26 September 2023

A Smooth Operatore

Start the conversation

By Paul Gover.

It’s been a while since I drove a car as enjoyable as the BMW 430i Gran Coupe.

On a long freeway grind, or just for a takeaway trip to the shops, it’s nice.

Nice can be a nothing word in the motoring world, but in the case of this BMW it’s a compliment of the highest order.

There is nothing not to like in the Gran Coupe, provided you have the $80,000-plus – and over $100,000 with the best engine and all the trinkets – it takes to park one in the garage.

Yes, it has the ugly nose that blights the whole of the latest 3 and 4-series lineup, but it kicks every other goal.

It’s a cosseting luxury car that won’t break the bank.

It gets along swiftly, has a comfortable ride with excellent cornering and brakes, and it has all the safety stuff and luxury equipment you really need.

You can pay extra for the brilliant optional laser headlights, or upgrade to the full-house 440 with all-wheel drive at $115,900. There is even a cheap 420i Gran Coupe that’s a relative snip today at $75,900.

What makes the Gran Coupe new and different is the four-door coupe body, complete with frameless windows that complete the sleek effect.

It sits at the top of the new compact range of 3 and 4 Series BMWs, led by the hotrod M3 and M4 with all the punch you could possible want – or need.

In the case of the Gran Coupe, it’s about design and luxury.

The shape of the car is not as practical for rear-seat headroom, but the hatchback tail – even without a wiper on the glass and a noticeably pinched view in the central mirror – makes the car exceptionally practical. It has a huge cargo space and the 60:40 split rear seats means you can really go wild at the shops without worrying about getting things home.

The cabin is also classy in its finishing, well designed and practical, with big digital display screens – as well as a heads-up display in the windscreen – with super-quick connectivity including wireless CarPlay for an Apple phone. There is an excellent charging panel at the centre of the console and plenty of USB sockets.

The engine in the 430 is not particularly charismatic, just a turbocharged four-cylinder unit, but makes great torque and has solid power for overtaking. It also promises very good fuel economy although some people will miss the charismatic charm of a BMW inline six under the bonnet.

Looking at its rivals, the closest is the Audi A5, but the BMW wins on space and driving enjoyment.

It’s just a good thing.


Position: prestige family coupe

Price: from $83,900

Engine: 2.0-litre turbo petrol

Power: 190kW/400Nm

Transmission: 8-speed auto, rear-wheel drive

Plus: stylish, relaxing, practical

Minus: no much

THE TICK: yes please

Score: 8.5/10

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.