First Drive: 2021 BMW 4 Series Doubles As Sporty Coupe and Highway Cruiser
This sport coupe is equally engaging on the road and at the track
It isn’t often that we use the word “versatile” to describe a sporty coupe, but that’s exactly how we feel about the new 2021 BMW 4 Series. Its two doors, optional summer tires, and twin-turbo six-cylinder engine suggest that the M440i is a sports car designed for screaming around the track. But we find that it’s equally at home eating up highway miles on a long interstate cruise—traditionally the domain of a more sedate grand tourer. The M440i successfully bridges the gap between stiff-riding two-doors meant for track days, and overdone exotics with six-figure price tags.
Based on the latest 3 Series sedan that debuted last year, the new 4 Series loses two doors, adds an aggressive and lower-slung exterior that’s fronted by a polarizing new grille, and tweaks the suspension and steering for sportier handling. It loses some of the sedan’s practicality, but it makes up for it with stronger performance.
A soft-top convertible went on sale earlier this year, as did an ultra-high-performance M4. On sale in August is the 4 Series Gran Coupe. It has four doors like the 3 Series, but wears a distinctly different design.
What we rented: 2021 BMW M440i xDrive
Powertrain: 382-hp, 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine; 8-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive.
Options: Arctic Race Blue Metallic paint ($550); Cognac Vernasca leather ($1,450); Drivers Assistance Pro Package including Extended Traffic Jam Assistant and Active Driving Assistant Pro ($1,700); Executive Package, including heated steering wheel, heated front seats, ambient lighting, adaptive LED headlights, head-up display, Live Cockpit Pro, and Gesture Control ($3,700); Cooling and HP Tire Package, including 19-inch wheels and M Technology Package ($1,500); Adaptive M Suspension ($700); Wireless Charging ($500); and Harman Kardon surround sound ($875)
Total options: $10,975
Destination fee: $995
Total cost: $70,470