Performance and 0-60mph time
Performance runs from the leisurely on the tax-busting entry point of the Gran Coupé range (the 418d, with 0-62mph in 9.0 seconds and a top speed of 132mph) to the faintly M4-worrying 0-62mph time of the 435d xDrive Coupé. With 4.7-second performance for the sprint, that car is blisteringly quick thanks to the twin boons of all-wheel drive traction and monstrous 465lb ft of torque.
All of the 4 Series engines are strong and torque-rich, with even the modest 2.0-litre diesels providing adequate mid-range punch on the move. However, the four-cylinder engines aren't particularly appealing in the aural stakes.
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The 2.0-litre single-turbo diesels are easily the least refined motors in the range, sounding particularly gruff under hard acceleration, although the twin-turbo, 215bhp/332lb ft 425d is worth checking out.
For the most impressive performance, you’re going to want one of the top-spec cars. The petrol 440i in particular is a delight, it’s smooth and free-revving with a power delivery that stretches right from 1380rpm, where it hits peak torque, to 6400rpm where maximum power starts to tail off. The turbos do mute induction noise, but there remains an enticing exhaust note to compensate.
The 435d has simply epic stats and that translates into eye-widening acceleration at pretty much any speed on the road. Although, like so many ‘hot’ diesels, it doesn’t like to rev. Upshifts need to be dealt with at 4000rpm, well shy of the nominal 5000rpm redline.