• RICHARD CAZEAU / COURTNEY CUNNINGHAM

BMW 4SERIES GRAN COUPÉ: THE SWEET SPOT


As we evolve into individuals with highly specific taste, needs, and pet peeves, we make changes and alterations to our lifestyle that require a certain kind of tailoring, designed to suit our daily routines, the company of friends and cargo in tow, not to mention families. Some of us might disagree with the expression "we are what we drive" but there's certainly verity to the term. So why not drive a vehicle that matches your reality. And if you can no longer drive a 2-seater and have no desire to step down to a crossover or mini-van-- ever thought of a stylish, sport-inspired sedan with ample storage and cargo space? BMW has, in the form of a fastback alike the Audi A7 and Porsche Panamera. I used to be on the fence about wanting a 3Series or 5Series BMW sedan and never pulled the trigger on either because I couldn't find a happy place amongst the two versions, even with all available options. Then the rollout of the XSeries happened and that barrage hasn't stopped with the release of the all-new X2 crossover and the soon-to-be X7 seven-seater SUV. However, the brilliant introduction of the 4Series models in 2013 certainly created an attractive alternative for drivers like myself looking for the very fine medium in size and luxury. And now it's gotten even better with the Gran Coupé version of the fitting mid-level luxury model.

At first sight, the 430i xDrive Gran Coupé looks like a regular Bimmer sedan until you realize that there's a slight sleekness and wide athletic stance to the model. The exterior styling has veuve and conservatism to it, as only BMW would afford. It's not meant to resemble it's M-sport brethrens with added flashy racing details but it still has plenty of customizable features to make it what you'd like, of course for the right price. It's a great mid-size sedan with generous cargo space, comfortable interior finishes and power underneath the hood that make this car one of the most perfect vehicles you could ever drive. It's a sporty 4-door that hustles because of a 2.0L four cylinder twin turbo engine that outputs 248 hp at 5,200 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque from 1,450 rpm. There's always a pulse of power, regardless of the drive mode you adapt to. Personally, I like to leave all my cars in ECO or comfort and push the Sport options when traffic frustrations or great whindy roads allow for the boost in performance. As per fuel economy, you can expect 12.1L/100 km, combined.

It's hard to criticize a vehicle that's actually manufactured amazingly well, since its Series introduction five years ago. Performance and handling are stellar on this model and fuel economy is one of those desirable factors that's appreciated on any road trip. My AWD tester was not a gas guzzler and by all means performed admirably even when I had heavy cargo in the rear.

The interior cabin is typical BMW, with luxury leather, nickel brushed chrome accents, and perfect support in all seats, etc-- the wheel has not been reinvented here. However when it comes to tech and creature comforts, of course you can expect top of the line accoutrements, and an easily compatible interface with your smartphone for beats, texts and calls. Of course this tester came with Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go and other refined drive assists which, for me is a pleasure, as it responded well in daily commuter traffic as well as long distance jaunts.

The rear cargo area perfectly accommodated various items such as a newly purchased lawn mower to a multitude of camping gear. And for additional space, folding the 60/40 seats, does the trick for larger hauling.

The beauty of this Gran Coupé (or er, fastback) is that it is a great solution for drivers who are not looking to climb into an SUV or squat into a hatchback for the sake of additional passengers and cargo requirements, over performance and styling. If your lifestyle has gone from 'carefree' to 'full of responsibility', why not chauffeur your life in a vehicle that allows you to be a bit of both at all times, or as I call it, in The Sweet Spot. Model that appears in this article is priced at $61,250

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