2015 BMW M4

2015 BMW M4 Review

Heritage meets heresy with glorious results.

By: Andrew Krok

Web2Carz Contributing Writer

Published: September 16th, 2014

People have plenty to complain about with the 2015 BMW M4. Of course, these complaints are minor, and completely separate from the car itself. For example, some people don't like that it's not an M3 Coupe. Some people also don't like the fact that it's turbocharged. Both of those groups are silly, though; once you've had a bit of seat time in the new M4, you'll forget all about natural aspiration and whatever number is plastered on the back. The new M4 (internal designation: F82) is every bit as deserving of the M badge as the previous M3, and the one before that, and so on.

Even when a car is loaded with fancy new technology, it's easy to figure out if that tech is enhancing an already great car, or if all those baubles are there to distract you from the mediocre car underneath. The M4 sits firmly in the first category.

  • Interior

    BMW doesn't make a radical departure from the sensibly laid-out interiors of M3s past, nor does the brand stray much from the features present in the base-model 4-Series. The HVAC and radio controls are all still present in the center stack, and the screen atop the dashboard still looks as if it should be able to hide itself, even though it can't. However, unlike the standard 4-Series, you'll find a different shift lever for the M-DCT dual-clutch automatic, a new instrument panel, a sportier steering wheel, and far more supportive front seats.

    The steering wheel and seat are adjustable to make drivers of any and every size comfortable; even tall folks won't have a problem finding the perfect position. That's not necessarily the case in the rear, though; it is a coupe, after all, and so a tall rear-seat passenger might have some leg troubles when sitting behind an equally tall front-seat passenger.

    Parts of the plastic on the door card seem a little cheap for the car's price, but that's the biggest complaint with the interior. Even BMW's touch-sensitive infotainment control knob is easy to use with a little bit of practice. We've come a long way from the first-generation iDrive system.

  • Exterior

    Despite looking generally like a standard 4-Series, the M4 turns plenty of heads. Part of that is due to the unique front and rear fascia, which give the car a level of aggression that makes the M Sport trim look like an extra from a Care Bears movie. The car is low and wide, looking every bit like a proper sports car should. Our tester came in Austin Yellow, and when combined with the carbon-fiber roof, black trim accents, and black wheels, it's an exercise in the correct way to build a two-tone color scheme. Even the fender vents are perfectly proportioned to the rest of the car.

  • On the Road

    Anybody who drives the M4 will never want to stop driving it. From the moment the turbocharged six barks itself into existence with a push of the start button, to the moment you think that it's a little counterintuitive that you have the leave the car in Drive when you shut it off in order to activate Park, it's an experience based in theatrics, in pomp and circumstance, in tire smoke and the BRRRRAAAAAAAP of a straight-six bouncing off a 7,600-rpm redline. We'll try to nail it down into concrete examples, but this car is so properly sublime that the only way to structure a description of the car is in early American poetic devices.

    Everybody is different, so the M4 comes with plenty of adjustability to create a good driving experience for all (so long as you check the right options boxes). The suspension, steering weight, and throttle mapping all have three different levels of sportiness. There is a "middle ground" for the traction control. There are also three different levels of adjustability for the dual-clutch transmission's shift points. If you want an unhinged beast all the time, you can do it. If you want to throw everything into comfort and pretend you're in a grand tourer for the day, you can do it.

    Of course, the M4 is a hardcore sports coupe, equally at home on the road and on the track, so there are a few things that you'll have to accept as a buyer. First, there are no bushings between the rear subframe and the M4's body, so even the Comfort suspension setting is still quite lively and communicative. Second, all three steering weights are on the heavy side, and while the electric system stays relatively numb at the ragged edge, it's still very precise at all speeds. We found the best way to navigate Chicago's streets and highways was thus: Throttle in Sport, suspension and steering in Comfort, with the transmission shifting at its slowest setting. Any higher on the transmission, and it will hold gears for uncomfortably long periods of time; nobody needs to be in second gear at 30 mph on a side street.

    As for the engine itself ... holy crap. The turbocharged straight six has very little, if any turbo lag. It will pull, pull, pull your unprepared ass well beyond a reasonable and prudent speed before you can even say the words, "No, officer, I had no idea how fast I was going." It even pulls hard in seventh gear at highway speeds. No matter when you need to go faster, the M4 is there to lend a helping hand. It just so happens that it's the Hand of God throwing you down the highway. And, trust us, it's impossible not to find faith when you're exploring the car's limits - which, if you're not an experienced driver, you will never discover.

  • Final Thoughts

    Every minute spent away from the M4 will be filled with regret. It's a rarity in the sense that it's almost physically addicting to drive. You'll open the garage door, and the sight of the M4 alone will cause your hands to tremble and sweat to build up on your brow. It will be the first thing you think of in the morning, and the last thing you think of at night. In this fever dream, there are no concerns of gas mileage, no concerns of squeaking brakes, no concerns of speed limits. It's a natural extension of your id. Grab that sucker by the scruff and beat the everloving tar out of it. If you're smart with your inputs, it will reward you with one of the best driving experiences you can buy right now.

    Make sure to budget for tires.

  • Specs & Price

    Engine: 3.0-liter, direct injected, turbocharged inline-6

    Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic

    Drivetrain Layout: Front-engine, rear-wheel drive

    Power Output: 425 horsepower / 406 lb-ft

    Fuel Economy (mpg): 17 city / 24 highway

    Base Price: $64,200

    As Tested: $86,200 (incl. $925 destination)

    Available Features:

    Drive Assistance Plus Package: Active driving assistant, lane departure warning, active blind-spot detection, side- and top-view cameras, speed limit information

    Lighting Package: Adaptive LED headlights, automatic high beams

    Executive Package: Headlight washers, keyless entry, head-up display, satellite radio, heated steering wheel, backup camera, parking sensors

    Individual Options: Carbon ceramic brakes, adaptive suspension, power rear sunshade, Harman Kardon premium surround sound audio, Bluetooth streaming and USB integration, moonroof

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• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2015 BMW M4, click here: 2015 BMW M4.