Published on April 3rd, 2015 | by Subhash Nair0
BMW 428i Grancoupé: Bold Styling Meets Great Practicality
The definition of the word ‘coupé’ has gone through a number changes since the height of its use in the automotive industry some 60 years ago. Historically, a coupé had two doors and sloping roof, but it has come to a point where a ‘coupé’ is simply any car that has been given ‘coupé styling’. So what then is a ‘Grancoupé’ in this already vaguely defined body style.
The Grancoupé, specifically this 428i Grancoupé, is BMW’s attempt at marrying the gorgeous looks of a coupé to the functionality of a 5-door hatch. That’s right, it’s not just a 3-Series with a sloping roofline and frameless doors, it’s a completely new breed of car.
That’s not to say you get something entirely different. It’s all classic BMW, inside and out. It’s a superb driving experience and it makes you really appreciate the little things that the company does in making a driver-first car. One example is the position of the brake and accelerator pedals in relation to each other. Placing them so close together makes a world of difference in real world situations, shaving milliseconds off response times by allowing drivers to simply shift the direction of force instead of lifting completely off one to go the other.
The twin-scroll 2 litre turbo is very responsive, and delivers 245 hp and propels the car to 100 km/h in 6 seconds while still being fairly economical when driven at a moderate pace. Braking and handling are also exemplary. It’s all finely tuned, precise and refined, leaning more towards a sportier ride. That does mean that the suspension can be a bit too stiff at times. While it’s incredibly comfortable, quiet and composed, potholes and bad roads can absolutely ruin the way the car rides.
Let’s go back to its form, which is where the 428i Grancoupé really sets itself apart. The highlight of this 4-Series – its tail gate – is completely automated. Simply waving your foot below the rear bumper swings the trunk lid together with the rear window up. Having a massive rear boot in this day and age isn’t special, but what the Grancoupé provides is a huge amount of clearance, making loading and unloading larger items such as suitcases or even bicycles with the rear seat segments folded down.
Form does follow function though. Despite the sloping roofline, I sat with a comfortable gap between my head and the roof on both the front and rear seats. The rear seats are a tiny bit too sculpted for more than 2 adults, but there’s enough room for 3 at a squeeze. Despite, or perhaps because of how that trunk lid is shaped, the car looks stunning. The Grancoupé’s lines and body panels are all spot on, lacking the strange stance and proportions you find on the 3-Series GT while still retaining most of the GT’s tailgate characteristics.
All-in-all, the 428i Grancoupé is an extraordinary package. The model we tested was off the base ‘Sport’ line and it met all of the benchmarks for quality and performance that BMW are known for. That, matched with a bold new body style makes this version of the 4-Series a great pick. The practicality of having rear doors also adds to the Grancoupé’s list of merits.
There are still some reasons to consider a model off of the 3-Series range over this. The 3-Series comes with an actual heritage, whereas the 4-Series is in its infancy and has yet to earn its place in motoring history. On a more practical note, the similarly equipped 3-Series GT we mentioned above comes at a much lower price point (RM329,800) owing to its CKD status. The 428i Grancoupé is priced at RM389,800.
BMW 428i Grancoupé Specifications:
Engine: 2L Twin Scroll Turbo
Transmission: 8-speed ‘Steptronic’
Max power: 245 hp @ 5000-6500rpm
Max torque: 350Nm @ 1250-4800rpm
Top Speed: 250km/h