Used BMW 4 Series Review
The BMW 4 Series is the coupe version of the 3 Series saloon. The trade-off you make with the 4 Series is you lose a little space but gain a longer, sleeker and sportier design. The 4 Series range consists of a 2-door Coupe and Convertible but also a 5-door Gran Coupe, which offers the additional practicality of another pair of doors and a hatchback.
If you’re on the lookout for a used BMW 4 Series for sale, the good news is that there are some keenly priced second-hand models on the market. It’s also superb to drive and oozes kerb appeal. But what are the best engines and trim levels? And how much is a good used BMW 4 Series going to set you back?
Pros and Cons
How does it look?
Looks are certainly not a problem for the 4 Series, with its sleek bodywork and purposeful face giving it an understated handsomeness that its rivals cannot match. Although it’s been around since 2013, the 4 Series still looks modern and relevant, with a minor facelift in 2017 providing a few small nips and tucks to keep everything in place.
Those dashing looks are matched by an interior that, although perhaps not the most exciting in terms of design, feels upmarket and expensive. There’s leather upholstery as standard, soft-touch finishes to the dashboard and plenty of impressive technology, all controlled by the easy-to-use iDrive infotainment system.
If you want to be picky, you could say the low coupe roofline makes the 4 Series less comfortable for adults than the 3 Series, and there’s also less boot space than in the Audi A5 and the Mercedes C-Class. However, these are minor complaints that do little to harm its overall appeal.
What’s it like to drive?
Whatever used BMW 4 Series you buy, you’ll enjoy a fantastic driving experience. Every engine delivers plenty of power while the low centre of gravity makes it feel secure and planted even in high-speed bends. The steering is responsive and accurate and the rear-wheel-drive on most models (those badged as X-Drive are all-wheel drive) gives it a tremendous sense of balance.
Despite being powerful, the 4 Series is still a comfortable and practical car to drive. The diesel engines are economical and even the four-cylinder engines provide more than enough grunt for everyday driving, while the six cylinders, which top out at the M4, deliver serious speed. One word of caution though is to stick to the smaller wheel sizes. They may not look as sporty but the larger wheels can lead to a lumpier ride.
Is a used BMW 4 Series reliable?
The BMW 4 Series consistently rates highly in reliability surveys. It earned a 4 out of 5 for dependability based on J.D Power’s ratings and finished in a respectable mid-table position in the sports, coupe and convertible class in What Car’s? reliability survey. It is worth checking the electronic service record of any used 4 Series before you buy it and always test all the electronic features to make sure they’re working properly.
Which is the best used BMW 4 Series to buy?
With so many different engine options and trim levels, that’s not an easy question to answer. There really is something in this range for everyone.
The early petrol options include the 181bhp 420i, the 241bhp 428i and the 302bhp 435i. In 2016, the 428i was replaced by the 248bhp 430i, while the 321bhp 440i came in for the 435i. If you prefer a diesel, you can choose from the 148bhp 418d, the 181bhp 420d or the 215bhp 425d, which are all powered by the four-cylinder engine. The 255bhp 430d and 309bhp 435d have two extra cylinders and it shows.
Of these engines, the 420i and 418d feel a little underpowered. For economy, we think the 420d is a good all-around pick as it combines efficiency and performance. If you want something a little faster though, upgrade to the six-cylinder petrol or diesel engine. Here, the two-wheel drive 440i, which is incredibly quick, and the 430d and 435d, are the way to go.
When it comes to the trim, you have five options, the SE, Sport, Modern, Luxury and M Sport editions. Of these, we prefer the softer suspension and smaller wheels of the SE, while the Sport offers stiffer suspension and slightly sharper handling. With good levels of equipment across the board, that’s as far as you need to go.
How much is a used BMW 4 Series?
You’re unlikely to find a decent BMW 4 Series for sale for less than £7,000, and that’ll be for an early (2013) high mileage example. For longevity and peace of mind, it’s worth pushing your budget up to £11,000 plus for a 4 Series with average mileage and a full service history. For even the earliest six-cylinder, high-performance engines you’re looking at £14,000 or more.
For a post-facelifted 4 Series from 2017, expect to spend a minimum of £17,000 and the prices ramp up quickly from there. A 420i M Sport from 2020 starts at around £27,000 while the same age 440d will set you back £45,000 or more. If you want to have a whole lot of fun, you should be able to pick up an early BMW M4 for around £16,000, while a 2020 M4 will cost you upwards of £50,000.