For most journalists and publications, a press vehicle loan is about a week long, give or take a day or two, depending on scheduling. Sometimes, however, car companies will give longer-term loaners out to certain journos or pubs, so the vehicle can be evaluated over a longer period of time. Luckily for Joe Achilles, he’s been able to secure a three-month long-term BMW 420i, to see what it’s like to truly live with everyday. So what’s it actually like?
The BMW 420i is among the least exciting version of the car. It packs a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 184 horsepower, an automatic gearbox and, in Achilles’ case, rear-wheel drive. It doesn’t make much power and it’s not the lightest of cars. The BMW 420i is the lightest 4 Series available and it still checks in at 1,600 kg (3,500-ish lbs). So the 420i is not really the enthusiast’s choice. However, there’s still quite a bit to like.
For instance, Achilles appreciates the driving position, the interior design and quality and the fuel economy. He also claims that it’s just a nice car to drive as a daily. It’s comfortable, quiet, relaxed, and, because it’s just a 420i, isn’t always straining at the leash to be driven hard. So it’s calming. I felt something similar when I tested the BMW 430i; it was a car that was lovely to drive but never egged me on to drive it hard.
After having driven the 430i, and the M440i in a smaller sample size, I’ve personally come to the conclusion that the 4 Series is more of a baby-GT car than it is a sports car. From what Achilles claims in this video, he seems to echo those same sentiments, at least about the BMW 420i.
So if you’re looking for a stylish (if you can handle the grille), comfortable and premium coupe, the BMW 4 Series is a great option and the 420i will save you additional money on fuel.