Many have questioned the reason for introducing the new BMW 4-series coupe, but the all new 2014 BMW 428i and 435i are different enough from the 3-series sedan to warrant the nomenclature. The new coupe shares the 110.6 inch wheelbase with the sedan, but chassis similarities end there. The 4-series front and rear track are 0.5 inches and 0.8 inches wider respectively. This widening allowed the new coupe to become significantly lower (2.1 inches lower overall). BMW claims that the 2014 4-series has the lowest center of gravity of any BMW currently on sale. It make the coupe look sleeker as well.
You will find familiar powerplants under the hood of the 428i and 435i. The former is using a 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder with 241 hp and 258 lb-ft. The latter has the 3.0-liter turbo straight six with 300 hp and 295 lb-ft. Both models are available with xDrive all wheel drive system as option. You can also choose between a 6-speed manual and the 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Kudos to BMW for leaving the 6-speed manual transmission as a no-cost option. BMW claims that the 4-series weighs about the same as the outgoing 3-series coupe. The specifications say that the 435i has a curb weight of 3,610 lbs (or about 28 lbs more than the predecessor). This means the acceleration times are about the same as well.
The 428i starts at $40,500, which is $1,800 more than the 2013 BMW 328i coupe. What you get with the 4-series is a superbly handling machine with tenacious lateral grip. The wider and lower car handles beautifully in corners. The 4-series stays neutral and balanced through a corner. It inspires confidence, and also lets the driver have fun. The selectable driving modes: Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Sport Plus are available. Eco Pro and Comfort setting numb the throttle input and allow the use of the engine start/stop feature. The Sport and Sport Plus progressively increase the steering weight, throttle response, and the shift points for the 8-speed auto (manual transmission was not available during this test). Changes in suspension firmness are practicly not noticeable in street driving. The coupe retains the well balanced suspension feel in all modes.
The new coupe maintains the driver oriented cockpit and there is still plenty of room (my 6’2” frame fit comfortably with plenty of head room to spare). The rear seats have very good leg room, but the sleek roofline cuts down on the rear head room considerably. The interior has been updated, but still feels like a traditional BMW. Most of the interior materials look and feel good, especially the steering wheel. However, the plastics on the lower half of the dash and doors give hint of some cost cutting.
The all new 4-series differentiates itself from the 3-series roots with a lower and wider chassis. It’s a fun and capable sports coupe and it will write its own chapter in the book of great BMWs.
Take a look at this Everything You Ever Wanted to Know video about the 2014 BMW 428i:
Andre Smirnov is a life-long automotive enthusiast, writer, reporter, and software engineer. He has been a contributor at TFLcar since 2011. When not working or spending time with the family – you can find him tinkering in the garage or simply ‘going for a drive’.