By Ewan Kennedy, Marque Motoring
The BMW 430i Gran Coupe is a fascinating mix of pure-bred sports car and family hatchback. It’s capable of carrying five people, though see the Driving section of this review for comments on that, and is low enough to look sleek. It certainly grabbed the attention of people who saw it on the road during our test period. Either when we were on the road or in carparks.
Gran Coupe has the sometimes-criticised very-large front grille, but in the 4 Series the sheer size of the car means the grille makes it less intrusive on the eye.
Side on the Coupe looks just right, with the downward slope of the roof meeting the upward slope of the window line. There’s a hint of a Hofmeister kink at the rear but it’s rather downplayed in our opinion and really doesn’t shout out ‘BMW’ the way other Bimmers do.
The rear glass has an interesting shape with that’s rounded nicely at the lower corners and blends into the slight kick-up of the metal that has an aero shape. The taillights are slim in the centre and gradually widen toward their outside edges.
The dashboard area has a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen.
The quality of finish is exceptional and the seats are not only comfortable but also easy on the eye. Okay so you don’t get seats to look at them but they are a further indication of the attention to detail on all aspects of the design.
The central display can be controlled using “Hey BMW” voice prompts, touch inputs as well as a rotary controller on the lower console.
The Harman/Kardon sound system fitted to our test car powered 10 speakers and provided us with excellent entertainment.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The BMW 430i is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine with 190kW of power and 400Nm of torque. It drives the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic.
Crash avoidance in the 430i is provided by autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
Driving a BMW Gran Coupe is a delightful experience. There’s something that brings a smile to your face when you feel the way it communicates your intentions to the road through the steering wheel.
It’s neutral in bends until you reach very high cornering speeds, then has some oversteer which is early controlled.
If you’re going to be carrying five adults in the Bimmer it might be an idea to bring those who will be travelling in the back along for your pre-purchase test drive
Adults have room behind other adults in the rear seats but there may need to be some compromising for leg room between those in the front and the rear.
Tall adults in the back may find they’re very close to the roof and might have to stoop slightly to avoid touching it. The person in the centre rear seat will find themselves sitting with their legs spread on either side of the centre tunnel. Keep in mind that it’s a coupe not a sedan so that’s acceptable.
The official fuel consumption is an impressively low 6.6 litres per 100km. We averaged 7.2 litres per hundred during our testing period which covered motorway, suburban and moderately paced country driving on a variety of roads.
These are pretty low numbers for a car in this class and show that BMW engineers are amongst the top in engine design.
The engine requires 95 RON petrol to get these impressively low consumption numbers. RON is often ridiculously over priced in Australia. Okay if you can afford a car like this the cost of fuel isn’t going to worry you – but it’s still a rip-off.
BMW 430i Gran Coupe is an excellent example of the latest in car design and its combination of style, performance and engineering should certainly earn it a place on your list of cars / coupes you are considering to buy.
AT A GLANCE
420i Gran Coupe: $76,900
430i Gran Coupe: $84,900
M440i Gran Coupe: $118,900
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local BMW dealer for drive-away prices.