BMW 420d Gran Coupé test: Elegant and practical traveler

How much longer is it than the coupe? Exactly five millimeters in the wheelbase (2856 mm) and 15 in the overall length (4783 mm), so if, like me, you have the impression that it is longer than a two-door, it’s really just an impression. In addition to the door, it is also made by a modified roof line, raised at the rear.

From the profile, the 420d Gran Coupé really looks good.

Photo: Petr Hloušek, Právo

Raised, must be added, to the beauty. If I think of the beaver teeth in the front – of course, it’s still true that it’s actually better than in the photos, and I’m also getting used to it a bit – this “four” is a hugely elegant and handsome car. The long hood, the large engine compartment – what about the fact that there is only a four-cylinder under the hood – and the far back “greenhouse” together create a really nice car from all sides.

I take the handle and immediately notice the difference from the coupe – the handle is taken from below, rises upwards and due to the plastic on the inside I always feel like he wants to slip out of my fingers. It looks nice, it doesn’t stick out of the car, but this is a rather special tax for a cleaner design.

Ergonomics to excellent

I sit in a relatively hard seat, but with a decent side guide, close the door and quickly remember how nicely the interior of the two-door compartment fit me. It’s the same here – I have just right places, not much, not much.

With the exception of a bit of hard seats, I have nothing to complain about in the interior.

Photo: Petr Hloušek, Právo

Ergonomically, everything is right, as with other BMWs with the seventh generation of the iDrive on-board system; The conventional Gran Coupé did not receive the controversial eighth generation, as does its electric version, the i4.

The seventh-generation iDrive system, together with the physical buttons, is excellent.

Photo: Marek Bednář, News

What exactly does that mean? For example, controlling the air conditioning on physical buttons on your own panel or something so perfect that I do not understand why the competition did not imitate it a long time ago. Eight buttons for radio presets, navigation destinations or anything like that will show you what is stored on that button and when you press it, it will select the thing.

In addition to the quality of workmanship and durability for more expensive BMWs, I must also take the opportunity to set whether the rear side lights will also be lit with daytime running lights in front. Conversely, sigh a little over the hard, hard-to-press buttons on the center console’s unified control panel.

The unified control panel on the center tunnel is pleasant to use, only with a little hard buttons.

Photo: Petr Hloušek, Právo

One of them, the round one with the inscription “Start Engine”, starts the in-line four-cylinder under the hood. It doesn’t deny its fuel, it’s definitely not as velvety a unit as I recently tested in the 530d, but for a four-cylinder turbodiesel, the engine is cultivated well enough.

Engine good, chassis excellent

It gives 190 horsepower and, as with the coupe, the five-door Series 4 forms the basis of the diesel offer. As with the coupe, it runs best on about 2/3 to 3/4 gas. The transmission shifts beautifully smoothly somewhere at three and a half thousand revolutions, keeps the engine close to the maximum torque range and does not turn it unnecessarily.

Something similar applies to a lot of 180-190k turbodiesel – they run very promisingly on three quarters of the gas, but it raises exaggerated expectations that the full throttle cannot meet. By no means do I want to convey that this 420d is going badly on a global scale, but at BMW I simply have to consider it a decent offer.

The seats don’t throw briskly under your feet, but they could be a hair softer.

Photo: Petr Hloušek, Právo

Despite the almost the same dimensions as the coupe – the M4 is even a millimeter longer on the wheelbase and the overall length of 11 mm – driving in districts with a gran coupe doesn’t say much to me. Maybe it’s a slightly different chassis tuning or weight distribution, but the gran coupe is an even better grand tourer than the coupe.

I am especially fascinated by the ability to drive on the highway at almost any speed, without the crew knowing much difference. Yes, the 7 Series is better in this sedan and SUV X7, but it also costs many times more. Take it in a way that surprises me at all how good it is to travel briskly on highways and first-class roads.

The instrument panel is easy to read and can display a map or navigation instructions in the middle. The right part is reserved for consumption and other driving information.

Photo: Petr Hloušek, Právo

In addition to the engine, the chassis from the M Sport package also has a large share in this, which manages to decently filter out unevenness and at the same time remain stiff and confident.

I have been researching the difference between Comfort and Sport modes for a long time. It’s not very big, but the modes are a little different, especially in the behavior of the shock absorbers after crossing the bump – in the speed and the way the wheels return to their original position, so to speak. Sport is, of course, a little safer for a brisk ride.

It shines nicely, but not perfectly

Finally, the laser headlights with LED Matrix function are also worth mentioning. I can easily see her work – she overshadows the surrounding traffic, and it must be said that she does really well. All that bothers me is that when it turns on, it tilts the low beam cone a little lower than I’d like. However, if I turn off the high beams manually, the low beams shine almost as well and far as I would like.

The laser beams switch on themselves only in the automatic high beam mode and simply shine straight, very far in front of the car. If I knew correctly what a laser is and what “just” LED Matrix, laser beams form a kind of “lid” very far ahead. I’m not entirely sure of the benefits of such a shaped beam, but as a result, the 420d makes me quite comfortable in the dark.

The headlights look good and work even better.

Photo: Petr Hloušek, Právo

It remains to mention perhaps more than a decent consumption of 7 liters per 100 km, although I drive quite briskly, and also the small space in the rear seats – smaller than in the case of the 3 Series, from which the “four” is based. On the contrary, there is a lot of space in the trunk – only ten liters less than the 3 Series sedan, and in addition there is better access to it thanks to the folding rear.

A successful grand tourer

In the end, I’m quite sorry that I didn’t have time for a really long route with the 420d Gran Coupé this week, so I drove less than four hundred kilometers. It’s a really nice car to travel if the 5 Series comes too big or expensive.

BMW 420d Gran Coupe

Photo: Petr Hloušek, Právo

It is, of course, more practical than the two-door row four. As a result, it will depend on how often you actually use the rear pair of doors and how often you just drive it here and there unnecessarily. In any case, the frameless windows that the “four” can boast in all their versions will never cease to be a dude.

BMW 420d Gran Coupe xDrive M Sport
1995 ccm, in-line diesel four-cylinder, 2x turbo, 48V mild hybrid system
Max. power:
140 kW (190 hp) at 4000 rpm
Max. torque:
400 Nm at 1750-2500 rpm
eight – speed automatic
0-100 km / h:
7,6 s
Top speed:
233 km / h
Average consumption according to WLTP:
5.1-5.7 l / 100 km
Average consumption on the display at the end of our test:7 l / 100 km
Operating / maximum weight:
1835/2315 kg
Length × width × height:
4783 × 1852 × 1442 mm
Basic / maximum trunk volume:
470/1290 l
Driven axle:
Basic version price:
1 310 400 CZK (420i GC 184 k 8st. Aut.)
Basic price of the tested version:
CZK 1,435,200
Price of the tested car: 1 982 686 CZK

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