Sharp, Premium, Agile & Economical Gran Coupé Covers That Premium
BMW fans really are spoiled for choice. Take the Three and Four Series family, for example. You have the 3 sedan and in some markets the Touring. And then there’s the 4, which until now, came in in coupé and convertible guises. And now this — possibly the coolest of the lot, the new, second generation Gran Coupé. Munich expects this one will build its first four-door coupé’s success. That thanks to noticeably enhanced driving pleasure, a sharper design and a refined premium cabin with innovate operation and connectivity.
First 4 Gran Coupé Impressions Were Good
First impressions of this latest, elegant and functional midsize take on the firm’s gran coupé concept are good. Even that controversial swollen mouth grille looks OK in that trim in this dark metallic hue. It’s a premium design inside and out that also minimises the bulky effect of those added rear doors. To deliver a 0.26 Cd sleek, and perhaps sinister presence in this dark finish. Those low in the lens driving LEDs add even more effect. Yet the rear end splits opinion — some if us thought those tail lights could be better looking.
Swing any of the pillarless doors open and access is surprisingly comfy. Especially to the rear compartment. Its five full-size seats and sufficient rear space are further 4 Gran Coupé advantages. And the large tailgate and variable-usage boot bring perhaps surprising, but most welcome versatility to both everyday driving and on longer trips. Slipping behind the wheel, you soon work your way into a great driving position. It’s comfortable, in typical BMW style.
BMW’s latest Operating System 7 infotainment system is fantastic. Controlled by any of the touchscreen, the good old iDrive knob, smart multifunction steering wheel buttons, voice, and even this car’s optional gesture control. It includes BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant with remote upgrades, it’s easy to use and boasts more than adequate tech. Best of all, all its physical dials and buttons are where they need to be. For everything from audio volume, climate control, and the rest. Knobs really are king!
Good Low Down Grunt, Feisty Top End
Slip it into gear and the 4 Series Gran Coupé is very easy to drive. Even this low spec diesel is surprisingly fast. The engine has good grunt down low and maintains it well up through the rev range. Steering is light and predictable, pedal feel good and its impressively fuel efficient too. That’s all in part thanks to reduced weight, that good old 50-50 weight distribution and a stiffer body. All of which add up to a truly sporty and positive feel
It’s technically sophisticated to start. The biturbo setup — a smaller low pressure blower, and anther, a larger high pressure snail, conspire to ensure little or no engine lag. The 140 kW and healthy 400 Nm 420d accelerates to 100 km/h in 7 seconds. Assisted of course by that smooth-changing 8-speed autobox. Interestingly that’s also almost a second quicker than the similarly endowed 320d Sedan we tested a while back.
Perhaps most impressive, 420d Gran Coupé’s ride and handling via quite continuously variable damping, is quite brilliant. Even if its perhaps a trite too severe at times. Especially over bumpier road surfaces with its Sport suspension and 19” low profile rubber. There’s more to that though – this bi-turbodiesel contributes too – not just in performance, but also thanks to a level of silence expected from a top every petrol mill.
Gran Coupé has a Sublime Sense of Serenity
All of which contributes to a sublime sense of serenity in the new Gran Coupé’s edgy, comfortable and tech rich cockpit. It also brings a sexy Star Trek instrument panel, mood lighting, and several other impressive design features to further befit its premium characteristics. We’d be wary of this one’s piano black interior trim — it scratches easily but it’s an option, so just spec yours differently. And it comes with advanced technology, from emergency self-braking, steering and distance safety adjustment, so it’s is safe as houses, too.
To be very honest, there’s no too much to complain about BMW’s second-generation Gran Coupé. Of course, it comes at a fair premium. But then it earns that too. You know what they say about peanuts and monkeys, don’t you? — Michele Lupini
Testing & Images: Giordano Lupini
ROAD TESTED: BMW 420d Gran Coupé Engine: 140 kW 400 Nm 1958cc turbodiesel I4 Drive: 8-speed automatic RWD TESTED: 0-60km/h: 3.27sec 0-100km/h: 7.05 sec 0-160km/h: 18.00 sec 400m: 15.1 sec @ 148 km/h 80-120 km/h: 4.88 sec 120-160 km/h: 8.16 sec CLAIMED: VMax: 237 km/h Fuel: 4.9 l/100km CO2: 130g/km Warranty/Service: 2y unl./5y 100Kkm LIST PRICE: R984K RATED: 9