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MSRP: $44,600 - 103,100

8.5

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 7.9
Safety: N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

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2019 BMW 4-Series Review

The 2019 BMW 4 Series holds its own in a tightly contested class, thanks to its excellent handling, high-quality and feature-rich interior, and abundance of cargo space. However, it has a somewhat cramped rear seat.

Pros & Cons

  • Thrilling, responsive handling
  • Muscular optional engine
  • Above-average cargo space
  • Tight rear headroom

New for 2019

  • Standard Apple CarPlay with one-year subscription
  • Standard parking sensors and navigation

Is the BMW 4 Series a Good Car?

Despite ranking in the middle of the competitive luxury small car segment, the 2019 4 Series is still a very good car. It has great handling, a powerful engine lineup, ample cargo space in all three body styles, a straightforward infotainment system, and impressive interior quality. However, some competitors are more athletic, the base engine only has decent power, and rear-seat passenger space is tight.

Should I Buy the BMW 4 Series?

At over $44,000, the 4 Series has one of the highest base prices in the class. But for that price, this BMW offers a comfortable and high-end interior, loads of cargo space, and a long list of options for customization.

Still, this class features a lot of great cars that have lower prices than the 4 Series. The 2018 Audi A5 bests the 4 Series in most major ways. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is another good choice for those who prioritize opulence over corner-carving thrills.

Compare the 4 Series, A5, and C-Class »

Should I Buy a New or Used BMW 4 Series?

For 2019, BMW added a handful of standard amenities to the 4 Series. These include front and rear parking sensors, navigation, and Apple CarPlay. All of these features are available in the few model years prior, so you may be better off shopping for a similar 2017 or 2018 BMW 4 Series. An older model will also likely save you thousands of dollars over a new BMW 4 Series.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 4 Series »

We Did the Research for You: 34 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 34 BMW 4 Series reviews – along with reliability ratings, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2019 4 Series is the right new car for you. This 2019 BMW 4 Series review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2014 through 2019 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain objective, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team manages the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the BMW 4 Series Cost?

The 2019 BMW 4 Series starts at $44,600 for the four-door Gran Coupe model, which is one of the highest base prices in the class. Prices for the two-door 4 Series coupe start at $44,800, and the convertible starts at $52,950. All models come standard with rear-wheel drive, regardless of engine choice or body style. All-wheel drive is optional for an extra $2,000 in any model. The high-performance M4 Coupe starts at $69,150 and the M4 Convertible starts at $77,650. M4 models are only rear-wheel-drive and come standard with a manual transmission. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is optional for $2,900 in the M4.

In comparison, the 2018 Audi A5 starts at $42,600 for the standard Sportback model and $42,800 for a coupe. The 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan retails for $40,250.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local BMW dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives for a new BMW on our BMW deals page.

BMW 4 Series Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: BMW 4 Series or Audi A5?

The fully redesigned 2018 Audi A5 ranks near the very top of its class. It bests the 4 Series in overall performance, thanks to its standard all-wheel-drive system, which gives the A5 wonderful road grip and handling. Its standard 252-horsepower engine is good for most situations, but you can also upgrade to the high-performance S5 (354 horsepower) or RS5 (444 horsepower). Both of these models also have suspension and performance upgrades for improved driving dynamics. The elegantly designed cabin offers amenities like standard leather seats and the user-friendly MMI infotainment system, which features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Rounding out the A5's list of positives are great safety scores and an above-average predicted reliability rating. Both the 4 Series and the A5 are available in coupe, convertible, and fastback body styles. The A5 Sportback is the cheapest. It starts at about $2,000 less than the 4 Series Gran Coupe. Both cars are good, but the A5 is slightly better thanks to its stronger performance and nicer interior.

Which Is Better: BMW 4 Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has one of the nicest interiors in this class, but it will probably appeal to a different set of shoppers than the 4 Series. While the BMW delivers inspired performance, the C-Class is focused more on pampering its occupants with a luxurious ride. Performance is improved with AMG models. They boast between 362 and 503 horsepower and have more aggressive suspension setups. You can buy this Benz as a sedan, coupe, or convertible (also known as a cabriolet). Mercedes C-Class coupe and convertible models have limited rear-seat space and fewer cubic feet of trunk space than the 4 Series. Infotainment features in the C-Class are confusing to learn and operate, in contrast to the fairly straightforward controls in the 4 Series. If you value performance and your budget allows the 4 Series' higher price, go with the BMW.

Compare the 4 Series, A5, and C-Class »

4 Series Interior

How Many People Does the 4 Series Seat?

The 4 Series coupe and convertible models seat up to four people, while the larger hatchback Gran Coupe can hold up to five. The driver and front passenger have plenty of room in the standard front sport seats, which feature 10-way power adjustments that make it easy to tailor the seats to your preference. There's good lateral support for spirited driving, and the seats remain plush on long cruises.

The back seats are a different story. It's hard to access the second row in the 4 Series coupe or convertible, and a sloping roofline limits headroom. Taller passengers might also want a little more legroom, especially if the front seats are slid back. With its elongated roof and rear doors for easy entry, the Gran Coupe model is more accommodating for rear-seat occupants. 

4 Series and Car Seats

The BMW 4 Series has two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats. The middle seat only has an upper tether anchor. In the hatchback Gran Coupe, the tether anchors are located midway on the backs of the seats, and they're easy to find. The lower anchors are located behind plastic flaps, but they sit deep in the seats. 

4 Series Interior Quality

The cabin of the 2019 4 Series is awash with high-quality, upscale materials befitting the car's nearly $45,000 price tag. Everything is tied together in a sleek and modern design with excellent build quality, fit, and finish. Leatherette upholstery is standard, but you can upgrade to the real thing for another element of elegance. The 4 Series also features wood trim pieces and fancy stitching on many surfaces, such as the dash.

4 Series Cargo Space

No matter which of the three body types you go with, you'll get a lot of cargo space compared to competitors. The coupe has 15.7 cubic feet of trunk space, which is great for the class. Even the convertible's 13.1 cubic feet of space is more than what a lot of other coupes or sedans in the segment offer. The 4 Series Gran Coupe is a hatchback that has 17 cubic feet of cargo space with its rear seats up and 45.9 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. That volume should let you haul small pieces of furniture or even a bicycle. All models come with split-folding rear seats to carry long or bulky items. The Gran Coupe features a standard power trunk lid.

4 Series Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the 2019 4 Series include dual-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, satellite radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, and the iDrive infotainment system with an 8.8-inch display screen, navigation, and Apple CarPlay. Optional features include Comfort Access keyless entry, a Harman Kardon surround-sound system, wireless charging, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

In addition to a touch screen, iDrive utilizes a physical control knob on the center console to control the car's entertainment and tech offerings. After a slight learning curve, it's pretty user-friendly. The menus are easy to navigate once you’re familiar with them, and there are buttons and knobs on the center stack for adjusting the temperature and audio volume from the driver’s seat.

Notable for the 2019 4 Series (and moving forward with other 2019 BMWs) is the change of Apple CarPlay to a subscription service. Previously, CarPlay compatibility could be added as an optional feature for a one-time fee of a few hundred dollars. Now, BMW includes it as standard with one year of access. After that, you'll have to pay around $80 per year if you want to continue the service. This could be a boon for drivers who may not have been sure about checking the option box before, but it may hurt buyers who plan to keep the car for a long time and will now spend much more in yearly fees. Either way, BMW's process stands in contrast to many other brands (including nonluxury ones) that simply include CarPlay and/or Android Auto as standard equipment with no strings attached. On a positive note, BMW is one of the few auto manufacturers to offer wireless CarPlay.

Read more about interior »

4 Series Performance

4 Series Engine: Bigger Is Better

The base 2019 BMW 430i comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that generates 248 horsepower. It's enough to scoot you around town and get up to speed on the highway, but some critics say it sounds coarse and unrefined. For a more satisfying sports car experience, look to the 440i and its 320-horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder engine. Power oozes out as soon as you hit the gas, and BMW claims that the 440i can go from zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.

An eight-speed automatic transmission comes standard in all models, but you can opt for a six-speed manual in coupes. Both gearboxes deliver smooth and accurate shifts – the automatic is a little quicker, while the manual has long clutch travel and doesn't rush changing gears.

The BMW M4 comes standard with a 425-horsepower twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine and a standard six-speed manual transmission. You can outfit the M4 with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, or a Competition package that boosts horsepower to 444. The M4 rockets from zero to 60 mph in about 4 seconds.

4 Series Gas Mileage: Right in Line With Rivals

The standard 2019 430i gets 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway with rear-wheel drive and an automatic transmission. Those ratings are the same as the 2018 Audi A5’s best numbers. The 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class’ best estimates are 24/33 mpg city/highway. In comparison, 440i coupe and Gran Coupe models earn up to 21/32 mpg city/highway.

All-wheel-drive 430i coupe and Gran Coupe models earn 23 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. The 430i coupe with a manual transmission drops to 21/33 mpg city/highway. The lowest fuel economy numbers in the 4 Series lineup belong to the 440i coupe with a manual transmission: 18/28 mpg city/highway.

4 Series Ride and Handling: Balanced but Classically Sporty

The 4 Series boasts all of the sporty driving dynamics and thrilling performance found in the brand's other small cars, like the 2 Series and 3 Series. It has some of the sharpest handling in the class, though sometimes road feedback is lacking. A wide stance and low center of gravity result in little body roll when cornering. You can choose from either rear- or all-wheel drive.

There are four adjustable driving modes: Comfort, Eco Pro, Sport, and Sport+. Comfort softens the car's already plush ride to easily handle bumps in the road, while Sport will likely deliver the best balance of athleticism and ease. Ride quality can be a bit stiff with Sport+ mode. Those looking to get the most fun out of their 4 Series models will want to opt for the Track Handling package, which includes variable sport steering, an adaptive M suspension, M Sport brakes, and non-run-flat performance tires.

Read more about performance »

4 Series Reliability

Is the BMW 4 Series Reliable?

The 2019 BMW 4 Series earns an above-average predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

BMW 4 Series Warranty

BMW covers the 4 Series with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty, which is typical for a luxury vehicle.

Read more about reliability »

4 Series Safety

4 Series Crash Test Results

The 2019 BMW 4 Series has not undergone crash testing by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

4 Series Safety Features

The 4 Series' standard driver assistance features are similar to what you'd find in many cars – a rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors. However, there's a long list of optional advanced safety equipment, including adaptive headlights, automatic parking assist, side- and top-view cameras, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, pedestrian and forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, speed limit information, a head-up display, and adaptive cruise control.

Read more about safety »

Which BMW 4 Series Model Is Right for Me?

The BMW 4 Series is available in a multitude of configurations. The lineup includes coupe, four-door Gran Coupe, and convertible body styles. Gran Coupe models are the cheapest, with coupes costing about $200 more. Convertible versions are several thousand dollars more expensive.

There are two main trims: the 430i with its four-cylinder engine and the 440i with a six-cylinder engine. Rear-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive adds $2,000 to the starting price of any car. You can mix and match any body style, engine, and drivetrain that you want. All models feature a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, and coupes have a six-speed manual available for no extra charge. The rear-wheel-drive-only BMW M4 has a twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine and a standard six-speed manual transmission, while a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is optional.

While things like body type, drivetrain, and transmission will depend on your personal preference, the 440i is the best compromise of engine power and performance for the price. You'll likely find it a good fit for everyday driving, and it has gobs of muscle on reserve for when you really want to let loose.

BMW 430i

The 2019 BMW 430i Gran Coupe retails for $44,600. Standard features include leatherette upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable front sport seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, proximity keyless entry, a nine-speaker audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, the iDrive infotainment system with an 8.8-inch touch-screen display, navigation, and wireless Apple CarPlay.

The Convenience Tier adds heated front seats, lumbar support, and blind spot monitoring for an additional $1,100. The Executive Tier includes the Convenience Tier and adds automatic high beams, adaptive LED headlights, automatic parking assist, and side- and top-view cameras for an additional $3,650. For $500, the Driving Assistance package includes lane departure warning, pedestrian and forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and speed limit information. The $1,700 Track Handling package includes variable sport steering, an adaptive M suspension, and M Sport brakes, along with non-run-flat performance tires. Individual options include leather upholstery ($1,450), a heated steering wheel ($190), heated front seats ($500), heated rear seats ($350), a head-up display ($1,100), wireless charging and a Wi-Fi hot spot ($500), a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system ($875), blind spot monitoring ($500), and adaptive cruise control ($1,200).

BMW 440i

The 2019 440i Gran Coupe starts at $51,000. In addition to the six-cylinder engine, it comes with the Harman Kardon sound system. The Convenience and Executive Tiers have the same features that they for the 430i, but they’re a little cheaper with the 440i: $850 for the Convenience Tier and $3,400 for the Executive Tier. Other packages and options, and their prices, are about the same between the two trim levels.

BMW M4

The 2019 BMW M4 Coupe starts at $69,150 and the M4 Convertible starts at $77,650. Rear-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission are standard, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is optional for $2,900. The Competition package ($4,750) increases horsepower to 444 and upgrades steering, differential, and suspension settings. You can also add carbon ceramic brakes for $8,150.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local BMW dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our BMW deals page.

See 2019 BMW 4 Series specs and trims »

The Final Call

The BMW 4 Series has a great balance of performance and elegance. It offers lots of modern and intuitive features, along with sizable cargo space. On the downside, the back seat isn't that roomy. Some class competitors are still slightly better cars in general.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • In a category BMW once so thoroughly dominated, the 4 Series is no longer an automatic pick. … So, the competition has grown stronger, but that doesn't detract from the 4 Series' inherent excellence." -- Edmunds
  • "Sadly, our own time with the 440i Coupe is short but it leaves a lasting impression. Perhaps it lacks the superhero speed and impregnability that so characterizes the Audi S5 but, as ever, it's a more tactile, fluid experience and it slowly but surely weaves its way into your affections." -- Automobile Magazine (2018)
  • "The 4 Series coupe and convertible are essentially 2-door versions of the BMW 3 Series. If you want the well-regarded driving dynamics of that sedan in a sleeker package or with a retractable-hardtop roof, the 4 Series is it. As for the 4-door Gran Coupe, it blends fine handling, sharp looks and strong practicality." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
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