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The apple of BMW's eye

 BMW 420d M SportBMW_1

  • From £31,280
  • 0-62mph- 7.3 seconds
  • Top Speed 149mph
  • Fuel consumption (Combined) 60.1mpg
  • 182bhp
  • 1995cc 16v four-cylinder turbo diesel


The 4 Series represents a new direction for BMW, a niche market apart from the 3 Series coupé. But does it justify the rebrand?

Ben Kinsey is a BMW Genius. This is not a self-proclaimed title, but represents the company’s new philosophy in customer service.

They have followed Apple’s lead in employing highly knowledgeable demonstrators who are not tasked with selling the product. In fact, Ben has no idea how much the cars cost.

“We are borrowing what Apple are doing and comparing our service to them rather than Mercedes and Audi as we have been doing for years,” he said.


In keeping with this customer-focussed approach, BMW have recently launched an individual styling option with thousands of colour combinations to choose from.

The car is taken off the standard production line and sent to a separate workshop for detailing. Ben claims he has never seen two of these cars with the same look.

Ben said: ”This particular car will suit your lifestyle needs, we will build one that is perfectly tailored to you.”

The 4 Series is a new move for BMW, stepping away from the long tradition of 3 Series coupés. The pressure on this car to stand out and prove it warrants the complete rebrand should not be underestimated.

Ben believes it lives up to expectations: “I was lucky enough to be at the launch at Goodwood, I found it to be fantastically balanced with the dynamic control just about keeping it in check,” he said.

The 4 Series M Sport Coupé has a longer chassis than the 3 Series and sits lower on its haunches. The widest part of the 3 Series is the wing mirrors. On the 4 Series the rear wheel arches flare to the widest point.

Launch control has been added to cars fitted with a launch control feature to make the drive that little bit more exciting.


“The dynamic traction control gives that little bit of grip and you’re away, and the new ZF8 sports automatic gearbox is so advanced it is actually faster than the manual.

“With the old gearbox you could occasionally catch it out, but with this one it seems impossible. You are in the right gear at the right time which result in great improvements in fuel consumption.”

It is also a lot better equipped than the 3 Series. The iconic BMW corona ring LED headlights come as standard, as does leather upholstery and parking sensors.

On top of this you get a DAB radio, an M Sport multi-function leather steering wheel and drive performance control. This regulates how the engine and transmission deliver power.

When you put the car into ECO PRO mode fuel consumption can be reduced by up to 20 per cent. Accelerator response is significantly softer and the automatic air conditioning runs on energy optimised settings.

True judgement of the 4 Series will be withheld until the 425bhp M4 is launched in June 2014, but the technological developments and gadgets for petrolheads make for an exciting drive.

But it’s hard to justify a whole new line alongside the 3 Series, in all honesty it’s a very similar car. There is no doubting the brilliance of the machine, but it makes the two-door BMW saloon less of a rare, sporty alternative.


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