HOW do you reconcile things if you're struggling to decide whether to buy a coupe or a four-door saloon?
Well, if BMW has any say in it, you will opt for a Gran Coupe.
The German marque first explored the market with graceful 6 Series Gran Coupe, a sleek four-door that married the rakish lines of the 6 Coupe with the four-door practicality of the 7 Series saloon.
And now similar treatment has been applied to the 4 Series. Particularly good news for those who like practicality as well as performance is that this model has a hatchback tail with flip-down rear seats making it the ultimate sporting estate without sacrificing that elegant coupe profile.
The range kicks off with the business-orientated 418. But the mighty 435d with its straight six turbo diesel engine is the Gran Coupe that really possesses the halo effect.
Order one with optional xDrive and you get all-paw weather-beating traction with little loss of performance or handling ability.
Just to put the performance in perspective the 435d will eclipse the 62mph dash in 4.8 seconds - that's just a blink of the eye slower than the mighty M3. Top speed remains electronically restricted to 155mph.
But it's the shove-in-the-back mid-range power that continues to impress on every-day journeys when you need to whip past a slow moving lorry or avoid hassle.
Power - no less than 308bhp - is conveyed to the permanent all wheel drive system via an excellent eight-speed automatic gearbox with slick, almost undetectable changes. If you want to do a bit work yourself, there are steering wheel paddles to fiddle with.
It seems almost inconceivable that a car with such monstrous grunt could manage to return a fuel consumption in the mid-40s on an everyday basis, but this is the case.
The official combined figure is 50.4mpg and most owners are unlikely to drop much below the 40mpg mark.
When it comes to the space race, the 4 series Gran Coupe does impressively well. The hatchback boot can swallow up 480 litres of cargo which is about the same as the regular 3 Series saloon and 35 litres up on the 4 Coupe.
The rear seats split and fold 60-40 and there's space for three adults to sit on the rear seat at a pinch.
Headroom in the back is slightly compromised but there's still space for a six-footer.
The cabin front and back is typical BMW which means good quality, sturdy plastic mouldings, leather upholstery and mainly dark, colours.
It's worthy and tough but hardly ground-breaking or exciting...time to lighten up BMW.
Parking sensors, heated front seats, dual zone air con and cruise control are all standard across the range.
This car also came with electrically adjustable front seats and head-up display information - a really useful accessory.