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BMW M4 auto 2014 review

EXPERT RATING
8
Ewan Kennedy road tests and reviews the BMW M4 with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

The BMW M4 is a high-performance two-door coupe that's a close cousin to the M3 four-door sedan. The M4 can be regarded as the next generation of the M3 coupe and carries on the long tradition of being one of the world's great driving cars.

It looks great, goes like a rocket, sounds the part, and has brakes that make your eyes bulge forwards when you really get stuck into the pedal.

DESIGN

The M4 coupe has a sleek rear end and a low-slung look that grabbed plenty of attention during our just completed week of road testing. The lower area of the front is extremely complex, which looks great, but we wouldn't like to be paying the repairs bills if it touched a kerb.

BMW is one of the many European makes that have parking sensors at the front that don't work unless you turn them on manually, thus increasing the chances of the aforementioned bills.

The long sculpted bonnet has a power bulge that gives it a purposeful look. We particularly like the way the rear spoiler is integrated into the boot lid.

The roof of the BMW M4 follows the lead of the M3 coupe in being made from lightweight carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) to reduces the centre of gravity and further enhance road grip. They are in black and provide an eye-catching contrast to the deep red body colour on our car. A glass sunroof is available as a no-cost option.

The M4 coupe weighs around 60kg less than the previous M3 coupe thanks to clever engineering and the use of added aluminium.

On the inside, the M4 uses a widescreen high-resolution 8.8-inch colour display that includes satellite navigation. There's a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound setup; digital radio; DVD drive; on-board computer with 20Gb hard drive; USB and aux sockets; and Bluetooth phone and audio streaming.

ENGINE / TRANSMISSION

BMW has moved from a naturally aspirated V8 engine in the previous model (M3 coupe) to turbocharged straight-six in the M4 coupe. The six generates an impressive 317kW and 550Nm from just 3.0 litres. That's well above the output of the 4.0-litre V8 (309kW/400Nm).

Transmission options are seven-speed M double-clutch automatic, or the no-cost option of an upgraded six-speed manual. In a sign of the times the manual is available only on special order.

SAFETY

The BMW M4 comes with the six airbags, enhanced braking systems and dynamic stability control. However you have to pay extra for some items cheaper cars provide as standard. The option list includes Lane Change and Blind Spot Warning ($1000), Head-Up Display ($1700), Tyre Pressure Warning ($550) and Parking Assistant ($675).

The impressive BMW Connected Drive electronic system includes Intelligent Emergency Call which transmits vehicle crash information to a BMW call centre from where emergency service are alerted if required. Similarly, TeleServices transmits breakdown information if you get really stuck.

DRIVING

The front sports seats are firm, but reasonably comfortable, their adjustable side bolsters make it suitable for differing widths of backside from the slim to the extensive. Try for yourself, though, during your own test drive.

Access to the M4's rear seats through the front doors is reasonably easy. There are only two seats back there, with a small stowage bin between them. Legroom is limited and the seats are better suited to children than grownups. Headroom is better than you would expect and the M4 can cope with six-footers with a little to spare.

The BMW M4 has a surprisingly large boot at 445 litres. It's reasonably easy to load, but goes forward a long way, which can be a hassle at times.

Using launch control, the zero to 100km/h acceleration from is 4.1 seconds with the automatic transmission. (4.3 seconds with the manual).

Acceleration is almost instantaneous, with the twin turbos combining to eliminate most turbo lag. At low revs and speeds you do feel the lag, but once the engine is up into the interesting areas it's a real stunner to sit behind, offering fast response and the sort of sound we love.

The steering (now electro-mechanical), suspension and engine each have a choice of three settings which really add to the driving enjoyment.

The new M4 officially uses just 8.3L/100km on the combined driving cycle. In real life we found it using 11-13L/100km under reasonably sensible driving, climbing past 15L/100km if you do get stuck into it. Open road and motoring driving did bring it way down - to 8-9L/100km.

Verdict

One test drive of this new BMW M4 and you're likely to be hooked in a big way. The engine sounds great, the suspension and steering talk to you. If you haven't got a smile on your face you're not trying hard enough. Add styling that's pretty radical and you will be happy to dip into your bank account to the tune of $166,430.

Pricing guides

$69,314
Based on 20 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$57,990
Highest Price
$79,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
M6 4.4L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $107,400 – 135,740 2014 BMW M Models 2014 M6 Pricing and Specs
M3 4.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $58,500 – 73,920 2014 BMW M Models 2014 M3 Pricing and Specs
M3 Frozen Silver L.e. 4.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $63,000 – 79,640 2014 BMW M Models 2014 M3 Frozen Silver L.e. Pricing and Specs
M3 Pure 4.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $47,200 – 59,620 2014 BMW M Models 2014 M3 Pure Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Pricing Guide

$57,990

Lowest price, based on 18 car listings in the last 6 months

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