With a lineup that has swelled to over two dozen different models, you have more choices than ever when it comes to finding the right BMW. However, that can make it difficult to narrow your options down. With a reputation built primarily on building refined passenger cars that don’t compromise on driving fun, it makes sense that your quest for a quality four-door would lead you to BMW. Here, we’ll look at some of the most popular BMW sedans and four doors on sale today – and help you decide on the one that might be the best fit for you.
Sedan or Gran Coupe?
One unique choice you’ll have to make when deciding on a four-door BMW is whether you want a sedan or Gran Coupe. The main advantage of the 4 Series and 8 Series Gran Coupe is stylistic, but they do provide cargo space than their traditional sedan counterparts (3 Series and 7 Series). Furthermore, by design, a hatchback lets you load taller and wider things into the back. The 2 Series Gran Coupe, unfortunately, retains a sedan-style trunk, making it certainly the least practical of the Gran Coupes.
Compact Sedans: 2 Series Through 4 Series
The smallest four-door option is the 2 Series Gran Coupe, and it’s a bit hard to recommend if you need the space of a sedan. The 3 Series sedan offers a lot more power throughout the lineup and significantly more space for people and things. An additional 5 cubic feet in the trunk and 2 inches of second-row headroom make the 3 Series a truly capable sedan that can still be comfortable for four (maybe five) people for a long drive.
The 2 Series Gran Coupe does present an interesting value proposition. At just $37,800 for the 228i Gran Coupe, it undercuts the most affordable 3 Series by $6,000. But unless you truly need the least expensive BMW possible (in which case you might be better served looking outside the brand), the 3 Series is a better overall choice. It gets significantly more power, the same estimated MPG, and offers more space in every metric.
The 3 Series and 4 Series Gran Coupe are close rivals. The cargo space is technically smaller in the Gran Coupe, but the hatch and 45.6 cubic feet of total storage space with the rear seats folded down keep things competitive. They offer within a tenth of an inch of the same front headroom and leg room and almost the same second-row dimensions. With the same powertrain options available, it’s mostly a decision based on style. If you fold down the seats frequently and can take advantage of that convenient hatchback layout, the 4 Series is the better choice.
Larger Luxury: 5 Series, 7 Series, and 8 Series Gran Coupe
We don’t have measurements on the newest 5 Series yet, but essentially, you’ll trade some of the agility of the BMW 3 Series and 4 Series for additional space. There are also some different options and amenities you can’t get on the 3 Series or 4 Series, like optional leathers, ventilated seats, sunshades, and more. The new model grows by four inches in length and almost an inch and a half in width, so it will offer a bit more interior space over the 3 Series and 4 Series. Notably, the G30 only offered 1 cubic foot more of storage space than the outgoing 3 Series (F30) of its day, so you might not see much more trunk space than you’d get from the 3 Series – but if you prioritize driver and passenger space, it’s a better choice. Our 5 Series Buyer’s Guide might be helpful if you’re seriously considering the newest model.
The 7 Series offers plenty of space and luxury but costs quite a bit more than the 5 Series and has some polarizing aesthetics. In my 2023 BMW 740i review, I praised the sedan’s attention to detail, characterful driving experience, and powerful technology. It’s also far and away the best choice for shoppers that would like to be driven rather than drive. The 7 Series is the flagship for a reason – and a quick test drive will address any confusion you might have about whether or not it’s the right choice for you.
The 8 Series Gran Coupe is beautiful, spacious, and drives great, but it might start feeling a bit dated at its price point, having received minimal updates since its 2018 introduction. It also doesn’t prioritize rear seat room, offering little more room than the 4 Series Gran Coupe. It’s hard to recommend the 8 Series Gran Coupe from a practical standpoint. But, it’s quite a pretty car, and – particularly in M8 guise – a very unique driving experience.
Electric Four-Door BMW Cars
The electric BMW lineup consists solely of four-door models, so you have some choice if you want an EV. Since they’re largely built on the bones of their non-EV counterparts, most of the same buying advice applies. The upcoming i5 eDrive40 and i5 M60 will be the most advanced BMW EVs available, but there certainly isn’t anything wrong with the i4 or i7 if they fit your lifestyle. Just remember that the more powerful i4 M50, i5 M60, and i7 M70 offer lower driving ranges than their less-powerful counterparts. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if you really need a 650-horsepower executive sedan.