Used BMW 4 Series (Mk1, 2014-2020) review
The BMW 4 Series Coupe remains a great four-seater coupe with surprisingly low running costs
We were really impressed when we first drove the BMW 4 Series, loving the attention to detail with the cabin design and ergonomics, the build quality and the driving experience. That first drive was of the range-topping 435i Coupe; when we got behind the wheel of the Convertible soon after, it was clear that the two bodystyles are quite different to drive.
The Coupe feels sportier, while the Convertible is more of a cruiser. Yet with the roof up, the open car is just as refined as the closed one. Whichever 4 Series you buy, you’re bound to love it. However, the array of engines, trim levels and options available is bewildering, so try a few different combinations before parting with your cash in order to pin down the model that’s right for you.
Which one should I buy?
- Best BMW 4 Series for fuel economy: 420d SE
- Best BMW 4 Series for driving fun: 440i M Sport
- Best BMW 4 Series for equipment: 420i Luxury
None of the engines is weak, but the six-cylinder units have a gorgeous soundtrack that’s absent from the four-cylinder models, which still offer better economy and enough power for everyday driving.
The gearboxes are good, too; a great six-speed manual was standard, but an eight-speed auto was an option. SE trim features 17-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, leather trim, all-round parking sensors, xenon lights and heated front seats.
Sport, Modern and Luxury editions add 18-inch rims and sports seats. M Sport cars bring sports suspension and styling; six-cylinder models have metallic paint.
What are the alternatives?
The closest rival is the rear-wheel-drive Mercedes C-Class, which features a wide choice of engines and comes in Coupe or soft-top Cabriolet guises. It isn’t as much fun as the BMW, but it’s superbly built, reliable and has a cast-iron image, although used prices tend to be high.
Car group tests
- BMW M4 CSL vs Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS: 2022 twin test review
- BMW M4 Convertible vs Porsche 911 Cabriolet: 2022 twin test review
The Audi A5 comes in front or four-wheel drive forms, the latter massively improving usability in the winter. As with the BMW, you can take excellent build quality, practicality and efficient engines for granted. The Audi TT is offered in Roadster or more practical hatchback variants, while the Volkswagen Scirocco comes only as a very usable hatchback.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe BMW 4 Series Coupe remains a great four-seater coupe with surprisingly low running costs
- 2How much will it cost?Considering the performance on offer, the 4 Series' economy and emissions are impressive
- 3How practical is it?Space in the cabin is pretty good for a coupe, but the boot is a touch shallow
- 4What's it like to drive?Diesel engines have become a BMW staple, but don't ignore the petrol options – they're smooth, fast and more economical than you'd think
- 5What should you look out for?BMWs are usually well made and very safe, but long-term reliability is shakier
- 6What do owners think? BMWs are usually well made and very safe, but long-term reliability is on shakier ground