Despite BMW claiming it to be a sporty alternative to the 3 Series, the new 4 Series is more of a GT car than anything else. In fact, it’s one of the best GT cars the brand currently makes, like a baby-8 Series. Like the 8 Series, the new BMW 4 Series is offered three body styles; coupe, convertible, and gran coupe. All three cars have their strengths and weaknesses and their target audiences. So we’ll go through each one, to see which one is best for you.
BMW 4 Series Coupe
This is the standard car. The Coupe was the first variant of the 4 Series to debut and it’s sort of the bread and butter of the bunch. It’s you’re standard two-door, four-seat coupe from BMW but it leans more on the side of grand touring than it does sports car. Though, that’s not an insult. The 4 Series Coupe is an outstanding coupe if that’s the sort of car you want; it’s smooth, comfortable, handles well, and even the entry-level engines are punchy enough.
Though, I wouldn’t recommend it as an everyday car for someone with a family, for obvious reasons. Its back seat is quite small (though, honestly not bad for a coupe of its size) and two car seats would be tricky. Surprisingly, it has a nice trunk, though.
Who’s the buyer? I’d say the 4 Series Coupe is perfect for someone who either doesn’t have kids or whose kids are old enough to drive themselves but also wants to travel a lot. As a long-distance cruiser, it’s actually genuinely difficult to beat the 4 Series for the price.
BMW 4 Series Convertible
The BMW 4 Series Convertible is essentially the same car as the coupe, only, ya know, convertible. The soft-top is what’s new for this car, though. The previous-generation 4 Series Coupe used a folding hard-top, which was bulky, heavy, far more complex, and unsightly when up. Switching to a soft-top was a smart move for BMW. Not only does it look better when up, as fabric roofs are more elegant, it’s far lighter, less complicated, and faster to fold down.
Again, the 4 Series Convertible isn’t recommended for anyone with a family unless you have another car to act as your do-it-all family vehicle. However, as a long distance cruiser, it’s even better than the coupe. Dropping the top adds several things to the experience: exhaust noise, wind in your hair, and all of the sounds and smells of the environment around you. Driving a convertible is a more visceral experience and it will add to the driving pleasure of the 4 Series.
Who’s the buyer? The 4 Series Convertible buyer is the same buyer as the 4 Series Coupe, so long as the buyer lives in an area with nice enough weather to justify buying a convertible.
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe
Now we’re shaking things up a bit. The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is possibly the most oddly named vehicle on the planet. For starters, it has the word “coupe” in its name, despite not actually being a coupe, as it has four doors and a hatchback. I know, I know, technically “coupe” doesn’t mean two-door but that’s sort of the automotive meaning the word has taken on. Secondly, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is a four-door version of a two-door car. So it’s a bit of an oddball.
That said, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is, overall, a good looking car with a very practical hatchback trunk. That makes it more practical than even the cheaper 3 Series sedan. Styling-wise, it looks like a 4 Series Coupe that’s been stretched to fit two extra doors. However, there’s on noticeable styling difference — the door handles. They’re flush, similar to the BMW i4, which sort of distinguishes it a bit.
Who’s the buyer? The 4 Series Gran Coupe buyer is different from the others. It’s more of a 3 Series buyer that wants a bit more style. The 4 Series Gran Coupe gets the same funky new grille and sleek taillights as the rest of the 4 Series gang. For customers that dig that sort of thing but want a sedan, the 4er GC is perfect, as it offers the interior space of a 3 Series with the style of 4 Series. The bonus is that it actually gets a bigger trunk than all of them.