QUICK DRIVE: BMW 435i Gran Coupe

Now, I must admit that I am something of a fan of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, despite its silly name, but even I seriously doubt that something like this ever happened:

Customer: “Excuse me Salesman, do you have something like this [points to 3 Series sedan] but a bit lower and sportier?”

Salesman: “Ah, certainly Sir! Come right this way! [ushers customer over to 4 Series coupe] Here you go!”

Customer: “What are you? Mentally challenged? The victim of a severe head injury? A list MP? Did I ASK for a coupe? Do I look like I only want TWO doors? No, my good sir, I am a man who prefers, nay REQUIRES, four doors! You insult me with your pathetic offering of only two doors… [storms out of the showroom] and you can stick your 2 Series Active Tourer as well, ‘cos that just screws up your naming convention entirely!”

Now, while that almost certainly has never happened (except maybe for the bit about the 2 Series Active Tourer, which really should be an X2 or something like that…), that poor BMW salesman would now have the perfect car to offer to that weirdly specific and extremely sensitive customer – the 4 Series Gran Coupe, a confusingly lower, wider 3 Series sedan with a rear liftback instead of a boot and enough doors for everyone (four) to have one of their own. And the most powerful (so far) is the rather wonderful 435i.

Packing BMW’s mighty 225kW/400Nm 3.0-litre turbo inline six, the 435i GC is, of course, a fantastic performer. With a 0 to 100km/h time of just 5.2 seconds, the 435i bellows and roars in the same fantastically belligerent way that every car fitted with this awesome engine does as it muscles its way to the legal limit and beyond, if you aren’t keeping a close eye on it…

The 435i Gran Coupe handles in much the same way as the 435i coupe – meaning sensationally – and again just goes to prove how thoroughly excellent the basic 3 Series platform actually is.

Turn-in is sharp and crisp, with a precisely-tracking rear end happily following through. Except if you want it to do something more anti-social. Then it will do that quite happily as well.

Like the sedan and coupe, the 435i GC has an incredibly well calibrated stability control system that allows the driver to pretty much dial in their preferred amount of intervention. Regardless of what the driver chooses, the system’s intervention is seamless and almost invisible. The car is more than capable of making you feel like a hero, even if you most certainly aren’t.

The biggest thing that the Gran Coupe brings over the 3 Series sedan is sensational looks. While the 3 Series is a startlingly good looking car, the low, wide, aggressive appearance of the 4 Series coupe is carried over to the Gran Coupe, making for a car that is practical and startlingly sexy.

While it may be a slightly confusingly positioned car, it is an exceptionally good one. As the BMW “range of cars based on the 3 Series platform” grows, it starts to make a lot more sense and offers the customer exactly what they may want.

Want a coupe, but really need the practicality of a sedan? Well then sir, do I have a car for you…

Share This