$19,890 - $24,765

2014 BMW 4-Series Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2014 BMW 4-Series was new.


Performance: 9.3

Test drivers say the all-new 2014 BMW 4-Series is a dynamic performer with phenomenal handling, two powerful engine choices and excellent automatic and manual transmissions.

  • "Yet more electronic gizmos and the latest iteration of iDrive aside, the 435i drives more than ever like the satisfying sports coupe that it always has been, with pitch-perfect ride-and-handling balance. It's as smooth as a George Clooney pickup line on imperfect roads and as sharp as one of his Italian suits in the corners, with just enough compliance to enhance the feedback and sufficient mechanical grip to give the best two-seat sports cars a run for their euros." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "It all comes together to create a driving package that's nearly perfect in its abilities and comfort." -- Edmunds (435i)
  • "With its almost perfect 50/50 weight balance and the lowest center of gravity of any current BMW, the 428i that we tested is an absolute joy." -- Kelley Blue Book

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 BMW 428i comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower. The 428i is available with a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 428i achieves an EPA-estimated 23/35 mpg city/highway with the automatic transmission, which is good for the class. A 300-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine comes with the 435i, which is also available with the six-speed manual or the eight-speed automatic transmission. According to the EPA, the 435i gets 22/32 mpg city/highway with the automatic transmission, which is good for a six-cylinder upscale midsize car.

Reviewers agree that the 428i’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine is an eager, powerful performer. The turbocharged six-cylinder in the 435i is even more powerful, and automotive journalists say it is a joy to drive. Test drivers write that the eight-speed automatic transmission shifts so quickly and smoothly that it’s almost undetectable. Only a few reviewers have driven a 4-Series with the six-speed manual, but those who have say that it makes the 4-Series exceptionally fun to drive.

  • "The biggest surprise about this engine isn't its impressive power -- 240 ponies, 255 lb-ft of torque -- but how well it delivers the goods. Press the accelerator pedal and this puppy feels like it downed a triple espresso. There just isn't any turbo lag, even in Comfort mode." -- Kelley Blue Book (428i)
  • "The 435i's engine is delightful and enthusiastic -- as appealing around town as it is opened up on lonely back roads. An intrinsic smoothness tends to mask the ultimate efforts of the blown in-line six, although there is no doubting its true potential in sport mode, where there is a perceptible improvement in response compared to comfort mode. The engine pulls tall gears with authority and is flexible at part throttle." -- AutoWeek
  • "We've praised this ZF-sourced eight-speed in the past, and it continues to shine here, providing fast, responsive gear changes that can trick you into thinking it's a well-calibrated twin-clutch. And when you're loping around town in Comfort mode, shifts are nearly imperceptible." -- Motor Trend
  • "Like the 3 Series, BMW offers four different drive modes in the 4 Series - Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus, the first of which can be pretty much thrown away for anyone who actually cares about driving dynamics." -- Autoblog

Handling and Braking

Test drivers say that the 2014 BMW 4-Series has very sharp handling, though a few critics suggest purchasing the optional Adaptive M suspension system to further improve the 4-Series’ cornering ability. Automotive journalists say that the steering is precise, but some wish it provided better feedback. Still, test drivers say that the brakes work well during everyday driving.

  • "The new 4 Series takes the benchmark 3 Series performance traits - agility, acceleration and overall balance - and goes one better. With a wider stance and lower center of gravity, the coupe is an expert at cornering." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The standard passive dampers are configured with an eye on comfort, so you'll need the optional adaptive shocks to get the most out of the Four on twisty roads." -- Road and Track
  • "The electro-mechanical steering is accurate, responsive and well weighted with eager self-centering traits up to moderate speeds." -- AutoWeek
  • "The elephant in the room is steering feel-or the relative lack thereof in the 3-series. The 4-series is better, especially at turn-in, thanks to those efforts made at stiffening the front end. But there are still a few degrees of numbness off-center and an artificiality to the heft that's unmistakably different from all the little tugs and jerks that used to come through the wheel in the old 3-series with hydraulic assist. Suffice it to say that we're still not satisfied." -- Car and Driver
  • "The brakes worked hard at Estoril, and while we noticed a bit of fade after several hot laps, the stoppers were always sure-footed on-road." -- Autoblog

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