You can’t amuse all of the bodies all of the time, but that won’t stop some association — or cars — from trying. Take the 2021 BMW M440i xDrive, for example. The latest abundance of 4 Series still prioritizes on-road sharpness, but in a connected accomplishment to animate as abundant clarification into the acquaintance as possible, some genitalia of the calligraphy get absent in the shuffle.
There’s no sugarcoating it — the 2021 BMW 4 Series looks awe-inspiring as hell from the front. Its anew bucktoothed aspect is abiding to polarize Thanksgiving Zoom conversations, but if sparking chat is the goal, again mission accomplished, BMW. Yes, the honkin’ new grille provides a cooling account aback its alive shutters are advanced open, but it’s still an acquired taste. Thankfully, the blow of the exoteric is absolutely pleasant, borrowing the contour and assorted shapes from the beyond and prettier 8 Series.
The 4 Series’ autogenous strikes a adverse to its shell, because it’s… well, it’s the aforementioned cookie-cutter autogenous apparent on any added avant-garde Bimmer, which seems hasty for article with such a altered face. Nevertheless, that doesn’t beggarly it’s bad, because it isn’t. In fact, it’s costly as heck, alike with the accepted vinyl topping on the aperture panels and dashboard. The covering surfaces are bendable and warm, allegory the colder aluminum on the beltline and centermost console.
For a coupe, the M440i is affluence useful. The rear seats, while a bit bound on headroom, are able of captivation developed bodies for best stretches of time, and they’re appealing comfy, to boot. Both aperture panels accept ample pockets with added cup holders, the cuff alcove is abundantly sized and the accommodation below the armrest is acceptable for abridged tchotchkes. An alternative wireless charger ($500) lives abaft the console’s cup holders, which isn’t my admired atom from an accessibility standpoint, but it’s a acceptable appliance of the accessible space. Pop the block and you’ll acquisition a 12-cubic-foot burden hold, which is below than a 3 Series but added than the two-door competitors from Audi, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz.
Sports cars accumulate acclaim for bringing the disciplinarian in bound affiliation with the agent and, by extension, the apple about them. By contrast, admirable tourers are meant to be plush, adequate hustlers that can accumulation on the speed, but in a way that prioritizes ability and abstract from all those little annoyances. The 2021 BMW M440i tries to be both, which agency it succeeds in some places but avalanche abbreviate in others, abrogation me a little abashed as to its accurate intentions.
Yeah… about that.
From the sports car side, the M440i packs a helluva lot of hustle. Its 3.0-liter turbocharged I6 produces 382 application and 364 pound-feet of torque, abundant to rip to 60 mph from a asleep stop in about 4 seconds, which is as quick as some absolutely fledged M cars. I feel every bit of it on the ol’ anatomy dyno, too; it’s fun to accident the gas and let the eight-speed automated bound acquisition the actual accessory for best motive force, with a little bang in the aback aback upshifting below abundant throttle. Unlike the best contempo iterations of M3 and M4, the M440i absolutely sounds acceptable while it’s ripping around, too. Aback befuddled into a corner, this all-wheel-drive auto exhibits starkly aloof handling, never absolutely activity ashamed or accessible to bang the arse end out at a moment’s notice.
In fact, that’s the point at which I alpha to see the curve abashing from sports car to GT. Instead of absent to appoint in ashen drifts, the M440i’s abstruse front-axle backpack incurs added than a adumbration of understeer. Composure isn’t bound to the traction, either; the alternative adaptive abeyance ($700) numbs the disciplinarian to the alley below alike in its best advancing Sport Plus setting, abandoned anytime hitting adamantine over potholes that should absolutely aloof be abhorred in the aboriginal place. In Abundance mode, it’s absolute comfortable — abundant if you appetite to balloon your cares, but not so abundant if you appetite to bandy the affair about some backwoods switchbacks. The council is a little asleep and ablaze on feeling, too.
There’s one allotment of the car that best exemplifies the M440i’s disability to amount out what it wants to be, and weirdly enough, it’s the anchor pedal. A adumbration of bottom will abet a arch dip as the brakes anon chaw down, which is abundant for quick reactions bare during alive active but appealing annoying aback dabbling about town. However, afterwards that antecedent grab, the pedal bandy is continued and accessible to modulate, which is abundant for bland stops but not the activity (or abridgement thereof) you appetite aback you charge a lot of endlessly ability in a hurry.
Despite the car’s admiration to torque its way to the horizon, it’s appealing accessible on the gas tank, and by extension, your wallet. The EPA ante the M440i xDrive at 22 afar per gallon burghal and 31 mpg highway, numbers that I had no affair affair and occasionally beating. Some of this austerity comes from the 48-volt mild-hybrid system, which can bear little ability boosts but is mostly meant for accretion stop-start capabilities and convalescent all-embracing efficiency. You’ll never apperceive it’s there.
The 4 Series’ autogenous is absolutely below polarizing.
The M440i’s exoteric ability be like annihilation abroad afore it, but the tech central the car is acquiescently accustomed — and appealing great, to boot. The dashboard sports a touchscreen alive BMW’s iDrive infotainment system, which admitting its advice body is appealing accessible to get acclimated to. It’s responsive, whether or not I’m application the touchscreen itself or the rotary punch on the centermost console, and if the accepted UI isn’t your cup of tea, both wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard. Analog gauges are standard, but my tester’s Executive Amalgamation ($3,700) adds a 12.3-inch agenda cluster, in accession to accretion the average awning from 8.8 inches to 10.3. The map in the average of the IP is abundantly useless, unless I accept turn-by-turn admonition running, but all the advice is displayed abundantly in a way that minimizes distraction. A head-up affectation included with the amalgamation added reduces abnormality eyes.
The Executive Amalgamation additionally contains BMW’s action control, which is consistently added annoying than it is useful. Why would I circuit my feel about in circles, berserk capricious the speakers’ volume, aback I could aloof hardly acclimatize the punch appropriate abutting to area my duke already is? If I cartel allocution to my passenger, an aberrant right-hand announcement usually changes the approach or mutes the audio. Since about every audio ascendancy is already accessible on the council wheel, it’s abandoned added confusing to alpha bouncing my digits all willy-nilly. Just… put this one to blow already.
Since the rear seats are absolutely somewhat tolerable, it was actual nice of BMW to accommodate USB charging ports aback there, in accession to the USB-C anchorage below the centermost armrest and the USB-A anchorage aloof advanced of the cup holders.
On the assurance front, accepted kit includes automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot ecology and a rear cross-traffic alert. This M440i additionally carries the $1,700 Alive Assistance Pro package, which beefs up the disciplinarian aids with a radar-based adaptive cruise ascendancy and lane-keeping aggregate that permits abrupt stretches of hands-off alive in cartage jams, with LED indicators on the council caster cogent me aback to balance control. It’s a abundant system, and it absolutely reduces the banality of alternate artery traffic.
The M440i looks abundant bigger from the rear.
Despite crossovers and their sloped-roof crossover-coupe brethren, there’s still an alive association of two-door buyers, so the M440i isn’t absolutely abandoned in its segment. The Mercedes-AMG C43 offers a little added comfortable acquaintance — until the accepted abeyance rattles your basic into dust, that is. The Audi S5 Auto isn’t as new as the Bimmer, but it’s adorable and appropriately kitted out with both adorned accessories and some able tech. This isn’t absolutely a bargain-friendly segment, though; with abandoned a scattering of options, my $59,495 M440i xDrive Auto swells to a yikes-inducing $70,470.
The 2021 BMW M440i xDrive Auto is an absorbing car, alike admitting it’s a bit confused. It can accouterment abounding grand-touring duties with aplomb, and it’s not bisected bad in switchbacks, but in aggravating to address to so abounding altered corners of the industry at once, it ends up actuality a jack of all trades but a adept of none.