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2020 BMW 4-Series Performance

U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 BMW 4-Series Performance Review


Performance: 8.2

The 2020 BMW 4 Series has well-balanced performance with peppy engine choices, dialed-in handling, and above-average fuel economy for the class. However, this BMW's ride can be a bit harsh at times.

  • "The 4 Series prioritizes comfort and composure over speed and pace, so only its lack of outright acceleration and nimbleness can be noted as deficits. Otherwise, the breadth of the 430i's performance makes it a competent, safe and engaging driving partner." -- Edmunds
  • "The 440i Coupe feels taut and pretty keen to indulge a bit of hard driving. The balance is much more conservative than the slightly wild M4, but there's always the sense that if understeer does build you're well-armed to snap the car back into line. Maybe even tip the balance the other way with a bit more throttle. Or you can just throttle back altogether and enjoy the decent ride quality, smooth drivetrain, and the quality of the cabin." -- Automobile Magazine (2018)
  • "The … 4 Series takes the agility, acceleration and balance of the 3 Series and strengthens it with a wider stance and lower center of gravity. It makes the … perfect partner for enthusiasts who still relish the act of driving, and who won't mind the trade-offs of increased road noise and a stiffer ride." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)

Acceleration and Power

The BMW 430i comes standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 248 horsepower. Stepping up to the 440i gets you a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder that puts out 320 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, and a six-speed manual transmission is optional in two-door coupe models. 

The BMW M4 features a 425-horsepower twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine and a standard six-speed manual transmission. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is optional, and the available Competition package boosts engine output to 444 horsepower.

Most critics think the 4 Series' base engine has ample power, but a few say it feels unrefined. The midrange six-cylinder is much more muscular. The eight-speed automatic transmission delivers smooth shifts.

The 2020 4 Series gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway with the base engine and standard rear-wheel drive. Models with the six-cylinder engine return 22 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. The 2020 BMW M4 gets up to 18/25 mpg city/highway.

  • "The 440i's six-cylinder power is intoxicating, but the 430i should hit the sweet spot for most buyers. Its turbo four-cylinder is a strong performer." -- Edmunds
  • "Where most base engines provide adequate power for passing and merging, the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder in the BMW 4 Series is as potent as some competitors’ V6 engines. Along with its 248-horsepower rating, the 2.0-liter returns an impressive 34-mpg highway." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "Immediately the 440i feels right. Its straight-six might lack the absolute creaminess of old BMW engines, but it makes up for it with masses of power at any revs and still sounds reassuringly expensive. (Incidentally, we tried the 430i convertible and the same can't be said of the coarse, ugly-sounding four-cylinder.) … The test cars are fitted with the 8-speed automatic gearbox, which is quick and smooth but doesn't have that instant pop of a really good dual clutch unit." -- Automobile Magazine (2018)

Handling and Braking

The BMW 4 Series has sharp, direct handling and well-controlled body motions. That said, steering response is simply adequate for the class. The ride quality generally depends on which of four driving modes the car is in, ranging from Comfort to Sport+. Two-door coupe versions also ride a little harsher than the four-door Gran Coupe. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.

  • "It still excels on high-speed, flowing roads thanks to quick steering and stable handling. The brakes are also strong and consistent." -- Edmunds
  • "The steering is more responsive and works well with a chassis that's slightly better at fighting off body roll. So you turn and the car is right there with you, dampers supporting the body and allowing you to cut clean, accurate lines. Traction feels stronger, too" -- Automobile Magazine (2018)
  • "Ride quality did not seem to suffer on the precious few bumps traversed in the more tightly suspended coupe, and both cars remained remarkably even-keeled under such cornering grip as could be mustered in these conditions. Steering effort and response seemed quite appropriate for the segment, but there wasn't much to feel coming up from the greasy road surface and gummy tires." -- Motor Trend (2018)
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2020 BMW 4-Series

MSRP: $44,750 - $103,100

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