What is it: The 2018 BMW 430i xDrive Gran Coupe is, at its core, a 3-Series sedan with a liftback rear hatch. The name, along with its inclusion in the supposedly 2-door 4-Series lineup, remains a mystery.
Key Competitors: Audi A5 Sportback, Buick Regal Sportback, Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe
Base Price: $46,095 As-Tested Price: $53,885
Full Review: BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe first drive
Highlights: The new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe takes BMW’s model name/number silliness to confusing new heights, but there’s actually a really good car behind the badge. The roofline gets a 4.4-inch stretch and slopes gently to the rear of the vehicle. The silhouette is half an inch higher to offer more headroom and comfort for rear-seat passengers.
Our Opinion: I think I’ve finally figured out BMW’s nonsensical car naming strategy: Product planners have decided it doesn’t matter what the car is called, as long as it represents the perfect niche vehicle for a particular customer at the moment that customer walks into a BMW dealership. Thus an AWD 5-door liftback sedan can be called a 430i xDrive Gran Coupe — because no one cares except the journalists and marketers tasked with trying to keep track of this mess. The average BMW customer, on the other hand, sees something that makes sense for his/her life situation and buys it (or, more likely, leases it), not caring a whit about the order of the numbers and letters on the trunk lid.
Fortunately, while the product planners are busy screwing with everyone, BMW engineers are still dedicated to making entertaining drivers’ cars, for the most part. Since the 430i Gran Coupe is actually a 3-Series liftback, it shares the same overall dynamic goodness of that car — it’s smooth, planted and responsive in just about any imaginable everyday situation, and BMW’s turbo four is so good it’s hard to justify spending extra for the six unless you’re planning the occasional track day. Whatever BMW wants to call it, the liftback bodystyle makes loading cargo incredibly easy, and the flowing rear lines don’t interrupt the car’s styling in the way they do with the unfortunate 6-Series GT.
The turbo four makes 248 hp but it feels like more. This car does clock in at less than 4,000 pounds, but barely, so call it a middleweight. The eight-speed auto doesn’t crack off shifts like a dual-clutch, but it’s plenty fast for everyday driving.
The 430i Gran Coupe is a nice package, and easy to live with. Just don’t expect anyone to know what it is if you tell them.
Options: Premium package – lumbar support, heated front seats, navigation system, Advanced RTTI, remote service ($2,300), Executive package – adaptive full LED lights, automatic high beams, side and top view cameras, parking assistant, head-up display ($2,100), Harman Kardon surround sound ($1,850), Jatoba Brown Metallic paint ($550), wireless charging ($500), Apple CarPlay compatibility ($300), heated steering wheel ($190)
On Sale: Now
Base Price: $46,095
As Tested Price: $53,885
Powertrain: 2.0-liter DOHC turbocharged I4, AWD, eight-speed automatic
Output: 248 hp @ 5,200 rpm; 258 lb-ft @ 1,450-4,800 rpm
Curb Weight: 3,814 lb
Fuel Economy: 23/33/27 mpg(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)
Pros: An entertaining daily driver with an attractive and useful liftback body
Cons: No one will know what it is by model name