I hate to bring up the 1990’s again, but it was this decade that witnessed the greatest change in the way we lived our lives, as it became acceptable to have aspirations of social mobility. This could be seen in the growth of DIY TV shows unheard of before the early nineties, where before you had a kitchen or bathroom in most cases for life, it was now de rigeur to change them every few years or so, in effect like a car. Talking of cars, BMW had entered the decade with a brand new 3 Series which launched the brand in the UK head on into the fleet market as the desirability of a BMW increased ten fold. Hand in hand with the 3 Series came the 3 Series Coupe, which if anything was even more aspirational than it’s four door sibling, coming as it did with room for only 4 passengers. No other 1990’s car said look at how well I’ve done, better than the Coupe, as pre children couples discovered BMW whilst Tony Blair became PM. Move forward twenty years & BMW changed the 3 Series coupe name & re christened it the 4 Series & in 2017 the 4 Series was updated.
These updates are subtle & concentrate primarily on new headlights, tail lights & an update to the interior tech, none of which stops this car being the best in class to drive.
The new 4 Series still uses on the dash physical dials with part cut out to display data such as fuel economy & range. For £295 you can add a digital display or a heads0up colour display if desired. Everything in the infotainment system is still controlled in the same way, with no touchscreen.
BMW EfficientDynamics means that the car also comes with Stop/Start & a good one at that, brake energy regression, drive performance control, electric power steering & reduced rolling resistance tyres. I found the latter as with all tyres of this type, quite noisy at motorway speeds. Otherwise the 4 Series is tremendous to drive. It’s no slouch either hitting 62 mph in just 7.4 seconds & going on to reach a top speed of 149 mph. The lower suspension over the 3 Series makes for smooth cornering & the overall handling is superb. Country road, A road or motorway, it makes no difference to the 4 Series, all our taken with a pinch of salt. The manual gearbox is quite smooth for a BMW & although the 2 litre engine is a little noisy as you climb through the gears, once in sixth gear & taking advantage of cruise control, it eats up the miles in almost total silence. At the end of the day,most 4 Series customers will spend a lot of time on the motorway, so in car aids such as the infotainment system need to be straightforward to use, Bluetooth should connect quickly & the on board SatNav must keep one informed of impending traffic black spots. In both cases BMW’s system is spot on.
An Italia 90 4/5.