Yes, the 4-Series Gran Coupé has the same dimensions — length, width, wheelbase — as the two-door coupe. But thanks to its four doors, the roofline is noticeably 4.4 inches longer, and the interior more spacious. The result is an excellent second entrée into BMW's new niche — in 2012, the German auto giant radically renamed its 3-Series coupe and convertible the 4-Series — joining its shark-like stunner of a big brother that bears the 6-Series badging. Indeed, BMW's new 4-Series Gran Coupé is the sedan for coupe lovers wanting maximum space without sacrificing aerodynamic style.
For the 4-Series Gran Coupé, one body style is offered with a choice of two engines: the 428i produces a responsive 240-horsepower via a 2.0-liter TwinPower turbocharged four-cylinder with 255 lb-ft of torque while the 435i, a throaty 300-hp mated to a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder. Both engines nicely bridge the gap between the more classic 3-Series sedan and intense M-powered sports variants.
Mated to both engines is BMW's fabulous eight-speed automatic transmission, which shifts effortlessly. The Driving Dynamics Controller allows the driver to select one of four modes: ECO PRO, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ — great options to have when you find yourself idling in traffic on the I-95 or racing up the Pacific Coast Highway.
All models come with frameless windows, which add an extra touch of svelte and make the Gran Coupé easily the most beautiful of all the 3- and 4-Series in the current lineup. Ultimately, buyers will have to decide if a traditional sedan will suit their needs or be seduced by the fastback roofline, which also adds the perk of a "kick to open" (and close) hatchback for both fun and convenience.
Either way, the 4-Series Gran Coupé allows for nearly 46-cubic feet of cargo space with seats folded, easily swallowing two bicycles with their wheels intact. While some combination of the Luxury, Technology, and Premium packages will no doubt come equipped with most 4-Series that are sold — not to mention xDrive all-wheel-drive for those in the Snowbelt — the $3,500 M Sport offering is recommended. It won't generate the power of an M4, but it does offer nice distinguishing details: an aggressive front fascia, blacked-out greenhouse treatment, performance-tuned suspension (with summer performance tires), a 10-way adjustable sport seat and a gorgeous sport steering wheel that stands out in an otherwise straightforward, business-like interior.
All this, with an MSRP that won’t deliver sticker shock and a checklist that actually fulfills the needs of an active lifestyle, the 4-Series Gran Coupé is a well-balanced four-door masquerading as a coupe but with added intrinsic benefits of the ever-popular sport activity vehicle genre. Just don’t call it a hatchback.
[BMW.com, Starting at $41,225]