I love writing for the simple reason of people understanding cars better. Whether you like it or not cars are important. You go to birthdays, weddings, and other occasions in them amongst long late night conversations, breaks ups, first kisses to even receiving that moment changing text for a job or an opportunity. If any of the above mentioned ever happened in a car, chances are you will remember it each time to see it. Rightly so, it’s special and only means as much as you want it to. On the opposite end of things, if you like cars then you will know facts and figures better than any of your car friends and when a facelift model is announced, your heart is filled with joy and excitement only a petrolhead could understand.
SO, GO ON ABOUT THE 4 SERIES THEN…
This brings me to BMW 4 Series. Produced in 2013, this car was made to be the sexier and sleeker version of the 3 Series. It came in 3 versions, the coupe, the metal folding roof convertible and the Gran Coupe. To say it was a hit would be an understatement with more than 400 000 units sold globally combined as of February 2017.
35I TO 40I? EXPLAIN…
It’s biggest change since birth was the engine and name. The range topper under the M Series version M4 was the 435i, a three litre twin turbocharged straight six which powered many other BMW models in the range under the 35i name.
This was called the N55 engine and it was really good! Award winning in fact for great power, fuel efficiency and a whole lot of other engineering feats because you know, Germans are good at this kinda thing. Later in 2016 this changed to the glorious B58 engine, the successor the N55 and literal trophy cabinet of a winner. It swept up engine awards ten fold of the N55’s glory days. Alongside the B58, BMW then dropped the 35i across the range of cars name in favor of the now known 40i.
EXPLAIN THE LIFECYCLE OF A CAR THEN
So at BMW, a car has a lifespan of 8 years from start to end. Somewhere between the 3rd and 4th year a facelift is introduced, so without further introduction here is the refreshed 4 Series.
WHAT’S NEW THEN?
Although BMW have changed 2500 components, you will only be able to spot the ones I point out here starting with the front, a new full-LED headlamp set up with optional adaptive beams. This is the stand out difference here, it gives a very sporty and aggressive stance to the whole front end setting it apart from its 3 Series origins. We like, a lot!
BUSINESS IN THE FRONT, PARTY IN THE BACK?
Say hello to the new cleaner and refreshed taillights. Keeping with the aggressive new front, the rear taillights get some new LED’s that when on, light up the individual dedicated tailpiece.
DROP THE TOP AND TALK ABOUT THIS NEW COLOUR
While only certain cars can pull off a soft top cloth roof, BMW do the sexier metal folding roof on some models just so much better than it’s rivals. The test model we had was the metal folding roof 440i and it looked great with the roof up, but when the sun made an appearance the car become drop dead gorgeous with the roof down. The biggest stand out is this new colour and our favorite called Snapper Rocks Blue, a shade different from the M2 and X5 and X5M’s Long Beach Blue but certainly a head turner. The other colour offered in Sunset Orange, a deep rich and dark orange.
From friends to family members who have owned BMW’s both past and present, the one thing I kept hearing is the tiredness and irritation of the traditional BMW orange analog instrument cluster. Look, I hear you and we screamed for change and yes in today’s times it was getting on a bit, but luckily for you and I prayers have been answered. While still traditional to a point, say hello to the biggest update in the form of an all digital display, animations and non orange colour options.
CAN YOU LIVE WITH IT?
The drive on the new 4 Series is superb. Most of the changes you don’t see comes in the form of brilliant suspension tweaks. Engineers have given the new 4 a stiffer suspension with sportier handling without any loss of ride comfort. Sounds too good to be true right? Somehow through German brilliance it’s pulled off well. The car is firm and planted and body roll in corners is minimal more so in our M Sport set up. Cabin noise is isolated and quiet, coupled with premium leathers and aluminium finishes adds for a very nice place to be in when travelling.
WHICH ONE IS FOR ME THEN?
Single? Living at the coast? Looking for a second car to have fun in? Get yourself the convertible, it loves the roof down and the people staring at you. The only down side is the boot space. With the roof down you can only have a small carry bag in the back, the rest will have to be in the backseat.
Looking for a bit of practicality above the convertible but your partner needs to take some luggage, get the coupe, while you may loose having the wind in your hair, it makes up for a lot more boot space. However the best option for the family or adventurer who doesn’t want the chunkiness of a 3 Series but wants sexy looks of the 4 with space too must look no further than the Gran Coupe. You get all the above mentioned, plus 2 extra doors. Winner winner, chicken dinner.
THE BORING NERDY BITS YET THE MOST IMPORTANT. TRY NOT TO LOOSE FOCUS.
Power figures are 135kW and 290Nm for the 420i and 185kW and 350 Nm for the 430i. The two litre diesel model delivers 140kW and 400Nm with a claimed fuel consumption of 4.0 – 4.2 litres which is the real winner for consumption here. Our favorite is the 440i’s 3 litre turbo straight six with 240kW and 450Nm and a sweet and soulful soundtrack through it’s exhaust to match.
Well should your bank of finance house ask, prices start at R603 200 for the 420i coupe all the way to R985 100 for the 440i convertible. With some decent options and taste like car we got sent, you are looking at a healthy R1 068 096 of your hard earned money.
WORTH THE MONEY AND THE REFRESH?
Of course! The 4 Series is a superb car and a prettier alternative to a 3 Series and dare I say it, the other German alternatives. Pricing is competitive, looks are spot on I mean come on, if the colour hasn’t sold you, the ride and looks will eventually.