1,200 miles in one week. That’s a lot of time behind the wheel of one car. And as it turns out it’s a great way to get to know the new 4 Series Gran Coupe. While you’ll likely hear more about the 4GC from Michael (it’s his new daily driver in Germany), we couldn’t wait to give you the American side of the story in the form of five facts we learned over 1,200 miles. So with that said, here are the top 7 things we learned in 1,200 miles with the new F36 428iX Gran Coupe.
1. The 4 Series Gran Coupe with it’s electronic dampers in sport mode isn’t as rewarding as it should be. We actually preferred them set in standard mode with the drivetrain set to sport. This allowed for more aggressive throttle response and sharper shifts. If we could we’d create our optimal sport mode with less aggressive shift points, suspension set on standard and the most aggressive throttle mapping.
2. The 4 Series requires 19″ wheels. There I said it. 18″ wheel now look too small and borderline inconsequential on most BMWs. Unfortunately the 428i GC is no exception.
3. Shocker. The rear headroom is compromised. At 6’2″ my hair was in constant contact with the headliner. Upfront of course there are zero issues.
4. After a week the look of the Gran Coupe finally grew on me. For the first few days I felt like it lacked some of that classic BMW sports sedan proportion. In fact I’d almost call it bland in darker colors when you compare it to the iconic 3 Series sedan. Yet after a few days the silhouette started to make a bit more sense. While the details aren’t as muscular as the 3er, there’s an athleticism to the shape unquestionably attractive and sophisticated looking.
5. The hatchback is a wonderful thing. While the overall trunk space provided by the Gran Coupe over the standard 3 Series isn’t meaningful, the ability to use all of it is dramatically higher. When packing two kids for a long weekend that comes in handy.
6. Our 4 cylinder 428i had a staggering $58k MSRP. And that didn’t include things like a premium stereo, 19″ wheels or LED lights.
7. With no manual offered and our press car having all wheel drive, the F36 428i is a much less involving machine than even our ’98 E36 winter car (currently parked for the season). The same could also be said for the F56 and F55 MINIs we had during the same time as the 4GC. Even our E61 5 Series wagon has more feel through the steering wheel.