BMW 4 Series 420i Coupe M Sport Review
4 A Slice Of Driving Heaven

Words and Photos by Clifford Chow
13 Jul 2021
 

I appreciate that BMW has kept one USB A port available, even in the face of change; allowing laggards like me a sliver of backward compatibility. 

The BMW 4 Series was conceived to meet the wants of those who would like to have a car that is a little more personal. This time round, the BMW 4 Series takes on a different trajectory in styling, as compared to its 3 Series sister car. 

Most of us by now will be familiar with the controversial frontal styling of the new 4. But have you ever noticed that there are instances where cars seem a little larger/smaller in the flesh than when viewed in pictures? Well, the BMW 4 Series on this end, looks heaps better when you walk up to it. A boldly-styled coupe that is likable, and one with ‘emotional content… not anger’ - a phrase a wise martial artist once said.

Creases pressed into the car’s metalwork are pleasing to the eye. How the front DRLs and slim rear lights play into the 4’s low-slung styling, presenting a pleasing, and easily recognisable form.

Inside

If you are familiar with current-range BMW interiors, the 4 Series is not too far from the rest of the range. The heavy carry-over of quality means that what you get is not extremely far away from say... an 8 Series; but perhaps with less leather and sans the polished wood inserts… in the 420i’s case, BMW has gone with their Sensatec faux leather upholstery, while the more powerful 430i is lined with Vernasca leather.

Like the bulk of their range, BMW’s Operating System 7 powers the car’s infotainment system. It’s 10.25” Control Display can be controlled by touch, through the iDrive controller, and also by voice, with the activation phrase “Hey BMW”, and is customisable to what you wish… just like how you might name your phone. There is also a future-proof sized charging pad to keep your mobile device juiced up. 

I appreciate that BMW has kept one USB A port available, even in the face of change; allowing laggards like me a sliver of backward compatibility. 

While the 4 Series is designed with the intention to be a more personal car than it's sedan sibling, legroom at the rear is quite comparable, though the sloping roofline means that anyone taller than 175cm, might find their heads rubbing against the roof lining.

The 4 series retains its practical side, featuring a 440 litre boot, and 40:20:40 folding rear seats that align with the boot floor when folded.

The Drive

For Singapore, the 4 Series Coupe (excluding the M4 Competition) is offered with two power options, both derived from two-litre engines. The 420i M Sport, the less-powerful of the two, puts out 184hp, while its full 300Nm is available from 1,350rpm till 4,000rpm. Drive is transferred to the rear via a ZF-sourced 8-speed Steptronic transmission. 

Even if equipped with the less-powerful of the two engines, the 420i feels alive, and with the cornering accuracy and balance you would expect from a rear-driven BMW. The 4 Series delivers heavily on BMW’s mantra of ‘Joy’, especially when powering out of corners. The front-end does not feel weighted down, and it is easy to flick the 4 from corner to the next.

I must voice my displeasure about one detail, which is common with many modern cars today. With runflat tyres, ride comfort is notably compromised. Their installation is all in the name of not having a spare to reduce weight, so that cars can deliver lower emissions. On a side note, BMW refused to include runflats with the Z4, and this to me was one of the best modern day decisions they made.

My fussiness of tyre choice aside, the 420i delivers well as a daily driver, great weather you are milking what it brings to the table in terms of handling and also in the way it drives as a traditional RWD car; or even how it is uniquely styled. 

Driving pleasure aside, the 4 Series is equipped with a suite of safety and convenience features. Lane Change Warning and Front Collision Warning with Brake Intervention, and Crossing Traffic Warning that warns you of vehicles and pedestrians passing from the rear when reversing. The Reversing Assistant is another BMW innovation, allowing you to autonomously back the car out of tight-twisty spots, for distances of up to 50 meters.

Our Thoughts

It is fair to say that the styling of BMW’s new 4 Series is divisive. I have heard my fair share from many who have voiced their displeasure of that controversial front-end. But truth to be said, it is a sweet-looking coupe in the flesh, and a pleasure to drive on the road.

In Summary

We Like

Great handling. Equipment. Road presence. Base engine delivers well.

We Don't

Runflats are not a good idea. Some jerks during low speed driving, but not a deal killer.

Verdict

Perhaps one of the most satisfying drives you can get within its segment, the 4 Series BMW’s polarising front end might not win some fans, but it is a look that grows on you.

Car Loan Calculator - BMW 4 Series 420i Coupe M

SGD 247,888 (6 May 2021)

Based on OMV, this car is eligible for minimum 40% down payment

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Engine

Engine Capacity 1998cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 181bhp
Torque 300Nm
Power to Weight 113.1 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 7.5s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 240 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 15.6 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 8 -speed Steptronic
Drive Type FR
Steering Electric

Measurements

Body Type Coupe
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4768 x 1852 x 1383) mm
Wheelbase 2851 mm
Kerb Weight 1600 kg
Boot Capacity 440 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 59 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs