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In-depth reviews

BMW 4 Series Coupe review - Reliability and Safety

BMWs are usually well made and very safe, but long-term reliability is on shakier

There’s a palpable sense of quality when you pop the door handle, see the frameless side glass drop by that precise couple of millimetres to clear the door seal, swing the door open and drop inside. Most of the cabin surfaces look and feel lustrous, and options such as Nappa leather and carbon trim can make a BMW 4 Series look, feel (and actually be) very expensive.

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General mechanical reliability is pretty good, but you do need to keep an eye out. Previous versions of the BMW four-cylinder diesel engine were prone to developing serious trouble with their timing chains and turbos. BMW has made efforts to rectify these on more recent models, but we’d advise keeping strictly to the service schedule and stay within the BMW dealer network for servicing, just in case any problems do develop.

The 4 Series finished in 54th place (out of the 75 cars ranked) in our 2018 Driver Power satisfaction survey, which is a considerable fall from its position in 2015, where it came 19th. That said, the 4 Series is growing older, so you would expect it to lose places to newer, more modern cars.

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BMW as a whole finished 21st out of the 26 manufacturers which ranked. Putting it above Vauxhall, Fiat and Citroen, but below Audi, Volvo and Jaguar.

On the safety front, the 4 Series hasn’t been crash tested as a coupe by Euro NCAP, but the 3 Series it's based on was tested in 2012, and it scored a maximum five stars. As the two cars are all but identical under the skin, you can expect pretty good safety standards from the 4 Series. There are also lots of extra safety options you can choose from, such as adaptive cruise control, adaptive LED lights, lane departure warning and a forward collision alert with city collision auto-braking.

Warranty

All new BMWs come with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty. You can get an individual quote to extend the warranty of your car beyond that time limit if you like.

Servicing

As always with BMW, there are no set service schedules as such, but the on-board computer will give you a mileage and time countdown to when you next need to visit your garage. Once a year, basically.

BMW was one of the first car makers to offer pre-paid inclusive service packages and that continues on the 4 Series. You can pay about £500 to cover your servicing costs for the first five years or 50,000 miles (including replacement parts for any MoT failure points) or £1,500, which covers the same period but includes the cost of wear and tear items such as wipers, brake pads, brake discs, etc.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

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

Most Economical

  • Name
    420d [190] M Sport 2dr Auto [Professional Media]
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £39,355

Fastest

  • Name
    M440i xDrive MHT 2dr Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £52,100
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