First drive review: 2017 BMW M4
Review updated by Jay Kay 07 March 2017 05:03 pm | Motoring
There is no denying that this car is a beast. 3.0 litre twin turbo with a lot of torque (over 400lb/ft!) all delivered in an excellent attractive package. But is it better than the fantastic BMW M2??
Score 5.0 / 5 RRP £50000.00
Pros: Looks as good as it drives, very nice interior, plenty of grip and confidence for public roads in the damp
Cons: The size of it might not appeal to purest, test drive too short!
Torque: 406lb/ft from 1850rpm
Transmission: 6 speed manual
Top Speed: 155mph
Road Tax: K
Release Date: 2016-01-01
Verdict: I love this car. I love the BMW M2. I'd be happy with either!
The 2016 BMW M4 is a joy to drive even when pottering about
A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a 2017 BMW M2 and test drive it. Cutting a long story short, I fell in love with the car and concluded by saying i'd definately replace my Mk7 Golf R DSG with it. A conversation then took place in the comments section of that video, where a couple of BMW fans pointed out that they felt the current BMW M3 and M4 were better than the M2. In light of this claim, I decided to visit a BMW retailer who happened to have a demonstrator of the BMW M4 in for test drive.
Now straight away I'll start by saying that the test drive I did was very short. The main reason for that being I was almost an hour late for my apppointment. It was interesting, because I was expecting the dealership to be quiet just as the Porsche dealership was on the Saturday morning previous. But to my dismay the place was so busy, it took me a while to find a parking spot! So because the test drive was so short, I will be going for another but I was able to drive the car enough where I could develop some sort of opinion and feeling of the car.
Going over the looks of the car. The front grille area of the car looks pretty much the same as that of the BMW M2 - where you have the aggressive grilles covering the intercooler air intake entrances, the lovely BMW style LED head lamps and of course the BMW emblem. The bonnet is better looking than the M2 though in my opinion where it has extra M bumps - the obvious reason being that this unit has a twin turbo charging setup where the BMW M2 is a single "twin scroll" turbo system. The BMW M4 is also slightly wider than the BMW M2 and you can sense that pretty much straight away - the M4 is a bigger car than the M2.
The interior was a lot better than the M2's. The interior of this car felt luxurious and the look of it (tanned interior of a black body) really suited the car. The leather felt good quality and the steering wheel also felt high quality. So the BMW M2 loses out here, but what we have to remember is, the BMW M2 is supposed to be a purer, more "back to roots" performance based car. I get a little confused as well when it comes to comparing the M2 with the M4 because the BMW M4 is also supposed to be a race oriented car but I'll go over that more later on.
The side of the M4 is where it tends to mislead those who don't know. It portrays this M as being big and bruttish a bit like the previous BMW E92 M3. I love the look of it which says to me "big german muscle car" and I'd peg it as being in competition with the Mercedes C63 AMG. Because of this look, because of the physical size which is implied into the onlooker, I expected this car to feel heavy, big and bulky but it didnt! It did feel bigger than an M2 but not much bigger to be honest.
Then there was the rear of the car but again it looked like a bigger version of the BMW M2. So basically, I love the look of this car. I love the fact it is bigger than the M2 as well, because it makes it easier to understand why both cars exist. It is said that the key difference between the two are as follows: The BMW M2 is a purer racer, the BMW M4 is more special. I'm not sure if that is true because I think both cars are special and the BMW M4 is certainly a more agile, civilised car than I was expecting.
If you saw my BMW M4 pre test drive video you will have seen that I was a bit concerned in the BMW M4's wild reputation where wet roads were concerned. But when I actually took the car out on a bit of damp, planting the power down wasn't as tail wave happy as I was expecting. With the car set in firm suspension setting and sensitive throttle I managed to give it a bit of a blast down a B road and onto a dual carriage way. Admittedly joining the dual carriage way I experienced a bit of tail waggle but it was fun if a bit unexpected, and it happened with plenty of margin for error.
At one point early in the test drive, the torques of the car were revealed to me where I put my foot down and was taken away by the amount of pull availabe in such a high gear with such a low rpm. It was very nice, making the Audi RS 5 (the test drive which followed) feel flat and weak in comparison. I found the gear box changes to be good too. I'm not sure if they felt slicker than the BMW M2's though, I'd need more B road time in order to work the box properly to do a fair comparison. The clutch was also about right where comfort is concerned, so having the manual again is possible for daily driver ownership.
One thing that all modern performance cars seem to be good at is playing daily driver. The BMW M4 is of no exception here - you could drive this car daily and never feel as though the car is too firm a ride. I cannot speak for the competition pack though as this car did not include it. I should mention that the competition pack does make the car slightly firmer in normal driving mode.
So is the BMW M4 better than the BMW M2? From first impressions I'd say no. I'd say they are both equally as good as eachother but for different reasons. The BMW M4 is gunning after the performance luxury market in my opinion. Someone who is considering the Mercedes C63 AMG might want to consider the BMW M4. The BMW M2 is gunning after past racing spirit. As for which of the two should you buy... My opinion is you'd be happy with either, but if all you want is a spare weekend/track toy then I personally would choose the BMW M2.
To conclude then I give the M4 a 5 star rating because it is a luxurious, daily capable, light footed M car.