Since its debut, the BMW 4 Series has had some mixed reviews. On one had, it’s a fun, sporty coupe that is comfortable enough for everyday driving but can also handle a mountain road. On the other hand, there’s another car in the BMW lineup that does the same thing, only better — the BMW 2 Series. So the idea of an entry-level 4 Series doesn’t really ignite the enthusiast fanbase. So is the BMW 430i worth getting? Edmunds finds out in this new video.
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If you’re looking for performance, the answer is no. In Edmunds’ testing, they found that a manual-equipped BMW 430i is actually slower to 60 mph than a V6-powered Camry that costs $10,000 less. However, its little 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder is punchy enough for everyday driving and the fact that it does have a manual transmission makes it a bit more fun than its numbers suggest. Even if its manual isn’t the best.
The BMW 430i is a nice coupe to drive everyday, though, as it’s comfortable, luxurious and, with said manual gearbox, entertaining enough. But the problem with it is that a car dubbed the “Ultimate Driving Machine”, entertaining enough isn’t, well, good enough. And that’s evident at the track.
Edmunds’ Mark Takahashi took the BMW 430i to their own proving ground to put the 430i through its paces on a track. Yes, the manual transmission helps it be a bit more fun but its mushy brake pedal and lack of limited-slip rear diff means it isn’t as fun as it should be. It’s a fine handling car but it just isn’t what you’d expect from a BMW. Even a BMW 230i with a manual would be more fun.
If you’re thinking “Nico, you’re an idiot. No one is going to take a BMW 430i to a race track”, I’d say you’re right on both accounts. Having said that, though, every BMW coupe should at least have the ability to be entertaining on track, whether or not that’s its intended purpose. Every BMW should be fun when you can open it up and push it hard, even if it isn’t going to set blistering lap times. It still needs to put a smile on the driver’s face and Takahashi seems almost bored driving it.
However, at the as-tested price of their 430i, Takahashi points out that you could have a BMW M2 and that car is considerably more fun. But if you need something less hardcore than the M2, the BMW 230i will fulfill the same duties as the 430i just with a bit more enthusiasm. Oh, and less money.