The BMW 4-Series is a new name in the BMW lineup, but is a vehicle that has been with us for a long time as the 3-Series Coupe. Spun off into its own model in 2013, the 4-Series represents a more sporty and youthful take on the compact luxury car than the more conservative 3-Series. Driving enthusiasts and fans of 2-doors and convertibles will enjoy this interesting variation of BMW’s age-old classic.
What's New for 2017
The 4-Series is only on its fourth year, having debuted as a 2014 model, so there have not been significant changes year after year. The 2017 BMW 4-Series sports two new engines and two new models for them. The 428i is replaced by the 430i and 435i gives way to the 440i, matching a similar change in the mainline 3-Series sedan.
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Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2017 BMW 4-Series – The Pros
1. Excellent Cargo Space
You would not expect it from a coupe or a convertible, but you can pack a lot into the 2017 BMW 4-Series large trunk. At 15.7 cubic feet for the coupe and 13.1 cubic feet for the convertible, the space easily outclasses other competitors in the class. The hatchback Gran Coupe is even more spacious, with a cargo area of 17 cubic feet with more when you fold down the rear seats.
2. High Expected Reliability
Luxury vehicles are notoriously finicky and expensive to maintain, so the high reliability scores of the 2017 BMW 4-Series are a welcome sign. J.D. Power and Associates gives the 4-Series a score of 4 on its reliability index, indicating ‘above average’ reliability. That is higher than its Mercedes, Cadillac and Audi competitors.
3. A Bolder Exterior
The 4-Series counters one of the major complaints about the current BMW lineup - its conservative styling. The 2017 BMW 4-Series has a wider stance, a more rakish roofline and flashier side detailing, resulting in one of the more animated designs BMW has produced in recent years. For those who like the 3-Series but want something with more exciting looks, the 4-Series is a great solution.
4. Variety of Interior Choices
While some coupes come with a relatively limited pallette, the 2017 BMW 4-Series gives you a lot of different trim options to choose from. They range from broodingly dark blacks to rich browns and even almost flamboyant reds and blues. This lets you customize your 4-Series to reflect your own personal style.
5. Gran Coupe
The 2017 BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe is a unique entry in the 4-Series lineup, featuring four doors and a sweepingly large rear section with a hatchback-style rear cargo compartment. It is enormously spacious, with more cargo space and rear passenger room. With hatchback utility and BMW performance, it is a unique value proposition.
6. Strong Engines
It would not be a BMW without some power under the hood. The 2017 BMW 4-Series offers a choice of two engines, both of which have been upgraded for this year. The smaller is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo weighing in at 248 horsepower, while the larger is a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six that sports 320 horsepower. The former does zero-to-sixty in just under 6 seconds, while the latter does it in just over 5 seconds.
7. Excellent Handling
The 2017 BMW 4-Series has a stiffened suspension and recalibrated steering compared to its 3-Series sibling, resulting in a tighter and more controlled drive. It is both composed and responsive. Its solid driving dynamics are a testament to BMW’s ability to make a great performance vehicle.
8. Sporty Rear-wheel and All-Wheel Drive
Unlike many other luxury compact vehicles, the 2017 BMW 4-Series is based on a rear-wheel drive architecture that offers better performance and handling when accelerating out of corners. The all-wheel drive is optional, but is also primarily rear-wheel driven, giving you the best of performance and safety. Both handle themselves confidently across a variety of driving situations.
9. Available Manual
The days of every performance car sporting a manual are gone, but BMW keeps them alive by offering a competent and responsive manual transmission option on the 2017 BMW 4-Series. This is good news for old-school racing enthusiasts. However, it is not an option on the convertibles or Gran Coupe models.
10. Latest Safety Features
The 2017 BMW 4-Series has all of the latest safety technology available, making it a very safe and reliable car. It even includes features like automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, blind-spot detection, a 360-degree camera and a variety of parking assistance tools. It is safe, intelligent and innovative.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2017 BMW 4-Series – The Cons
1. Little Rear Seat Space
The back seat of the 2017 BMW 4-Series is not very comfortable for adults. While this is not meant to be a car for chauffeuring people around, this can nonetheless prove annoying. The solution is available in the form of the Gran Coupe, which has even more passenger space than the 3-Series.
2. Few Standard Features
The 4-Series is not as well equipped in its base model as many competitors and key features are hidden in the optional features column, such as a rear-view camera or leather upholstery. The sheer amount of different options packages available means you could have very expensive 4-Series cars without key luxury, convenience or safety features.
3. Relative Pricing
The 2017 BMW 4-Series is significantly more expensive than a similar 3-Series, which can feel disappointing given the smaller interior space and less flexibility in options. You are paying a premium for the sporty styling, which can make the 4-Series feel like a worse value.
4. Mixed-quality Interior
While the seating surfaces and the dashboard of the 4-Series is very nice and richly decorated, there are still many places where there are obvious hard plastic bits that keep the interior from having a polished and pulled-together look. Similarly, the standard vinyl seats detract from the luxury feel.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition
The competition for the 2017 BMW 4-Series comes primarily from other entry-level luxury coupes and convertibles. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class convertible certainly offers a more polished luxury interior and feature set, but the 4-Series performs and handles better. The Lexus RC offers a distinctive look and is even more reliable than the 4-Series, but its engine choices are less impressive and it is not as responsive as the 4-Series.
The 2017 BMW 4-Series offers very similar advantages to its parent vehicle - the BMW 3-Series. The 4-Series offers slightly better handling and performance, but that comes at the cost of a more cramped interior and higher price tag. For buyers that are looking for a sportier version of the 3-Series, these trade-offs make the 4-Series a better proposition, but those not as focused on performance and style will prefer the 3-Series instead.
2017 BMW Buying Guides:
• 2017 BMW 2-Series Buying Guide
• 2017 BMW 3-Series Buying Guide
• 2017 BMW 4-Series Buying Guide
• 2017 BMW 5-Series Buying Guide
• 2017 BMW 7-Series Buying Guide
• 2017 BMW Alpina B6 Buying Guide
• 2017 BMW I3 Buying Guide
• 2017 BMW M2 Buying Guide
• 2017 BMW M3 Buying Guide
• 2017 BMW M4 Buying Guide
• 2017 BMW M6 Buying Guide
• 2017 BMW M240 Buying Guide
• 2017 BMW X1 Buying Guide
• 2017 BMW X3 Buying Guide
• 2017 BMW X4 Buying Guide
• 2017 BMW X5 Buying Guide
• 2017 BMW X6 Buying Guide