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The 2016 BMW 4-Series is handsome, that's for sure; and it's even more flamboyant than the 3-Series sedans on which it's based. Yet a lot of shoppers are going to be conflicted about whether it's that much more daring, or different, to be its own model.
That's how we've felt ever since BMW decided to spin its coupes and convertibles off under the 4-Series banner. Yes, it did allow a bit more freedom to give these models some of their own styling details and exclusive features, but at the same time we don't see the 4-Series delivering on the sort of flamboyant design that breaks away from that of the sedan—like Lexus has with its RC, or Audi with the A5.
The engine lineup isn't all that much different than in the 3-Series. The 428i uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 to generate 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. It can get to 60 mph in about 5.7 seconds with either the manual or automatic transmission, and to a 155-mph electronically limited top speed. And grippy summer tires give its performance all the backing it needs.
You get the familiar turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 in the 435i models. It's rated at 300 hp and 300 lb-ft, and it's realistically just as quick as the last-gen M3, with the 435i sprinting to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds with the manual transmission, or 5 seconds with the automatic.
The 2016 BMW 4-Series probably differs most from the 3-Series sedans in packaging. Of course it has two doors rather than four—unless you're talking about the 4-Series Gran Coupe, oddity as it is—but the 4er Coupe and Convertible don't entirely use the 3's dimensions.
Yes, it's the same 110.6-inch wheelbase, and overall length of 182.6 inches, but the 4-Series' roofline is two inches lower, while it's also a half-inch wider than the sedans; and that makes a big difference in overall space.
BMW's wide, beautiful LCD screen displays crisp maps and iDrive functions, but it's also propped up the dash like a digital picture frame, something it has in common with the Mercedes CLA. Audi's A3 has a better idea: make a slide-away screen standard.
You have a lot of flexibility in choosing interior trims for the 4-Series. Some of those basic-black interiors can seem drab and dark, and they amplify the 4-Series' sweeping dash curves in an unflattering way. So we recommend going with some of the warmer trims, as then the coupe's interior gets the sophisticated allure of the bigger 6-Series, with handsome leather and contrasting stitching, some daring colors and some very pretty wood and metal finishes.
*This vehicle is Certified Pre-Owned and is eligible for our third party warranty program.