2020 BMW 4 Series Coupe

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2020 BMW 4 Series Coupe Review: Savor The Kidney Grille

by Deiondre van der Merwe

For many, the BMW 3 Series Coupe was always the quintessential compact sports coupe, and when BMW decided to turn it into a standalone model - the BMW 4 Series Coupe - it seemed apparent it would become even better. But the first generation 4 Series has now become a little long in the tooth, and with an all new, even longer-toothed generation about to debut, the 4 Series has fallen behind recently updated rivals like the Audi A5 Coupe and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe. It's still one of the better driver's coupes, however, and with a choice of four- and six-cylinder turbocharged engines developing up to 320 horsepower, and either rear- or all-wheel-drive on offer, there's a lot to love about BMW's second-smallest coupe. Rivals offer more in the way of tech, though, and BMW has fallen from grace as the all-out driver's machine it once was, leaving the 4 Series straddling an awkward position of not quite being a totally enthralling driving machine, but not quite living up to the luxury of its competitors.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 9 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 10 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2020 BMW 4 Series Coupe Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 4 Series Coupe?

Largely unchanged for 2020, the BMW 4 Series remains a stylish and well-respected two-door coupe. Minor upgrades have been added to the BMW in the ways of newly standard features and new additional options. The safety suite is bolstered with the addition of features, including pedestrian monitoring, frontal collision warning, and lane departure warning. The exterior of the coupe also receives some nips and tucks, thanks to a new rear diffuser, a darker set of taillights, and a high-gloss black kidney frame. New additional options include a fresh exterior shade of Mediterranean Blue, carbon fiber trim on the 440i, and Dakota leather in a rich shade of Mocha.

Pros and Cons

  • Spacious trunk for a coupe
  • BMW engines are always frugal
  • The manual transmission lives on
  • Choice between AWD and RWD
  • Dynamically talented
  • Cold to drive
  • Outdated interior
  • Underwhelming safety features
  • Not enough modern tech

What's the Price of the 2020 BMW 4 Series Coupe?

Despite its age, the 4 Series Coupe is still pricier at the base level than much of the competition in the US. The 430i starts off at a base MSRP of $44,950 while upgrading to the all-wheel xDrive model asks $46,950. The 440i brings more power to the table at a price of $51,350, riding to $53,350 for the xDrive derivative, excluding options and a destination and handling fee of $995.

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2020 BMW 4 Series Coupe Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
430i Coupe
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
430i xDrive Coupe
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
440i Coupe
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
440i xDrive Coupe
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2020 BMW 4 Series Coupe Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

The 4 Series offers a capable but less exciting driving experience compared to what BMW produced in the past, and though it will eagerly get you around the bends, you aren't likely to feel a deep connection with the car. It's quicker than many rivals, and it's still a pleasure to drive; it just lacks the character found in BMWs of yore. A firm suspension aids its handling capability, but it's on the firmer side on rougher roads, particularly with any of the larger wheel choices equipped. Nevertheless, on a daily commute, the coupe will eagerly soak up lumps and bumps on the surface thanks to properly sorted damping, and comfort is a given if you're driving Miss Daisy.

Steering is where things get mildly disappointing for the 4 Series, and though it's generally responsive and accurate enough, the feedback is as present as Batman's parents. It must be said that rivals have done better, at least in terms of driver-focused products, and though the 4 Series is dependable, it's not our first choice for a thrilling time behind the wheel.

Verdict: Is the 2020 BMW 4 Series Coupe A Good car?

Lower, wider, and sportier than the 3 Series it was based on, the 4 Series carried much promise when it debuted nearly seven years ago, but it missed the mark in terms of driver engagement. Dynamically talented though it may be, it lacks the communicative nature of older BMWs. It scores points in terms of practicality and frugality, but despite updates for 2020, it's still lacking in driver assistance options and the interior is more than showing its age. While it might once have been a viable competitor, the freshly updated Audi A5 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class are now better alternatives. The 4 Series is in dire need of an update, but with a new one on the verge of release, we'd recommend holding off on a purchase until the 2021 model year arrives in the USA, and after the test drive review drops, of course.

What BMW 4 Series Coupe Model Should I Buy?

If you haven't been dissuaded from your purchase of a 2020 4 Series, then the main decision you need to make is how much power you want. We think the 440i is perfect with its six-cylinder engine, but we'd stick with the standard eight-speed automatic gearbox, and we'd only opt for the xDrive model if you stay in a state frequently hit by snow. The 440i is not only more powerful, but it gets standard SiriusXM satellite radio, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, and keyless access, but it isn't all-inclusive. We recommend adding the Convenience Package, adaptive cruise control, and the head-up display at the least, bringing the minimum price you'll pay up to $54,500.

Check out other BMW 4 Series Styles

2020 BMW 4 Series Coupe Comparisons

Audi A5 Coupe Audi
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe Mercedes-Benz

2020 BMW 4 Series Coupe vs Audi A5 Coupe

Unlike the 4 Series, the A5 offers only one engine option, but the four-ringed 2.0-liter four-pot produces slightly more torque than the engine found in 430i models' 248 hp and 258 lb-ft with 273 lb-ft in the A5. A rival against the 440i is nowhere to be found in the A5 range, either, requiring you to step up to the more powerful S5. The Audi also doesn't offer the option of a manual transmission, and an RWD system isn't on the options list. Where the Audi shines in comparison is in its cabin and infotainment, and it bests the BMW in ways including the offering of Android Auto, more standard safety features, and a better-looking interior that doesn't seem as dated as the long-in-the-tooth 4 Series. The better buy here would be the Audi, at least until the new 4 Series arrives in 2021.

See Audi A5 Coupe Review

2020 BMW 4 Series Coupe vs Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe

Both of these German coupes play host to 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines, but the Merc's 255 hp and 273 lb-ft figures are more powerful than those of the BMW. A more luxurious interior and more standard tech and convenience features come with the C-Class, and it offers a more modern image overall. The BMW does, however, provide more space for rear-seat passengers and its trunk is much bigger than the Merc's. Mercedes unashamedly hammers the nails into the BMW's coffin with its standard driver-assist features that include blind-spot warning and cross wind assist, while the options list includes features the 4 Series couldn't dream of. The Mercedes is certainly the better buy of the two, with more power, a better interior, and a superior standard features list.

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