RE: BMW 430d xDrive M Sport Gran Coupe: Review

RE: BMW 430d xDrive M Sport Gran Coupe: Review

Friday 20th May 2016

BMW 430d xDrive M Sport Gran Coupe: Review

Thankfully the four-door 4 Series' driving experience is snappier than the model designation...



Explaining what the 4 Series Gran Coupe is to a 'civilian' is like attempting to rationalise Bonfire Night to someone not born to a tradition of letting off fireworks and burning effigies to celebrate foiling a centuries old treasonous plot. About half way through you realise 'this sounds ridiculous...' but feel compelled to see it through, the resulting blank face and awkward pause leaving both parties feeling a little confused.


Anyway. Here we are. A four-door saloon/coupe derived from a two-door coupe itself based on ... a four-door saloon. Motivation to book the 430d came in after a meeting with BMW's PR man, to which he arrived in a 435d xDrive Gran Coupe and did a pretty convincing sales job. Looking at the stats later this didn't seem entirely lacking in substance. The flagship diesel's 313hp/465lb ft compares well with the 440i's 326hp/332lb ft, this sledgehammer to nut drivetrain dealing out its 4.8-second 0-62 and monstrous mid-range with silky-smooth six-cylinder refinement. Indeed, by the numbers it's the fastest 4er Gran Coupe you can buy. Pity they don't have one on the press fleet then.

430d as runner-up prize it is then, 258hp and 413lb ft the consolation. M Sport spec gains us sports suspension, M bodykit, M branded alloys and a few dedicated trim pieces, further tarted up with an optional £1,650 M Sport Sport Plus package adding M Sport brakes and 19-inch wheels. Over Luxury this spec fits with the Gran Coupe's sportier profile, our car also coming with the smooth-talking eight-speed auto as standard. File under 'nice car' rather than something inspirational to dust off for a Sunday morning blast along the lanes. Nice enough to give you just a tingle of excitement on the daily commute though?

Hatching a plot
Actually yes. It's a bit of a surprise to press the boot release and realise it's basically a 4 Series hatchback in all but name, this possibly the most practical 3 or 4 Series body shape this side of those lumpy GT crossover things. The look isn't quite as cohesive or attractively proportioned as its 6 Series Gran Coupe big brother but it's a better looking car in the metal than in pictures. And suckers you by feeling convincingly a little sportier and more special than any 3 Series equivalent. You pay accordingly, a 430d xDrive M Sport's base price nearly £4,000 more than the equivalent 330d xDrive saloon.


The 'what if' factor of not getting into a 435d does slightly temper the otherwise appealing qualities of the big six up front. Refinement is excellent though and there are no 'for a diesel' excuses to be made for its smoothness or relative willingness to rev. If there's a disappointment it's in the linearity of the power delivery and absence of that fat wedge of torque that is so useful in the cut and thrust of motorway driving. Indeed, you'll find you often need to drop a gear or two to generate any meaningful progress once that elephant racing artic finally pulls in and releases you from the 50mph crawl.

As experienced in our 435i long-termer, BMW's M Sport damping leaves a little to be desired, the £515 Adaptive M Sport suspension on our test car retaining a brittle edge in all of its modes. That and a bit of tyre roar are the only real downers on the otherwise superb long-distance cruising ability. For all the fuss made about Audi interiors BMW's current ones - suitably gilded from the options list - maintain a quality, clarity and ease of use that comfortably sits at the top of the class. A lot less chintzy than the Mercedes equivalent too.

All in all this adds up to a car of quiet competence and the ability to sooth and look after you on the long haul home. Beyond its motorway comfort zone it has just enough additional poise and pizzazz to remind you of BMW's sporting genes too. It's an undemanding car but has an understated ability to make progress that leaves you refreshed rather than ragged. The xDrive four-wheel drive adds an unobtrusive level of all-weather security too, with a default neutral stance that has just enough rear-driven balance to stay true to the brand values. Or you can save £1,515 and stick with rear-wheel drive.

As tested a pleasant car rather than an astonishing one then. Still want a go with that 435d though...


BMW 430d XDRIVE M-SPORT GRAN COUPE
Engine
: 2,993cc 6-cyl turbodiesel
Transmission: 8-speed auto, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 258@4,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 413@1,500-3,000rpm
0-62mph: 5.2sec
Top speed: 155mph (limited)
Weight: 1,690kg
MPG: 52.3mpg (NEDC combined)
CO2: 142g/km
Price: £42,460 (£48,560 as tested, comprising Interior Comfort Package of sun protection glass, extended storage and sliding arm rest £460; M Sport Plus Package of M Sport brakes, 19-inch wheels and Harman/Kardon sound system £1,650; heated steering wheel £155; Adaptive M Sport Suspension £515; electric sunroof £895; folding/dimming mirrors £300; split/fold rear seats £170; Adaptive Headlights £860; Head-up Display £825; internet £95; online entertainment £325; Enhanced Bluetooth with voice control £350)

 

 

 

 

Photos: Dan Trent

Author
Discussion

QuattroDave

Original Poster:

518 posts

64 months

Thursday 19th May 2016
quotequote all
Reading the early reviews of the 330d when it came out (before the 335 arrived) I thought the estate 4wd option would be every car a person could ever need,

However I now see that pretty much every bugger has had the same idea, cruising up and down the M3 lately also all bmw's that passed me were either 330d or 335d's. I can only assume they're attractive on company car schemes and have good lease deals.

For me the sheer volume of them on the roads has put me off somewhat. Over three Southampton-Reading trips in the last week I did not spot a single 320d or lower spec engine, they were all the top two!

Clearly good for BMW but sadly it's put me off a bit. I'll be sticking with my V8 petrol a while longer!

9k rpm

100 posts

146 months

Thursday 19th May 2016
quotequote all
4K extra for a hatchback is a lot.

Shame they couldn't test the 435d the x35d engine is a masterpiece I'm loving it in my month old 335d M sport touring which hasn't got the adaptive dampers and the ride is great.

I still have my V8 M3 and they are a lovely contrast to one another.

Edited by 9k rpm on Thursday 19th May 11:33

cerb4.5lee

10,479 posts

116 months

Thursday 19th May 2016
quotequote all
QuattroDave said:
For me the sheer volume of them on the roads has put me off somewhat. Over three Southampton-Reading trips in the last week I did not spot a single 320d or lower spec engine, they were all the top two!
I think it depends what neck of the woods you are, where I am almost all 3 series are 320d or lower and it's very rare that I see a 330d/335d.

I can't believe how quick this 430d is at 5.2 secs and I was pretty happy back in 2006 with a E90 330d that did it in 6.7 secs, performance moves on very quickly for sure.

9k rpm

100 posts

146 months

Thursday 19th May 2016
quotequote all
I see a lot of 320d but haven't ever seen a 335d round here seen a few 435d coupes. I think you will see a few more 335ds as the lease deals end or last year were brilliant (build times were 5-6 months). You could get a 335d for very little a month more than a 320d.

cerb4.5lee

10,479 posts

116 months

Thursday 19th May 2016
quotequote all
9k rpm said:
4K extra for a hatchback is a lot.

Shame they couldn't test the 435d the x35d engine is a masterpiece I'm loving it in my month old 335d M sport touring which hasn't got the adaptive dampers and the ride is great.

I still have my V8 M3 and they are a lovely contrast to one another.

Edited by 9k rpm on Thursday 19th May 11:33
My V8 M3 was one of the reasons I wanted my 640d because I hated the fact that nothing happens in the M3 below 6k revs...but I certainly wouldn't say no to having both.

Running a V8 M3 and a 335d is a lovely combo. thumbup
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cerb4.5lee

10,479 posts

116 months

Thursday 19th May 2016
quotequote all
9k rpm said:
You could get a 335d for very little a month more than a 320d.
I much prefer the 30d/35d engine to the 20d and I thought I would see many more of them than I do to be fair, but I think with how frugal the 20d engine is...it tends to make more people go for that instead.

Oakman

151 posts

94 months

Thursday 19th May 2016
quotequote all
Why.....?

It's just another niche, within a niche, within a niche........of how many variants can we squeeze out of every platform, model, version we do.

Are there any other car manufacturers out there doing such a thing ????

cerb4.5lee

10,479 posts

116 months

Thursday 19th May 2016
quotequote all
Oakman said:
Why.....?

It's just another niche, within a niche, within a niche........of how many variants can we squeeze out of every platform, model, version we do.
I've always thought similar too but much like with the X6/X4...BMW seem to build cars you'd think nobody wants...yet they shift loads of them!

9k rpm

100 posts

146 months

Thursday 19th May 2016
quotequote all
Oakman said:
Why.....?

It's just another niche, within a niche, within a niche........of how many variants can we squeeze out of every platform, model, version we do.

Are there any other car manufacturers out there doing such a thing ????
Audi did it first with the A5 sport back and sold loads so I'm guessing BMW jumped on bandwagon. Merc did it with CLS (haven't done a C class version yet) and BMW then did the 6 series GC. Looks like they let the others test then bring their own to market.

Next will be a 2 series GC to match the CLA.

cerb4.5lee

10,479 posts

116 months

Thursday 19th May 2016
quotequote all
I've only just realised that these are actually a hatchback from reading the review and I always wondered why anyone would go for this over a 4 series Coupe or a 3 series saloon, the hatch does really add to its practicality and I see these in a different light now.

QuattroDave

Original Poster:

518 posts

64 months

Thursday 19th May 2016
quotequote all
cerb4.5lee said:
QuattroDave said:
For me the sheer volume of them on the roads has put me off somewhat. Over three Southampton-Reading trips in the last week I did not spot a single 320d or lower spec engine, they were all the top two!
I think it depends what neck of the woods you are, where I am almost all 3 series are 320d or lower and it's very rare that I see a 330d/335d.

I can't believe how quick this 430d is at 5.2 secs and I was pretty happy back in 2006 with a E90 330d that did it in 6.7 secs, performance moves on very quickly for sure.
Ahh fair enough. It was the one car that stood out for me on those three days. Must have seen 20 plus per commute! Must be the near london/reading thing!

Agreed on their speed though, my wife has an e91 330d and she's over the moon at 6.7 to 60 so it's really quite amazing to see bmw knock a second and a half off in a model generation AND 'officially' improve economy! It's even quicker to 60 than my A8 V8 frown (though doesn't sound as nice smile )

J4CKO

25,752 posts

136 months

Thursday 19th May 2016
quotequote all
cerb4.5lee said:
QuattroDave said:
For me the sheer volume of them on the roads has put me off somewhat. Over three Southampton-Reading trips in the last week I did not spot a single 320d or lower spec engine, they were all the top two!
I think it depends what neck of the woods you are, where I am almost all 3 series are 320d or lower and it's very rare that I see a 330d/335d.

I can't believe how quick this 430d is at 5.2 secs and I was pretty happy back in 2006 with a E90 330d that did it in 6.7 secs, performance moves on very quickly for sure.
I think its a case of the figures show that it uses the power it has very efficiently, the main differences being gearboxes making much faster changes and 4wd with decent traction control not wasting any power.


tedman

181 posts

40 months

Thursday 19th May 2016
quotequote all
These niches are getting ridiculous now... god knows how much these German manufacturers must spend on design and tooling costs!

Sticks.

4,970 posts

187 months

Thursday 19th May 2016
quotequote all
I'm not sure why people think of this as another niche car - it's a hatchback version, that's all. If BMW had done this with the 3 Series years back, I'd still have one.

When we had an E46 Coupe alongside the TT, the TT was the more practical, despite being smaller.

I won't be looking at one of these though, too big for me. If the 2 Series Coupe had a hatch rather than a boot, I'd have a look.

Fetchez la vache

5,095 posts

150 months

Thursday 19th May 2016
quotequote all
article said:
A four-door saloon/coupe...
Can please someone explain where the hell the coupe bit is in this car, as I can't spot it?

 #notthisoldstagain 


PorkInsider

3,130 posts

77 months

Thursday 19th May 2016
quotequote all
Quite surprised that the article talks about disappointment at having to drop a gear or 2 to overtake lorries.

With 413lb ft of torque from 1500rpm there shouldn't be too much trouble getting past trucks in high gears.

I suppose if you're dawdling in 8th at tick over it might take a moment or 2 to get going but try that with any engine and 9 times out of 10 you'd be waiting longer.

Agent XXX

1,248 posts

42 months

Thursday 19th May 2016
quotequote all
They really have lost the plot with their model range

em177

2,893 posts

100 months

Thursday 19th May 2016
quotequote all
Agent XXX said:
They really have lost the plot with their model range
As someone who spends their life dealing with the public in the process of changing their car I can say they are just following demand.

Raramuri

81 posts

88 months

Thursday 19th May 2016
quotequote all
If I'm not mistaken, isn't this just a 3-series hatchback?

Obviously that doesn't sound as good for the marketeers! They need to be able to call it a '4' to charge the premium.

Speed_Demon

2,584 posts

124 months

Thursday 19th May 2016
quotequote all
Agent XXX said:
They really have lost the plot with their model range
But they haven't, as long as people buy them and it positively effects sales overall then it's entirely successful and makes sense from a business POV. Simple as that.

However, not saying I don't prefer the days of simplicity.