For 2016 the BMW 4-Series Could See Small Revisions to the Engines and Front Styling

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What changes will make it different?

Although the 4-Series will continue to be viewed by many as simply a rebadging of the 3-Series coupe and convertible, it was actually a new car in its own right for the 2014 model year. Even though it shares engines and most of its underpinnings with the compact sedan, it is wider, lower, longer and noticeably more aggressive looking than its four-door sibling. Expect the ’16 to get a minor cosmetic refreshing and the new engines that are rumored to be going into the 3-Series. Furthermore, don’t be surprised if the carmaker comes up with a few surprises to distance it from the 3-Series a little more.

Why should I wait for the 2016?

You probably shouldn’t. The 2015 is so new that we can’t realistically expect any earth-shaking developments. The engines might be updated and there could be some cosmetic tinkering, but that’s about it.

Should I buy a 2015 edition instead?

Now that we have the four-door Gran Coupe version, there don’t seem to be any major reasons to look past the ’15. Perhaps the only thing missing from the lineup is some sort of hybrid option, but how many people that want a sports coupe would choose a hybrid unless it delivered performance equal to something like the i8?

Will the styling be different?

Don’t look for more than some slightly different lights and maybe redesigned fenders. Some commentators have criticized the 4-Series for having a front that looks too aggressive, but surely that is the kind of feature that differentiates it from the more conservative 3-Series, right?

Any mechanical changes?

Although the automaker is likely to move the 4-Series further and further away from the 3-Series as time passes, the new four- and six-cylinder engines that are expected to be put into the 3-Series for ’16 should still find their way into this series as well. It would make sense for the rumored six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions to be fitted as well. The introduction of a sporty dual-clutch option would really take this small car in a different direction.

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Will fuel economy improve?

A lot of work has already been done to make this series more economical than you may expect for a sport coupe. Every trim now has stop/start as standard, as well as an EcoPro mode that does all sorts of clever things automatically to save fuel. It is also lighter than the car it replaced by around a hundred pounds and now has electric power steering, which contributes to reducing gas consumption. Depending on whether you choose the four–cylinder, six-cylinder, rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, or manual or automatic transmission, you can expect combined mileage figures of between 23 and 27 mpg. It’s not staggeringly good economy, but there isn’t enough difference between the entry-level 428i and the AWD 435i to put you off the one you want.

Will it have new features?

Most of what we are confident of seeing for the ’16 is concentrated on the engines, transmissions and a minor cosmetic refreshing, but we wouldn’t be surprised if at least one or two new features were added to keep things interesting.

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How will 2016 prices be different?

There was no price increase for model-year ’15, with the entry-level 428i coupe in rear-wheel drive continuing to start at $40,500. That leads us to expect at least a minor price rise for 2016, especially if it gets the new engines and such.

When is the expected release date?

Unless there are some unexpected developments, it should land in showrooms around the middle of 2015.

Best competitors

Audi A5, Lexus IS, Mercedes C-Class, Infiniti Q60, Cadillac ATS Coupe

What changes would make it better?

There’s very little that can be done to improve on this excellent luxury sport coupe and convertible without boosting the price tag dramatically. While more power and performance are always welcome in a car like this, that’s the terrain of the M4 with its twin-turbo six-cylinder engine that gets you from zero to 60 in just 3.9 seconds with the dual-clutch transmission. Some people would like to see the aggressive front-styling toned down a notch or two, but perhaps they’d be better-off going for the more conservative 3-Series instead.

Quick hit

For some buyers, BMW’s range of models is growing so large that it is starting to get out of hand. While the glut of models theoretically provides something for everyone, we have to ask: Is there any real need for a four-door Gran Coupe version of the 4-Series?

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to Carpreview.com two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for HowStuffWorks.com, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]