Pros: Head turner, German engineering, spirited performance and the ZF 8 speed gearbox.
Cons: Too many optional extras, usual BMW interior and subtle performance.
Replacing what was known as the 3 series coupe, the 4 series has made great strides in the coupe market, a great looking car with great performance to keep the competition at bay. Equipped with a number of features it’s a car that many would want, and those who have it will not part with the keys too easily.
The 428i has a power output of 180kw and 350nm which is sufficient for a daily squirt of the throttle around town and in the country side. The test mule we had was fitted with the brilliant ZF 8 speed auto gearbox, much like the GTI’s DSG transmission. Shifts are quick, seamless and surprisingly satisfying, gone are the days when manual transmissions are king. Some may argue that a manual transmission is more fun, but economy, efficiency and comfort are what clients want and such excellence is delivered in bountiful loads in the 428i.
Posting a claimed 5.9 seconds to the hailed 100km/h mark, the 428i manages to dispatch a number of opponents on the road, slip the auto box into sport mode disable the electronics and have some fun. Comfort mode eliminates all sideways action and is basically the headmaster of a prestigious school looking for detention volunteers. Sport mode is a little more lenient with the rules and allows some slip of the rear wheels but all within reason. Sport plus mode is mental mode, lock the wheel into a desired direction floor the throttle and watch it dance like its predecessors, this is where the 428i’s well balanced suspension makes one believe that BMW spared no change in perfecting the chassis.
There is little one can fault with the looks, comfort and quality of the 428i. The interior is a very nice place to be, ample space, fair rear legroom and a very high quality interior. We were treated to the optional Navigation entertainment system which is a marvel, the acoustics are brilliant and one is always delivered a powerful and crisp sound way beyond anything we have come across. The infotainment screen in the centre console offers a wide range of media inputs. It enabled us to connect a digital camera and view playback of previously recorded videos which is a pretty neat feature to have.
The HiFi system is equipped with an internal hard drive with 20 Gigabytes of space, this equates to roughly 40000 songs from which you can create a playlist of all your favorite songs. Included in the infotainment console is the, audio controls, social media feeds and access to BMW’s concierge services which includes notifying the contact centre in the event of an emergency.
The facia is what one could call the usual across the BMW range, great finish but all too common, but nonetheless, it’s well placed and is driver focused, therefore access to controls is a breeze. Satellite controls on the steering wheel also provide access to the cruise control, station search, media search, input mode and volume control. One feature we really enjoyed playing around with most was the engine power and torque monitor, we were able to see as we were puckering along the roads how much power and torque is being utilized, it’s quite an addictive feature as you are always trying to better your last figures 174kw and 350 Nm’s is what we achieved and in our books that is more than enough to put a smile on our faces.
One can never doubt German engineering, and this is one of the best examples of perfection one could ever find. BMW has thrown the competition into the weeds with this offering, but do bear in mind that Mercedes-Benz has recently launched the C class and it’s filled with technology to the brim, perhaps the C class coupe may have an answer to the 4 series, we wait with abated breath to find out.