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2015 BMW 4 Series Overview
When is a coupe not a coupe? Why, when it’s the 2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. Not content with one-upping the venerable 3 Series with the 4 Series Coupe and Convertible in the 2014 model year, Beemer takes this compact 4-passenger luxury 2-door a step further by adding rear passenger doors and a liftgate to the original 4 Series Coupe concept and is allowed to get away with retaining the “coupe” designation. That's probably somewhat presumptuous of them, since this indisputably classy 4-door commuter car is the very definition of a sedan. Furthermore, with seating described as “4+1,” this newest member of the 4 Series lineup is alleged to seat one more passenger than its 4-Series kinfolk do.
With last year’s debut of Beemer’s 4 Series, often described as a stand-in for the 3 Series, both coupe and drop-top editions filled their respective roles quite nicely. The introduction of the inexplicably misnamed 2015 4 Series Gran Coupe is, according to many in the automotive media, simply a further attempt by the folks at the Bavarian Motor Works to create yet another high-end square peg for the humdrum round hole. Meanwhile, like its Coupe and Convertible siblings, the Gran Coupe is expected to be delivered in the base 428i trim, the all-wheel-drive-packing (AWD) 428i xDrive edition and the up-powered 435i variant. Optional packages, additionally, should add the traditional Sport, Luxury and M Sport sub-trims, as well.
A couple of things to look for in this brand new coupe-plus-two: an added 4.4 inches of roofline, which reviewers claim increases headroom for rear-seat denizens, and the liftgate design, which offers easier access to the increased cargo area behind the second row. Split-folding rear seatbacks, meantime, are touted to increase said cargo-toting capability to a hefty total of 45.9 cubic feet. Otherwise, this coupe-that’s-not-a-coupe resembles its more aptly named 4 Series 2-door hardtop counterpart.
In any case, returning to power all 4 Series 428i iterations is the ever-peppy turbocharged 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine that combines with the standard 6-speed manual transmission (Coupe and Convertible) or the available 8-speed shiftable automatic transmission (standard in the Gran Coupe) for 241 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Mileage numbers for standard rear-wheel-drive (RWD) versions of the 4 Series (real) Coupe and Convertible are expected to run in the vicinity of 23 mpg city/35 highway, with xDrive trims dropping those numbers to an estimated 22/33. The 428i Gran Coupe, though sporting the same powertrain, is alleged to get marginally improved gas mileage, but time will tell. Finally, each 428i trim, including the Gran Coupe, is available in a California-emissions-capable SULEV (Super-Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) version.
The 435i variations of the 2015 4 Series, now including the Gran Coupe, should tote a 300-hp turbocharged V6 engine that’s again managed by the 8-speed shiftable automatic to put out 300 lb-ft of torque. Look for standard RWD iterations to boast fuel-economy numbers of 23/32, with xDrive versions estimated at 20/30, with the 435i Gran Coupe once again rumored to offer slightly better mileage numbers.
Additionally, the 8-speed shiftable automatic in both the 428i and 435i variants is expected to return flaunting steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, with mood-friendly Driving Dynamics Control once again offering selectable Eco Pro, Comfort and Sport settings.
Look for standard exterior features in, for instance, the basic 428i and 435i Gran Coupe trims to include 17-inch alloy wheels and a power sunroof, with leatherette upholstery, power-adjustable front seats and full power accessories adorning the interior.
Of course, cruise control will return lineup-wide, as will telescoping tilt-wheel steering, while a remote garage door opener, memory for driver's settings, dual-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and leather, alloy and wood cabin décor also remain on tap.
Beemer’s touted BMW Assist audible directions system is again scheduled to interface with Bluetooth hands-free technology, while a 205-watt audio suite should again boast 9 speakers and a single-CD player.
Options such as the Sport, Luxury and M Sport packages, as mentioned, effectively delineate the 2015 4 Series Coupe, Convertible and debuting Gran Coupe into the appropriate sub-trims. The Sport Package is expected to remain offering 18-inch alloy wheels, added exterior chrome, sport front seats and either the Dynamic Handling Package or a sport-tuned suspension, while the Luxury Package boasts unique interior and exterior accents but deletes the sport-tuned suspension. The available M Sport Package, meantime, again offers the upgraded 18-inch wheels, along with unique badges and interior appointments, not to mention the upgraded M Sport suspension system. Standalone options, meantime, include a 600-watt Harman Kardon Surround Sound premium audio system, premium leather upholstery, 19-inch upgraded wheels, voice-activated hard-drive-based navigation, heated front seats and Beemer’s ballyhooed Parking Assistant to handle those tough parallel-parking chores.
Standard safety features slated to return to the now-Gran-Coupe-toting 4 Series lineup include 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, side-mounted and head airbags, daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights, turn-signal-integrated mirrors and a post-collision safety system. Of course BMW Assist emergency services and stolen-vehicle tracking remain standard, as does a remote antitheft alarm, while adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera, lane-departure warnings and a pedestrian detection system all remain offered as optional safety equipment.
BMW anticipates the 2015 4 Series Gran Coupe, along with its counterparts, to go on sale in mid-summer 2014.
Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.