Clearly, you’ll need to make up your own mind about the appearance, and any car that starts at a whisker under £40,000 isn’t a cheap solution, but there’s so much that’s right about the way the 4-Series drives and feels, as well as its combination of old and new dashboard control systems, that it’s hard not to feel it makes the best combination in the class.
And while I’ll not be encouraging you to dump your practical estate for a four-seat coupé, you shouldn’t discount it as practical transport, with a good-sized boot and room enough for a couple of adults in the back.
What was it they used to say about Ford’s Capri? The Car You Always Promised Yourself. I’d vouchsafe the 4-Series also slots neatly into that category.
TESTED 1,998cc, four-cylinder petrol turbo, eight-speed automatic gearbox, rear-wheel drive
PRICE/ON SALE from £39,870/now
POWER/TORQUE 184bhp @ 5,000rpm/221lb ft @ 1,350rpm
TOP SPEED 149mph
ACCELERATION 0-62mph in 7.5sec
FUEL ECONOMY (WLTP high) 48.7mpg
CO2 EMISSIONS (WLTP) 132g/km
VED £215 first year, then £150
VERDICT Derivative in parts, this restyle is nevertheless pretty handsome and the way the 4-Series drives and feels is top of the form. Ultra keen drivers might want to consider a bigger engine (or even the 420d turbodiesel), but you won’t want for much with this 2.0-litre petrol.
TELEGRAPH RATING Four stars out of five
Audi A5, from £38,575
We’re not convinced the latest version of this car is the best looking, but it’s still a handsome car, with a gorgeous cabin and a fine range of engine options. Thing is, though, it doesn’t quite cut the mustard in the handling stakes compared with the BMW and Mercedes rivals.
Mercedes-Benz C-class coupé, from £38,370
Handsome if a bit thuggish to look at, the C coupé comes with a wide variety of engines with the monster AMG version at the top. Spacious and attractive cabin and tip top ride and handling, though the BMW edges it in the former.
Jaguar XE, from £32,815
Yes, there’s the question of that extra set of doors, but the XE saloon’s styling is all coupé and your money goes a bit further with this fine saloon, although wags might say it’s no bigger in the back than a German coupé.
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