Adding to their list of Bavarian contenders, Motor Trend has named the new BMW 4 Series as a contender for its annual Car of the Year. The other Bimmer to make the list was the 2 Series Gran Coupe. This time, it’s actually a real coupe and one that is so good in so many ways but also not so good in so many ways.

The specific car used in this event is the BMW M440i xDrive, with its 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 and all-wheel drive grip. It makes a blood-pumping 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. It’s good for 0-60 mph in the low four second range and a limited top speed of 155 mph. Not only is it fast, the engine is incredibly smooth and makes a great noise. The transmission it’s paired with is great, too, with crisp, snappy shifts.

On the road, the BMW M440i rides incredibly well and might even be better than the 8 Series. It’s supple and sophisticated, without ever feeling floaty or disconnected. In fact, it reminds us of how old-school BMWs used to ride. When you push it, it’s also a surprisingly fun car, with a capable chassis and great balance.

However, it does lack any sort of meaningful connection to the drive, a long-time staple of BMW products. It’s capable, sure, but it just doesn’t inspire much excitement. It’s also just awful to look at. While the 4 Series does look better in person, the grille is just such a sore spot that it’s going to turn customer away (it already is, judging by some of our comments). It also sports a ho-hum interior and frustrating technology.

So while it’s a relatively fun car to drive with a brilliant engine, there are some maddening aspects of the BMW 4 Series that are likely to keep it from taking the victory.

[Source: Motor Trend]