It can no longer be accused of looking too much like a 3 Series.
It's finally here. After months of spy photos, a shocking leaked shot of that gaping grille, and what was nearly a full reveal of the exterior yesterday, the all-new 2021 BMW 4 Series has been officially unveiled to the world. Sharing much with the G20 3 Series, including BMW's Cluster Architecture (CLAR) platform and a nearly identical dashboard, the 4 Series nevertheless distances itself further from the 3 Series than ever before due to its polarizing new look. The changes are a lot more than skin-deep, though, with a host of powertrain and connectivity upgrades.
It's hard to talk about the new 4 Series without picking apart that kidney grille, so we'll start there. It stretches vertically rather than horizontally, which was more common on older BMWs like the first-generation 5 Series. Unlike that car, this interpretation is about 50 times bigger.
The 4 has grown in other ways, too. It's 5.2 inches longer, an inch wider, and 0.4 inches taller than its predecessor. Standard LED headlights with U-shaped DRLs flank the grille, while slimmer taillights have LED elements that bring the coupe in line with other modern BMWs.
Compared with the exterior, the cabin is a study in restraint and simplicity. A leather sport steering wheel and redesigned sports seats are standard. As before, the 4 Series can accommodate four; and five at a pinch. The start/stop button has relocated to the center console, and there is a new gear selector. M Sport models gain extras like soft knee padding on the console sides, special door sill plates, and an M Sport steering wheel. BMW's 12.3-inch Live Cockpit Professional is optional.
On the engine front, the new 4 Series is offered in three flavors: 430i, 430i xDrive, and M440i xDrive. The 430i's 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine now produces 255 horsepower and 294 lb-ft of torque, improvements of 7 hp/36 lb-ft. The M440i's B58 3.0-liter turbo-six is also more powerful, with 382 hp and 369 lb-ft, and completes the benchmark 0-60 mph sprint in 4.3 seconds. All versions have an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Notably, the M440i gains a 48-volt starter-generator to boost performance and improve the auto Stop/Start system's smooth operation.
The most advanced 4 Series ever is jam-packed with the brand's latest safety gear and connectivity features. All versions have standard lane departure warning and blind-spot detection, while additional Level 2 autonomous driving systems include a lane-keeping assistant and extended hands-free vehicle operation.
A 3D surround-view camera system and a new drive recorder are offered, too. Infotainment now comprises the latest iDrive 7 with a default 8.8-inch center display which can be upgraded to a 10.25-inch screen. Navigation is now enhanced via the cloud-based BMW Maps system and Android Auto is finally standard on every 4 Series.
Make of its appearance what you will, but the 2021 4 Series is a thorough update over its predecessor. Pricing starts at $45,600 for the 430i, increasing to $47,600 for the 430i xDrive and $58,500 for the M440i xDrive. Expect a worldwide launch in October this year.