As the benchmark for all cars, BMW’s 2014 4-Series is essentially a 3-Series coupe with a new name but differs in that it’s wider, longer, quicker, has increased interior and trunk space, is sleeker looking and comes in the hot “M” model that was tested.
The 435i is available with a choice of a 240-hp turbocharged four cylinder or hot 3.0L, 300-hp twin turbo inline six-cylinder. Both engines can be had with a six-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission that in concert produces a 0-60 time of 5.0 seconds according to BMW. The four banger is rated at 5.7 seconds.
As expected with 300 horses under the hood, acceleration is exhilarating from a standing stop as it pushes you back in the seat. Paddle shifters add to the excitement. The sensation is similar during highway passing maneuvers.
With the 300-hp six, EPA mileage figures are 20 city, 30-highway mpg. This impressive mileage from a performance coupe is helped by an ECO mode that puts the engine into sleep mode at idle and at stoplights upon which there’s some slight hesitation when pressing the accelerator in this mode. But ECO can be shut off by a rocker switch on the console. There’s also a “Charge-Power” gauge to indicate the mode on a screen, which resembles an elongated iPad.
The interior and seating is similar to that in the 3-Series with Euro-firm seats fore and aft. The test car came with a rearview camera and GPS nav that are displayed on a 9.5 x 3.5-inch LCD screen. A mouse on the console is used for audio and other functions.
With expanded trunk space, capacity is two medium roll-a-longs or one large one, or, one hoofer golf bag with the long clubs stacked atop the bag. Want more space? Merely pull the two handles in the trunk and the rear seatbacks flip for added cargo space. There’s also a small under-floor bin for small item storage.
Ride quality on 18-inch Pirelli tires is better than the 3 since there’s an additional 1.6-inch longer wheelbase. That, and driver’s can select Sport +, Sport, Comfort and as mentioned, Eco modes. The Sport and plus modes really stiffen the suspension and seems intended for those who crave a race track-like ride and precise handling. Although Comfort mode handled perfectly fine for me with no body lean in sharp turns.
Two features are exceptionally impressive on the 435i. This is the only car in my memory wherein there’s no exterior hood release. To open the hood you merely pull a handle in the cockpit. A feature all cars should have.
Then there’s the safety feature that when in reverse and a seat belt is not buckled or a door is not fully closed, the car stops.
As expected, no BMW is inexpensive. All good cars always cost more money. And the 435i is no exception. With a base price of $48,000, the test car had xDrive, which is really needed for driving here in the Snowbelt. Added to that saw a long list of pricey options like the “M Sport” package ($3,100), Cold Weather Package ($700), Driver Assistance Package ($950), Dynamic Handling ($1,000), Lighting ($1,900), Premium ($2,200), Technology ($3,150), M Sport brakes ($650), Concierge Services ($250) and Delivery ($925), which brought this delicious coupe up to $64,275. The bottom line offers a lot of performance car for the money. Plus, it can be driven during snowy winter months. That can't always be said for all comparable luxury coupes in this class.