BMW: 2014 M4 Coupe review

BMW: 2014 M4 Coupe review

The M4 is like someone took my shopping list, bought everything on it but on impulse sneaked in an extra packet of bacon. And I like bacon. It’s got the power and the noise, the looks and the toys to keep me happy. I don’t need rear seat practicality and I will put up with the tight squeeze in the boot because this is a coupe and that’s what coupes do: they make compromises in carrying capacity in order to look nicer.

BMW M4 Coupe 2014 frontPreviously, my list of desired executive ‘bahn-stormers went Maserati GTS, Audi RS5, Aston Martin Vantage. But the M4 has leapfrogged into second place and displaced the Aston Martin off the podium. You can’t beat the curvaceous lines of the Mazzer, but you can introduce some angular brutishness into the list with the BMW.

Of course, the RS5 is the M4’s chief competitor. The four-wheel drive V8 in the Audi produces more power, but the performance isn’t as rapid as with the straight-6 twin-turbo BMW which will get to 100kph in 4.1 seconds and would probably go on to reach getting on for 300kph if it wasn’t limited to 250kph.

BMW M4 Coupe 2014 rearBMW has a strategy of even numbers for coupes and odd numbers for sedans. So you can have a 2, 4 or 6 in coupe or a 3 or 5 in M-spec sedan. The coupes definitely have the edge with looks, but any of the M cars are special.

When you fire up the M4 using the push-button start the engine quickly settles into a low growl. Rev the engine and you’ll hear that get angrier and introduce a few little pops on the overrun. The gearstick is not conventional; there is no park option as the M4 simply decides when you should be in park or not.

BMW M4 Coupe 2014 rear quarterSnick it into drive and, to emulate old-school turbo lag, start in second gear. Mash the accelerator to the floor and after a brief moment of the engine introducing a small amount of forward momentum, will snap your head back into the seat like you’ve been ejected with rockets. It’s amazing. You can feel the rear tyres attempting to overcome the traction control.

It’s not all about fun in a straight line. When you have to hustle it through tight corners the M4 negotiates a special connection with the tarmac and just doesn’t seem to want to let go. Every deceleration moment is perfectly contained by enormous cross-BMW M4 Coupe 2014 sidedrilled brake discs, and every acceleration moment out of a particularly angled corner is accompanied with a smile.

It’s not all about back-road bravado, though. The M4 is a serious ‘meetings’ car. I wanted to create business opportunities to turn up to because the M4 is the kind of assured and confident vehicle that says, ‘I don’t need a Porsche to look successful, but if you know your cars you’ll know I am.’ And I like that. I want the performance but not the negative attention.

BMW M4 Coupe 2014 front interiorThe M4 has two customisable drive mode configurations that you can save and access using two buttons on the steering wheel. There are three parameters for gearbox, suspension and steering with three settings that are basically comfort, sporty(ish), and properly sporty.

Therefore when you are simply heading to that meeting in town your quick setting could be smoothest gear changes at the lowest revs, softer suspension and light steering, but then if you head out onto a driving road simply push button two and the change up/down point is higher, the suspension firms up and the steering has a more direct, weighty feel.

The other useful button on the steering wheel is the speed BMW M4 Coupe 2014 rear seatslimiter. In a car like the M4 with 317kW, being able to quickly set a limiter at, say 105kph, can save you a world of wallet-lightening anguish on the open road as this car picks up speed simply by looking at the accelerator pedal.

Are there any problems with the M4? Yes: you can have an M4 in the UK for 58,995 pounds, and that’s well under NZ$120,000, yet it’s fully $50,000 more here at $169,990, and I don’t understand why. I searched for new M4s in the UK with options, too and the maximum price I found was 65,755 pounds.

This is why there are Euro car dealers that can offer near-new European cars for such a good price. The other two problems are minor: it’s lacking in interior storage and BMW could easily get rid of the conventional lever handbrake and free up some cubby-hole space by replacing it with a hydraulic push-button handbrake; and with sitting so low it’s got a fairly substantial blind spot so I would option it up with blind spot monitoring.

You see, I would seriously consider an M4. It’s actually everything I want in a car. It doesn’t attract too much attention, I like the looks, it’s got a huge amount of power but is still relatively economical, and it comes with every technical feature I need as standard (except blind spot monitoring).

The problem is that the raging disparity between the UK price and the NZ price would mean that every time I got into it I would be reminded that I paid the national average wage too much. But what else are you going to get for this price with this many features and this much performance?

Price: $169,900

Pros:

  • It’s brilliant

Cons:

  • $50,000 more expensive than what you can buy one for in the UK
  • Why do we still need a conventional lever handbrake? It needs replacing with a button to free up more storage space


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