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Mark

BMW 4 Series Coupe (Again)

I was invited to the 4 Series Coupe launch on Thursday night (along with the new X5) and I'll say it again after my second poke around after Goodwood (I know there are people who disagree with me here) - apart from some nice elements of the interior, I still cannot help but feel that the car is fairly bland. I like the profile of the car rear screen backwards, but, biased as I am; I prefer the E92 in almost every other way.

There was a 435i, 428i & 420d in attendance - all in M Sport spec.















Twelfth Monkey

More than a touch of A5 about the rear (esp in pic 2), although I suppose that's not unexpected.
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Also checked out the 4-series the other day








Shocking price!

Martin

There was one very similar (the steering wheel was on the correct side!) to that in Northampton BMW when we went in on Saturday to look at the M135i and Z4 and it's really growing on me.  I can't quite put my finger on why, but it felt a fiar bit nicer inside than the saloon.

Lindsay liked the blue trim strip, but even if you like the colour, it's plastic.
Mark

The Doc's photo's remind me of a few points:

I really like that steering wheel. The M badges on the front wings are gash and trying too hard. BMW seem to be over-doing the Estoril Blue these days (to me).

I don't dislike the 4 - but it just isn't getting my juices flowing and I can't see me swapping into one anytime soon. Perhaps that's a good thing though.
gonnabuildabuggy

Dr. Hfuhruhurr wrote:
Also checked out the 4-series the other day


Shocking price!



How much?

That's a lot of money for a 2.0 diesel.
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Mark wrote:
I don't dislike the 4 - but it just isn't getting my juices flowing ...

This is my feeling also - when I first saw the E46 and E92 coupés, I strongly felt "I want one", but the new one doesn't do it.
Mark

Dr. Hfuhruhurr wrote:
Mark wrote:
I don't dislike the 4 - but it just isn't getting my juices flowing ...

This is my feeling also - when I first saw the E46 and E92 coupés, I strongly felt "I want one", but the new one doesn't do it.


Exactly.

Am I correct in thinking that pictured 420d works out to be around £56k?

My E92's invoice was nudging £40k but with a lot of additional options added by the previous owner.
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Yes, German prices are currently a lot higher than British ones, based on current exchange rates.
Martin

Mark wrote:
really like that steering wheel. The M badges on the front wings are gash and trying too hard. BMW seem to be over-doing the Estoril Blue these days (to me).


The steering wheel is lovely.  The rim may be too thick for some people, but it fits my hands OK.

The side badge delete option would be the first I'd tick, they do look terrible.

I don't like Estoril either, it's too light.  Lindsay declared it 'girly', which I suggested might be OK if it was her car but I was wrong!
Twelfth Monkey

Mark wrote:
Am I correct in thinking that pictured 420d works out to be around £56k?




And for good measure:

Parm

Yet to see one in the flesh, but I like the profile Doc H's pic.
I too like the M-sport steering wheel. I also like Estoril and must admit it would my colour choice if ordering new.

The price is crazy though. Less than 10 years ago an E46 M3 would have cost no more than 45K!
Martin

I'm not surprised that the exchange rate make a 420d that expensive, I'm still reeling from the cost of a beer in Paris.....

A 420d M Sport lists at £34,500 (you can take £2k off that) and as it comes with xenons, heated leather seats, sat nav, bluetooth, DAB etc all as standard, even I could live with a 'basic' one.

Doc - Do you get paid in Euros? I hope so!
franki68

that price ???????????????



whats a current m3 ? you must be able to get big discounts off it,I know they are giving 10k off the latest rs4 at the moment.
Martin

I was talking to my local BMW dealer on Saturday and he said you can get about £10k off an M3 at the moment and they've got attractive finance deals as well.  That will make it about £45k.  

They could do a similar amount off a 335i coupe, which would get an M Sport down to about £30k.   Pretty good value imho.

Of more interest is the starting price of an M135i, which is £27,000.   Lindsay was far from keen, although that's just on showroom appeal of course.
Martin

I've just looked on Broadspeed and you can slightly keener prices that I was given unsurprisingly.

They've got the RS4 for £43,862 which is £11,663 under list and only £5,000 more than an S4 Avant.

Or getting back on the topic of this thread, £1,628 more than a 435xd M Sport..... Good one for the diesel haters that!    
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

BTW, further to your comments about the facelifted 5-series interior, you can now spec it with Nappa leather - much nicer than the usual Elephant ... sorry, Dakota

Frank Bullitt

I'll go against the grain and comment that the '4' is better looking than the E92, I'd also go for Estoril too which is a lovely colour.
Martin

Dr. Hfuhruhurr wrote:
BTW, further to your comments about the facelifted 5-series interior, you can now spec it with Nappa leather - much nicer than the usual Elephant ... sorry, Dakota


You've always been able to spec the current 5 series with Nappa leather (was an option on the E60 too), but only with comfort seats which are a £1265 option.  So the actual cost of Nappa is £2040 on the M Sport. However, if you're going to memory seats then a further upgrade to comfort seats makes a lot of sense as they're only £300 more.

The M5 I sat in on Saturday had Nappa leather, it is much nicer than the standard stuff.

You can spec Dakota seats with 'Exclusive stitching' as a no cost option, which means they look similar to the comfort seats in your picture.

Frank Bullitt wrote:
I'll go against the grain and comment that the '4' is better looking than the E92, I'd also go for Estoril too which is a lovely colour.


I like the 4 better than the E92, both outside and in.
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

It's the feel of the Nappa that's so much nicer than the Dakota. I was always pleased that the E46 M3 had Nappa as standard.
Martin

Dr. Hfuhruhurr wrote:
It's the feel of the Nappa that's so much nicer than the Dakota. I was always pleased that the E46 M3 had Nappa as standard.


Agreed, it's the same with MINI Lounge leather vs the standard stuff.

I was in an A5 Sportback a few months ago and that had Nappa leather but it was awful as it was stretched drum tight over a hard seat.  

My seats have more 'give' which make the leather feel nicer than it does in the 1 & 3 series.
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Martin wrote:
Agreed, it's the same with MINI Lounge leather vs the standard stuff.

Also true, for example, the leather in my currrent wagon.
Twelfth Monkey

Frank Bullitt wrote:
I'll go against the grain and comment that the '4' is better looking than the E92, I'd also go for Estoril too which is a lovely colour.


I'd agree with that.  It's not beautiful, as the flyer in evo suggests, but it's far from being a bad-looking car.
Martin

Dr. Hfuhruhurr wrote:
Martin wrote:
Agreed, it's the same with MINI Lounge leather vs the standard stuff.

Also true, for example, the leather in my currrent wagon.


Yes, that's why I made that comparison!  
Frank Bullitt

Dr. Hfuhruhurr wrote:
Martin wrote:
Agreed, it's the same with MINI Lounge leather vs the standard stuff.

Also true, for example, the leather in my currrent wagon.


The only leather in A2's was nappa which is why the interior of Mrs FB's FSI always felt substantially more premium than other A3's and A4's I've had as courtesy cars with the plasti-cow stuff.
Mark

My 4 Series test drive thoughts and in answer to Martin from a previous thread.

I liked it. The car I took was a 420d Sport manual in white with 19" wheels, leather and quite a few options added. There was also a 428i M Sport available to me but I didn't have time to drive both.

Noticeable improvements are in the ride - although the Sport sits on the softer suspension, there is a marked improvement in low speed ride on the 19" wheels in comparison with an E92 SE on the same sized wheels that I drove whilst looking for my car. The gearbox is also now much lighter and less 'notchy'. You can be quite lazy with the gear-change now whereas you do have to be quite positive with the E92 - never been a problem for me but I can imagine that it will now probably suit a lot more people.

The interior is nice but very much the same as the saloon, which of course can be said of the E9X models previously. You can see a step forward with the digital displays etc over the previous coupe. It all works very well and just feels 'newer'.

As far as the general driving experience was concerned, it all felt very familiar stepping across from my car. Similar weighting, balance & grip through corners/roundabouts - which is great, but I couldn't feel any huge step forward over the older car. In saying that, I didn't have the chance to take it for a proper cross-country blast which might uncover some even better things.

So, all things told, I quite like the 4 Series and would probably revisit it when it comes to renewal time (along with its peers), but I still don't think that it's different enough from the saloon in the looks department and looks very plain in anything other than M Sport trim on 19"s.

Another couple of notes - if they want to distance the 4 Series from the 3 Series Coupe, a good place to start is by using new/different exterior door handles. The Sport spec standard steering wheel is horrible whereas the M Sport wheel is lovely - and the very same wheel that's fitted to the M5 which I had a play around in.

My 'salesman' experience was very similar to John C's in his thread posted elsewhere - his knowledge was abysmal.

Edited to add:

Prices haven’t jumped quite as much as I had originally thought – I have configured a Coupe up to the same spec as my car and the price comes out at £39,155 which is fairly similar. There is more standard kit on the 4 such as heated seats (in M Sport, but not not necessarily on the lower versions). However, BMW have gone back to charging for folding rear seats now...

Also, if I was buying new right now I’d struggle with paint colours – none of them really grab me and I’m also not keen on the one available style of the 19” wheel, which just looks like a larger version of the 18”. A bit boring...
Sav

Shame to see that the lovely Tanzanite Blue isn't available on the 4-Series M Sport.

The 3-Series' 19 inch wheels look more purposeful and special. I also prefer the 3-Series M Sport front bumper - looks more aggressive.
Martin

Sounds like an evolution of the previous model, which is no bad thing.

I followed a blue 420d M Sport for a while earlier and it looks even better out on the road.
PhilD

Martin wrote:
Sounds like an evolution of the previous model, which is no bad thing.



I may have made this up but isn’t the BMW way ‘Evolution, Evolution, Revolution, Evolution, etc’?
Eff One

It's a bit better than the E92, in much the same way that a Big Mac is better than a shit sandwich.

But with the exception of the 1 series coupe, every new BMW since the demise of the E46 looks bloated and awkward to me.
JohnC

Another comment the salesman made to me when I was in was that they didn't have any cars in the showroom because they were selling so quickly.

Given that I haven't seen any on the road I presume that he is just allowing a bit more of his hot air to waft around.

I am glad to hear it is a bit less brutal on 19"s but I agree entirely that the wheels on offer are pretty boring. The optional 19"s available on the Sport are the nicest IMHO but with BMW's recent model changes I don't think you can get these on the MSport.

I will maybe take a trip out to Stirling at the weekend and have a look at their demonstrator instead of revisiting the numpties locally.
PG

I followed a 435i yesterday for about a mile. It was a medium blue metallic which suited the shape pretty well. I'd say the rear view is way better than a boggo 3 series. As I was in the 208 loaner I had yesterday (which I am going to try and do a write up on) I really didn't try and keep up when he pushed on a bit.
gonnabuildabuggy

I must try to go and look at one. I'm no fan of the E90 but loved the looks of the E92, and the new one (F32??) looks good too (though the F30 is also a return to form).

Plus the new model interiors look to me and significant improvement over the E90/E92.

It would be a good car for me but for the lack of rear space and rear doors whilst the boys are teenagers (so I'll need that 640GC then)

Has it still only got 4 seats?
JohnC

Only 4 seats but my E92 has a remarkable amount of room in the rear seats and is very comfortable (so I am told). The 4 series is supposed to be a bit bigger. The boot is more than adequate for 95% of the time. The folding rear seats are now an option (always used to be standard) but they turn the car into a bit of an estate for anything but a washing machine shaped box.
Mark

They have done away with the rear central console of the E92 housing vents & storage etc with the 4 Series, unfortunately. It makes things more practical no doubt but I think it looks great...and both cars are still a 2+2 at the end of the day. I'm sure it will lower production costs on the new car.
JohnC

Well, I finally managed to see one in the flesh yesterday and got to drive the 428i. They had a black 428i and a silver 420D and with the high gloss around the windows (which is a shiny black finish standard on the MSport), I thought the black car was a bit anonymous with no contrast at all. I liked the silver much more and would probably opt for that.

New cars always feel nice and do their best to seduce you with the new car smells and they way they feel so tight but once I had got past that it wasn't the massive step forward I had hoped for. The black wood finish in my car is much nicer than the aluminium on the 4 series and their is no option to have anything else unless you go for something apart from the MSport which leads to other speccing issues for things I want/need.

I had my golf clubs in the boot and tried them in the 4 series. Surprisingly there is less width in the 4 series than in my car and whilst I got the bag into the 4 it wasn't the easy fit  it is in mine. In addition the boot is slightly shallower although longer and the opening is not as big. This is probably due to the boot lid being shorter to make room for the more steeply raked rear window.

On the road the immediate impression was that the car rode the bumps more smoothly than mine but again it is (as has been said elsewhere) an evolution in ride quality rather than a revolution. The car I drove had the optional 19" wheels but they didn't look special enough to spend £700 on. They are just a bit ordinary.

The 428i was very quiet and smooth and reasonably responsive but it needed a lot more throttle than I am used to giving just to make decent progress. The car had done just short of 1,000 miles so it was still fairly tight but it was more than quick enough for normal driving. However my car is in a different league performance wise and the difference feels more like 150hp instead of the 50hp it is supposed to be. The 8 speed gearbox is great, changing up and down much more than my 6 speed does but apart from seeing the rev counter change you would hardly know anything had happened.

The stop start was also a surprise being very unobtrusive. The engine starts again when you release some pressure on the brake pedal so it tends to start again more quickly than similar manual systems where the engine only restarts as you depress the clutch.

The steering wheel (as Martin has said) is a lovely thing to hold but the feeling which comes back to the driver is pretty muted. I asked the guy who took me out if the optional variable sport steering was any better but he couldn't tell me. He said that there were so few cars specced with that option that he wasn't even sure if he had driven one. He said that instead of weighting the steering as speed increases (as happens on the servotronic upgraded steering on the MSport) the variable steering reduces the amount of lock required as speed increases. It is a bit like having a quick rack on the car (which I always fitted to my race cars) so it might be worth a go but it would appear you would have to order it with fingers crossed because it is unlikely you would get a drive in a car with one fitted.

The car felt flat and well damped in the few corners I was able to drive at reasonable speed and gave the impression that it was more than capable in the bends department. The car just had the standard suspension with the throttle response etc being controlled by a button on the central console. The setting range from Eco Pro to Sport but having sampled Sport I just put it back to Comfort. The Sport might be fine on a spirited drive on country roads but in Sport with other traffic around the car just felt too "on edge" with the revs being up and the car being unable to be driven smoothly - too much hassle for normal driving. Again, I would like to try the adaptive suspension which gives a few more set up options.

The interior is "nice" but not mind blowing. Some of it is an improvement but the smaller heating controls on the 4 don't have the same quality feel that mine have. Otherwise it is much the same but just looks a bit different.
The Professional Satnav though is a serious piece of kit and I would want to add that to any order but my salesman was unable to give me any idea of cost after 3 years when the automatic updates for traffic information and the sim card expire. I also couldn't get a straight answer on whether it was necessary to spend another £400 or so on an upgrade so that I can control my iphone music from the satnav screen. The car has the jack plug mine has and a USB port which I am quite happy to use instead of spending £400 to do it by bluetooth.

Overall, I like it and it is an improvement but I don't think the 428i is quick enough to satisfy, the 430D might be and while I have no doubt that the 435D XDrive would be it is also hugely expensive.

I was, by coincidence, at the rugby on Saturday and was talking to a guy who is retired from business but has now got a near full time job transporting BMW's Porsche's, Mercs, Maserati's and Ferrari's around the country. When I told him I was looking at the 4 series he told me to look at a 640D instead. He said that of all the MW's he has driven over the past couple of years, that is the car that has impressed him the most. He recently took one from Glasgow to Norwich and averaged 46mpg. He says it is much quieter, faster and more luxurious than any of the new 3 series. He has only driven a 420D once and wasn't overly impressed and compared to the 6 it simply isn't worth the money in his opinion when you can have a one year old 6 for the same price with all the toys: I might have to look!
Martin

Excellent write up John and very interesting.

If you don't want/need a brand new car, then a lightly used 640d would be a much nicer option than any 4 series.  The interior alone would make it an easy decision for me, it's lovely.

The Professional Sat Nav is a great system and I'm pretty sure all you need is a BMW/MINI ipod lead, which are available on Amazon for much less than BMW will charge.  I don't know how much it is a year as I didn't bother to find out when my subscription ran out.  All I'm missing is the Google search, the traffic  updates still work, so it's fine.

However...I can't believe that you've posted comments suggesting a diesel may be better than a petrol....shocking.....    

But seriously, the 28i engine doesn't appeal to me at all.
gonnabuildabuggy

Martin wrote:
Excellent write up John and very interesting.

If you don't want/need a brand new car, then a lightly used 640d would be a much nicer option than any 4 series.  The interior alone would make it an easy decision for me, it's lovely.

The Professional Sat Nav is a great system and I'm pretty sure all you need is a BMW/MINI ipod lead, which are available on Amazon for much less than BMW will charge.  I don't know how much it is a year as I didn't bother to find out when my subscription ran out.  All I'm missing is the Google search, the traffic  updates still work, so it's fine.


Definitely!

I'm curious re comments on Sat Nav. Surely you just need a disk/usb update? The traffic works fine on mine (via RDS) despite the maps being out of date - as FB remembers it warned me about a traffic hold up on a road that it didn't know existed!

640's start from very low prices, and I'd be tempted to look at a GC if I were you. I'm very impressed (and you know my views on new cars).
Martin

If you extend your subscription you don't get map updates, they're extra and very expensive.

The subs cover the Internet connection and a whole load of other things, the majority of which I didn't use in the first 3 years (concierge service etc).  The traffic still works as it did, which is the most important thing.

Mid £30s would get you a very nicely equipped 640d M Sport.  I've been looking at the 640i Cabriolets, but £35k is a bit over budget.  It would be great if they dropped at least £5k in the next 6 months!
JohnC

Martin wrote:
If you extend your subscription you don't get map updates, they're extra and very expensive.

The subs cover the Internet connection and a whole load of other things, the majority of which I didn't use in the first 3 years (concierge service etc).  The traffic still works as it did, which is the most important thing.

Mid £30s would get you a very nicely equipped 640d M Sport.  I've been looking at the 640i Cabriolets, but £35k is a bit over budget.  It would be great if they dropped at least £5k in the next 6 months!


Martin, do you mean if you DON'T extend the subscription you don't get map updates or do you mean if you extend it you get the Google search etc but you need to pay them even more to get up to date maps?
The guy I spoke to on Saturday said that the deals on the 6 series have got an enormous amount of manufacturer support and although not publicised, if you are prepared to take a stock car the discounts are huge.

I agree with Gonnabuildabuggy that the Grand Coupe would be my choice but we're beginning to get beyond the stretched point of view with prices or should I say affordability!
Martin

The second, unsurprisingly!

There are two (completely separate) costs:

1) Map Upgrades - One off cost each time
2) Connected Drive - Included for the first 3 years, annual subscription thereafter

You can get big discounts off the 6 series (£12k+), but it's still a lot cheaper to buy one 1-2 years old.  The early ones are pretty much half price now.

Bigger discounts are available on the 650i and M6 (£20k+) which take the 650i down to roughly the same price new as a 640d.
Parm

Been looking at used 6-series too. Remarkable value @ 1-2 years old compared to new. They typically come loaded with kit and have quite possibly the nicest interior of any of the current BMWs on sale (IMO).

Still yet to see a 4-er on the road. I may pop to the garage this week to cast my eye over one.
Parm

Martin wrote:


But seriously, the 28i engine doesn't appeal to me at all.


I haven't driven one ,but I actually suspect that the 28i could be the sweet spot of the 4-er range. It's considerably lighter than the diesels or the 335i petrol for that matter & has weight distribution closer to 50:50 than the others, so is likely to be the sweetest handling car in the range.
It also does [claimed] over 40mpg without sounding like a tractor.
Martin

One of the car mags (Autoexpress?) is running/has run a 328i GT and they're were getting mid 20s mpg in the report I read.  As soon as you drive it properly the economy drops like a stone.
Mark

JohnC wrote:
Well, I finally managed to see one in the flesh yesterday and got to drive the 428i. They had a black 428i and a silver 420D and with the high gloss around the windows (which is a shiny black finish standard on the MSport), I thought the black car was a bit anonymous with no contrast at all. I liked the silver much more and would probably opt for that.

New cars always feel nice and do their best to seduce you with the new car smells and they way they feel so tight but once I had got past that it wasn't the massive step forward I had hoped for. The black wood finish in my car is much nicer than the aluminium on the 4 series and their is no option to have anything else unless you go for something apart from the MSport which leads to other speccing issues for things I want/need.

I had my golf clubs in the boot and tried them in the 4 series. Surprisingly there is less width in the 4 series than in my car and whilst I got the bag into the 4 it wasn't the easy fit  it is in mine. In addition the boot is slightly shallower although longer and the opening is not as big. This is probably due to the boot lid being shorter to make room for the more steeply raked rear window.

On the road the immediate impression was that the car rode the bumps more smoothly than mine but again it is (as has been said elsewhere) an evolution in ride quality rather than a revolution. The car I drove had the optional 19" wheels but they didn't look special enough to spend £700 on. They are just a bit ordinary.

The 428i was very quiet and smooth and reasonably responsive but it needed a lot more throttle than I am used to giving just to make decent progress. The car had done just short of 1,000 miles so it was still fairly tight but it was more than quick enough for normal driving. However my car is in a different league performance wise and the difference feels more like 150hp instead of the 50hp it is supposed to be. The 8 speed gearbox is great, changing up and down much more than my 6 speed does but apart from seeing the rev counter change you would hardly know anything had happened.

The stop start was also a surprise being very unobtrusive. The engine starts again when you release some pressure on the brake pedal so it tends to start again more quickly than similar manual systems where the engine only restarts as you depress the clutch.

The steering wheel (as Martin has said) is a lovely thing to hold but the feeling which comes back to the driver is pretty muted. I asked the guy who took me out if the optional variable sport steering was any better but he couldn't tell me. He said that there were so few cars specced with that option that he wasn't even sure if he had driven one. He said that instead of weighting the steering as speed increases (as happens on the servotronic upgraded steering on the MSport) the variable steering reduces the amount of lock required as speed increases. It is a bit like having a quick rack on the car (which I always fitted to my race cars) so it might be worth a go but it would appear you would have to order it with fingers crossed because it is unlikely you would get a drive in a car with one fitted.

The car felt flat and well damped in the few corners I was able to drive at reasonable speed and gave the impression that it was more than capable in the bends department. The car just had the standard suspension with the throttle response etc being controlled by a button on the central console. The setting range from Eco Pro to Sport but having sampled Sport I just put it back to Comfort. The Sport might be fine on a spirited drive on country roads but in Sport with other traffic around the car just felt too "on edge" with the revs being up and the car being unable to be driven smoothly - too much hassle for normal driving. Again, I would like to try the adaptive suspension which gives a few more set up options.

The interior is "nice" but not mind blowing. Some of it is an improvement but the smaller heating controls on the 4 don't have the same quality feel that mine have. Otherwise it is much the same but just looks a bit different.
The Professional Satnav though is a serious piece of kit and I would want to add that to any order but my salesman was unable to give me any idea of cost after 3 years when the automatic updates for traffic information and the sim card expire. I also couldn't get a straight answer on whether it was necessary to spend another £400 or so on an upgrade so that I can control my iphone music from the satnav screen. The car has the jack plug mine has and a USB port which I am quite happy to use instead of spending £400 to do it by bluetooth.

Overall, I like it and it is an improvement but I don't think the 428i is quick enough to satisfy, the 430D might be and while I have no doubt that the 435D XDrive would be it is also hugely expensive.

I was, by coincidence, at the rugby on Saturday and was talking to a guy who is retired from business but has now got a near full time job transporting BMW's Porsche's, Mercs, Maserati's and Ferrari's around the country. When I told him I was looking at the 4 series he told me to look at a 640D instead. He said that of all the MW's he has driven over the past couple of years, that is the car that has impressed him the most. He recently took one from Glasgow to Norwich and averaged 46mpg. He says it is much quieter, faster and more luxurious than any of the new 3 series. He has only driven a 420D once and wasn't overly impressed and compared to the 6 it simply isn't worth the money in his opinion when you can have a one year old 6 for the same price with all the toys: I might have to look!


Thanks for sharing, John. Your thoughts reflect mine which is good - I'm not totally nuts.

A 640d is certainly a lovely car and the option I would take in your position.
Mark

Eff One wrote:
But with the exception of the 1 series coupe, every new BMW since the demise of the E46 looks bloated and awkward to me.






I can't see anything bloated here - but each to their own...  
Martin

That bush/hedge in the bottom pic looks a little bloated.

The 320d looks lovely.
gonnabuildabuggy

Martin wrote:
The second, unsurprisingly!

There are two (completely separate) costs:

1) Map Upgrades - One off cost each time
2) Connected Drive - Included for the first 3 years, annual subscription thereafter

You can get big discounts off the 6 series (£12k+), but it's still a lot cheaper to buy one 1-2 years old.  The early ones are pretty much half price now.

Bigger discounts are available on the 650i and M6 (£20k+) which take the 650i down to roughly the same price new as a 640d.


The 6 series really take a kicking depreciation wise (perhaps helped by massive discounts new), the early models are easily in my "sensible spend on a used car" range. Hence I'd suggest the older the better to some extent.
PG

Martin wrote:
One of the car mags (Autoexpress?) is running/has run a 328i GT and they're were getting mid 20s mpg in the report I read.  As soon as you drive it properly the economy drops like a stone.


Mid 20's?  I can get that from an automatic 5.0 V8.

My perception would be that the 328 engine will lack torque compared to the bigger lumps and relative to the weight of the car. So would have to be thrashed to go anywhere with any gusto. Hence the mid-20's.

Used 640d v new 4-something. I'd go for the 6 series.
JohnC

The 428i I was driving had an average consumption displayed of 31mpg over about 1000 miles. With the 8 speed box as soon as you give the throttle pedal a squeeze, it changes down a cog or two and the engine is regularly at 3,000/4,000 in normal use.

To be fair to the car, you don't really hear the engine until it is above 5,000 when it starts to sound a bit gruff but I wouldn't expect economy to be great if it is regularly at 3,000 or more in and around town and the 40mph/50mph urban/rural roads I was on.

I obviously didn't wring its neck through the gears and just had a few blasts to see how it accelerated. Compared to mine it was a lot slower if you can guage that from the shove back into the seat and to be honest I expected a bit more from 240hp. However it was more than adequate and I have no doubt that if you were to use all the revs most of the time it would be a pretty swift car.

I am probably getting old but the effortless surge of the big diesel is so addictive and in everyday driving much more satisfying. In terms of noise it also attracts much less attention.
JohnC

Whilst on the subject of the 6 series you can currently get one interest free for up to 5 years with a dealer contribution of over £16,000 depending on which dealer you look at. That brings it in at about £50,000 (still an absurd amount of money) but less than the 435dXDrive will be with interest!
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Interesting stuff - the biggest problem for me is the absence of any six-cylinder engine apart from the (very expensive) range-topping models. I think BMW have made a big mistake thinking their customers won't care, though I seem to remember reading somewhere that they still offer an N/A six in the US - anyone know if this is correct?
Sav

Dr. Hfuhruhurr wrote:
I think BMW have made a big mistake thinking their customers won't care, though I seem to remember reading somewhere that they still offer an N/A six in the US - anyone know if this is correct?


Nope, the last NA regular BMW with a six was the F10 530i and that got dropped recently.

The last NA straight six’s like the N53 had competitive emissions and MPG, it would have been interesting to see the emissions and MPG if they had continued with straight sixes for lesser models.

I heard an F30 328i being floored the other day – what a depressing sound it was.
Parm

Finally saw one in the metal. Estoril blue, M-sport. I really liked it, and even though it's clearly a "3-series" coupe, the front end does look more aggressive than the saloon.
Alf McQueef

Sav wrote:


Nope, the last NA regular BMW with a six was the F10 530i and that got dropped recently.

The last NA straight six’s like the N53 had competitive emissions and MPG, it would have been interesting to see the emissions and MPG if they had continued with straight sixes for lesser models.

I heard an F30 328i being floored the other day – what a depressing sound it was.


If that is true, its a massive shame! My car was among the first to have the N53 engine and as you say it is competitive - it's more powerful than the F30 328 engine and the emissions and economy are barely worse - something like 38 vs 43 mpg - and mine is a 2007 car!

It's seriously buggering up my plans, for sure - I can't be the only person wanting a NA 6 pot, especially among BMW customers...

Maybe I should just find the mintest facelifted E91 330i M Sport out there when I replace mine!
JohnC

I see that prices are now starting to move with between 9 and 11% discount on Broadspeed. Dealer finance is also down 1% to 4.9%.

Interestingly the 430D has just had the discount upped to 11% whereas the 435D is 9%. The 435D is about £4K more expensive and requires the adaptive suspension because of its lack of lowered sport suspension making it over £4,500 more - too much.
Alf McQueef

The 435i is a lot more than the 335i on lease deals I have been looking at - surprisingly as you would think it would hold value well.
JohnC

Alf McQueef wrote:
The 435i is a lot more than the 335i on lease deals I have been looking at - surprisingly as you would think it would hold value well.


The price differential is virtually nothing between the 3 and 4 series if you spec them similarly. The 4 comes with Xenons, electric seats, SatNav, Upgraded steering system etc as standard.

However the 435i has a much higher list price if you take the basic car and the discount is between 9% and 11% on the 4 whereas you can get 15% on the 3 series.

It's possible they reckon that after 3 or 4 years the value of those extras on a 4 series won't be worth much but it is probably more likely that the leasing companies are only getting 12% discount on the 4 just now whereas they will be getting 20% on the 3, direct from BMW UK.

I keep looking at year old 330D MSport Tourings at £30K and thinking they are much better value than a new 4 at a discounted £40K for a 430D.

According to my client in the trade, the 3 litre diesels are starting to struggle and everyone wants the 2 litre. 328i and 428i are not selling because they don't tick any boxes - people either want the full fat 335i/435i or they aren't bothered and just go 2.0i or 2.0D. However the 35i's aren't exactly flying out the door either and total numbers are expected to be small.
Martin

It's the same with the Z4. There are dozens on 1.8i and 20i in various colours and spec, but very few 35i available newer than an 09/59.

A well equipped 330d Touring at £30k is a good buy.
Alf McQueef

How much are they new? 335i Msport saloons are not much over 33k from Broadspeed... That strikes me as acceptable value.

Vs the market S5's and C63's were the only ones I found that seemed to be markedly good value compared to the rest on finance, suggesting big discounts...
Martin

A 330d M Sport Touring is about £31,500 but by the time you add decent wheels, Sat Nav, Adaptive suspension and a decent sound system you're in the high 30s.

All essentials to me, but not everyone.
JohnC

Alf McQueef wrote:
How much are they new? 335i Msport saloons are not much over 33k from Broadspeed... That strikes me as acceptable value.

Vs the market S5's and C63's were the only ones I found that seemed to be markedly good value compared to the rest on finance, suggesting big discounts...


A 435i has a list of around £43,000 and discounted down to about £39,000 or maybe a bit less.

There is a guy on the EVO forum who has recently changed his S5 for an M135i and massively reduced his running costs. I don't know if that is damming for the Audi or praise for the BMW.
gooner

JohnC wrote:
Alf McQueef wrote:
How much are they new? 335i Msport saloons are not much over 33k from Broadspeed... That strikes me as acceptable value.

Vs the market S5's and C63's were the only ones I found that seemed to be markedly good value compared to the rest on finance, suggesting big discounts...


A 435i has a list of around £43,000 and discounted down to about £39,000 or maybe a bit less.

There is a guy on the EVO forum who has recently changed his S5 for an M135i and massively reduced his running costs. I don't know if that is damming for the Audi or praise for the BMW.


The S5 was originally fitted with the 4.2 V8 so if he had one of those it would make sense.
Tim

Gooner wrote:
JohnC wrote:
Alf McQueef wrote:
How much are they new? 335i Msport saloons are not much over 33k from Broadspeed... That strikes me as acceptable value.

Vs the market S5's and C63's were the only ones I found that seemed to be markedly good value compared to the rest on finance, suggesting big discounts...


A 435i has a list of around £43,000 and discounted down to about £39,000 or maybe a bit less.

There is a guy on the EVO forum who has recently changed his S5 for an M135i and massively reduced his running costs. I don't know if that is damming for the Audi or praise for the BMW.


The S5 was originally fitted with the 4.2 V8 so if he had one of those it would make sense.


I think CAR had a 3 litre supercharged one that was just as thirsty as the 4.2 V8 (as you'd expect with the fiddle that is modern emissions fugures).
Alf McQueef

I know of a few people with the 3-litre supercharge Audi engine who have been massively unimpressed with the economy figures, whereas I know many people who have been very impressed with all sorts of 6 pot NA and turbo BMW engine economy. Both in typical use, not my long distance cruising.

The Audi lump is sufficiently economical for me, I am sure, spending most of my time at an indicated 75 and rarely in traffic brings out the figures from most engines. Where the BMW is impressive is when the journey is into central London and traffic has much less effect on it than you'd expect, revving it quite a few times during a journey is the same. Only short journeys kill it off.

I think one issue with Audi is the service and parts fees - the service prices quoted in the mags for the long term test cars seem very high, and we've seen on here what B7 RS4 brakes cost... And how long they last!

I don't know where Mercedes fits into it all but BMW have always impressed in this area, I would not have expected to still be using main dealers by now (VW have been OK for the Plus too, bar the EGR valve part cost).
BeN

Late to this party, but I've finally gotten a test drive of the 4 Series too. A top-spec 435i to boot. Ace.

Initial impressions were that it didn't quite have the same 'oomph' of the sedan. To me it seemed to lean more towards effortless 5 Series rather than exciting 3 Series.

But I warmed to it after a while, and started to enjoy the car more after giving it the beans on some open roads. I think it's a car that will grow on you given the right situation, rather than one you might love immediately.

Other notes: the car seems a bit low on headroom, even for someone who's not exactly tall like me (perhaps it's the sunroof fitted to the car). Also, the A-pillars seemed rather obtrusive, a bit more than usual actually.

Aside from that, a fine car overall. Will drive more tomorrow.
Andy C

Mark

Spent the day in this whilst my car is in for it's MOT (£30 at a BMW dealer - cheap).

It's a 320i Sport and my opinion of the 4 Series hasn't really changed much after spending quite a bit more time with one. The engine doesn't help matters and feels pretty gutless - it certainly doesn't feel like 180+ BHP. Taking the engine out of the equation though, I'm still really impressed with the improvement in ride over the E92. This car is on 19"s the same as my car, but the way it handles potholes and poor surfaces is night & day in comparison to mine (I have driven the E92 on 18"s and there is still a huge difference).

But, that's where my praise ends really. The gearbox on this car feels very vague without that mechanical feel that I'm used to - I don't remember this being an issue in the Diesel 4 Series that I test drove - and the gear lever/knob also feels very flimsy in comparison with the E92. Other issues include the leather - it really does feel like plastic in this car, both on the seats and especially the steering wheel. The steering itself also feels really artificial and this makes placing the car much more difficult (and way less rewarding as a consequence). Certain cabin materials feel much less 'substantial' in feel IMO - especially things like the door pulls and indicator/wiper stalks. Although other parts are well put together as before and the interior is a nice place to be in general.


Roadsterstu

Somewhat nicer than the coupe I was given  

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