By Keith Buglewicz
KBB Expert Rating: 8.4
The entire 2017 BMW 4 Series family got a special birthday present for its third year: new engines. The new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo and 3.0-liter 6-cylinder turbo boast more power and torque, and come with new nomenclature; BMW 4 Series coupes, convertibles and Gran Coupe 4-door models with the 4-cylinder are now known as 430i, while the 6-cylinder models are 440i. The engine upgrades are the biggest change in a year that's otherwise defined by incremental upgrades, but that's fine, as the BMW 4 Series is already a compelling choice against the likes of the Audi A5, Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe and Lexus RC. Whether you want rear- or all-wheel drive, or the fire-breathing M4, the 4 Series blends performance and refinement with its $40,000-plus starting price.
The BMW 4 Series is in reality a 3 Series coupe, and if you're looking for the driving dynamics of that sedan but in a sleeker package, you've found your ride. As for the 4-door Gran Coupe? It's as practical as it is beautiful thanks to its spacious hatch.
KBB Expert Ratings
Two new engines, with horsepower upgrades, headline the changes for the 2017 BMW 4 Series lineup. More minor changes include variations on seat stitching, and an upgrade to iDrive 5.0.
The 2017 4 Series, like its predecessors, takes the agility, acceleration and balance of the 3 Series and augments it all with a wider stance and lower center of gravity....
... It makes the 2-door versions of the 4 Series the perfect partner for enthusiasts who take the task of driving seriously, and they won't mind the trade-offs of increased road noise and a stiffer ride on rough pavement. On the other hand, the Gran Coupe is aimed at the grand touring crowd, with its lively and smooth road manners, plus its extra cargo capacity and rear doors. Base 430i models use BMW's new 248-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder, while 440i models get an equally new 320-horsepower turbocharged 6-cylinder, powering the rear or all four wheels. With 425 horsepower, the BMW M4 can hit 60 mph in about four seconds.
2.0-LITER TURBOCHARGED 4-CYLINDER ENGINE
We said that the old base-level engine in the 4 Series was good enough that there was little reason to shell out for the 6-cylinder variant. That holds true with the new engine as well; it's more powerful, has more torque, and doesn't sacrifice fuel economy to get it.
The BMW 4 Series convertible doesn't force you to choose between a classic coupe or open-top convertible, thanks to its power-operated retractable hardtop. Top up, it's a sharp coupe with the classic BMW "Hofmeister kink" at the rear window; top down you have open-air enjoyment for yourself and three passengers.
BMW 4 Series coupe and convertible models offer four seats, but only the front two are comfortable. The rear seats are tight on leg and headroom (drop-top notwithstanding), and it's not particularly easy to get back there in 2-door models. Of course the Gran Coupe's rear doors and elongated roof improve access and comfort for rear-seaters. But in all models it's the driver who's truly pampered, with a driver-focused cockpit, easy-to-reach controls and an improved iDrive infotainment system. Cargo space is fine in the coupes, but the Gran Coupe has Gran Cargo Space, too; more than 45 cubic feet with rear seats folded.
The 2017 BMW 4 Series headlights flow into the "twin-kidney" grille, emphasizing the width of the car, while the low roof gives it a sleeker profile than the 3 Series sedan. The 4 Series Gran Coupe looks similar to the svelte 6 Series Gran Coupe, but its power tailgate opens to a large cargo area. The 4 Series convertible resembles an older BMW coupe in profile -- think 3 Series from the mid-1990s -- and its hard top offers better insulation and security than fabric. M4 performance models up the aggression with larger front air intakes, power-dome hood and quad exhaust outlets.
The base-model 2017 BMW 430i Coupe, Gran Coupe and Convertible may look different, but all have about the same levels of standard equipment. There are power front seats, adaptive xenon headlights, automatic climate control, and on the Coupe and Gran Coupe, a moonroof; the Gran Coupe also gets a power tailgate. Standard infotainment is a 9-speaker AM/FM/CD/HD Radio system with USB audio input, Bluetooth streaming and 6.5-inch display (unfortunately, a rearview camera still costs extra). If you want more power, opt for the 440i and its stronger 6-cylinder engine; if that's not enough, the 2017 M4 features performance-oriented brakes and differential.
There's little that's not available on the 2017 4 Series. You can upgrade to a 16-speaker/600-watt harman/kardon sound system, a hands-free trunk that opens when you wave your foot under the bumper, and real leather upholstery to replace the synthetic SensaTec stuff. Most options are bundled into packages, like the Technology Package that includes navigation and dedicated apps. A Driver Assistance package adds the blind-spot monitoring and Active Driving Assistant with lane-departure warning, collision-mitigation automatic braking and pedestrian detection. M4 models can bolster their performance potential with carbon-ceramic brakes and driver-selectable Adaptive M Suspension.
2017 BMW 430i models get a new 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with 248 horsepower; choose the 440i model and get a new 3.0-liter turbocharged 6-cylinder with 320 horsepower. The M4 keeps the same 425-horsepower version of its 6-cylinder. Rear-drive (RWD) is standard, but all-wheel drive (AWD) is available on everything except M4 models, noted by an "x" in the model name. All engines are connected to an 8-speed automatic as standard equipment, although a 6-speed manual transmission is available in 430i and 440i coupes; M4 models choose between a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. Auto start/stop is standard on the 430i and 440i models; if you don't like the jarring restarts you can shut it off. Also note these premium engines require premium gasoline.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (430i)
248 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
253 lb-ft of torque @ 1,450-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/33 mpg (coupe, manual, RWD); 23/34 mpg (coupe, automatic, RWD); 23/34 mpg (convertible, Gran Coupe, RWD), 23/33 mpg (coupe, Gran Coupe, AWD), 22/32 mpg (convertible, AWD)
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 (440i)
320 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
330 lb-ft of torque @ 1,380-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/29 mpg (manual coupe RWD & AWD), 21/32 mpg (automatic coupe, Grand Coupe, RWD), 21/31 mpg (coupe, Gran Coupe, AWD), 21/29 mpg (convertible, RWD), 20/30 mpg (convertible, AWD)
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 (M4)
425 horsepower @ 5,500-7,300 rpm
406 lb-ft of torque @ 1,850-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26 mpg (manual), 17/24 mpg (automatic)
Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) on a base-model 2017 BMW 430i Coupe or Gran Coupe is a little less than $43,000, including the $995 destination charge. A 430i convertible is right under the $51,000 mark. Prices climb quickly: 6-cylinder 440i models are about $7,000 more across the board, and all-wheel drive will add about $2,000 to whatever model you choose. And that's before options, which can easily shoot the price up to nearly $70,000. The M4 models start at more than $67,000 for the coupe and more than $75,500 for the convertible, and top out well over $80,000. That's a lot, but on par with competitors like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Cadillac ATS, Audi A5 and S5, and Lexus RC. Be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what people in your area paid for their 4 Series, and note resale value will be average, lagging the Lexus RC.