2014 BMW 4 Series Coupe and Convertible
Gary Witzenburg on 11.06.2013
Evolution Of The 3 Series
These 2014 BMW 4 Series coupes and convertibles are a new model line derived from the somewhat smaller 3 Series, which until now has offered its own coupes and convertibles, along with a variety of sedans and wagons.
Longer, lower and wider than the outgoing 3 Series cars, on a two-inch-longer wheelbase with wider front and rear tracks, the 2014 4 Series is offered as a 428i powered by a Twin Power Turbo 2.0L four and a 435i with the Twin Power Turbo 3.0L inline six. Both award-winning engines can be mated to either a (standard) 8-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission and with rear-wheel drive or optional xDrive intelligent 4wd.
Models And Trims
A variety of BMW Connected Drive driver assistance systems and mobility services is available either standard or optionally. Among them are new-generation BMW Navigation, a color Head-Up Display; Active Blind Spot Detection, Active Driving Assistant (which warns of a potential collision with a pedestrian or another vehicle), intelligent LED High Beam Assistant, Surround View, Parking Assistant and BMW Active Cruise Control. Smartphones and Bluetooth functions (including dictation with full speech recognition) can be easily integrated.
Combining optional High Beam Assistant with full-LED headlights optimizes night visibility without the need to manually switch between high and low beams. It even drops to low beam on one side at a time, as needed. Two other great options are a Parking Assistant that can automatically steer into parallel parking spaces, and Surround View with Side and Top View, which gives a bird’s-eye view of the car and the area around it to help maneuver in tight spaces.
Below 12 mph, the Side View function can help you keep an eye on cross-traffic. Also standard is BMW Assist with 10 years of emergency calling, enhanced Automatic Collision Notification and BMW Teleservice, which lets you know when maintenance is required.
The 4 Series’ defining characteristics are its hot good looks and athletic driving dynamics, so BMW says its engineers put special emphasis on steering precision, linear response and agility, all aided by its low center of gravity and near-perfect 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution. It also uses BMW Efficient Dynamics technologies — including lightweight construction, Auto Start-Stop (which kills the engine at rest), electrically-driven on-demand accessories (coolant and oil pumps, Electric Power Steering and air conditioning compressor) and aerodynamic drag-reducing features — to optimize fuel economy.
Speed-sensitive Servotronic power steering is standard, and slightly quicker Variable Sport Steering that varies assist to give more-lively “turn-in” response and excellent stability during cornering — is available as part of the optional Dynamic Handling Package. A Driving Experience Control switch on the center console selects ECO PRO, COMFORT, SPORT or SPORT+ modes that call up different sets of steering, suspension and powertrain settings.
The ECO PRO mode improves efficiency by intelligently managing energy and climate control, tweaking engine management and accelerator response and offering tips on reducing fuel usage by adjusting driving style. BMW says you can cut your average fuel consumption by up to 20 percent by using ECO PRO. In addition, standard Brake Energy Regeneration generates power for the vehicle’s electrical system during braking and coasting.
We sampled a Sport-trim, automatic 435i Coupe on a cross-country drive and found it powerful, agile and fun to drive. Its Variable Sport Steering was quick and precise, its brakes linear and powerful and its ride satisfyingly smooth. We also tried a manual-shift 428i and noted just a slight drop in performance in exchange for better fuel efficiency.
Both cars offered modest but noticeable differences in driving character between their four driving modes.
We have not yet enjoyed an opportunity to drive the later-arriving 4 Series (retractable hardtop) convertible, but we’re confident it will be at least as satisfying, but with wind in your hair and at higher prices. If you have liked BMW’s iconic 3 Series coupes and convertibles in the past, you are pretty much guaranteed to love these impressive new 4 Series replacements.
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