2014 BMW 435i Coupe Review

4 > 3 but 2 < 4, so in gaining something, has this car lost something else?

By Shahzad Sheikh

BMW 435i Coupe M Sport review in Dubai

Whether I can get my head around it or not is irrelevant. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the 4-series and there is no more 3-series coupe. Live with it. The even numbers in BMW’s range are now reserved for the sexier coupe-esque variants. Why don’t I just say ‘coupe’, because the 6-series Gran Coupe (the best looking current offering from BM) is actually a four-door. And the just announced 4-series Gran Coupe also actually gets extra ports. And then there’s the convertible…

BMW 435i Coupe M Sport review in Dubai

Anyway, in the new world order this is the new version of what you’d previously known as the ‘3-series coupe’. It’s based on the 335i saloon, and in my book that immediately bodes well. That’s because I absolutely loved driving that saloon and it genuinely put a huge grin on my face, every time I drove it, and I was lucky enough to try it on both road and track. In both environs it never failed to entertain.

BMW 435i Coupe M Sport review in Dubai

435i More than just a different number

But wait, is this Four just a quick exercise in coupifying (is that a word? Well it is now!) the Three by simply welding the rear-doors shut and adding a few air-scoopy things on the front flanks. No, actually, it’s not.

BMW 435i Coupe M Sport review in Dubai

Obviously there’s a lot more to it than that. The rear wheels are 80mm further apart and even the front track has increased by 45mm, whilst the wheelbase is up 50mm. It’s lower too, by 16mm, and that gives it one of the lowest centre of gravities of any current Beemer. Plus it gets stiffer suspension and is 25kg lighter.

BMW 435i Coupe M Sport review in Dubai

Look really closely and it even looks different, in fact only the bonnet is shared with the saloon. The bulging rear wheel arches give it a more muscular stance – although the rear cabin is now strictly a two seater and apart from those vents designed to improve airflow through the front wheel wells, the 4 also gets its own LED headlights.

BMW 435i Coupe M Sport review in Dubai

Driving the 435i

All of this actually has a much deeper impact than you might imagine to the experience behind the wheel. But let’s get the performance bit out of the way first. There’s plenty of it. More than enough, and sufficient amounts of off-the-line torque and top end potency to make you either question the need for an M4 or your sanity for desiring one – although you inevitably will anyway. I know I do.

BMW 435i Coupe M Sport review in Dubai

The fantastic eight-speed ZF transmission is sharp and in Sports mode punches in upshifts with delightful ferocity and purpose. Instantaneous response and Autobahn-class cruising speed is not in question when it comes to the 435i.

Power without control , as they say, is nothing. And that’s where this car excels. Even in Sports Plus with the traction and stability set to ‘play’ levels, it’ll launch off the line with barely a chirrup, and only deliberate provocation will get the back out of line.

BMW 435i Coupe M Sport review in Dubai

Like a sports car, it’s a sharp, pointy thing with eager turn-in and great grip and poise. But unlike a sports car, it rides extremely well with a great deal of comfort and the steering is tuned for ease of use and carefully filtered for feedback, giving you only what’s necessary and no more.

BMW 435i Coupe M Sport review in Dubai

So the 435i offers the ability of a swift sportscar and the usability of a smooth saloon in a sort of mini-GT package. It looks great, has a distinctive presence and an unshakeable air of class and quality.

BMW 435i Coupe M Sport review in Dubai

Inside it’s all familiar to current BMW owners and certainly 3-series drivers, plus of course it comes armed with an array of comfort features and toys, including the little arm that comes forward to offer you the seatbelt (why, thank you!) and the reassuring gentle tug the restraint gives you as you move off.

BMW 435i Coupe M Sport review in Dubai

Verdict

So a winner than? A worthy successor to the eponymous 3-series coupe, and surely an instant hit? Well possibly, probably even. But as with the Three the price is an issue. The 428i Coupe Executive weighs in at AED205,000, but the 435 starts at AED255,000 for the Coupe Sports Line, and AED280,000 for the Coupe M Sport you see in these pictures.

BMW 435i Coupe M Sport review in Dubai

I can confidently predict that the forthcoming Cadillac ATS Coupe (though we’re not sure if and when it will be launched in our region) would be more affordable, and even the heralded Lexus RC coupe will almost certainly undercut this slightly.

BMW 435i Coupe M Sport review in Dubai

But there’s something else too. Because this 435i is stiffer and more planted with that incredibly grippy back end and the idiot-proof handling, it’s lost some of the waywardness and lurid tail-out eagerness of the 335i that I remember experiencing. Yes, this will play, it will slide, and any lateral movement is catchable, exploitable and enjoyable, but most of the time it’s a precision point-to-point machine, tenaciously grippy and faithful.

BMW 435i Coupe M Sport review in Dubai

Frankly speaking, that’s probably for the best and with my sensible head on, I can’t deny that’s the right way to go for something with such power and torque on tap. However part of me can’t help but yearn for the more exciting and lurid mini-muscle car antics of the Three saloon.

Progress. Sigh.

2014 BMW 435i Coupe – The Specs

Price:
435i Coupe Sports Line: AED255k ($69k)
435i Coupe M Sport: AED280k ($76k)
Engine: 2979cc 24v turbocharged straight-six, 307bhp @ 5800-6000rpm, 295lb ft @ 1200-5000rpm
Performance: 5.1 0-100kph, 250kph, 7.4L/100km
Transmission: Eight-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
Weight: 1525kg

Tell us what you think of the 435i below

 

2 responses to “2014 BMW 435i Coupe Review”

  1. Utk says:

    I know I’m late, but this question just struck me.
    4-series coupe, or the F-Type Coupe?

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