ONE of the main appeals of a car like the BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe is the spaciousness it offers. And when you pair it with a sweet engine, it becomes a delight to drive and be in.
The M440iGC delivers an ideal chariot — if not for its price, a tear-inducing *$427,888 that places in that no man’s land between luxury sedan and real sports car.
But, if you don’t consider that wallet-smashing fact, you’ll appreciate the machine and what it’s capable of; a coming together of premium finishing and sportiness, with a hint of sustainability, despite the C2 VES banding.
The four-door coupe styling presents a long bonnet and curved back, that can sometimes eat into the space required for a comfortable ride. But the longer proportions of the M440iGC provide that added legroom and height to seat three in the back, ample boot space, and allows the front passengers to get into their seats without the need for too much flexing.
The external profile of the car is sporty, despite its 4.8m length. The contours and shaping of the panels form a graceful silhouette. The front adopts the new BMW family look, with those large kidney grilles that seem to be more proportionate here. The side air vents and the sharp LED light cluster design give it a purposeful look.
And, it’s a look that’s well matched by its performance.
The comfortable leather seats of the M440iGC can be adjusted for the best sitting position, within reach of the required buttons, of which there are still a few to fiddle with.
Though most features have been pushed to the large touchscreen, there’s still a controller and a multi-function steering wheel to let you feel you have some tactile control.
Setting off on Comfort offers just that. A comfortable drive that isn’t harsh but has enough verve and revs to give you that sweet acceleration. Well-suited for the daily commute, as you enjoy your music on the Harman Kardon surround sound system.
With mild hybrid technology on board, the 48V starter-generator kicks in with an extra 8kW for that additional burst of speed. The inline 6-cylinder engine dishes out 275kW, which, via the 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission and the Sprint function delivers a 0-100kmh dash in 4.7 seconds. It’s a quick set of wheels.
Information is served up on the stylised digital dials as well as the head up display, expanded to provide more information, if required.
The four driving modes let you set up the car to your preference. In sport mode, the feel is more aggressive, the engine tone a bit more obvious, though its tone can be controlled on the touchscreen. So you’re not sure what you’re hearing. But it sounds good, so there’s nothing to complain about as you push the M440iGC through tight bends and sweeping curves. The confidence of the drive, with responsiveness to shifting terrain and sudden braking, keeps engagement levels high.
Paddle shifters allow for quicker gear changes, especially when you’re taking to twisting downhill terrain.
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With a 50:50 weight spread, the well-balanced M440iGC delivers an unflappable drive. A drag coefficient of just 0.26 is an improvement over its predecessor’s and lets it cut through the air with little fuss.
You’re not driving alone, as some 40 assistance functions are keeping watch for you or helping you along. Some can be a bit intrusive, but they can be adjusted to your preference.
The BMW OS 7 offers smoother connectivity with mobile devices, app services and remote software updates to keep the environment relevant to your evolving needs.
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BMW M440i xDRIVE GRAN COUPE RATING
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