BEHIND THE WHEEL: BMW 428i
MONDAY DECEMBER 16, 2013
Head turning looks
Off the line lag
0-100 km/h: 5.8s
Top speed: 250 km/h
RM 360,00 or
Sometime last week I drove past a BMW dealership and I must admit the 4 series is definitely one of the prettiest car on sale today (just don't get one in a lame colour). I couldn't quite get over what I saw and told myself, I've got to drive one soon. Critics have spoken on how BMW’s marketing strategy is a gimmick where the 4 being a disguised 3 series and on how the interiors are so similar to its 4-door counterpart. The fact is that the 4 is a 2-door version of the 3 so they look similar and will naturally look alike on the inside.
When I drove the 320d in France earlier this year, I was genuinely fascinated by how user-friendly and quick responding the iDrive was. Now with a writing pad added to the knob, it is the best infotainment system there is and if you still don't get it, you might just be the knob. The problem is, I am not all that impressed on the inside because it is just too familiar on the inside. Jump out of an Audi and get into one of these and you won't be pondering where the boot release is. Event the back seats to this coupe would accommodate two at ease.
Moving on to the 435i M and at 525 thousand, is sure ain't cheap plus what I liked most about it is what BMWs are all about its straight-six engine. Sure the engine will unquestionalbly sound better than a 428i but at 165 thousand premium for seventh of a second faster and noise is to many a bit much. To do the 435 some justice, it comes with 30 thousand M package which is optional on a 428.
The differences between the three, 428i, 428i M and 435i M are minute. In short, the M sport bodykit does look slightly better, M steering's heavily bolstered and instead of red lining on the inside, you get blue ones. I soon got bored and went for a drive. Started off in comfort mode which made the steering a featherweight which is always a bad thing to critic since it lack some sort of feel they have always been searching for but while I perform my poor parking manoeuvres, I am more than glad to that it is actually light.
The 4 is an incredibly easy car to drive despite its low-slung seating position and excellent all round visibility. I then went onto roads less travelled and had it in Sport mode so the car obviously tightens up to deliver a more agile driving dynamics. As for the steering, it still felt light but very precise and accurate so what's there to complain about? While on full throttle through less than perfect surfaces, the traction control stabilises the car without you noticing unless you're looking at the yellow flickering light on your speedometer. Truth be told, it wasn't my driving, it is technology at its best.
" Even the engine not being properly warmed up, the 428i
was relentless..No hiccups and all go "
Drop a couple of gears, foot down and it did not once not take orders. Pull out from a junction from a standstill you'll find all that power comes at a price and that is turbo lag. So my solution to that is foot-down so it wouldn't be a problem and the traction control will keep you from too much sideways. That aside, I really couldn't really fault this the 4 series as I was quite worried that it might be running in my mind for days to come. I noticed in the 328i which shares the same engine coarse and unrefined when pressed on but isn’t the case for the 4. Having said that, no 4-cylinder block is great sounding otherwise there won't be a place for the 6 cylinder on planet earth.
If you have to have a straight-six, the 435 is for you. Otherwise it boils down to having the 30 thousand ringgit M sport package or not on a 428. Apart from having everything blue instead of red, chrome exhaust tip instead of black ones and silver dash lining opposing to black. On the surface, they’re pretty much the same only having differently designed rim and body kits. But if you dig a little deeper, it comes with wider rear tyres, adaptive suspension, more stopping power and comfort access.
Much thought should be put into this since most of the upgrade are spent on cosmetic. Then again having experienced low profile tyres and harsh suspensions for the sake of sportiness have made me realise the importance of a comfortable ride. Before it had to leave, I had one last glance. The low and wide stance of that black 428i really captures me. I frankly would be sold if I were in the market for a sub-400 thousand coupe. One in Estoril Blue or my favourite Melbourne Red on my driveway would be a great addition to any stable.