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BMW 4-Series M4 review

2020 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 54.4
” Fabulous driver's car that really only struggles for comfort “

At a glance

Price new £87,495 - £100,345
Used prices £39,536 - £77,510
Road tax cost £600
Insurance group 42 - 49
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Fuel economy 28 - 28.8 mpg
Miles per pound 4.1 - 4.2
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types


Pros & cons

  • Rewarding to drive
  • Room for four
  • Super-responsive engine
  • Very expensive
  • Styling won't win friends
  • Uncomfortable ride

Written by James Dennison Published: 28 September 2021 Updated: 15 May 2023


The BMW M4 is the fastest, loudest and most performance-focused version of the German maker’s popular 4 Series coupe. Blessed (or cursed) with bold styling and a hefty price tag to match, its outright comfort and fuel efficiency levels aren’t as impressive as some cheaper models in the range. But when it comes to luxury sports cars the M4 is one of the finest on the market.

Alternatives include the Audi A5-based RS5 Coupe – with its standard all-wheel drive and slightly more understated styling – as well as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe-based AMG C63, Lexus RC F and Quadrifoglio versions of the Alfa Romeo Giulia. All have their pros and cons, so think carefully before spending big money on these high-powered performance cars.

What’s it like inside?

BMW has a reputation for building wonderful car interiors and it’s no different in the M4. There’s lashings of Merino leather and carbon fibre, as well as an accomplished infotainment system. Central to this is a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display that controls most of the car’s ancillary functions, while a digital dashboard screen (named BMW Live Cockpit Professional) gives you readouts for all crucial info.

While there’s a huge amount of functionality on offer, BMW has done a great job at making the systems easy to use – with a bit of practice. The buttons and controls are well laid out and the menu systems crisp and intuitive. Of particular note is the rotary dial control wheel placed near the gearlever. In addition to the touchscreen, this allows the driver (or passenger) to operate the infotainment systems with minimal distraction.

BMW M4 (2021) review - interior image
Optional carbon bucket seats (pictured) are low, hard and have very little padding.

What’s it like to drive?

BMW has leant heavily on technology to ensure that the M4 delivers an exciting, yet practical experience. For example, electronically controlled suspension allows the driver to choose between firm, sporty settings and softer, more comfortable modes. And it’s the same story with the engine, gearbox and even brakes, with each customisable via menus in the infotainment system.

Don’t get us wrong. The M4 is still primarily focused on performance and does not deliver the same level of comfort, refinement or fuel economy as other 4 Series models. Total output from its twin-turbo engine is 510hp and 650Nm of torque, good enough for 0-62mph in just 3.5 seconds in the xDrive version and 3.9 with rear-wheel drive.

BMW M4 (2021)
Adding all-wheel drive does little to numb the superb balance of the M4.

It is worth remembering that the M4 is a heavy car – around 1,800kg – but it disguises its weight well. Direction changes are swift and accurate, while the flexibility of the engine is second-to-none, delivering impressive acceleration even in higher gears.

Calm things down and you’ll enjoy acceptable comfort levels and a vast range of driver assistance tech – including Front Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning and BMW Head-Up Display – helping keep you safe.

The M4 CSL special edition, built to celebrate the M division’s 50th birthday, ups power to 550hp and reduces weight to 1,625kg thanks to lots of carbon fibre and the removal of the rear seats. It’s a different animal to the regular M4. BMW’s made it specifically for the track and it’s as hardcore as it looks. The steering and throttle are lightning quick and it constantly feels on edge. At low speeds the ride is harsh and lumpen, while the engine doesn’t run especially smoothly at low speeds. Get it through the rev range and it sings and burbles up to ferocious speeds.

What models and trims are available?

Unlike the regular 4 Series Coupe (that has lots of different trim levels and engine choices), the M4 (other than the limited edition CSL) is only available in one trim (Competition), one engine (a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged straight-six) and one gearbox – an eight-speed automatic.

However, one thing you can choose is whether the car is rear-wheel drive (standard fit) or all-wheel drive – the latter offering a similar solution to Quattro on Audi RS models. Depending on what you want from your M4, the xDrive all-wheel drive could be desirable given its ability to provide more traction in all driving – although especially when the road surface is slippery.

BMW M4 CSL rear
Bonkers-fast CSL special edition is aimed at track day enthusiasts.

Of course, besides driving dynamics, there are several optional extra packages to choose from, including the Comfort Pack, Visibility Pack, Technology Plus Pack, M Driver’s Pack, M Carbon Pack, M Pro Pack and Ultimate Pack. The latter bundles most of the above together, giving you almost everything you could realistically want on the M4.

Click through to the verdict and find out whether we recommend an M4 over the competition.

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