BMW 440i M Coupe

BMW 420d xDrive M Sport Coupe, front
BMW 420d xDrive M Sport Coupe, side
BMW 420d xDrive M Sport Coupe, rear
BMW 420d xDrive M Sport Coupe, interior

DESPITE what some motorists may think there's no set stereotype of customers when it comes to buying and driving a quality sporty coupe with many preferring a more subtle, quiet looking piece of machinery rather than something that's loud and leery in appearance and stands out from other cars out on the road.

A prime example of the former is the latest BMW coupe - the 440i which replaces the previous 435i - where the styling can best be described as discreet and an initial glance will not raise any eyebrows or undue concerns amongst the more discerning sports coupe driving fraternity.

Apart from sizeable brake discs and at the rear a wide spaced pair of big exhaust pipes, the 440i looks quite a placid car.

However, that is totally misleading when it comes to its performance.

Underneath the bonnet is an awesomely powerful twin turbocharged three-litre 326bhp engine that again in a rather subtle (and extremely quiet) way delivers the kind of sports performance to thrill the true enthusiast.

Push the driving mode button into Sport Plus and using the steering wheel mounted paddle gear change then accelerate and suddenly this becomes a high performance car with a real sting in its tail.

In the M Sport version the 440i becomes a different proposition altogether accelerating from 0 to 62mph in 5.4 seconds but the crucial benefit in everyday driving is the mid range acceleration, whether you use the manual change or rely on the eight-speed automatic gearbox to do the hard work.

The response is instant but so quiet and civilised making it such an easy car to drive despite having all that power on tap and with a light yet positive steering feel it's a great handling car with no apparent vices, tucking neatly and confidently into tight corners at speed.

Forego the out and out performance and push the driving mode button into Comfort along with Eco and again the 440i becomes an even more civilised car (stop/start is standard) but also with sufficient instant power available when needing to overtake say in heavy traffic.

This coupe though is all about being a comfortable, long distance cruiser and in this respect it comes out top over it German rivals from Audi and Mercedes-Benz judging by a 450 mile day run I experienced, from the Scottish Borders down to Essex.

Such a daunting all-in-one run proved an extremely comfortable and relaxing exercise but still with a subtle enough performance to be sensibly quick when needed and completing the drive without feeling any body aches and pains at the end.

As for fuel consumption the long run saw it clip the 34.3mpg mark - not as near as the official combined figure of 42.8mpg - and obviously at other times driving it in Sport Plus mode than the consumption hardly surprisingly dropped to the 28.4mpg mark.

On the inside, the 440i lives up to the high standard of any BMW car today with luxury finish using quality materials, exceptionally supportive front seats - there are two seats in the rear but more for travelling youngsters than adults in my view.

For the driver there's a good, clear display screen on top and in the middle of the dashboard making navigating and infotainment quick and easy to read while the driver stalks and controls and just like in any other BMW model of today and of course there‘s BMW‘s renowned iDrive on board too.

Overall the BMW 440i impresses in terms of the expected sports performance but also because it really is a great long distant cruiser with plenty of power available when needed and out on the road it remains so discreet looking as not to be a head-turner.

FAST FACTS

BMW 440i M Coupe

Price: £47,685

Mechanical: 326bhp, 2,998cc, 6cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 155mph

0-62mph: 5.4 seconds

Combined MPG:42.8

Insurance Group: 50

C02 emissions: 169g/km

Bik rating: 28%

Warranty: 3yrs/99,999 miles

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