The 2014 BMW 4 Series is an all-new model with a fresh name, but this two-door BMW hasn't struck like a bolt from out of the blue - it's actually part of a re-branding initiative from the German automaker that separates out its sedans from its sportier models. The BMW 4 Series lines up beside the BMW 3 Series to provide a panoply of choice for entry-level luxury buyers, allowing for better differentiation between two distinct parts of the premium market, and helping the company compete more effectively against rivals like Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2014 BMW 4 Series.
01. The 2014 BMW 4 Series Is Offered In Two Body Styles
As mentioned above, the 2014 BMW 4 Series is the collective name for the two-door body styles of the brand's compact luxury offering. In practice, this means that the BMW 4 Series is available as either a sleek coupe, or an open-air convertible. Like the previous version of the BMW 3 Series convertible, the BMW 4 Series will be offered with a retractable hard top that gives it true all-season capability as well as the ability to preserve an almost coupe-like look with the roof raised. One final plus: the steel roof permits better sound dampening, with a two-decibel decrease in noise compared to the last-generation entry-level convertible.
02. The 2014 BMW 4 Series Twins The BMW 3 Series
The 2014 BMW 4 Series might feature a brand new name and an entirely separate marketing campaign, but the vehicle still shares the vast majority of its mechanical and design conceits with the BMW 3 Series sedan. This means that the cars feature a similar chassis, as well as access to essentially identical engine and drivetrain setups. This is a good thing for luxury car shoppers, because it means that the BMW 4 Series enjoys the same handling prowess offered by the 3 Series, as well as a composed ride when it's time to cruise through town rather than attack twisty roads.
03. The 2014 BMW 4 Series Is Based On A New Platform
Last year, the BMW 3 Series coupe and convertible had to soldier on using an older platform than the 3 Series sedan, but as we just pointed out, the 2014 BMW 4 Series has finally caught up to its more practical sibling. In addition to gaining the same structural improvements as the current 3 Series, the BMW 4 Series also happens to offer wider wheel arches to house its more generous track, a lower ride height (dropped by two inches in comparison to the sedan), and a number of aerodynamic changes that reduce its drag and help it slip through the air with more grace and efficiency.
04. The 2014 BMW 4 Series Offers Two Engine Choices
The 2014 BMW 4 Series starts out with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the hood. This unit is tuned to produce 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and can be matched with either a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic. A more potent, turbocharged six-cylinder is also available with the BMW 4 Series. Displacing 3.0-liters, this motor can be counted on to generate 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices for the larger motor remain the same. This mirrors the engine availability of the 3 Series, although there is currently no diesel option available with the coupe or convertible.
05. The 2014 BMW 4 Series Is Reasonably Fuel Efficient
Despite not offering a turbodiesel drivetrain, the 2014 BMW 4 Series provides respectable fuel efficiency - especially for a luxury car. Of the two engine options, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder pulls ahead with a rating of 23-mpg in city driving and 35-mpg on the highway, thanks in large part to an automatic engine start/stop feature that prevents idling as well as the wide gear ratios of its eight-speed automatic transmission. The 3.0-liter, turbocharged six-cylinder checks in with a fuel mileage rating of 22-mpg in stop and go driving and 32-mpg on the highway, which is still impressive given the amount of power that it sends to the rear wheels.
06. The 2014 BMW 4 Series Provides Available All-Wheel Drive
The 2014 BMW 4 Series is intended to deliver outstanding performance in all manner of weather conditions, which is where its available all-wheel drive system steps in. The BMW 4 Series can be ordered with all-wheel drive regardless of engine choice or body style, meaning that even drop top models can gain the added security and traction of this particular feature. As an added bonus, BMW's all-wheel drive system is designed to direct most engine torque to the rear wheels during normal driving in order to preserve the car's handling characteristics, diverting power to the front axles when slippage is detected.
07. The 2014 BMW 4 Series Features Three Trim Levels
The 2014 BMW 4 Series doesn't provide buyers with a choice of 'traditional' trim levels. Instead, all editions of the car come with either 17-inch (four-cylinder) or 18-inch (six-cylinder) rims, HID headlights, imitation leather seats with power adjustment, Bluetooth connectivity, a CD player, dual automatic climate control, a sunroof (coupes), a memory feature for the driver's seat, and the iDrive vehicle interface. Next up, BMW asks interested parties to choose which 'line' they want to purchase. The Luxury line offers a classic take on BMW styling, while the Sport line installs more heavily-bolstered front seats and high performance tires. The M Sport line stiffens the car's suspension system, adds a sport steering wheel, and also includes adaptive shock absorbers for better road holding.
08. The 2014 BMW 4 Series Can Be Customized With Several Options Packages
An entire realm of high end luxury features can be accessed via the 2014 BMW 4 Series' list of options packages. The Technology package includes a navigation system with a nearly-nine-inch touchscreen, a different touchpad controller for the iDrive system, a head-up display, the BMW Apps suite, Bluetooth audio streaming, and the BMW Remote Services feature that enables an owner's cell phone to serve as a door key. The Premium package adds keyless entry and ignition, real leather seats, and satellite radio, while the Lighting packing provides automatic high beams plus LED headlights.
The Driver Assistance package bundles together parking sonar plus a rearview camera, while the Driver Assistance Plus package enhances those features by way of a top-down and side-view camera system, a system that automatically scans speed limit signage and displays the relevant info to the driver, and a blind spot monitoring system. The final two sets of options consist of the Cold Weather package (heated seats and steering wheel), and the Dynamic Handling package (adaptive suspension for non-M Sport lines, and a quicker steering system).
09. The 2014 BMW 4 Series Will Offer An M4 High Performance Model
BMW purists might bemoan the fact, but the M line will now be split between the BMW M3 sedan and the BMW M4 coupe and convertible. The 2014 BMW 4 Series will see the BMW M4 cap its high performance range, delivering 430 horsepower and close to 400 lb-ft of torque from a twin-turbo, six-cylinder engine. Traditionalists will be pleased to note that a six-speed manual transmission will remain standard with the car, while a seven-speed, dual-clutch automated manual unit (with a launch control feature) will present itself as an option for those seeking all-out speed-of-shifting. As with past M coupes from BMW, expect a top-notch suspension system and aggressive styling to go with the BMW M4 when it is eventually released.
10. The 2014 BMW 4 Series Is Pricier Than The BMW 3 Series
10. The 2014 BMW 4 Series Is Pricier Than The BMW 3 Series
Despite being similar in so many ways, the 2014 BMW 4 Series asks buyers to pay a premium over the cost of a comparably-equipped BMW 3 Series. While the BMW 3 Series starts out at an MSRP of $32,780 in 320i form, bumping up to $37,300 for a 328i, the base BMW 428i coupe will set buyers back a cool $40,500. Despite being pricier than its in-house rival, the BMW 4 Series compares reasonably well with the less-powerful entry-level Audi A5 (MSRP $39,000) as well as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe (MSRP $38,200).
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