BMW 4-Series

#1 in Luxury Small Cars Overall Score: 8.8 / 10
2018 BMW 4-Series View More Photos » BMW of North America, LLC
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2018 BMW 4-Series Overview

The 2018 BMW 4-Series ranks 1 out of 20 Luxury Small Cars.

The 2018 BMW 4 Series finishes highly in our luxury small car rankings. It's one of the most athletic cars in the class, and it delivers a good amount of luxury and comfort as well.

SEATING


4-5

MPG


16-24

  CITY


22-34

  HWY

DRIVETRAIN


RWD, AWD

HP


248-444
See full 2018 BMW 4-Series specs ยป

Pros & Cons

  • Nimble handling
  • Powerful engines
  • Lots of tech and active safety features
  • Above-average cargo space
  • Limited rear-seat headroom

Notable for 2018

  • Revised suspension
  • New standard features
  • Upgraded infotainment system

BMW 4-Series Rankings and Research

The 2018 BMW 4-Series ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Small Cars category. Currently the BMW 4-Series has a score of 8.8 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 31 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

Scorecard

Overall: 8.8
Critics' Rating: 8.7
Performance: 8.8
Interior: 8.0
Safety: N/A
Reliability: N/A

Rankings

2018 BMW 4-Series Pictures

2018 BMW 4-Series Review

By Cody Trotter August 18, 2017

The 2018 BMW 4 Series finishes highly in our luxury small car rankings. It's one of the most athletic cars in the class, and it delivers a good amount of luxury and comfort as well.

Is the BMW 4 Series a Good Car?

Regardless of which trim and engine you choose, the BMW 4 Series has good power and acceleration. The sharp steering and nimble handling make it more than capable of attacking winding roads. The cabin is well-appointed, and there are plenty of standard and available tech features, including many active safety options. There’s also more cargo space than many other cars in the class provide. There are many reasons to like the 4 Series. Pick your favorite.

Should I Buy the BMW 4 Series?

As detailed above, the 4 Series is an excellent vehicle. However, the luxury small car class has many worthwhile vehicles, and many cost less than the 4 Series. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is an excellent small car, and it costs slightly less than the 4 Series. The Audi A5 doesn’t measure up quite as well, but it’s another good car that's slightly less expensive than the BMW. Shopping around never hurts, but the 4 Series is a terrific buy.

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

We Did the Research for You: 31 Reviews Analyzed

With so much information available, researching a new car purchase can be a trying ordeal. That’s why U.S. News crafts such comprehensive car reviews. For the 2018 BMW 4 Series, we analyzed 31 professional reviews, as well as reliability ratings, fuel economy estimates, features lists, and much more.

Though the 2018 BMW 4 Series receives a light refresh with updated suspension and infotainment systems and a few new standard features, there have been few major changes since its debut for the 2014 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2014 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S News Best Cars has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs for a decade, and our team has more than 75 years’ worth of combined experience in the automotive industry. To maintain objectivity, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers. Additionally, a third party handles all advertising on our site.

How Much Does the BMW 4 Series Cost?

The BMW 430i starts at $43,100 for the Gran Coupe model. That’s one of the highest starting prices in the class. Coupe and convertible models cost more, as do the higher trims (the 440i and the M4). The M4 convertible is the most expensive model in the lineup, with a starting price of $76,200.

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.

BMW 4 Series Versus the Competition

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

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class, like the 4 Series, is available in coupe and convertible body styles. It also has a top-notch cabin and powerful engine choices. The 4 Series handles slightly better, though the C-Class is no slouch on winding roads. The Mercedes has plenty of features. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking are standard in the Benz but optional in the BMW. They have similar amounts of passenger room, though the 4 Series has more cargo space. These are two great vehicles, but the BMW is a better choice, provided you’re willing to stomach the moderately higher cost.

Which Is Better: BMW 4 Series or Audi A5?

The Audi A5 is another luxury small car that mixes comfort with driving pleasure, and it’s also available as a coupe, a four-door hatchback (new for 2018), or a convertible. The A5 has a high-end cabin, and it features the MMI infotainment system, which might be the best in the class. The A5 doesn’t have as many features as the 4 Series, however. The BMW is also the clear winner in terms of driving enjoyment, despite the A5’s best efforts. Though the A5 handles well, it’s not a class leader like its fellow German car. The A5 does cost slightly less than the 4 Series, but the BMW is probably worth the extra money.

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

4 Series Interior

How Many People Does the 4 Series Seat?

Coupe and convertible 4 Series models seat four, and Gran Coupe models seat five. The front seats are roomy in all models, but the rear seats are short on headroom because of the sloping roofline. Gran Coupe models have more rear-seat room than other body styles, and since it's a four-door model, accessing the rear seats is much easier as well.

4 Series and Car Seats

The BMW 4 Series has two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the rear outboard seats. The rear middle seat has a tether anchor but no lower anchors.

4 Series Interior Quality

The 4 Series’ cabin features high-end materials, and the design strikes a nice balance between traditional (think Mercedes) and modern (think Audi) styling.

4 Series Cargo Space

With the rear seats up, the 4 Series has anywhere from around 13 cubic feet of trunk space (in convertible models) to 17 cubic feet (in Gran Coupe models). Split-folding rear seats come standard, letting you haul some larger items. Gran Coupe models even have enough space for a bicycle or small furniture if you fold the rear seats, with nearly 46 cubic feet of maximum capacity.

Even with the rear seats up, all 4 Series models have enough trunk space for a couple sets of golf clubs or several pieces of carry-on luggage. Gran Coupe models also come with a power trunk lid.

4 Series Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the 2017 BMW 4 Series include a moonroof, Bluetooth, a USB port, and the iDrive infotainment system with a 6.5-inch display screen. Available features include a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system, satellite radio, wireless phone charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Apple CarPlay, and an upgraded infotainment system with an 8.8-inch screen, a touchpad controller, and navigation.

The iDrive's controls are easy to reach from the driver’s seat, and the system is easy to use once you get the hang of it. Still, some rivals have more-intuitive interfaces and require fewer steps to make selections. The 4 Series now offers Apple CarPlay, but Android Auto is still not available.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

4 Series Performance

4 Series Engine: 1 for Each Trim

There are three 4 Series trims, and each gets its own engine. The 430i features a 248-horsepower turbo-four. The 440i features a 320-horsepower turbo-six. The performance-oriented M4 features a 425-horsepower, twin-turbocharged six-cylinder, and that jumps to 444 horsepower with an optional performance package.

The base engine has plenty of power for driving around town or on the highway; the six-cylinder delivers more impressive acceleration and more high-end power. The M4 offers breathtaking performance and will go from zero to 60 mph in just over four seconds.

4 Series Gas Mileage: Solidly Efficient

With the base four-cylinder engine, the 4 Series gets above-average mpg ratings. It earns 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Those ratings dip to a still-respectable 21/32 mpg city/highway with the six-cylinder.

4 Series Ride and Handling: Smooth and Sporty

The 4 Series is more athletic than many class rivals. It handles well on winding roads, and the steering is sharp. You can choose from four different driving modes that alter driving dynamics. The brakes provide good stopping power as well. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

Read more about performance »

4 Series Reliability

Is the BMW 4 Series Reliable?

The 2018 BMW 4 Series is the latest model in a generation that consistently earns predicted reliability ratings of four out of five from J.D. Power and Associates. Four is a good rating for any car (three is considered average), and it’s higher than many other luxury small cars’ ratings.

BMW 4 Series Warranty

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

Read more about reliability »

4 Series Safety

4 Series Crash Test Results

Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has crash tested the 2018 BMW 4 Series.

4 Series Safety Features

A rearview camera comes standard in the 4 Series. Available active safety features include a head-up display, speed limit information, adaptive cruise control, side- and top-view cameras, front and rear parking sensors, parallel parking assist, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind spot monitoring.

Read more about safety »

Which BMW 4 Series Model Is Right for Me?

Choosing the right 4 Series means first choosing a trim and body style. Gran Coupe (four-door hatchback) models are the least expensive, though coupe models only cost $200 more. Convertible models cost at least $8,350 more, depending on trim level. Add all-wheel drive to any model (save for the M4) for an additional $2,000.

The main differences between the trims are the engines. It costs more than $6,000 to jump from the 430i to the 440i, and it costs about $18,000 to jump from the 440i to the M4. Since the base turbo-four engine has ample power and acceleration, most buyers should stick with the base trim and save a considerable chunk of change.

BMW 430i

The 430i Gran Coupe has a base price of $43,100 and features a 248-horsepower four-cylinder engine. In addition to the standard features, a number of available features and option packages are available.

The Premium package ($2,300) adds navigation and heated front seats. The Luxury package ($1,850) adds a Harman Kardon audio system and some styling upgrades. The Executive package ($2,100) adds a number of driver assistance features, including side- and top-view cameras, parallel park assist, and a head-up display. Features like a heated steering wheel, wireless device charging, adaptive cruise control, and more are available individually for $190-$1,200 each.

BMW 440i

The 440i Gran Coupe starts at $49,500. The 440i features a 320-horsepower six-cylinder engine. The 440i has the same standard features as the 430i, and the same available features can be added. The same option packages are available also, though the Premium and Luxury packages cost a few hundred dollars less in this trim.

BMW M4

The BMW M4 isn’t available in the Gran Coupe body style, so the coupe is the base model. It has a starting price of $67,700. The Competition package ($4,750) increases horsepower to 444 and upgrades steering, differential, and suspension settings. The Executive package is also available in the M4, as are a dual-clutch seven-speed transmission ($2,900) and carbon ceramic brakes ($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 2018 BMW 4 Series specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 BMW 4 Series is lightly refreshed, bringing some minor improvements to an already great car. The 4 Series is perhaps the most athletic entrant in the luxury small car class, but it doesn’t skimp on interior luxury. There are plenty of features, and it has more cargo space than many of its rivals. The rear seats aren’t the roomiest, but that’s a common complaint for cars in this class. It’s no wonder that the 4 Series is one of the top-ranked cars in its class.

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

  • "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 characterises (sic) the Audi S5 but, as ever, it's a more tactile, fluid experience and it slowly but surely weaves its way into your affections. The only disappointment is that it leaves a gaping hole between its smoothly mannered gait and the rabid, sometimes unruly character of the M4. I guess the Audi S5 feels just sub-RS in its performance, attitude and sound, but the 440i Coupe can often seem more 430i-Plus than junior M4. A little sharper, a little stiffer, and fitted with fancy new LEDs, it's the quintessential model refresh." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The 2017 BMW 4 Series should be near the top of your list if you're in the market for a luxury sport coupe or convertible. Whether you're enjoying its blend of features and refinement or putting its smooth optional engine to the test, you'll probably come away with a positive impression. It might run in a crowded class, but the 4 Series is easily one of the best." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The BMW 4 Series is in reality a 3 Series coupe, and if you're looking for the driving dynamics of that sedan but in a sleeker package, you've found your ride. As for the 4-door Gran Coupe? It's as practical as it is beautiful thanks to its spacious hatch." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
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$43,100 - $76,200
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