What’s New for 2021?
Everything. The 4-series finally catches up to the 3-series for 2021 with a clean-sheet redesign and bolder exterior styling. The 2021 4-series is scheduled to go on sale in October.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
430i coupe: $46,595
430i convertible: $55,000 (est)
M440i coupe: $59,495
M440i convertible: $65,000 (est)
We haven’t driven the new 4-series yet, but in our experience with the four-door 3-series models, the turbocharged inline-six in the M440i model will be the enthusiast’s choice, but the nearly $13,000 price premium may turn off some buyers. That bump in price comes with a load of additional equipment though, in case you need more reason to justify the cost. The M440i comes standard with all-wheel drive, for one thing, and it’s also outfitted with unique M Sport 18-inch wheels with run-flat tires, the M Sport suspension and rear differential, a rear spoiler, a faux-leather wrapped dashboard, and more. A convertible model is undoubtedly on its way, but for now BMW has only released pricing and feature content information for the hardtop coupe.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The same two overachieving engines offered in the 3-series will be available in the 4-series. Models designated 430i will be powered by a 255-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. An all-wheel drive example of the 330i sedan managed a brisk 5.2-second zero-to-60-mph time at our test track; we expect similarly peppy performance from the 430i. The M440i is powered by a silky-smooth turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six that gains an assist from a 48-volt hybrid system to make 382-hp—good for a 3.8-second zero-to-60-mph time in the M340i. Our short drive of prototype 4-series models in Munich revealed a very sporty driving experience, courtesy of retuned suspension, a more-aggressive steering calibration, a wider rear track, and a lower center of gravity. We’re looking forward to track-testing the 4-series after it’s officially unveiled to see how it stacks up against its main rivals, the Audi A5 and S5, the Mercedes C-class coupe, and the Infiniti Q60.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA hasn’t released fuel economy estimates for the 2021 4-series lineup yet, but it should offer similar ratings as the 3-series. We expect highway fuel economy somewhere in the mid-30-mpg range for the 430i and high 20s for the six-cylinder M440i.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Shoppers may not notice much difference between the cabins of the 4-series and the 3-series unless they’re in the back seat. The dashboard layout, interior materials, and primary controls look to be identical to the four-door 3-series’, although we noticed that the lower roofline in the 4-series gives it a less spacious feel. Trunk space is less generous here than in the 3-series, especially in the convertible model, which will likely give up some of its cargo room to provide stowage space for its power-folding fabric roof.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The 2021 4-series comes with the same standard 8.8-inch and optional 10.3-inch infotainment screens as the 3-series sedan. Both displays run the latest version of BMW’s iDrive 7 infotainment software, which pairs an intuitive interface with a console-mounted clickwheel controller for easy use while driving; those who prefer to interact with the display directly can do since both are touchscreens. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and in-dash navigation will all be standard while a 12.3-inch digital gauge display, onboard Wi-Fi, and a wireless smartphone charging pad will all be optional extras.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
It being brand new, the 2021 4-series hasn’t been crash tested by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). BMW offers a host of driver-assistance features to as standard with more advanced features available as options. Key safety features include:
Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
Available adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Compared to rivals such as the Cadillac CT5 or the Genesis G70 the BMW 4-series’ standard warranty offerings are fairly basic. BMW makes up for that with a three-year complimentary maintenance plan, whereas the Caddy only offers but one free visit.
Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
Complimentary maintenance is covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles
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