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2017 BMW 4 Series Overview
The personal luxury coupe. It's a statement of individuality and accomplishment. The 4 Series, BMW’s entrant in this market segment, is both aspirational and attainable. The twin-kidney grille and halo-style headlights signify a very recognizable look, but a relatively new name. At its roots, the 2017 BMW 4 Series hearkens back to the attributes that have made, and continue to make, BMWs such sought-after vehicles.
The 4 Series began life in name in 2014, when the fetching coupe was split off from the 3 Series lineup that year into its own model line. This was so BMW could follow the trend of luxury automakers with coupe models broken off from their sedan counterparts, such as the Audi A4 and A5 coupes and Mercedes-Benz’s C-Class coupe, as well as the Lexus RC coupe, which is positioned separately from the IS sedan. This move also allows the 4 Series to grow in ways that are dynamically suited to coupes.
Body styles for the 4 Series include the Coupe, Convertible, and Gran Coupe. The Coupe has a very recognizable hardtop with a strong beltline and “Hofmeister Kink” at the base of the rear window. The Convertible is actually a power-retractable hardtop, which delivers four-season protection from the elements and open-air driving when you want it. The top opens or closes in just 20 seconds, at speeds of up to 11 mph.
The third trim is the 4 Series Gran Coupe. As it has four doors, the use of “Coupe” in its name is puzzling, but with a long, sloping roofline and a fastback silhouette, the Gran Coupe combines the striking good looks of the 4 Series Coupe with the improved access of a second set of doors. The 4 Series Coupe and Convertible have 4-passenger seating, while the seating capacity of the Gran Coupe grows to 5.
BMW interiors can sometimes possess a cold, mechanical aesthetic, but the 4 Series embraces the fun-to-drive spirit that is expected of coupes and sedans. A strong chrome-look character line spans the dash and frames up the blend of soft-touch materials, artful wood grain, and leather.
For 2017, BMW has replaced the 428i and 435i with the 430i and 440i, respectively. Standard features on the 430i include 18-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires, and Xenon Adaptive auto-leveling headlights with LED accents and the iconic Corona halo rings. Inside, the 430i comes with 10-way power front sport seats, 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats, push-button start, a 9-speaker, 7-channel 205-watt premium audio system, and Bluetooth hands-free smartphone connectivity with streaming audio.
The 4 Series also comes with BMW iDrive, which is presented on a 6.5-inch screen and operated by a center-console-mounted rotary controller. Upgrade to the Technology package and you get a navigation system with real-time traffic and weather updates, a head-up display, and a larger iDrive controller with a touch-sensitive surface. This allows you to enter letters into the navigation system or a Bluetooth-paired phone by drawing them with your finger rather than cycling through them individually. For 2017, iDrive has been upgraded to its fifth generation. Initially debuting on the 7 Series flagship sedan, the new generation brings revised menu layouts, improved hardware, and even available Wi-Fi hotspot capability.
BMW offers enough options and packages on its models to make your head spin. The M Sport package gives the 4 Series the look of the purebred M4 performance machine and includes revised aerodynamic bodywork, an M design steering wheel, sport seats, 18-inch 400M design wheels with summer tires, and an M Sport suspension, which uses electronically controlled dampers to adapt to multiple driving styles.
The change in names for 2017 makes sense once you dive into the engines. The new 430i has a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder making 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. That’s an increase of 8 hp and 3 lb-ft of torque. The 440i features a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder making 320 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque, a jump of 20 hp and 30 lb-ft. Such a power bump becomes immediately apparent when depressing the throttle and will (hopefully) make any commute go by more quickly. Power is sent through an 8-speed sport automatic transmission to the rear wheels or to available xDrive all-wheel drive. Fuel economy for the revised engine lineup has not yet been announced.
In addition to the safety basics, such as a full array of front- and side-impact airbags, the 4 Series has an available Driver Assistance Package that adds park-distance control and a rear-view camera with guidelines, helping you keep track of the vehicle's proximity to objects while parking. The Driver Assistance Plus package includes lane-departure warning, forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, a blind-spot warning system, and top- and side-view cameras.
Base MSRP for the 2017 BMW 4 Series is $42,845 for the 430i Coupe. The 430i Gran Coupe starts at $42,645, and the 430i Convertible begins at $50,995. A range-topping 440i xDrive Convertible starts at $59,995. The 4 Series delivers plenty of options for buyers, with a stupendous driving experience and plenty of available luxury and tech features to bring more excitement and opulence to your daily commute.
From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Autoblog.com, Hemmings Classic Wheels, BoldRide.com, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.
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