2017 BMW 420d Coupe xDrive First Drive

BMW has given the 4 Series family – comprising Coupe, Convertible and Gran Coupe – its ‘Life Cycle Impulse’ (LCI), or midlife facelift. Typical of this sort of update in today’s market, very little has changed visually, but, thankfully, there are significant alterations underneath the Four’s skin that mean we have plenty to cover here.

2017 BMW 420d Coupe xDrive First Drive

Nearly 400,000 examples of the 4 Series have been sold globally since the nameplate launched in summer 2013, with a third of those going to the States – but the next biggest market is the UK. Sales across the world are typically split 50 per cent Gran Coupe, then 25 per cent each to the other two, but here at home it’s much closer between the hard-topped models: in 2016, BMW sold 10,085 Gran Coupes and 9,136 Coupes (Convertible, for reference: 4,258).

BMW’s policy is to price the Coupe and four-door Gran Coupe identically, while the extra doors on the latter mean it appears on company car fleets. To that end, the Gran Coupe alone is available in SE guise, while the Coupe and Convertible’s range has been tidied up, the Luxury grade being dropped to leave just Sport and M Sport. Three in four buyers choose M Sport, a quarter opt for xDrive traction, and the most popular engine in the Coupe family is the pragmatic 420d. So, what we’ve tested here is a fairly representative 420d Coupe xDrive Sport with the eight-speed automatic transmission.

First impressions

The visual tweaks to the bodywork are minimal, with new bumpers front and rear being the ...