It has now been 9 months since I acquired my 4 Series and it has been getting plenty of use over that time doing the daily grind, family holidays towing the caravan and many many drives just for the love of driving. I’m pleased to say that so far there have been no issues either, that are the fault of the car anyway. Twice I have had a flat battery but this turned out to be due to the towbar electrics and not an issue with the car itself.
I have made a couple of changes to the car since it arrived. I have replaced the chrome grill with a gloss black piece from the guys at AutoID which makes a huge difference to the look of the car. I was in two minds whether I wanted to make the change but I am so glad I did because it looks far more menacing now. The other change is a far more recent one and that is I have swapped out the Burr Walnut Trim from the interior and replaced it with the more modern looking Fineline Anthracite trim. I didn’t want to go down the carbon fibre route or M-Performance parts as I didn’t feel it was befitting of the rest of the car. I may have thought differently if it had the full M-Performance body kit and 20″ wheels but I wanted to keep things aligned with the sleek OEM look on the outside. I didn’t purchase brand new parts as BMW would have relieved me of £1500 plus for the privilege but managed to find some good quality used parts on eBay for less than £200.
The final change I have made recently was the registration number. I purchased a personalised registration ending in TSS for ,you guessed it, The Supercar Stalker. I was going to buy one with my own initials but it was four times the price which I really wasn’t prepared to pay. I got some shortened but still road legal plates made up from Number1Plates and they look fantastic. The only issue I had was the previous plates had been screwed onto the bumper right in the top corners so had to paint some plastic plugs and use them to plug the wholes which looks ok. I would like a cleaner more permanent fix however so if anyone can recommend a solution that doesn’t involve plastic welding and a respray let me know!
The car was serviced in September at Rybrook BMW Warwick, slightly early so I could relax on a family holiday not mile watching in anticipation of running over the recommended schedule. It also had a brake fluid change at the same time and both cost me just £300 which I thought was quite reasonable. Otherwise the car has only required fuel in the time I have had it. Tyre wear has been excellent despite some hard driving at times and other than screenwash no fluids have needed topping up.
The tyres are something I keep dwelling on. Fitted currently are the Bridgestone Potenza S001 Runflats and whilst I don’t find the ride unduly harsh, in the cold weather early this year they suffered a big loss of traction/grip in the wet which felt more significant than any car I’ve driven without runflats. I’m liked to switch to a performance non runflat tyre when these need changing, either the default Michelin PS4S, Goodyear Eagle F1 or the new Bridgestone Potenza Sport which seems to be getting rave reviews at the moment. I have toyed with putting some winter or all-season tyres on it for the winter months as performance tyres on a RWD car in the snow and ice isn’t exactly fun on a public road at least but it’s a significant cost that living in the UK, is usually not worth it thanks to our mild wet winters.
Living with the car has been a breeze. It is extremely comfortable and I have done a few 6/7 hour drives and not suffered for it in the slightest. It is a supreme motorway cruiser as it tracks straight ahead even at high speeds with no input from the driver and the adaptive cruise control means you really can just sit back and relax on a long journey. Keep within the speed limits and I have seen approaching 60 MPG which for a car this fast is exceptional. Day to do my MPG hovers around the 40 mark. I have noticed it takes a long time for the engine to reach optimum operating temperature, around 15 minutes, and this has a big impact on fuel consumption if you are doing short trips. Even during very spirited driving the low 30’s MPG are as bad as things get. I even get 28-30mpg whilst towing our caravan which is decent. You do get quite a bit of road noise at higher speeds however but nothing that can’t be drowned out by the excellent Harman Kardon sound system. In many of the BMW’s I have driven I have been disappointed by the sound quality of the Harman Kardon systems, particularly in the lesser models but the system in the 4 Series is fantastic. It’s probably the standout feature that has impressed me the most with the car in the time I have had it.
When you do want to have some fun it doesn’t suffer from its comfortable attributes. The electronic bolster adjust allows you to wrap the seat around you which makes them extremely supportive when things get twisty and helps contain the small amount of body roll you notice in the bends. There is very little of that body roll however and the car feels agile especially considering its size and weight and there is more grip than you could sensibly need on a road. It feels genuinely sporty when you want it to. That body control does lead to it feeling firm at times but it is rarely uncomfortable and adds to the purposeful feeling of the car.
The engine pulls hard and strong from no revs at all and despite being a diesel, goes on to push all the way towards the redline in a way most oil burners never do. Overtaking is effortless anywhere and it feels even quicker than 260hp should thanks to the flood of torque on offer. The gearbox isn’t as quick as BMW’s latest examples but it is more than up to the job. It occasionally feels lazy in its most relaxed settings but it always picks the right gear and in the sporty modes and particularly in manual mode it has never left me wanting for quicker shifts. The brakes can feel a little spongey at times but when you are pushing on or need to brake hard they have massive stopping power thanks to 370mm front and 345mm rear discs.
BMW’s iDrive is of course excellent and still the most usable system out there and the maps and particularly the Real Time Traffic Information has guided me around countless traffic jams. Being over 3 years old I did have to pay a £49 fee for the year but it is worth every penny. The later BMW systems are more accomplished at finding destinations and places of interest than this slightly older system which would be my only criticism but you can soon input the address yourself on those occasions when the system cannot find it for itself.
Next up for the 4 Series is its annual MOT in December (the yearly safety check for anyone not based in the UK) which I am hoping will be plain sailing. Being a BMW Approved Car it does come with an MOT test insurance so hopefully if there are any issues it won’t cost me at least. Then it will be decision time as whether to extend the warranty in January when the current cover ends. But that will depends on the cost involved at the time.
Thanks for reading my update and stick around for more. I have set up a new Instagram account to run alongside my main account just for photographs and updates of this car so please follow me there https://www.instagram.com/tanzanite_f32/ .