As the more fashionable companion to the 3-Series, the 2019 BMW 4-Series is available as a coupe, convertible, or a four-door "Gran Coupe." While the 4-Series is a very competent sedan and fun to drive, it's starting to get a bit old even with the minor revisions that have been included for this model year. However, if you're able to successfully navigate the labyrinth of trims, designs, packages, and options, the 4-Series will impress you in any guise.

Best Value

The 4-Series is offered in many configurations, but we'd go with the classic coupe body style. While the base engine is incredibly competent, the allure of the turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six in the 440i is hard to deny. BMW has been building inline-six engines for a very long time and they offer a very unique character due to their inherently balanced operation – something you won't find with the V6s other automakers offer. Additionally, we'd stick with rear-wheel drive and six-speed manual transmission. This configuration may be hard to find on dealer lots, but it's gone completely extinct among the 4-Series competitors. This configuration would remind us of a modern version of the older M3 coupes from the early 2000s, one of the best BMWs of all time.

We would stick with the standard Sport Line Design style, but also go with the Executive Tier trim for the adaptive headlights, parking assistant, and top and side view cameras. The Snapper Rocks Blue Metallic Paint is just too good to pass up, so we'd spend the $550 to stand out among the horde of black, silver, and white cars out there.

  • Model: 2019 BMW 440i Coupe
  • Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six
  • Output: 320 hp / 330 lb-ft
  • Transmission:Six-speed manual
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • MPG: 21 City / 32 Hwy
  • Options: Sport Line Design ($0), Executive Tier ($3,400, heated front seats, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive headlights, automatic high beams, parking assist, side and top view cameras), Manual transmission ($0), Track Handling Package ($1,700, variable sport steering, sport brakes, adaptive suspension, performance tires), Dynamic Digital Instrument Cluster ($350), Snapper Rocks Blue Metallic Paint ($550)
  • Base Price:$52,195 (including a $995 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price:$58,195

Performance

BMW 4 Series

The 4-Series is available with two engines. The 430i and its variations get a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This engine is respectable, with enough power to get the 430i to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds for the coupe model while also returning 24 miles per gallon city and 34 mpg highway. The 440i gets a 3.0-liter inline-six cylinder with 320 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque, which shaves about a second off the zero-to-60 mph time. BMW is famous for their buttery smooth straight-six powerplants, and this one is no exception. Engines are usually tied to a fast-shifting eight-speed automatic in all models, but rear-drive coupes have access to a six-speed manual, and all applications have the option of all-wheel drive.

The 4-Series is extremely competent in the corners like most BMW cars, but it's even better this year with updates to the suspension that made it stiffer and able to grip better. Three suspension set ups include the standard suspension, adaptive dampers, and the M Sport Suspension, which is even sportier. Body lean is incredibly minimal in the corners, and steering is accurate, although it's a bit unnecessarily heavy in the Sport Plus mode.

Style

The BMW 4-Series is certainly handsome, but it isn’t very exciting. The shape is classic BMW, with the kidney grille and great proportions, but it's a bit simple compared to other options in the class. Some may find it boring, but we think it will age better than some of its competitors. Inside, the design is luxurious but straight-laced, with designs that don’t necessarily inspire us but still look good. Materials are top-notch and feel luxurious.

BMW offers the 4-Series in a myriad of styles and designs, with the performance-oriented M-Sport and upscale Luxury Design styles. The standard Sport Line trim offers a little bit of both. Leatherette seats are standard, but genuine leather is available as an upgrade and there are many choices of interior trims and colors. The front seats are comfortable and can be optioned to be heavily adjustable, but the rear seats are cramped and basically unusable for adults in the coupe and convertible, while the back of the Gran Coupe is much better with the four doors. Historically, BMWs don't come loaded with standard features, but this year’s 4-Series is an improvement with a moonroof, a 6.5-inch infotainment screen, automatic climate control and power adjustable front seats. There’s an extensive list of options, including a heads-up display, adaptive cruise control, a heated steering wheel, and more. Don’t go too wild though, because the price can climb very quickly.

The Best and Worst Things

The strong spot for the 4-Series is in how it drives. BMW is supposed to be the Ultimate Driving Machine, and the 4-Series makes us think that BMW still believes that. It’s quick, it corners sharply, and it still offers the purist combination of a manual transmission and rear-wheel drive.

On the other hand, configuring a 4-Series is headache inducing. There are so many options and configurations that it can be very difficult to remember what's available. Additionally, the price tag for the convertible is very steep at $9,000, which can move the price into uncompetitive territory.

Right For? Wrong For?

BMW 4 Series

The 4-Series in any guise is a great daily driver for those who don’t have the continued responsibility of ferrying people around but want something quick and luxurious. It performs that role admirably, but you’ll probably only ever take one passenger unless you choose the Gran Coupe.

People who do use the rear seat often should think about upgrading to the 5-Series, which offers much more leg room and better rear comfort for the passengers than the 4-Series. The rear seats in the Gran Coupe are more usable due to the ease of entry afforded by four doors, but more room would be better for regular use.

The Bottom Line

The 2019 4-Series is the latest in a line of BMW coupes and convertibles, offering performance and style in exchange for rear leg room. The 4-Series handles great, has quick power choices, and is undeniably fun to drive while offering an interior that's worthy of the luxury car moniker. While it may be a bit conventional, it continues to impress us year after year while other brands try to catch it.