IT'S hard to believe the BMW 4 Series is now eight years old - it seems like only yesterday it was introduced.
BMW knew it would be a hit in the UK and they were right - it was an instantaneous success.
It won't come as a surprise to many fans of the Munich-based brand that its latest versions are even better - despite the new, extra-large ‘love-it-or-hate-it' kidney grille.
It maybe somewhat engorged but it doesn't distract from the fact the 4 Series is a handsome and sporty-looking premium coupe. It also looks better in the flesh than in photos and, to be honest, I found it growing on me.
With a coupe this good, who cares anyway?
The new design also puts clear water between it and the latest 3 Series saloon. It's longer, wider and though very slightly higher, is still much lower than the new 3 Series. A wider rear track helps increase grip and also gives it a more aggressive stance.
All UK 4 Series are M Sports complete with sports seats and M tricolour stitching, and are decently equipped. Standard goodies include LED lights front and rear, 18-inch M alloy wheels, heated seats, automatic climate control, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, and BMW's Live Cockpit Professional set-up featuring a crisp and bright 10.25-inch infotainment screen and a 12.3-inch digital instrument display.
Usefully, you can operate the infotainment display as a touchscreen or via a handy and tactile ‘iDrive' rotary controller between the front seats.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also now come as standard as does BMW's Active Guard Plus system which features front collision warning with brake intervention and pedestrian detection and lane departure warning.
In the driver-focused cockpit, the driver and front passenger will find plenty of space to make themselves comfortable. The driving position is excellent as is the layout of all the major controls and, although you sit quite low, forward visibility is excellent. The seats are comfortable, supportive and highly adjustable.
That said, in the back, things are a little tighter with two individual seats which are probably only best used by adults on shorter trips.
With boot space totalling 440 litres the 4 Series offers decent practicality. The centre section of the rear seats in the 4 Series usefully folds flat, so it's possible to create further room for longer items. The rear backrest has a 40:20:40 split as standard and its individual sections can be released and folded flat by pressing a button in the boot.
The good news is that not only does the 4 Series Coupe look sleek and elegant, it's a belter to drive.
In Comfort mode it's an adept, quiet and refined cruiser fine for pootling around town or munching up the motorway in tranquility.
For fun, there's the Sport mode which takes full advantage of performance from the engine and transmission, the standard M Sport suspension, and perfectly balanced 50:50 weight distribution. It handles beautifully - agile, with responsive steering and feels wonderfully fluent when driven with the right balance of power.