When you own a German car, you’re making a statement that you welcome the idea of paying for quality. Whether you like the grille or not, the 2021 BMW 440i xDrive does an excellent job of delivering a high level of quality.
When the previous generation 4 series was introduced in 2014 it was regarded as the best of the 3 popular German coupes at the time. We’re talking about the gorgeous Audi 5 coupe (A5/S5) and the elegant Mercedes Benz C Coupe. Both truly great cars. But BMW always took the cake when it came to driving.
The Controversial Grille
Needless to say, the all new 2021 BMW M440i xDrive has some big shoes to fill.
I’ll start with the grille. It’s not bad, in fact, it doesn’t bother me one bit. The more I see the all new 4 series coupes buzzing around on city roads, the more I like them. It’s a very bold design, and could be something very integral for BMW moving forward as we transition into electric vehicles.
My issues with electric cars is not the power delivery, or lack of an engine note, or their odd looking interiors. It’s mostly their awful wheels, and fishy fronts with no grille. With that in mind, there is a real possibility that BMW could take that new, ultra large kidney grille design and find a way to configure the lines into their electric vehicles front bumper. This may help create texture and alleviate some of that bland front weirdness that most electric cars suffer from.
Glad we’re done about the grille. Now about the 2021 BMW M440i xDrive.
BMW M440i xDrive
Our test car was delivered in the ever so popular nardo grey which BMW calls Dravit Grey Metallic. It only boasts a small increase in price over the outgoing model. With that increase, you get an all new design that maintains the coupe’s sexy body lines. And whether you like the grille or not, when considering the rear you can’t argue that the rump is a major step up from its attractive, but aging predecessor.
Under the hood you’ll find BMW’s silky smooth 3.0l inline six cylinder engine labeled the B58. It is accompanied by a 12 volt mild hybrid system that helps the combustion engine generate a quicker spool of the turbos and get you on your way even faster. BMW claims a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds, but we’ve seen launches on YouTube from car channels that hit in the low 4’s and even high 3’s. That is some serious acceleration.
Someone once said, “with great power comes great responsibility”. All that GO would make no sense if it isn’t not accompanied with a good amount of STOP. That’s especially true for a race track setting. BMW once again delivers a strong package there too. Our test car had the optional red M callipers (a $500 add-on).
BMW M440i Interior
As controversial and appealing the new 4 series coupe’s exterior design may be. The biggest upgrade in my books would be the interior. By the time 2020 rolled around, the 4 series was nearing 7 years of being on the road. On the outside, the car still looked great even for an aging design. The interior in comparison was a little dated.
For BMW fanboys like myself, I actually love the timeless design of the interior. I like the idea of finding similarities in a 2020 4 series coupe interior when compared to that of a 2001 3 series coupe for example. But, that’s 20 years ago and BMW is moving away from that.
This is the start of a new age for BMW which may be tough to swallow for long term fans of the Bavarian auto maker. It’s something that BMW has to do in order to evolve. Even for a tough critic like myself, I cannot deny the beauty of the new layout.
Some of the really cool features I liked in the new interior are the new piped ambient lighting that’s customizable to a plethora of colours and the awesome 12” touch screen infotainment system.
The seats have been improved to be more comfortable and offer more support for your rear end and lower back, especially on long commutes.
Also, the new 4 is bigger… Noticeably bigger. It’s wider, longer and now closer to the dimensions of 5 series cars of the past than any 3 series’ of late. It’s heavier too, but carries the weight well. With the inline 6 engine, the power is delivered smoothly and quietly to help you forget that you’re in a 4,000 lbs vehicle.
With the larger size, you now have a larger trunk than its predecessor and also more room in the rear seats. We still think the rear seats are best for your gym bag or young kids.
The useful little arm that brings the seat belt to front seat passengers has been revised as well. It now moves more quickly and has matching materials to that of the brushed aluminum accents of the 440i’s interior.
Our test car came equipped with the elegant Tacora Red leather interior– my personal favourite as I feel it highlights the interior features best. It’s a noticeably darker shade of red than the Dakota red of the former F series.
Under the Hood
The engine, much like the 540i we drove in the spring, is BMW’s award winning B58 engine with a 12 volt mild hybrid system. The hybrid assist helps the turbo system at low RPM’s and creates boost faster to get you to your destination quicker and help deliver the ultimate driving experience. We’re not entirely sure if it offers any fuel savings. Our test car mirrored the consumption numbers of combined 21 mpg city and highway driving of the 2020 M340i sedan we tested last year which featured the same engine as this car, but without the hybrid battery assist.
BMW M440i xDrive Pricing
The price for the 2021 BMW 4 series starts at around $57,000 CAD for the 430i and posts a 0-60 time of 5.6 seconds with a claimed consumption rate of 8.7/100km or 29mpg combined city and highway driving.
The 440 starts around $68,500 CAD.
Just for prospective, if you load up a 430 with all the bells and whistles, you’re approaching 74k. I would recommend just diving into the 440.
I‘m fairly certain that the less expensive 430 will outsell, or out-lease, the 440 not only because of the lower price but also because of the more fuel efficient engine. But the car that delivers the ultimate driving experience in my eyes is the M440i with it’s purring 382hp motor. Both cars offer an automatic transmission only. Neither model offer a manual gearbox which aligns with the offerings from their countries counterparts in the A5/S5 and C class coupes.
If you are dead set on driving a manual BMW, you will have to step up to the 2021 BMW M4 which will run you about $89,000 CAD, but will offer 90 more horsepower. You’ll trade off the xDrive of the 440 for a clutch pedal and a huge smile on your face.
Review: 2021 BMW 440i xDrive2021 BMW 440i xDrive
- Exterior4/5 Good
- Interior Design4/5 Good
- Ride + Comfort4/5 Good
- Fuel Economy4/5 Good
- Value3/5 Neutral
- Warranty5/5 Amazing
- Residual4/5 Good
- VIBE Drip Factor4/5 Good
- Sharp and responsive engine
- Flawless transmission
- Great new interior
- Missing some soul
- More of a GT now instead of a sport coupe