- - Wednesday, May 14, 2014

On the tail of the BMW 3 Series comes the 2014 4 Series to replace what was already considered a pretty luxurious vehicle. Never one to stand on past successes, however, BMW offers the 4 Series, which is a fine update that’s all about luxury, whether it’s the sporty coupe or convertible option you choose to drive home.

BMW has introduced the all-new 4 Series to a market looking for something just a little more; even the engine is even more efficient, but the power when you push the gas is all the same — impressive.

The BMW 4 Series replaces the 3 Series from years past, and competition is strong in this market — even with its sleeker look, which includes the low-lying presence of the cabin (two inches closer to the ground) and a look that screams class with a capital C. Other options in this class are the 2014 Infiniti Q60, Audi A5 and the Mercedes C-Class coupe.

You can get the 2014 BMW 4 Series in a coupe or a convertible, and from there choose either the 428i or the 435i trim.

On the 428i the features include 17-inch wheels, xenon headlights, fog lights, auto-dimming mirrors, sunroof, excellent vinyl upholstery, eight-way power front seats with a driver memory and there is also a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, fold-down rear seats and a 6.5-inch display screen. You also get the BMW’s iDrive electronics interface, and for technical assist there is Bluetooth phone connect ability, a USB/iPod interface and auxiliary audio jack and HD radio. If you opt for the convertible version, there is an automatic power-retractable hardtop with a wind blocker.

On the 435i it is the same standard features, but there is a stronger engine and 18-inch wheels.

On either trim there are lots of options choosing from a Luxury, Sport or M Sport variety that offer diverse inclusions like wheel designs with larger wheels and colors. On the Sport and M Sport package, there are also sportier front seats, and the M Sport goes even further by adding a sport-tuned suspension, adaptive suspension dampers and an upgraded steering wheel.

The Premium package adds not only a keyless ignition/entry but also four-way power front seats and leather upholstery. A Technology package gives you a hi-tech experience with the addition of an 8.8-inch screen, touchpad controller, navigation system and a series of BMW Apps that works with iPhones and Android devices.

For the addition of what is called the Lighting package you get LED headlights and automatic high beam control or the Cold Weather package will keep you warm with heated front seats and steering wheel. On the convertible the Cold Weather Package also has front seat-mounted neck-warming air vents. T

A Driver Assistance package includes a variety of safety options such as a rearview camera along with a front- and rear-parking sensor. Add the Plus package to this and you get a Driver Assist blind-spot monitoring and a camera that lets you see both the side and top of the vehicle too. Finally, the Dynamic Handling package does just that giving the car an added performance with better suspension and a variable-ratio sportier steering.

For the stand-alone features on this BMW include upgraded brakes, a rear sunshade, adaptive cruise control and automated parallel parking assist.

Under the hood, the 2014 BMW 4 Series impresses where you can opt for the vehicle in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. For either there is an eight-speed automatic transmission, but manual can be had on the rear-drive coupes only. As well, there is an automatic stop-start function so the car saves fuel when it comes to a stop.

On the 428i model it’s a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 241 horsepower and 258 pound feet of torque. And the 435i has a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine with 300 horsepower and 300 pound feet of torque.

For safety the 2014 BMW 4 Series offers the standard antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side, side curtain and front knee airbags as well as rollover protection on the convertible. There are also panic stops on the brakes with the summer tire package offering excellent stopping ability. There is a stability control that allows for better braking and the little tweaks that also make this BMW standout are brake rotors being dried in conjunction with the windshield wipers as they are in use and the BMW Assist emergency with an automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle recovery and roadside assistance as needed.

Inside this BMW it looks like the 3 Series from 2013 and the materials used are, of course, high-end, but the interior of this vehicle is defined too, by a suburb look and feel for the all-around package.

This is definitely a good car for taking on a trip since the seats are sporty, but also offer support for both the driver and the passenger. In the back seat, the 4 Series offers more room for both legs and heads and while the convertible is not as spacious, you still have enough room for comfort.

Driving the 2014 BMW 4 Series is like taking to the road in a master that knows how to do what it needs to do. Zero to 60 on either trim won’t disappoint and the handling, driving and level of control is just second nature when behind the wheel of this machine.

Should You Need to Know: The 2014 BMW 4 Series replaces the 3 Series both coupe and convertible and while it stands out as a sleeker upgrade, it still has the same platform from the 2012 sedan.

Miles Per Gallon: On the 428i coupe you can expect 27 mpg combined with 23 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. On the 435i coupe it is 25 mpg combined with 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

Cost: The 2014 BMW 4 Series starts in the low 40s.

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