BMW M4

Find out more about the BMW M4 in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

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4
Out of 5

Pros

  • Excellent handling
  • Superb acceleration
  • Automatic gearbox

Cons

  • Convertible has cramped boot
  • Fake engine noise
  • Not all that spacious inside
  • MPG

    29 - 34

  • CO2

    197 - 232 g/km

Model Review

Before the M4 there had always been coupe and convertible versions of the 3-Series, badged as the M3. However, in 2013, BMW spun the 3-Series two-door models into a new separate line – the 4-Series.

Technical details for the M4 were first unveiled in September 2013, with cars making their way over to the UK in mid-2014. The M4 came in two guises initially – coupe (F82) and convertible (F83).

Continual changes and special editions have been released throughout the M4’s life, including a Competition Package that debuted at the start of 2016 – boosting power and revising the suspension setup.

Later in the year, an ultra-expensive GTS edition was revealed. It was the fastest production BMW ever made with a top speed of 190mph. Only 30 made their way over to the UK, with the most expensive ‘used’ examples for sale at £140,000.

More recently, BMW has released DTM and CS editions of its M4, which are explained below.

Latest Model

For 2017, two new editions were introduced – the M4 DTM Championship Edition and the M4 CS.

The DTM Championship Edition was released to celebrate racing driver Marco Wittman’s title win in the 2016 DTM championship. It was unsurprisingly very track focused, featuring similar technology to the GTS, and with a power output of 493bhp – 69bhp more than the standard model. Just 200 DTMs were produced worldwide, all of them being finished in Alpine White.

Earlier in the year, BMW also announced it was going to produce a Club Sport (CS) version of the car, with upgraded power, suspension tweaks and additional weight saving implemented. The CS is on sale for a limited production run of two years – costing from £89,130.

Value for money

As performance coupes go, the M4 is well priced against its key rivals – the Mercedes-AMG C63 AMG Coupe and Audi RS5. It is also well equipped, coming as standard with 19-inch alloys, BMW Connected Drive Services comprising BMW Emergency Call, online services and real-time traffic information. It also comes with a carbon fibre roof, leather upholstery, front and rear LED lights, an 8.8-inch touchscreen, a wireless charging cradle and front and rear parking sensors. The M4 starts at £59,080 for the coupe and £63,180 for the convertible, which seems well priced.

However, where the M4 makes the most sense is on the used market. Because the standard M4 has not really seen any major changes since the car was the first unveiled, you will find very little difference between a 2014 car and a brand new one. The cheapest used M4s start at £32,500, although low mile cars start at around £35,000. We saw a 2014(64) M4 Coupe for sale at £35,250 with 34,000 miles which represents great value for money.

Looks and image

The M4 is a blast to drive, providing excellent straight-line performance, a superb suspension set-up and fantastic cornering ability. The standard car comes with a 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that has 425bhp – propelling it from 0-60mph in 4.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 155mph.

While incredibly quick, another stand out feature of the M4 is its lightness – as it actually weighs less than the previous M3 coupe. A range of set-ups can also be made to transform the M4 from a superb motorway cruiser to a fantastic driver’s car. The grip levels are astonishing, too. The biggest surprise is the ride, though, it feels comfortable on all but the roughest surfaces, although the Sports Plus setting does make it very firm, but this should be reserved for spirited driving only.

The quality on offer is up to BMW’s usual high standards, and feels premium. The interior is largely the same as the 4-Series coupe too, meaning well thought out buttons and high-grade materials. On the exterior, it retains the 4-Series’ classy looks, although adding further muscle to help it look like a true M car. While bland colours allow you to blend in, if you would rather be noticed, BMW offers a range of vibrant colour options through its BMW Exclusive program.

Space and practicality

Against sports car rivals such as the Porsche Cayman and Lotus Evora, the M4 looks rather practical, although compared to the Audi RS5 and Mercedes-AMG C63 AMG, it is very similar. There is room for four people, as well as plenty of boot space, too.

If you want more practicality than the M4 offers, there is always the option of the four-door M3. That said, the M4 is surprisingly practical, although the sloping roofline does compromise head room. If you value space in the rear, though, you really should avoid the convertible. While the convertible offers 370 litres of boot space with the roof up, it is a bit disappointing with the roof down, offering just 220 litres of space.

Neither the BMW 4-Series and M4 has ever been tested by EuroNCAP, although when the 3-Series was tested, it was awarded the full five stars. It is therefore expected that the M4 would perform equally well in the tests. It can also come with an optional Dynamic Safety System that can detect tiredness of a driver and prepare the car for a potential crash by tightening seatbelts, closing windows and moving the seats to prevent injuries.

Engines

The M4 comes with 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine that in its standard guise, produces 425bhp, it is also available with both manual and automatic transmissions. Offering slightly more power is the M4 Competition Package that produces 444bhp from its slightly reworked engine.

While there is the powerful M4 GTS and DTM Championship Edition variants, these are no longer available to purchase new. The current range-topper of the BMW M4 is the recently launched CS edition. The CS produces 454bhp, meaning it is only slightly faster than the M4 Competition Package.

Running Costs

Running costs probably aren’t at the top of the agenda for anyone buying an M4, but the coupe manages 32.1mpg and emits 204g/km of CO2, although the convertible is noticeably thirstier, producing 31.0mpg and emitting 213g/km of CO2. CO2 figures are the same for the standard M4 and M4 Competition Package.

Tax is a bit hefty, too, because of both the M4’s emissions and the fact it costs over the £40,000 threshold, meaning you would pay a £450 premium in tax annually for five years. However, you do need to be particularly aware of the tax for the first year – a whopping £1,200.

As for insurance groups, the M4 does sit in high groupings, although it is not quite at the very top. The M4 Coupe sits in group 42 and the convertible in 44, with the competition package increasing the groupings by one on each variant.

Things to look out for

The few problems that owners have reported include a noise coming from the brakes and isolated problems with the automatic DCT transmission.

The M4 has been affected by several recalls, though. In 2015, the M4 was recalled for an issue relating to a failing driveshaft. In 2017, two recall notices affected it, one being for airbags failing to deploy – although this was a widespread BMW issue – and a second was to do with the front seat fixing being potentially insecure.

Rivals

The M4’s main rivals are the Mercedes-AMG C63 AMG, Audi RS5 and Jaguar F-Type. For more wildcard choices, there is the Lexus RCF, Infiniti Q60, Ford Mustang, Porsche Cayman S and Lotus Evora.

Which M4 to Pick

Cheapest to Buy When New

M4 2dr

Most MPG

M4 2dr DCT

Fastest Model (0-60)

M4 CS 2dr DCT Special Editions

Trims Explained

The M4 comes in three specifications – although these are all dictated by performance output. The three specifications include the standard M4, the M4 Competition Package and the M4 CS.

M4 standard

Standard specification on the M4 includes 19-inch wheels, BMW Conncted Drive services including BMW emergency call, online services and real time traffic information, a carbon fibre roof, leather upholstery, an 8.8-inch touchscreen, front and rear parking sensors and a wireless charging cradle.

The M4 starts at £59,080.

M4 competition package

The competition package adds 20-inch alloy wheels, an adaptive M exhaust, an M Sport package and increased power.

The Competition package costs from £63,180.

M4 CS

At the top-of-the-range is the M4 CS, which has individual CS upholstery with Alcantara, black leather and grey stitching, a set-up adapted for track use, and many other changes.

The track-based CS edition starts at a hefty £89,930.

Summary

  1. Available as a coupe and convertible
  2. Prices start from £59,980
  3. Fantastic to drive
  4. Great used buy
  5. Surprisingly practical
  6. Well equipped
  7. If you need more practicality, you have the option of the M3 Saloon
  8. Tax will be very expensive for the first year
  9. Reasonably expensive to run
  10. Premium interior

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