In its second generation, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe carved out its own little unique niche and, from that, grew a loyal clientele base. Compared to the now canceled 3 Series Gran Turismo, the 4 Series Gran Coupe has always been regarded as the more stylish and cool looking brother. But now in its second generation, the four-door coupe only has to compete with the likes of the 3 Series Sedan, and arguably, with the touring version as well.
This new 4 Series Gran Coupe is obviously based on the new 4 Series Coupe, just with two more doors and a hatchback trunk. It also shares its body style with the already-revealed, all-electric BMW i4. However, much like the outgoing F36 4 Series Gran Coupe, this new car is the best looking of the bunch. I recently got my hands on a 2022 BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe and took it for a spin to see what has changed and whether the four-door coupe is a better value proposition than a 3 Series Sedan.
The XXL Grille Stays
Of course, it still wears its familial 4 Series grille, which may be the most polarizing design cue of any BMW in history. And while some of you might not be able to look past the grille, the overall design is actually extremely appealing. The side view reveals a long and muscular design, with better proportions than on the 4 Series Coupe. The roofline is smooth and sporty, with a good looking Hofmeister Kink which doesn’t stray away too much from the original. The flush door handles also look great.
In the M440i M Performance guise, the new Gran Coupe includes black trim, sportier wheels, a sportier front bumper, and larger front air intakes. The rear diffuser panel, side-window moldings, and exterior-mirror housings are all finished in high-gloss black. It looks sporty without being too shouty, especially in Aventurine Red, which is a color more luxurious than it is sporty. Sweetening the deal even further is its liftback tailgate, which offers far more practicality than the 3 Series sedan’s trunk. That makes the 4 Series Gran Coupe more stylish than the 3 Series, while also being more practical.
Sporty And Premium Interior
Inside, the 2022 BMW M440i Gran Coupe gets a very typical M Performance interior: M seats, M Steering Wheel, soft knee padding on the sides of the center console and M logo door sill plates. While the BMW i4 has a larger, and more interesting, LCD screens and digital gauges, the 4 Series Gran Coupe sticks with the current BMW formula. In fact, it’s the exact same interior you’ll find in the M440i Coupe or M340i sedan. Additionally, the rear seat bench features folding head restraints allowing three child seats to be fitted.
In addition to the luxury items, the 4 Series Gran Coupe gets all of BMW’s typical fancy technologies. For instance, it comes with 3D View parking cameras, Parking Assistant, Reverse Assistant, and the Personal Driving Assistant Professional. Though, the BMW i4 features the new iDrive 8, the conventional Gran Coupe gets by with iDrive 7.
The new 4 Series Gran Coupe is 143 mm longer, 27 mm wider and 53 mm taller than its predecessor, while the track widths have also grown – to 1,595 mm at the front (+50 mm) and 1,623 mm at the rear (+29 mm). The wheelbase of 2,856 mm is 46 mm longer than the predecessor’s and 5 mm more than the figure for the 3 Series Sedan. Therefore, the driver and passengers certainly have more room all around. Specifically, the rear seating allows for a comfortable headroom clearance even for someone as tall as 6″3 (1.90 meters).
During my test drive, the new 4 Series Gran Coupe proved to be quite spacious with plenty of legroom upfront without sacrificing the passenger space behind me. It is certainly more comfortable for longer drives than a 3 Series sedan, for example.
The Proven B58 Engine
If there is one engine that shines across the entire BMW lineup, then it has to be the B58 unit. The 3.0 liter six-cylinder turbocharged powerplant can be found mostly in M Performance Automobiles. It gives the 2022 BMW M440i Gran Coupe 382 horsepower (374 horsepower in Europe) and 369 lb-ft of torque. Also like the coupe, the M440i Gran Coupe’s engine is a mild hybrid, with a 48-volt starter generator that acts as a small electric motor and can assist the engine with an electric boost of 11 horsepower. That increases both efficiency and power, giving the engine a boost under acceleration and sharpening the engine’s response off the line or at low rpm.
That engine is mated with a familiar eight-speed automatic and, for the M440i, will exclusively send power to an xDrive all-wheel drive system. According to BMW, the M440i Gran Coupe can get from 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds. Top speed is of course limited to 155 mph. An electronically-controlled limited-slip differential is standard on the M440i, as well.
The Driving Experience
The BMW 4 Series Coupe could make a case for a weekend track car, but the 4 Series Gran Coupe – while capable – won’t see many track sessions. The luxury four-door coupe was built with comfort and space in mind, and of course, as an alternative to a 3 Series Sedan, or even a touring. Extensive highway driving highlights the work behind the suspension setup with standard-fitted lift-related dampers. These provide extra cushioning when going over large bumps or imperfect pavement. In my experience, it also easily handles minor imperfections in the road, adjusting the spring travel to maintain a smooth ride.
My 2022 BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe was riding on the Adaptive M Suspension which offers a wider gap between the driving modes. As with other new BMWs, the gap between the Comfort and Sport Plus is now more obvious, realistically delivering a dual-character in a single car. The engine, transmission, chassis and steering are dialed back when riding in Comfort, providing a serene and calm ride – ideal for a road trip with the family. A quick adjustment of the driving mode will turn on the aggressiveness hiding behind the stylish looks.
Compared to the 4 Series Coupe, the four-door brother is slightly slower and less engaging. And that’s expected considering that is not only larger in size, but also slightly heavier. Cornering brings more body roll than in the two-door coupe, while off the line acceleration is just a tad slower. If you throw the 3 Series sedan into the mix, the outcome doesn’t change much. The smaller body frame and stiffer construction of the G20 3 Series delivers a sportier experience, especially when comparing an M340i to the M440i Gran Coupe. The overall driving experience of a 3 Series Sedan was designed to be quite aggressive under the highest driving settings and that’s immediately obvious, regardless if you drive through curvy backroads or on the highway.
The steering of the M440i Gran Coupe is on the numb and soft side, even in its highest setting. But that’s not something that surprises me anymore in new non-M BMWs. And in all fairness, that less engaging steering feeling is mostly a journalist’s pet peeve.
A highway cruiser needs adequate driver assistance systems and the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe delivers. There are no less than 40 assistance functions available which enable a more comfortable and safer ride. The Level 2 “self-driving” features are also present in the 4 Series Gran Coupe taking advantage of a wide range of ultrasonic and radar sensors. For example, the Steering and Lane Control Assistant feature keeps the car in its lane at up to 210 km/h (130mph).
Lovers of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can rejoice also. The new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe allows you to bring your smartphone functions and apps inside the app, and in my experience, they offer a seamless integration with the iDrive system.
Cargo space is one of the primarily selling points for the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. And the new model does not disappoint. It offers 39 liters more than the outgoing model for a whooping 470 liters of boot space. It’s just 30 liters shy of the 3 Series Touring. And if that’s not enough for usual Home Depot hauls, then you can always fold down the rear bench (40:20:40 split) to increase the space to 1,290 liters.
Should I Buy One?
There are far more choices of practical BMW models if you live in Europe. You can find a wide range of spacious vehicles, from several touring models to Active Tourers. But in the United States, the options are limited. When it comes to a sportscar with a hatchback-like rear-end, the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe will compete on its own. Without a doubt, the polarizing looks of the new 4 Series family will influence the sales of the Gran Coupe as well, but if you’re looking for a unique car in the BMW lineup, with great performance and utility, then the BMW M440i Gran Coupe should move up to the top of the shopping list.
And of course, it’s best to look at it from a three-quarter view.