I had a chance for the past couple of days to test drive the BMW 420d Sport Gran Coupé and as always I have a couple of things to say about it. Let’s start with the specific engine configuration I was driving.
||62.8 – 67.3 mpg
||111.0 – 119.0 g/km
I’ve also done a full spec configuration that you can review at this link if you are interested in the whole package. All in all, it comes up to a grand total of £37,985 on the road cash price.
Now let’s get down to the finer details.
- Steering wheel: this specific configuration doesn’t have the adaptive steering wheel. This means that no matter which speed you are going, the steering wheel always feel the same. In this case that means that it was always too light, even for lower speed. I believe this option should be considered a standard item nowadays.
Except for that, the steering wheel is very comfortable and has a good grip.
I like the cruise control buttons on the left side, that provide easy access and management of your set speed. On the right side you have the multimedia/phone controls which are very easy to use as well.
- Interactive display: underneath the speedometer, there’s a small display which will show different information depending on which engine mode are you running with, music/entertainment or navigation aid. The clever take here is that the display is partly embedded into the analogue dial creating a neat effect. The information displayed can vary quite a lot but is always presented in a very readable format. Navigation reminders only appears when actions are required (for example, if you need to stay on the motorway for 100 miles, no information will be shown).
- Fuel consumptions: the real time indicator of fuel consumotions is a good way to improve the efficiency of your driving style. In addition to that – if you run in Eco+ mode – the display will actively suggest the best moment to shift gear; it will tell you how to better use the throttle and it will prompt you to go on Neutral when idling so that the engine start/stop function can be activated.
Because it’s a very graphical system, it’s very easy to use and it will not distract the driver even if there’s a lot to be taken in.
- Gearbox: the manual gearbox is quite responsive, but there are a couple of things that would have probably benefited from more attention. The position of the reverse gear is just stupid. You have to go further out than the first gear, but the stick is crammed into a very small space, making this shift quite uncomfortable and not initial obvious. Plus, the stick itself feels very cheap. Everything else on the car is very refined and you can touch and appreciate the overall quality of the interiors. The gear stick seems to have fallen victim to a last minute budget cut because it feels worse than the one I had on my 2007 Fiat Grande Punto.
This is by no means a full review. It’s just a collection of quick thoughts gathered after a few hours drive. All in all, it’s a very smooth and elegant driving experience, packaged into nice overall design which will make it stand out in a very crowded parking lot.