From £29,7008
The BMW 435d xDrive M Sport isn't quite the all-weather, frugal, M-car alternative, but this all-wheel-drive 4 Series possesses distinct appeal, at a price

Our Verdict

BMW 4 Series

The facelifted BMW 4 Series has improved on an already solid proposition but can it hold off the likes of the latest generation Audi A5 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé?

  • First Drive

    BMW 440i Coupe 2017 review

    The assumption was that a few minor tweaks to the 2017 BMW 440i Coupé wouldn't make much of a difference. It turns out they do
  • First Drive

    2016 BMW 4 Series 440i M Sport review

    More power doesn’t always make for a better car, but the BMW 4 Series 440i is one of the best four-seat coupés out there
10 March 2014

What is it?

BMW UK’s roll out of four-wheel-drive models continues apace with this, the 435d xDrive. Tested here in M Sport guise, at £45,040 it’s the pinnacle of the non-M BMW 4 Series range in both performance and price. It’s also the one variant in the range that is only available with all four wheels connected to the engine.

Then again, with 467lb ft of torque straining at the leash, in inclement weather you might just be thankful for that.

The xDrive system consists of a central, electronically controlled, multi-plate wet clutch to split torque, acting on signals from the DSC and ABS systems. The default torque split is 40:60, front-rear, but as much as 100 per cent of available torque can be sent to either axle.

What's it like?

The full-strength 3.0-litre oil burner needs no introduction. With 309bhp and that aforementioned grunt it endows the 435d with addictive performance: 0-62mph is quoted at just 4.7 seconds and predictably, it barges into the limiter at 155mph (and all for 143-146g/km C02 and 50.4-52.3mpg, depending on tyre choice).

The reality is relentless acceleration, delivered with the usual gruff BMW diesel ‘six note kept just far enough away. The engine’s rev range is surprising: you really can hang onto gears in the excellent 8-speed auto ‘box. Predictably, the traction benefits are most obvious during hard acceleration on slippery surfaces and at the exit of a corner, where – with DSC off - the 435 is more likely to exhibit gentle power understeer than suddenly snap into a torque-heavy drift. 

Whether that’s a good thing or not depends entirely on your personal viewpoint, but this BMW coupé really spits out of curves with grim determination.  

The 435d will effortlessly blast from one side of Europe to the other, using surprisingly little fuel given the performance, but it’s a rather aloof car to know. Yes, it corners flatly with impressive lateral grip, but like other variants in the range this 4-series is more GT than sports car. It can’t quite shake off the feeling of mass. 

At 1,700kg it’s got some bulk to haul around - just under 100kg more than a rear-driven 4 Series – but the main culprit is the steering, which resolutely denies you any sense of what’s happening down at the front wheels, nor reassures by adding much weight with lock applied. Combine that with outstanding refinement (granted, a positive attribute, and it rides well too on adaptive dampers) and you’ve got a car that keeps the driver deliberately distanced from the action. 

Inside, the ambience is entirely predictable, but if you’re not too concerned with the wow factor it’s a fine place to spend time, thanks to excellent ergonomics, clear instrumentation and a low-slung driving position notably racier than that of a 3 Series. Kit levels are high, as you’d hope at the price, although there’s plenty of potential to spend more.

Should I buy one?

As you’ve probably gathered, the 435d xDrive M Sport is unlikely to make the forthcoming M4 feel threatened. 

Nevertheless, it’s a subjectively handsome machine, with a broad spread of talents that holds undeniable all-year-round appeal. For that alone, it warrants further investigation and may just prove bothersome to similarly spec'd Audi A5s.

BMW 435d xDrive M Sport

Price £45,040; 0-62mph 4.7 sec; Top speed 155mph; Economy 50.4-52.3mpg; CO2 143-146g/km; Kerb weight 1,700kg; Engine 6 cyls, in-line turbodiesel, 2993cc; Power 309bhp at 4,400rpm; Torque 467lb ft at 1,500-2,500; Gearbox 8-spd auto

Join the debate

Comments
15

10 March 2014
You buy it if you do 30,000+,you buy it if you don't think £45K+ isn't to much,you buy it if you can put up with the servicing costs,it's not a car for the private buyer.

Peter Cavellini.

10 March 2014
Peter Cavellini wrote:

You buy it if you do 30,000+,you buy it if you don't think £45K+ isn't to much,you buy it if you can put up with the servicing costs,it's not a car for the private buyer.

What the hell are you on about? Servicing costs? BMW's are very reasonable to run in terms of maintenance and their service intervals, also considering it's a twin-turbo 3.0 diesel I'd say it's very much for the private buyer? Business users I would imagine would be more attracted to the less CO2 emitting 420d.

0-60 in less than 5 seconds, 50 MPG, combined with the fact it's a coupe BMW with four-wheel drive? I haven't driven this car but to me it sounds as if it's pure motoring perfection on every level. This in the right colour combination- I can't think of anything whatsoever I'd rather spend £45k-50k on.

Also why do you feel the need to quote your name 'Peter Cavellini' whenever you leave a comment? It's bizarre, sounds like a name Iceland would use if they were to launch a haircare product.

Ronald McDonald

10 March 2014
NY_69 wrote:

Also why do you feel the need to quote your name 'Peter Cavellini' whenever you leave a comment? It's bizarre, sounds like a name Iceland would use if they were to launch a haircare product.

No need for personal insults, because you don't share another person's point of view.

 

I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

12 March 2014
Frightmare Bob wrote:
NY_69 wrote:

Also why do you feel the need to quote your name 'Peter Cavellini' whenever you leave a comment? It's bizarre, sounds like a name Iceland would use if they were to launch a haircare product.

No need for personal insults, because you don't share another person's point of view.

Peter always does this, it's his bit, silly but it's what he does.

Back on topic the CLA45 AMG is less and would be a better choice than the gran coupe.
Citytiger is right. Also the Mercedes is a better overall package.

13 March 2014
Thanks for the clarity! The comment regarding Peter wasn't supposed to be insulting as such just banter more than anything.

Honestly taken back with the general comments regarding the 435D, I would have thought a great looking BMW coupe with a fantastic engine and four wheel drive would have everyone asking which banks are offering the lowest APR deals on car loans but no, quite the reverse! Not too sure would I be happy spending £50,000 on a four door A-class! Although, a clearly fantastic, capable car.

10 March 2014
This would make sense there or anywhere where your guaranteed a covering of the white stuff. But given few cars achieve the quoted mpg I would take that with a pinch of salt. Other cars offer 4WD like the Range Rover Sport that I would have to drive too before committing to this BMW. I prefer the interior of the new Sport too which would count in its favour. Performance wise though this BMW sounds impressive.

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

10 March 2014
Sounds an impressive machine to rack up serious milage in, assuming you a pretty well off.

10 March 2014
£45k for that, are they on drugs, the interior is just an expanse of grey plastic and the old fashioned aircon controls and graphics that BMW persist on using would not look out of place in an early 90's Peugeot.

10 March 2014
I find it slightly irritating that the maker of the 'ultimate driving machine' seems to have decided that I am only able to get a 435 in 4 wheel drive if I buy a car fuelled by tractor fuel.

11 March 2014
underdog wrote:

I find it slightly irritating that the maker of the 'ultimate driving machine' seems to have decided that I am only able to get a 435 in 4 wheel drive if I buy a car fuelled by tractor fuel.

I agree that BMW should offer 4WD across the range.

Also, when the hell is BMW is going to sort out the steering feel (or lack of) of its new range of cars? It's really detracting from an otherwise fine dynamic package.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK