Subtle changes to sportier BMW

By Surrey and Hants News in Motors

The formula for the BMW 4 Series is a simple one. Take a regular 3 Series, remove the rear doors for a sportier, coupé body style and slap a 4 Series badge on the back.

The 440i Coupé we have here - with the exception of the barnstorming M4 - is the flagship model in the 4 Series line-up.

To the untrained eye, the changes to this latest version are rather subtle. The exterior has been gently redesigned, with some fancy LED lights appearing at the front and rear of the car. Inside, BMW has worked to improve the cabin’s quality, adding three new upholstery colours to the options list, as well as three new choices for interior trim strips.

While a familiar shape, there’s no denying the face-lifted BMW 440i is an incredibly smart-looking car. It cuts the right balance between muscular athleticism and reserved refinement, giving it a near-perfect Q-car appearance - particularly on the smaller wheels and winter tyres fitted to our test car.

Open the door, lower yourself into the snug seat and you’ll find a cabin that oozes quality in classic BMW fashion. Everything feels purposeful and solidly put together, while the controls all fall easily to hand. Hard plastic is tough to find, with only a small amount adorning the lower reaches of the doors.

But while the interior looks the part, the seats in our test car were on the firm side, leaving us feeling rather stiff after an afternoon blatting round the German countryside.

Driver and passenger will find head and shoulder room more than abundant. While this may be a sports coupé, you’ll feel a long way from claustrophobic. Aside from the rather unforgiving seats, complaints should be kept to a minimum in this department.

The 440i does have rear seats, but they are close to useless for ferrying around anyone other than children. Stick to the 3 Series if you want properly useable back seats.

Boot space is abundant, with the 440i offering 425 litres of storage capacity - more than enough to swallow a couple of suitcases.

Prices for the 440i start at a considerable £43,430. The BMW 440i is targeted at successful, middle-aged buyers who want the sportiness that its 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine provides, without the high-performance set up of the M4. To many, the 440i will offer the perfect balance between everyday driveability and high-speed fun.

Facts at a glance

Model: BMW 440i Coupé, £43,430.

Engine: 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol, 322bhp, 450Nm torque.

Performance: Maximum speed 155mph, 0-60mph in 5.0 seconds.

Economy: 38.2mpg.

Emissions: 172g/km carbon dioxide.

Simon Davis