Test Drive Notes Library
- BMW’s best looking sedan. It’s a slightly more stylish 3-series—a little lower, and little sleeker-- with the added practicality of a rear hatchback.
- Overall, we liked this car a lot.
- We loved the way it drives. It has a beautiful engine-transmission combination.
- The four-cylinder turbo is very sweet. With 240hp, it has as much power as anyone could reasonably want. It pulls very nicely. It delivers an EPA rated 23/34, with an average mileage of 27 mpg. Not bad for a large,
very sporty car.
- The eight-speed manual transmission is great. Flawless. It always seems to be in the right gear without any hesitation. It includes a manual shift option with shifter paddles.
- The 428i is basically a hatchback. Rather than having a regular trunk, the entire rear window lifts. We think this is a great advantage over the three series. You can fold down the rear seats, and carry a ton of stuff.
- The car is beautiful. A lot of people commented on how beautiful it is. In fact, we think the 4 series is far better looking with four doors than two, because there's no long, flat space behind the two doors.
- And from a practical point of view, four doors provide a great advantage over the regular, two-door four series coupe.
- The ride is surprisingly good for a low, sporty car. Cars like this used to be harsher. But, the suspension does everything well – ride and handling.
- The steering has a nice feel. It’s on the lighter side for BMW, but we liked it.
Test Drive Notes Library
- The one thing we don’t like, which might even keep us from buying it, is that it’s low. It’s noticeably lower than the three series BMWs. You need to fall down into the car. It’s lower than a regular sedan. The seating position is lower to the floor, to maintain the coupe’s low profile.
- We had some smaller issues, such as the back seat, which is lacking in knee, and, to some extent, head room.
- It has an automatic stop-start that turns the engine off at a stop light. We think BMW has improved the smoothness recently, but it would nice if they worked on it a little bit more. You do notice it, when the engine
starts or stops. It’s not as nearly as smooth as Toyota’s stop-start, or nearly as bad as Volvo’s start-stop technology.
- The iDrive control system has been improved. BMW has added buttons for everything except the radio tuning. There are knobs and buttons for the radio presets, volume, temperature controls, so it’s not necessary to go into the iDrive, except to tune the radio and change audio sources.
- As with any BMW, the options are very expensive. You can start out with a base price in the low 40’s and easily end up paying well over $50K for the car you want, with options that come standard on other vehicles. We have to assume it’s a way to entice people into the showroom with a very reasonable base price, even though they really don’t sell cars at that price.
Get the Car Talk Newsletter