Gran Coupe xDrive M Sport
has just introduced the 4
Series Gran Coupe
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
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.
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
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...
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.
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.
transmission and xDrive
traction combo is
impressive the beauty
of this bi-turbo diesel
drivetrain is that the
can be a long-legged
family cruiser but, when
needed, the driver
can indulge in a bit more
spirited driving without
penalising the fuel
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
BMW 420d Gran Coupe xDrive M Sport
Maximum speed: 142mph | 0-62mph: 7.5 seconds | Test Average: 45.4mpg
Power: 182bhp | Torque: 280lb ft | CO2 131g/km