts from $44,295 (destination fees included) for the Gran Coupe model and comes standard with everything one would expect from a base Bimmer, including 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, heated mirrors, automatic wipers, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power seats, and more.
The other benefit of going with the 430i is you can add a few extra options with the money you saved over the 440i. Some of the options available include automatic high beams, parking assist, adaptive headlights, side- and top-view cameras, Dakota leather, automatic emergency braking, and more.
- Model: 2018 BMW 430i Gran Coupe
- Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
- Output: 248 hp / 258 lb-ft
- Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
- MPG: 24 City / 34 Hwy
- Options: Executive Tier ($3,650, blind-spot monitoring, heated front seats, lumbar support, automatic high beams, adaptive LED headlights, parking assist, side- and top-view cameras), Driving Assistance Package ($500, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, speed limit info, pedestrian detection)
- Base Price: $44,295 (including a $995 destination charge)
- Best Value Price: $48,445
The 4-Series offers a pair of engines that are plenty capable. The base 2.0-liter turbocharged engine sprints the 430i to 60 miles per hour in as little as 5.5 seconds, while the turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder 440i does the same sprint in as little as 4.6 seconds. Both do so with a slick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. There's also an available six-speed manual gearbox for those who prefer to DIY.
Handling is also spot on, as neither gives way in the twisties. Add in the optional adaptive suspension, and the handling gets even better. Fuel economy is also good to at up to 27 miles per gallon combined in the 430i and 24 mpg combined in the 440i, according to the EPA.
With three body options – coupe, convertible, or four-door Gran Coupe – there are plenty of options to choose from. The four-door 4-Series is the sharpest of the bunch and gives passengers easier access to the rear seats.
In terms of looks, the 4-Series holds steady with the BMW theme of “don’t do anything crazy.” This is great for fans of the brand, but it does very little to draw in new buyers.
Inside, things are comfortable up front for most people, but taller folks may find the roofline a bit intrusive and outward visibility blocked by the rearview mirror. In the rear, though, the 4-Series Coupe is a torture chamber for any adult with their tight 33.7 inches of leg room and 36.1 inches of head room. The convertible model’s head room is a touch more tolerable, but its rear leg room is even tighter at 33.1 inches.
The Best and Worst Things
The combination of front-seat comfort and performance is the best part about the 4-Series lineup. From top to bottom, it's a stunning performer with plenty of luxury goodies.
The coupe and convertible models are virtually useless for anyone who hauls adults in the rear seats. Even young teens would find things a tad cramped back there.
Right For? Wrong For?
The BMW 4-Series is perfect for childless young executives looking for the perfect balance of luxury and performance.
Got kids or haul adults in the rear seats? Unless you want the Gran Coupe model, you may want to walk right past the 4-Series section at your local BMW dealer because there's nothing here for you.
The Bottom Line
Though the 2018 BMW 4-Series lineup has a few flaws, especially in the coupe and convertible models, there's no denying it's a true Bimmer through and through. It delivers in the luxury and performance areas perfectly, just as BMW fans expect. And for those who find the coupe or convertible too small, the Gran Coupe may be just right.