Car Enthusiast - click here to access the home page


 



Driven: 2022 BMW M440d xDrive Convertible. Image by BMW.

Driven: 2022 BMW M440d xDrive Convertible
Diesel power is a surprisingly compelling option for this awesome drop-top.

   



<< earlier review     later review >>

Reviews homepage -> BMW reviews

2022 BMW M440d xDrive Convertible

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

The BMW 4 Series arrived under a cloud. That gopping front grille seemed to have more enemies than friends, and the proportions of the flanks were also called into question. But while the aesthetics were questionable, the driving experience was never in doubt. Based on roughly the same underpinnings as the 3 Series, the 4 Series was destined to be brilliant. And this, the 3.0-litre, convertible M440d xDrive might just be the most brilliant 4 Series of them all.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: BMW M440d xDrive Convertible
Pricing: £66,745 (as tested)
Engine: 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six diesel mild-hybrid
Transmission: eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Body style: two-door, four-seat convertible
CO2 emissions: 163g/km
Combined economy: 45.6mpg
Top speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 5.0 seconds
Power: 340hp
Torque: 700Nm
Boot space: 385 litres

What's this?

In essence, the M440d and M440i xDrive models are designed to bridge the gap between more conventional 4 Series models and the go-faster M4 variants. Both come with 3.0-litre, straight-six engines producing plenty of power, but the M440i is powered by petrol while the M440d runs on much-maligned diesel. The latter is on test here, having done sterling work in the closely related 3 Series saloon and Touring estate models.

Regardless of engine, both cars are based on much the same underpinnings Ė those of the more conventional 4 Series Convertible. Under the skin, itís just a 3 Series with two doors and a folding fabric roof, but the exterior design is intended to offer some more sporting intent. Hence the massive grilles common to all 4 Series models, and the low, mean stance.

The M440i and M440d models are marked out by their 19-inch grey alloy wheels and Cerium Grey trim around the grille, door mirror caps and air inlets. Red brake callipers also mark out the M Sport anchors behind the rims, while M Sport suspension is standard and thereís an M Sport differential for maximum traction.

Inside, there are lovely sports seats, as well as three-zone climate control and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen. The digital instrument cluster is standard, too, and the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration systems are included in the price.

As youíd expect from a BMW, the cabin quality is outstanding and the ergonomics are brilliant. The driving position is perfect, the seats are supportive and the adjustability means anyone can get comfortable Ė at least in the front. Space in the rear is limited, particularly with the roof up, but with the roof down itís possible to fit four people for a short drive. On longer journeys, those in the back are liable to complain a bit.

On paper, boot space is pretty good, with 385 litres of capacity back there. Thatís more than you get in a Volkswagen Golf. However, that only applies when the roof is up. To fold it down, a tray must be lowered in the boot to accommodate the hood, and that reduces load space considerably. Still, itís quite possible for a couple to pack for a week away while still having the roof down. Not least because the back seats are quite accommodating and the use of the wind deflector not only makes the cabin less blustery, but serves to keep any belongings stowed in the back seats from flying around.

The 4 Series, therefore, is an appealing open-top tourer, but it doesnít come cheap. The basic 4 Series Convertible starts at just over £47,000, and that includes plenty of equipment but you only get the entry-level 420i petrol version with the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine. To get an M440d, youíll need to cough up at least £60,950, while the M440i costs a few hundred pounds more. Apart from the engine and performance-orientated kit, however, you donít get a vast amount more for your money.

How does it drive?

The 4 Series is a great car in any guise, so a 4 Series with a 3.0-litre engine is always going to be good. Normally, weíd be set against driving a diesel convertible, but the straight-six engine in the M440d xDrive is so good that the fuel type just doesnít matter. Yes, itís a bit clattery when itís cold, but once itís up and running it barely makes a sound. And when you start pushing on, the only noise is a rather pleasant, deep growl. It doesnít even rattle and vibrate in the way you might expect from a bid diesel. Itís fantastic.

Itís fantastically quick, too. The 340hp output is lovely, but the mountainous 700Nm of torque gives this car real guts. The sprint from a standstill to 62mph takes a mere five seconds and the top speed is the obligatory 155mph. Okay, it isnít the fastest thing on the road, but itís more than fast enough for use on the public road. Itís faster than most hot hatchbacks and itís roughly on a par with the 5.0-litre convertible Ford Mustang GT.

But however the M440d might look, sound or accelerate, it is not a point-and-squirt muscle car. This is a poised, refined sports car with handling characteristics that would make any rival wince. The steering is perfectly weighted, and the same is true of the brakes. The eight-speed gearbox moves smoothly through the ratios, and the balance between the front and rear of the car is superb.

The suspension is stunning, too, balancing body control and ride comfort to perfection, creating an ideal car for all occasions. Itís smooth and refined on the motorway, itís fast and agile on a back road, and itís small and comfortable enough to be useful around town. Sure, visibility is a bit limited with the roof up and you canít really see the extremities whatever you do with the folding lid, but thereís a reversing camera and a fleet of parking sensors to help with that.

Better still, because itís four-wheel-drive, the M440d feels surefooted in the wet and should cope when the snow comes down. Assuming youíve fitted decent tyres, of course. And with a diesel engine up front, itís also very efficient. Even with the roof down, you should be able to top 40mpg without trying, and long runs could see you nudging the 50mpg mark. It really can do everything most customers will need.

Verdict

In any form you care to mention, the BMW 4 Series is brilliant, but this specification has to be the ultimate all-rounder. Punchy, parsimonious and great to drive over any distance on any road, itís already ahead of the curve. And thatís before you consider the generous boot and the usable rear seats, plus the ability to utilise all-wheel-drive technology when the weather is bad and the folding roof when it isnít. This car is all things to all people, and if you can get past the gopping grille, youíll see this car for what it really is: a masterpiece.


4 4 4 4 4 Exterior Design

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 src="http://www.carenthusiast.com/graphics/star-half.gif" width="10" height="10" border="0" alt="4.5" title="4.5" /> Ambience

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Passenger Space

4 4 4 4 4 Luggage Space

5 5 5 5 5 Safety

4 4 4 4 4 Comfort

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Driving Dynamics

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Powertrain


James Fossdyke - 12 Jun 2022



  www.bmw.co.uk    - BMW road tests
- BMW news
- 4 Series images

2022 BMW M440d xDrive. Image by BMW.2022 BMW M440d xDrive. Image by BMW.2022 BMW M440d xDrive. Image by BMW.2022 BMW M440d xDrive. Image by BMW.2022 BMW M440d xDrive. Image by BMW.

2022 BMW M440d xDrive. Image by BMW.2022 BMW M440d xDrive. Image by BMW.2022 BMW M440d xDrive. Image by BMW.2022 BMW M440d xDrive. Image by BMW.







 

Internal links:   | Home | Privacy | Contact us | Archives | Old motor show reports | Follow Car Enthusiast on Twitter | Copyright 1999-2022 ©