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BMW 420d Gran Coupe xDrive M Sport

Click to view picture gallery“BMW has just introduced the 4
  Series Gran Coupe
a four-door
  version of the two-door 4 Series
  Coupe launched in October 2013.
  The four-door Gran Coupe, with
  a tailgate to facilitate optimum
  luggage carrying, is the third and
  final model to be added to the 4
  Series range and will compete
  against the Audi A5 Sportback,
  the Mercedes CLA and, perhaps,
  the VW Passat CC...”


THE GRAN COUPE will make up a quarter of all 4 Series sales and although 60% of UK sales will go to the corporate sector, BMW is also expecting the Gran Coupe to appeal to families who want similar practicality to that offered by the 3 Series Saloon but with a higher level of standard equipment in a more stylish package.


Initially the Gran Coupe is launched with the choice of three petrol and three diesel engines, with four more to be added. The range will also include xDrive versions which will account for 20% of UK sales. This 1,500 option is a permanent 'intelligent' all-wheel drive system which in normal use provides 60% of its driving torque to the rear wheels and 40% to the front, with drive shuffled automatically to the wheels with the most grip.

“It costs 36,425 with a manual gearbox but ticking boxes in the options list could easily see a customer spending close to 44,000 on this particular model...
All models are available with a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed auto. Specification levels are SE, Sport, Luxury and M Sport. Prices currently start at 29,425 for the 420i SE and rise to 44,545 for the 435d xDrive M Sport but, as usual, there is a wide range of extra-cost items which add considerably to those prices.

From the nose to the A-pillars the Gran Coupe is virtually identical to the 4 Series Coupe, but from there back the bodyshell is different: four doors instead of two; a B-pillar that's been moved forwards to accommodate the rear doors; frameless windows; the roofline is extended and raised at the rear (increases rear passenger headroom by 27mm); the boot is larger by 35 litres (480 extending to 1,300 litres); there is an electrically-operated tailgate; and whereas the Coupe has four seats, the Gran Coupe has five.

It's not all good news although the legroom is sufficient for adult passengers, the headroom is limited for six-footers and squeezing four doors into the same overall length of the two-door coupe means the doors themselves are quite narrow and some will find getting in and out of this Gran Coupe quite restrictive. Also, where the B-pillar has been pushed forwards to accommodate the rear doors, it's cut into the driver's side vision at road junctions.

Inside, the Gran Coupe is similarly fitted out to the 4 Series Coupe, with familiar clear and easy to use BMW family instrumentation and controls, plenty of high-quality soft-touch materials, BMW's easy to use iDrive system, leather upholstery, heated front seats, Bluetooth, on-board computer, AirCon, cruise, Eco-Pro driving modes, auto stop-start, brake energy regeneration, power windows and door mirrors and much more in keeping with its executive coupe status.

As it is with all 3 and 4 Series derivatives, the most popular engine in the range (and taking 35% of sales) will be the 420d. I tested this engine with the xDrive system and best-selling M Sport trim with a manual gearbox it costs 36,425, but ticking boxes in the options list could see a customer spending close to 44,000 for this particular model.

“The quick-shifting
‘intelligent’ sports
transmission and xDrive
traction combo is
impressive — the beauty
of this bi-turbo diesel
drivetrain is that the
Gran Coupe
can be a long-legged
family cruiser but, when
needed, the driver
can indulge in a bit more
spirited driving without
penalising the fuel
economy...
Not taking up the xDrive system would save 1,500 however, given the state of our roads, ever-worsening winter weather and the added handling performance it provides all year around in both wet and dry conditions, it's worth it.

As too is the additional 1,690 sport automatic transmission fitted to my test car which serves up seamless and well-spaced changes that optimise the refined performance it's zero to 62mph acceleration is also a little faster than the six-speed manual.

The 182bhp produced by this 2.0-litre twin-turboed direct injection diesel unit is well known, and its performance versus fuel economy readily appreciated. With 280lb ft of torque developed from 1,750rpm, it's responsive and gives reasonably rapid performance even on twisty roads.

The quick-shifting 'intelligent' sports transmission and xDrive traction combo is impressive. The beauty of this bi-turbo diesel drivetrain is that the Gran Coupe can be a long-legged family cruiser but, when needed, the driver can indulge in a bit more spirited driving without penalising the fuel economy. Fortunately the suspension settings for the Gran Coupe have been tuned using UK road conditions.

Top speed is 142mph with zero to 62mph taking a brisk 7.5 seconds. The official Combined Cycle fuel consumption (with the optional larger 19-inch alloy wheels) is 56.5mpg = I averaged 45.4mpg. The CO2 emissions are 131g/km and company car drivers (likely to account for the biggest slice of the sales cake) will pay 22% company car tax.

A classy and versatile addition to the growing BMW range, the 4 Series Gran Coupe looks good, drives well, and has a roomy boot. Overall it's far more practical than the two-door version having four doors, even narrow ones, does allow easy access to the rear three seats without the driver and front seat passenger having to climb out of the car every time the back seats are needed. A far more dignified and practical approach to modern executive Coupe ownership.
David Miles

BMW 420d Gran Coupe xDrive M Sport | 38,115
Maximum speed: 142mph | 0-62mph: 7.5 seconds | Test Average: 45.4mpg
Power: 182bhp | Torque: 280lb ft | CO2 131g/km