BMW 435d xDrive review

Four-wheel drive BMW 435d diesel coupe is a surprisingly compelling proposition

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Putting a powerful diesel engine and four-wheel drive into a coupe isn’t the most obvious choice, yet the result is pretty compelling. The BMW 435d isn’t the sharpest car to drive, but as a stylish cruiser with lots of reassuring grip, it has lots of appeal. In fact, it’s probably a better everyday choice than the forthcoming M4 if you’re after pace rather than handling thrills.

Slotting a diesel engine into a coupe isn’t the most conventional choice, but this isn’t any old diesel. The 3.0-litre straight six in this BMW 435d produces 309bhp and 630Nm of torque – so much grunt, in fact, that it’s only available with xDrive four-wheel drive.

The BMW 4 Series isn’t tuned to be the sharpest drive – it’s more a well honed cruiser that won’t disappoint on a decent, winding road. But things are turned up a notch with the 435d flagship. The engine delivers a real turn of pace with just a flex of your foot. It sounds pretty sporty for a diesel, too, and a bit less industrial than the 330d, despite essentially being the same engine.

The standard eight-speed auto box responds well, giving smooth shifts in Comfort mode, yet responding quickly to the wheel-mounted paddles when you feel like taking manual control. The four-wheel-drive system is the third pillar in this impressive powertrain, making the 435d surefooted in bends, but with so much grip you can really throw it around. It’s also good to know this car offers rock-steady grip if the weather is nasty.

The steering is lighter than in the 3 Series and doesn’t build much weight as you add lock, but it gives a direct, responsive feel to the way the 435d drives, and makes it seem more agile.

If you want the 435d to offer storming performance or handling thrills, you might be disappointed and better off waiting a few months – and spending £11,000 more – on a new M4.

But in the real world, it has more than enough pace to occasionally entertain a keen driver while being confidence inspiring, stylish and practical – making it a better all-round choice.

It will cost you an extra £3,000 to upgrade from SE to M Sport spec, but it brings 18-inch wheels, M Sport bodywork, sports seats and metallic paint.

Most Popular

New Range Rover Sport ride review
New Range Rover Sport - front tracking
Road tests

New Range Rover Sport ride review

We get taken for a blast around Goodwood motor circuit in the new Range Rover Sport
27 Jun 2022
New MG 4 electric hatch arrives with 280 miles of range
New MG 4 2023
News

New MG 4 electric hatch arrives with 280 miles of range

The all-electric MG 4 hatchback rivals the Volkswagen ID.3 and introduces MG’s new MSP electric platform
28 Jun 2022
New Honda Civic 2022 review
Honda Civic - front
Road tests

New Honda Civic 2022 review

The all-new hybrid Honda Civic has finally arrived, but what’s like from behind the wheel? We find out…
28 Jun 2022