In-depth reviews

BMW 4 Series review - Interior, design and technology

Aside from the 4 Series’ new grille it’s very much business as usual, which means great build quality, intuitive tech and decent levels of kit

It’s probably more than fair to say that the second-generation BMW 4 Series has received a mixed response to its front-end makeover. The larger grille dominates the front of the car, but perhaps provides the style statement that buyers of cool coupes and convertibles are looking for.

Although sharing the same underpinnings as its 3 Series sibling, BMW has designed the 4 Series with a focus on form following function: the wider rear track helps increase grip, but also gives a more aggressive stance, while the coupe sits lower than the saloon which reduces its centre of gravity and adds to the impression that the 4 Series is the more sporty, driver-orientated car.

Inside, the cabin doesn’t deviate from the quality 3 Series formula, with a similar dash layout and the usual feeling that you’re sitting in a car that is thoroughly well-engineered. Buyers of the first-generation 4 Series mostly specified their cars with the popular M Sport trim, so BMW has decided to go solely with this equipment level throughout the range. 

Standard kit is generous with 18-inch M alloy wheels, LED headlights, cruise control, Vernasca leather upholstery and BMW’s Live Cockpit Professional set-up featuring a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital instrument display. The Pro Edition upgrade adds 19-inch wheels, unique paint colours, adaptive dampers and further M branded trim.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

BMW’s infotainment systems have long been among the best in the business, with only a lack of Android Auto as a criticism. That has now been addressed, while Apple CarPlay works as smoothly as ever.

Beyond smartphone connectivity, the BMW system’s strengths remain; the graphics look clear and sharp, the user interface is well laid out and loading times are quick. Aside from slightly contrived gesture controls, the input methods are great; the touchscreen is brilliant for entering addresses and postcodes when the car is stationary, while a click wheel surrounded by physical shortcut buttons on the centre console means it’s easy to make small adjustments. 

Even the voice assistant works effectively, but if we’re being picky, the 12.3-inch digital instrument panel looks a little cluttered compared with the tidy main screen.

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