Essentially replacing the 3 Series coupe and convertible, the BMW 4 Series -- which also includes the four-door Gran Coupe -- takes the legendary segment-creating model to the next level. The 428i's efficient, turbocharged engine provides excellent power, making the agile 4 Series cars incredibly fun and surprisingly frugal to drive.

Pricing and Equipment

The 2016 BMW 428i is available as a coupe, convertible, or four-door Gran Coupe. Rear-wheel drive is standard, while BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive is also available.

The 428i is powered by a 2-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual transmission is available as an option only on rear-wheel two-door coupes.

The 2016 BMW 428i is available in six trim levels:

  • The nicely equipped base 428i starts at $41,850 and includes SensaTec (high quality leatherette) upholstery, a nice-sounding audio system, push-button start and much more.
  • The all-wheel drive 428i xDrive starts at $43,850.
  • The 428i Convertible starts at $50,000.
  • The all-wheel drive 428i xDrive Convertible begins at $52,000.
  • The four-door 428i Gran Coupe starts at $41,650, which, in a way makes the four-door Gran Coupe the "base" model.
  • Pricing for the 428i xDrive Gran Coupe begins at $43,650.

Package pricing varies, but highlights includes:

  • The M Sport Package includes an upgraded M branded steering wheel, shadowline trim, special headliner, sport seats, and an exterior aerodynamic ground effects kit.
  • Track Handling Package includes variable sport steering, adaptive M suspension, and M brakes.
  • Harmon Kardon Sound System with a 360-watt amp, five tweeters, five mid-range speakers, and two central bass speakers under the front seats.
  • And a Technology Package with remote services, advanced real-time traffic information, navigation, BMW online and BMW apps, head-up display and instrument cluster with extended contents.

Performance Pros

BMW 428 Interior

The 428i is powered by a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It provides excellent acceleration -- 0 to 60 mph zips by in as little as 5.6 seconds for the xDrive Coupe -- while also providing excellent fuel economy.

A 428i rear-wheel drive coupe equipped with the eight-speed automatic returns 23 mpg city and 35 mpg. Even the heavier all-wheel drive 428i xDrive convertible makes 21 mpg city and 33 mpg highway, which represents the worst mileage of all the 428i trim levels.

I spent a very pleasant week driving the 428i Convertible and can attest to handling and braking that are in a league with very few competitors, especially if you opt for the relatively inexpensive Track Handling Package. The adaptive M suspension and M sport brakes give the 428i an enthusiast-pleasing driving dynamic that few other cars offer.

Unlike many manufacturers, the 428i still offers a manual gearbox in the two-door coupe. While the eight-speed automatic is truly marvelous, the connection of driver and machine that manually shifting through the gears offers in the 4 Series is unforgettable.

My review vehicle, the all-wheel drive 428i xDrive convertible, might qualify as the Swiss army knife of cars. It's a great all-weather vehicle that handles copious amounts of snow and sunshine with equal grace.

Performance Cons

There aren't many ways to criticize the performance of a 428i, but it would be nice if the turbocharged engine didn't require premium fuel.

Interior Pros

The 428i offers excellent interior and cargo space. The 428i’s cockpit follows BMW's usual driver-centric formula, which has been refined nearly to perfection over 40 years.

  • With plenty of interior styling options, BMW offers something for every taste and budget, whether you want the feel of a sport sedan or a luxury car.
  • I know this term is overused, but the 428i’s interior fit me like a glove. The easily configurable driver’s seat and steering wheel only take a few seconds to get just right, and everything else is just pure driver’s bliss.

Interior Cons

  • The rear seating, like the majority of sport coupes in the segment, is too cramped for taller adults. My kids seemed fine back there, although they complained about getting in and out -- another inherent problem in the design of most coupes. If you have frequent rear-seat passengers you might consider the Gran Coupe for its extra doors.
  • Overall cargo space is decent for the segment, but convertible owners will need to weigh the need for the drop top versus the loss in cargo space when the roof is stowed.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

BMW 428 Side

BMW’s eight-speed automatic transmission is one of the best in the business. With a sport mode and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, I think it might be near automatic transmission perfection.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Power is good and the fuel economy is excellent, but I still don’t like that I have to use premium unleaded fuel. I understand the trade-off for the turbocharger, but the price difference negates the benefits of increased fuel economy.

The Bottom Line

Considering its performance, fuel economy and mature design, the BMW 428i hardly counts as a mid-life crisis purchase -- it represents real, sensible value.