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A new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe body style joins the BMW 4 Series for 2015, which comprises a beautiful lineup of two-door coupes and convertibles.
The BMW 4 Series was introduced for the 2014 model year as the successor to the 3 Series coupe, part of a move to use even numbers for two-door models and odd numbers for four-door models. However, the logic of the new nomenclature goes out the window with the 2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, a four-door hatchback. The 4 Series Gran Coupe offers easy rear-seat access and increased cargo space, with the coupe's more tailored silhouette.
The 4 Series two-door coupe and convertible models continue for 2015, with only a few minor changes to features, packaging and options. Notably, Bluetooth streaming audio capability is now standard on all models.
Built on the same architecture as the 3 Series, the 4 Series models ride on the same 110-6-inch wheelbase as the 3 Series sedans, but are slightly wider. Gran Coupe models are about an inch-and-a-half lower, while coupes and convertibles are nearly two inches lower.
Two engine choices are available in all 4 Series body styles: The BMW 428i uses BMW's turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 that makes 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. The more powerful BMW 435i coupe and BMW 435i Gran Coupe use a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 good for 300 hp and 300 lb.-ft. of torque. The 4 Series models can also be fitted with BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive.
We like the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and find it superbly capable in most driving environments, both in BMW 428i coupe and BMW 428i Gran Coupe variants. It's efficient, and is just as content when commuting as a long road trip. The limits of four-cylinder engine become apparent only in the most demanding situations, such as passing while traveling up a steep grade at high speeds. Only then will it become apparent that the powertrain is working hard, with the accompanying whine to prove it. But with admirable EPA fuel economy ratings of 23/35 mpg City/Highway for the BMW 428i with the automatic transmission, this car makes the most sense for the majority of drivers.
Still, the turbocharged inline-6 used in the BMW 435i coupe, BMW 435i convertible, and BMW 435i Gran Coupe is by far the most fun, with plenty of power for dashing around mountain roads. Power delivery is smooth and linear, even at higher elevations (where older turbocharged engines can sometimes gasp for breath in the thin air). Fuel economy for the rear-wheel-drive BMW 435i Coupe with the automatic transmission is 22/32 mpg City/Highway. The 8-speed automatic transmission is more efficient in all variants, and achieves better fuel economy than the optional 6-speed manual.
Interior materials in the 2015 BMW 4 Series are similar to those found on the 3 Series, though the 4 Series cabin design is clearly more driver-oriented. The center stack is slightly canted to the left, and the narrow, tapered center console sits high, cordoning off the driver in her own little cocoon. The iDrive controller and a color screen are standard. For the most part, interior materials are rich and interesting, although certain trims and color combinations can tend to look mismatched.
Back-seat space is fine but not cavernous, with slightly less rear legroom in the convertible. Because of its extra set of doors, Gran Coupe models are a better choice for those who will regularly carry passengers. Cargo space in two-door coupes is good, and even better in Gran Coupe models. The convertible, not surprisingly, offers the least amount of space, especially when the retractable hardtop is down.
The BMW 4 Series coupe is a leader in a class that includes competitors such as the Audi A5, Cadillac ATS Coupe, Infiniti Q60 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe. BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe models are unique choice for those who want the coupe's sleek silhouette but with the easy access of four doors and more trunk space.