2015 BMW 428i xDrive Gran Coupe
2.0L I4 Turbo
241 @ 5,000 - 6,500
258 @ 1,450 - 4,800
If you can accuse BMW for something that would be that they just give you too many options to pick from. In the case of the 4-Series Gran Coupe though, things are a bit different and here is why.
The 3-Series is unarguably still the most complete executive sedan on the market; perhaps together with the new C-Class. Also, there is no doubt that the new 4-Series absolutely picks up from where the 3-Series Coupe left off. It is one of the most desirable and complete luxury coupes on the market. But what happens when the 3-Series is a bit to ordinary for you while the 4-Series won’t cut it for you cause of the two doors? Well, the 4-Series Gran Coupe happens.
Having kids is a blessing, but forgetting about owning a coupe kind of goes with it. The aggressive styling, lower belt line, frameless doors and sleek roof-line are just not compatible with rear facing child seats. Or are they? To be honest, BMW has struck gold with this vehicle, because with it you get the best of both worlds with none of the drawbacks. In fact, you get even more, a hatchback tail gate!
First things first, prices start at $44,900 for the base Gran Coupe 428i. Adding the xDrive system for extra confidence in winter and some extra toys to play with can sum up to $61,795 which was the price of our test vehicle. The significant increase in price comes with an impressive amount of gear added to the car. Fully loaded is what it is, Heads-Up-Display, a spectacular Harman/Kardon sound system, heated steering wheel, rear view camera with surround view, park distance control and park assistant, navigation with real time traffic, satellite radio, adaptive xenon headlights, high beam assist, blind spot detection, lane departure and collision warning, nappa leather dashboard, active cruise control with stop&go capability, eco start-stop system, efficient dynamics regenerative brakes, dual zone climate control, leather heated sport seats, sunroof, stability control, i-drive infotainment control, 18” alloys and plenty of airbags.
Up until half way through the front doors, the Gran Coupe is identical to the Coupe. Thereafter, the front doors are shorter to make room for the rear doors. Of course, for the rear doors to be half descent changes have also been made to the roof, which is higher and longer versus the coupe. The result looks fantastic; muscular, dynamic and very Bavarian, the wide track and very pretty 18″ wheels really boost curb appeal.
Inside the cabin, its all very coupe like in the front. The M-Sport seats are superb, the dashboard design is really nice while most of it is covered in double stitched leather. Ergonomically it is a true BMW – driver focused dash that is – while quality materials are extensively present throughout the cabin. Fit and finish are near perfection and so is the driving position. Visibility is better than in the coupe but not as good as in the 3-Series sedan. The blind spot warning lights however are cleverly placed on the near side of the mirrors making them clearly visible most of the time. The rear seats have more room compared to the coupe, but compared to the 3-Series the door opening is not as wide or tall, so getting in and out is a bit harder. Also, if you are putting babies in the back, be careful not to poke your eye out against the window corner. Frameless rear doors are cool but also a bit dangerous. Thanks to the inward carved front seat, legroom is not bad at all, while headroom will be a concern only once the passenger’s height turns to 6ft and above. The rear bench actually looks like individual seats which makes it look really sporty, but you can still fold them in a 40:20:40 configuration which is a very practical addition to the hatchback rear. Speaking of which, “kick the car in the nuts”, to activate the easy access system if your hands are busy. The design doesn’t lead you to believe that the window will follow the movement of the trunk but it actually does, providing supreme access to the very generous (and equal to the 3-Series) trunk, which at 480L is impressive.
Behind the trademark double kidney front grille, a perky 4-cylinder 2.0L engine makes the world move and with the help of a turbo charger, it makes it move quite fast. 241 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque propel the car to 100km/h in just 6.7″. Mated to the amazing ZF 8-speed Steptronic gearbox, performance is never an issue, even in this “entry level” drivetrain. BMW’s efficient dynamics technology is of course standard and as such, so is regenerative braking and auto start stop, which help reduce fuel consumption to really impressive levels. Especially in ECO PRO mode, things can get very frugal, so unless you are in a sporty mood, use it and observe your combined average reach as low as 9.1lt/100km.
Being a 4-Series, you’d expect that it carries over the crisp handling from the coupe, and it does. The steering is on the heavier side which makes it feel sporty, feedback is very good (even without the optional adaptive steering) and together with the fantastic sport seats and blazing fast gearbox, driving fast around corners feels like a piece of cake. The chassis is very communicative as per how close to its limits your are, while the xDrive system reacts as fast as you can blink increasing grip limits even further. Pointing the nose is a very involving, precise and fun procedure, while controlling the rear is exciting and exhilarating. The brakes feel a bit awkward at first thanks to the regenerative braking but once you get used to them you will only appreciate the reassuring feeling thanks to the effectiveness of the system.
The ride quality feels very upmarket thanks to the very stiff chassis and well put together interior. There are no squeaks whatsoever and the car feels like a single piece machine going over potholes, so despite the firm sporty ride, it also feels very comfortable and refined. The suspension manages to swallow most of the road’s defects and remarkably, even the nastiest bumps are handled with producing minimal noise.
The idea was simple but great; make a sedan (or hatchback?) that looks like the coupe, so people stuck in between can go ahead and buy one. Statistics so far show that the idea has worked as Gran Coupes are flying out the doors. Personally I am not surprised as it is a blend of the best making one hell of a car.
Well built interior
Rear window can be a hazard
Tight rear doors