For 2015, the BMW 4 Series gets subtle changes to standard and optional equipment. Most notably, Bluetooth audio connectivity is now standard across the model line and heated front seats may be ordered as a stand-alone option.
Spawned a year ago from the ever-impressive 3 Series sedan, the BMW 4 Series coupe and convertible maintain a tradition of driving excellence. The 4 Series is costlier than the 3 -- almost four grand when new -- yet you get two fewer doors, largely analogous equipment and less practicality. Still, we feel the 2015 BMW 4 Series, with its more distinguishing presence, justifies its premium and fortifies BMW's position as a creator of exceptionally desirable luxury coupes and convertibles.
This BMW's low-slung, low-cabin stance is accentuated by flared fenders and a character line rising from the front fender to the rear taillights. The specs back up this visual impression: The 4 Series is about 2 inches lower to the ground than the sedan, and its wheels are pushed farther outward for improved handling stability and grip. Special styling details, such as vents in the front bumper fascia and in the fender just aft of the front wheels (BMW claims they improve aero efficiency) further differentiate the 4 Series.
Two efficient yet powerful engines are available. Base BMW 428i models get a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The numbers don't really tell the full story, though. In this new era of small-displacement turbocharged engines, BMW's is one of the best, providing easy around-town tractability along with surprisingly generous oomph when you nail the gas pedal. Should you want more, of course, there's the top-spec 435i model and its 300-hp, turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder. If you live where foul-weather traction is a concern, any 4 Series variant is available with BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system.
Naturally, there are competitors lined up to take their best shots at the BMW. The most direct rival is the curvaceous 2015 Audi A5. Like the 4, it comes in coupe and convertible body styles and is powered by a stout and efficient four-cylinder engine. All-wheel drive is standard and its price is comparable to the BMW's. Another strong choice is the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, which is polished and refined in the way you expect a Mercedes to be. Finally, the Infiniti Q60 offers strong performance and value.
Still, the 4 Series -- with its excellent handling and performance, eye-catching styling and best-in-class interior room -- strikes us as the most complete and desirable luxury sport coupe and convertible available this year. That's why it has earned an Edmunds "A" rating in its class.Read more on Edmunds.com site