The BMW M440i is so good you forget how ugly it is

The BMW M440i is so good you forget how ugly it is


Every day when walking to the garage to find the BMW 4 Series, or M440i if you want to call it its version, the question came to my mind: “What? But that thought disappeared two minutes after I drove the BMW out of the building.

Priced at R$604,950, it is in the middle of the BMW range. It’s not as dour and famous (in several quotes) as the 3 Series, but it’s nowhere near the crazy (and incredibly weird) tire-frying approach of brothers M3 and M4. It is one of the best cars I have driven in 2022.

double lung

BMW is controversial in its current design language. You do it to get attention and you get it. It had been a while since I drove a car that turned a lot of necks on the road. The beautiful Arctic Racing Blue color helped with that, I can’t deny it. The 1.85 m wide body is 2 cm longer than the Toyota Hilux.

BMW M440i [Auto+ / João Brigato]

With its length of 4.77 m, which puts it in the same position as the Jeep Commander, the BMW 4 Series stands out in traffic. But what’s also nice about the M440i is its front grille. And why? The two elegant kidneys in the previous generation now look like two lungs filled with air that have created a look similar to the pig from Angry Birds.

It’s not good. Sorry to the BMW fans who will criticize me in the comments just because it’s an expensive luxury car. The lowered headlights also don’t fit the style well, while the bumper has sweeping lines all around. The profile is divided, sleek and stylish, showing how easily a modification would save the 4 Series’ style.

BMW M440i [Auto+ / João Brigato]

You just can’t forgive the absence of the hofmeister kink, the usual slope of the C-pillar that every BMW, even minivans, has. Without it, the side profile of the 4 Series is more Mercedes-Benz than BMW. The rear is uncomplicated, but the design of the taillights makes it look a little sloppy.

What?

But just open the grand doors to be greeted by a luxurious and modern interior. The seats are comfortable but firm to keep your body in place during hard turns. Still, they don’t get tired on long journeys. The steering wheel, on the other hand, deserves to be highlighted for its excellent grip and the quality of the model, leatherette.

BMW M440i [Auto+ / João Brigato]
BMW M440i [Auto+ / João Brigato]

The controls are close and easy to use, everything is oriented towards the driver and requires few glances to operate. The air conditioner, for example, has small practical buttons under the air vents. While the controls for the driving aids are easily accessible via a button near the hazard lights.

The multimedia center follows this path, with menus that are easy to operate, intuitive and fast. BMW equips the 4 Series with on-board internet, which allows the car itself to read the news, report on the weather forecast or traffic conditions around Google Maps that you will eventually use with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay wirelessly.

The instrument cluster is also digital on the same high-definition display. Each driving mode displays different features and in different colors. The EcoPro puts the econometer in place of the tachometer and it’s blue, while the Sport has big, red things. In Faraja, the situation is orange.

Talking about the ambience, the 4 Series features courtesy lights with different color options and different intensities to make the interior more enjoyable. The sunroof is standard and helps brighten up the cabin dominated by black and silver elements. Caramel leather is optional in the cabinet.

BMW M440i [Auto+ / João Brigato]

Space is more than enough for those sitting in the front, which still has the advantage of having seat belts with retractable arms that bring the buckle closer to the driver to make it easier to put the safety equipment in place. Those who sit in the back have less legroom and headroom, but can carry a medium-sized adult without much sacrifice.

The 440 liter trunk has the same capacity as most sedans, but it may not be easy to fit a large volume due to the small hood. At least it’s electric and easy to use.

[Auto+ / João Brigato]

In line

But the best thing about the BMW 4 Series is its handling. The 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine is the star of the party with 387 hp and 51 kgfm of torque. Even with a heavy car, weighing 1,740 kg, the sports car accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 4.8 seconds instantly. Get on the accelerator hard and he’ll put your head in the seat and shock you.

He is strong, but not scary. It’s the energy level that makes it fun to ride with your foot down most of the time, without too much or too little. And the advantage is that, however, it is surprisingly economical. During our tests with 60% of the piece on the road, the coupe averaged 10.4 km / l, even one day it crossed the Romeiros road that should be completed.

BMW M440i [Auto+ / João Brigato]

A large part of this economy is based on technology. An eight-speed automatic transmission helps the M440i keep cruising down the road at low speeds. In addition, the EcoPro mode allows BMW to drive with the engine off and the gearbox not engaged when you take your foot off the accelerator, moving only by inertia and saving a lot of gas.

In Comfort and Sports modes, this does not happen. Sport makes the transmission work for tighter and more noticeable turns, as well as being lighter and holding the revs up there. The exhaust even produces some pops, but the sound heard from inside the car is enhanced by the sound system – but it is important to note that it does not sound fake, quite the opposite.

BMW M440i [Auto+ / João Brigato]
BMW M440i [Auto+ / João Brigato]

The technological part also brings some advantages such as highly accurate and smooth automated tests in reactions. With the lane keeping system, the 4 Series drives itself. And if you’re not looking directly, it alerts the driver to pay attention.

There is also a radar to detect vehicles in the following two lanes, automatic parking and an autonomous driving system that reproduces the last 30 meters made by the front driver, a high display, photochromic mirrors (except on the right), the presence of a key and lights LED with adjustable and directional beam, which creates dark areas so as not to illuminate other vehicles.

BMW M440i [Auto+ / João Brigato]

but also separately

Essentially a rear-wheel drive, the BMW 4 Series offers full control even in the sportiest modes. busanfa slides when the driver wants, allowing you to turn sharp corners with speed, but also with style and under control. Want to fry your tires separately? He does that too.

But the winding roads show their natural habitat. The precise, quick and heavy steering leaves the big BMW in hand as if it were a Mini Cooper. He said, he goes and willingly. Bodywork is very difficult and safe in the tightest corners where gravity is trying to pull your brain out of place. What a beautiful piece of German engineering.

BMW M440i [Auto+ / João Brigato]
BMW M440i [Auto+ / João Brigato]

Much of this is due to the very stiff suspension. It doesn’t reach the level of aggressiveness of the Mini Cooper, but just run the ladybug and you will feel the speed of the 4 Series. It takes the impact not very well, hitting dry holes and clearly showing that it was made for the carpeted streets of Europe.

decision

It is undeniable that among the German brands, today BMW is the one that clearly has the best cars. The 4 Series’ dynamics are smooth and fun to drive in a way that few cars these days dare to be. But the M440i’s engine is its crowning glory: powerful, rumbling and at the same time economical even though it didn’t have to be.

It may be and it is ugly, perhaps the most unappealing coupe BMW has ever made in its entire history, but it is very nice to drive. After a week, I even forgot about the terrible front grille and the lack of harmony in the front. Even because, when I entered Series 4, I didn’t want to leave the inside again and I wished that more kilometers and kilometers were ahead of me.

BMW M440i [Auto+ / João Brigato]

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