Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

Using many of the same engines and gearboxes as the 3 Series does, BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe performance ranges from middling to monstrous, with engine outputs starting at 143bhp and finishing with 313bhp.

Petrol Engines

There are three petrol engines to choose from with the 4 Series Gran Coupe; two 2.0-litre four-cylinder units and one 3.0-litre six cylinder, all using BMW’s Twinpower turbocharging kit, as well as the firm’s EfficientDynamics fuel-saving technology.

At the entry-level is the 420i, using a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine to produce 185bhp and 270Nm of torque, allowing it to sprint from 0-62mph in just over seven seconds. It feels sprightly, rather than fast, but is always smooth and refined, despite BMW six-cylinder purists bemoaning the four-cylinder arrangement.

The same applies to the more powerful (245bhp and 350Nm) 428i, which uses the same 2.0-litre engine block but with a revised ECU to allow it to sprint from 0-62mph in just 5.8 seconds. Unlike the 420i, which tops out at 147mph, the 428i manages 155mph before it is electronically limited.

If your quest is focused solely on performance, then it’s the 435i that demands attention. With a six-cylinder layout to appease the purists this 3.0-litre turbocharged engine produces 306bhp and 400Nm of torque, which means the 0-62mph sprint take just five seconds. It feels as fast as the on-paper figures would suggest too.

Diesel Engines

Interestingly it’s a diesel engine that takes the plaudits for most power within the 4 Series Gran Coupe range though, with the 435d offering 313bhp, and an even more impressive 630Nm torque figure. It’s the latter number that allows the 435d to complete the 0-62mph sprint in just 4.8 seconds, though like the range-topping petrol 435i it too is electronically limited to 155mph.

The 430d (also six-cylinders) is almost as quick as the 435d, but in truth most 4 Series Gran Coupes that are bought will feature the 418d or 420d engines at their heart. Mechanically identical – a 2.0-litre four-cylinder single turbo unit – they offer 143bhp and 184bhp respectively, though key to their appeal is their low emissions and high fuel economy. If you can afford it the 420d is the one to opt for though, the extra horsepower and torque allowing for more relaxed progress and easier overtaking.

Four wheel drive

If you’re concerned about BMWs only being rear wheel drive, then think again as the firm is offering its 4 Series Gran Coupe models with the excellent xDrive four-wheel drive system. Available on the 420i, 420d, 430d and 435d engines only, it offers more grip but does dent performance, economy and efficiency slightly – though it’s unnoticeable in almost every condition.

Six-speed manual transmissions are available on all of the petrol engines, though those looking to stir the stick themselves while driving a diesel are restricted to the 418d or 420d models only. It’s a great gearbox, but if you have the required cash we can wholeheartedly recommend the excellent eight-speed automatic ‘box instead since it shifts smoothly, quickly and, when in manual mode, at your request.

If you’ve driven a BMW 3 Series then chances are you’ll have a very good handle on just how the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe performs through corners. For those that haven’t, there's good news because on the whole the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe handles very well indeed.

Even without all the adaptive chassis systems offered by the firm, turn-in is sharp and the well-weighted steering allows accurate placement of the car in bends and offers enough feedback to ensure you’re always aware of what is happening underneath the front wheels. Things improve further when the firm’s Variable Sport Steering (£250) is added, sharpening response even further.

Conventionally suspended on steel springs the 4 Series Gran Coupe rides well, as long as you don’t specify particularly large alloy wheels, and keeps its bodyroll well in check. In fact you can genuinely enjoy driving the 4 Series Gran Coupe at speed if you so wish, such is the tautness of the chassis.

That can be further improved by the Adaptive M Sport Suspension that can be added to M Sport trim cars for £515, which allows the best of both worlds with a softer comfort mode aided by a Normal, Sport or Sport+ selection that firms up the damper’s responses.

To be fair, none of the above settings are particularly soft-riding, and those expecting limo-like levels of float and flair will be disappointed, though the BMW is never crashy or confused by low or high-speed bumps, dealing with every imperfection confidently and swiftly.

Choose the xDrive four-wheel drive system and the 4 Series Gran Coupe grips harder for longer, though in truth the advantages this system offer you will be scarcely noticed in normal use. Where it will make the difference is when pulling away from wet junctions, in winter weather or at higher speeds on unfamiliar roads.