2018 BMW 430i Gran Coupe Review: Better Than The 3 Series

– Cleveland, Ohio

BMW splits its lineup of compact cars between the 3 Series and 4 Series. The 3 Series offers a sedan, wagon, and an ungainly looking five-door hatchback called the Gran Turismo, while the 4 series offers a coupe, convertible, and this striking-looking 5-door hatchback called the Gran Coupe. Oh, and don’t forget the high-performance M models.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe, though, offers the best combination of traits in the lineup. Attractive lines, athletic handling, and clever packaging, thanks to its hatchback, make it the most well-rounded Roundel of the bunch.

 

Pros

Better styling. The 4 Series Gran Coupe has four doors just like the 3 Series sedan, but it’s so much nicer to look at. It’s amazing what a subtle tweak to the roofline can do, but the way the Gran Coupe’s roof arches elegantly back towards a smaller rear deck makes all the difference. It really does approximate the swept-back look of a coupe.

Drives smaller. For 2018, BMW claims to have firmed up the 4 Series’ suspension and tweaked the steering. The changes definitely put some distance between the 4 Series Gran Coupe and 3 Series sedan in terms of handling. Despite their exterior dimensions being nearly identical, the Gran Coupe feels smaller when driving, with quicker turn-in and more confident cornering. It feels more like the 3 Series of yore that begged to be driven.

Hatchback utility. The Gran Coupe doesn’t look like a hatchback, but it is. Passersby would swear it has a trunk that hinges ...