BMW is making its fans happy.
Let's get one thing straight right off the bat. Who are we, or who is anyone, for that matter, to tell you what you can and can't like? Like the way a car looks or drives? Great! Enjoy it, buy it if you're so inclined. Design and personal preferences are tough things to quantify. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all.
With that in mind, most folks fall into one of two camps on new BMWs, especially in regard to looks. They either like them, or they don't like them, which is particularly true of the new grille found on cars like the BMW 4 Series and BMW M3. BMW says one of those camps is larger than the other, with the 4 Series receiving the JD Power Engineering Award for highest-rated vehicle design.
The award is given to a vehicle's engineering team responsible for the highest-rated vehicle redesign for the 2021 model year. These ratings are based solely on consumers' evaluations of JD Power's Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) and Initial Quality studies. JD Power gives the award to the vehicle that is deemed the furthest ahead of its predecessor. It's important to note the APEAL study isn't just based on aesthetics, but also on consumers' opinions on a car's driving feel, performance, safety, and fuel economy.
Controversial design choices aside, the 4 Series is an objectively good car with a refined interior, solid fuel economy (25 mpg city, 34 mpg highway), and a roomy trunk.
The sportier BMW M440i is the stand-out trim level with RWD and BMW's potent 382 hp inline-six pushing the base 4 Series closer to its M4 big brother. Adding xDrive to the M440i drops its 0-60 mph time from 4.6 to 4.3 seconds, largely due to some additional traction that those in snowy climates will surely appreciate. Electric versions of both the M440i and the base 4 Series Coupe are available in the BMW i4, which only adds versatility and variety to BMW's 4 Series lineup.
BMW was pretty happy about the award too, with Andreas Meyer, Vice President of BMW Product Management for the Americas saying "This award is especially meaningful because it is driven entirely by feedback from our customers." It goes to show that BMW does listen to its customers and makes an active effort to include feedback from its fans in new models.