BMW’s 4 Series Gran Coupé is an interesting animal. Not an actual coupe, but a five-door (yep, it’s a hatchback) designed with the German favourite “coupe-inspired styling” mantra in mind, this 3 Series replacement received a mild refresh last year. The key word is mild.
“The maxim guiding the BMW 4 Series model update was, ‘Stick to the proven formula but add extra richness to the car’s character.’ That’s why the exterior design shines the spotlight most brightly on the dynamic and elegant qualities of the BMW 4 Series family,” said Domagoj Dukec, BMW Automobiles head of exterior design, in a press release.
If you peer very carefully at the headlamps, which are now standard bi-LED rather than xenon, the signature daytime running light strip around each inner high-beam bulb has an extra bend pointing towards the kidney grille. Similarly at the back, the brake light pattern has been reworked to resemble the outline of a hair clip (makes sense when you see it). The lower sections of the bumpers are also massaged with more pronounced air intakes on the front and a wider blacked-out apron on the rear.
Besides the above, the only other primary exterior changes are the addition of two new paint colours — the turquoise-y Snapper Rocks Blue Metallic and the reddish Sunset Orange. In the cabin, users may notice the iDrive infotainment system looks slightly different. The software is upgraded to 6.0 and uses live customizable tiles on the main menu to display vehicle information in real time. In addition, the voice recognition is able to better understand natural speech commands.
Don’t worry — there’s further updates under the bodywork. The Gran Coupé features stiffer suspension, offering extra dampening to reduce body roll while turning and greater stability at higher speeds. Can confirm: the 430i I’m currently testing corners flat even when travelling a good clip. Is it a huge improvement over the outgoing model? Not perceptible to me driving around town, but is perhaps something that should be evaluated in something like an autocross or track environment.
The 430i bundles a TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder engine outputting 248 horsepower, mated to an eight-speed Steptronic Sport Automatic transmission (sorry manual gearbox fans, the six-speed is available on the two-door Coupé only.) Delivery and shifts are smooth and linear. In other words, classic BMW.
So what car buyer should consider for a 2019 430i Gran Coupé? Because of its standard xDrive all-wheel drive and unique form factor, the vehicle is sure-footed has loads of interior room for passengers and cargo alike. In other words, cross-shopping with a wagon or urban crossover is not only possible, but recommended. Prices start at $52,150.