BMW 435d Gran Coupe

xDrive M Sport

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, static side
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, action front 2
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, action front
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, full front
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, static side 3
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, static side 2
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, action rear
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, dashboard
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, dash detail

COMPROMISE. It's a word that I, along with most of my generation, grew up with.

Share it with your sister, I was told by an irritated parent. You can't have your own way all the time - learn to compromise.

The C-word became every bit as irritating as having to hand things back, make space for siblings and generally accepting second best.

Nowadays, it's very different. For a start, I grew up and became aware what you can't afford right now you can borrow/use a plastic card/or sell something else to get what you want.

And the climate generally has changed in these get-now-pay-later days.

Best of all, most of the time you can have the best of both worlds. This was never clearer than recently when I borrowed a BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.

Here was a comfy, large five-door with the opening tailgate of a hatch and the luggage capacity of decent-sized estate car.

Yet it's got the sculptured, rakish profile of racy coupe. And to top it all, under the bonnet is a thumping great six-cylinder turbo diesel that delivers enough clout to shame many two-seater sports cars.

As if all this doesn't demolish the demon ‘compromise' word, its real world economy of around 44mpg makes it pretty reasonable to run. Of course at north of £45,000, it's not exactly cheap to buy.

It's a formula that has worked for BMW as well for us Brits who buy around 10,000 4 Series a year ... even more than the cheaper two-door Coupe.

In 435d M Sport guise, it comes with all wheel drive xDrive system which in normal conditions delivers a bias to the rear wheels allowing an appropriately sporty feel as well as ensuring all the 313bhp can be fed to both axles.

Eight-speed automatic transmission is standard together with a choice of driving modes including Sport and Sport Plus and steering wheel paddle-change for an extra dose of fun when required.

It's a fuss-free, fast and efficient system that makes you wonder why anyone should want a clutch pedal next to the brake and accelerator.

Despite its practical nature the 435d is a true driver's car with crisp handling and enough power to blast to 62mph in under five seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155mph.

The true advantage in such heady acceleration is the ease of overtaking - with oodles of torque available a pass can be carried out in just a few seconds.

The straight six diesel is a bit gruff on start up, but soon calms down and long before the legal limit is merely a background whisper.

The cabin is smart though somewhat Teutonically austere looking with acres of dark plastic mouldings and similarly sombre roof lining. Controls, dials and central touch screen appear solid and well made.

Room up front and in the back is ample for four and perhaps even five, though the ceiling height in the rear is a bit lower than the saloon.

And the opening hatchback boot is truly cavernous with space for 480 litres of cargo. The rear seats can be folded to expand this to around 1300 litres.

FAST FACTS

BMW 435d Gran Coupe xDrive M Sport

Price: £47,280

Mechanical:313bhp, 2,993cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving four-wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 155mph

0-62mph: 4.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 49.6

Insurance Group: 41

C02 emissions: 150g/km

Bik rating: 36%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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