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- Highs Delicious power from the turbocharged inline-six, there’s still a manual transmission, a riot to drive quickly.
- Lows Convertible lacks the agility of the coupe, limited rear-seat space, cabin is functional versus fashionable.
- Verdict The BMW M4 is handsome, quick, nimble, and fun to drive, especially with the manual gearbox.
The BMW M4 coupe and convertible deliver the agility and speed one expects from any car wearing the storied M logo. While the convertible offers open-air thrills and the best soundtrack from the turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six, the coupe is lighter and a fraction quicker to react to the driver’s inputs. If the standard 425-hp variant of the M4 isn’t quite rapid enough for your discerning tastes, the available Competition package nudges engine output to 444 horsepower. And yes, a manual transmission remains available for diehard fans of three-pedal driving.
What's New for 2017?
The M4 rolls into another model year with few changes. The most notable update is the car’s infotainment system has been upgraded to the latest iDrive 5.0 software.
- Coupe: $67,195
- Convertible: $75,695
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Granted, the M4 coupe looks fantastic, and the convertible is arguably even more attractive with its hardtop neatly stowed behind the passenger cabin. Yet for BMW M fans, the real excitement is what you find under the hood. A turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six delivers 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. We get it; many BMW M fans will head straight to the manual and consider anything else a sacrilege. To be fair, the automatic rips off amazingly quick shifts and extracts every ounce of performance from this sublime engine. While the Competition package boosts output to 444 horsepower, the key dynamic differences have more to do with whether you choose the coupe or convertible. Of the two, the coupe simply feels lighter on its feet thanks to its weight advantage. No matter your specific flavor of M4, added performance hardware includes a stiffer suspension, larger brakes, and an upgraded differential.
EPA fuel-economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest numbers on current and older vehicles, visit the EPA’s website and select Find & Compare Cars.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The M4's cabin is businesslike and filled with quality materials everywhere you look. It’s true, the atmosphere is a little staid and doesn’t pack the visual punch you find in other similarly speedy performance coupes. But we think M4 fans will approve of the understated aesthetic, not to mention the standard fitment of leather seating surfaces, power-operated front seats, dual-zone climate control, and carbon-fiber dashboard trim. Access to the back seat is made easier by the M4’s relatively long doors, and space back there is fine for average-size adults. The coupe holds the cargo room advantage with 15.7 cubic feet, though the convertible isn’t far behind with roughly 13 cubic feet of capacity.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The M4's 8.8-inch touchscreen is controlled by BMW’s intuitive iDrive interface that receives an update for the 2017 model year. Clear menus and graphics make scrolling through the system easy, even when your immediate focus is on pointing the nose of the M4 towards the next apex. Standard tech items include Bluetooth, SiriusXM satellite radio, navigation, 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, and Apple CarPlay connectivity.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.