BMW 4 Series Coupe review - Interior, design and technology

It looks a little plain inside compared to some rivals, but the BMW 4 Series' cabin is practical, comfy and well made

Although everything’s a little lower-slung, the 4 Series is basically the same as the last 3 Series inside, and there isn't anything wrong with that. You get all the bits you expect from a BMW – clear, handsome instruments, great seats and a steering wheel that feels just right in the palms of your hands. Quality is generally excellent, although the less well-appointed versions can look and feel quite plain. There are also some cheap plastics to be found if you go looking.

It’s best to avoid the default black leather trim. Practical it may be but it just sucks all the light from what is already a very dark cabin. Beige or biscuit-coloured leather might be a bit harder to look after, but it really lifts the ambience inside.

You can, of course, go mad on the spec of the interior by adding sportier seats, carbon or wood trim and lots more. It’s best to keep a sensible head when perusing the options list though. The standard seats are just fine and too much wood makes everything look a bit eighties – keep things simple, choose some bright colours and lots of add-ons for the infotainment and you won’t go far wrong. 

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The basic infotainment comes with a 6.5-inch screen and the iDrive system with its rotary controller and ‘hot-key’ buttons. It’s just fine in this form, and it comes with DAB radio as standard.

The iDrive system has also improved out of all recognition since it was introduced in 2001 – it’s now one of the slickest and simplest of such systems to use. You can upgrade the infotainment pretty much as much as you like with a bigger screen (the presence of which really lifts the cabin ambience), live traffic updates in the sat-nav, a Harmon-Kardon sound system, heads-up display, parking cameras and more.

Added to which, BMW’s Connected setup now offers buyers a lot of extra options, although many of them can only really be exploited when the car is sitting still. Weather and news headlines can be accessed once you’ve selected upgrades, plus you can specify a very useful Wi-Fi hotspot, which can also use the car’s aerial to boost your mobile phone’s reception.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    420i Sport 2dr [Business Media]
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £33,690

Most Economical

  • Name
    420d MHT M Sport 2dr Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £42,020

Fastest

  • Name
    M440i xDrive MHT 2dr Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £52,880

Most Popular

'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'
Opinion cheap cars
Opinion

'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'

Our appetite for small, cheap cars is as strong as ever - although Mike Rutherford warns they may no longer be profitable
12 Sep 2021
What is Skoda vRS? History and best cars driven
Skoda vRS range
Skoda

What is Skoda vRS? History and best cars driven

To mark 20 years of Skoda’s vRS badge, we rounded up some of the performance cars from the past two decades that have worn the subtle green badge
17 Sep 2021
Genesis G80 vs Mercedes E-Class vs Lexus ES
Genesis G80 vs Mercedes E-Class vs Lexus ES
Genesis G80

Genesis G80 vs Mercedes E-Class vs Lexus ES

The Genesis G80 looks to make an impact in the executive saloon class as we pitch it against the Mercedes E-Class and Lexus ES
18 Sep 2021