You wonder if, now that it’s an established model line in its own right, the 4 Series could become too successful for its own good. When the last-generation version came along, rumours were rife of 3 Series owners trading up into four-door 4 Series Gran Coupés in big numbers. Some may do the same this time. But given the way this new 4 Series looks, and how BMW has omitted certain options from its powertrain armoury, that outcome looks less likely in 2021 than it was in 2013.

Whatever the motivating factors explaining the styling of this car, it would be a major injustice not to bear witness to its many and various objective qualities. The M440i is a car you could use every day of the year and enjoy on absolutely every journey. It is at once fast and engaging; stable and composed; long-legged and refined; and a rich and luxurious thing in which to travel.

A rounded, engaging and potent coupé let down only by its looks

More’s the pity, then, that it isn’t generally a bit more appealing to the senses – somewhat easier on the eye and sweeter and more charismatic to the ear in particular. We rate this car – but we don’t like it as much as we might have.

What Car? New car marketplace - BMW 4 Series Coupe