BMW 435i – BMW at its Best

Every company has its core competence; that one special thing that they seem to be able to do better than anyone else. For BMW, the 435i is one such special thing. It’s a brilliant machine!
The 3-series coupe concept is not new to BMW but they’ve chosen, this time around, to give the coupe its own ‘4’ series class and think what you will, it probably makes good business sense because of future marketability and product differentiation. No matter the nomenclature of the car, the recipe is the same: Svelte Coupe, rear-wheel driven with the same old turbo-charged, 3.0 litre straight six that’s been around for some time now, even in the previous generation 3 series. Why would BMW do that? Because it’s absolutely brilliant! There is nothing quite so smooth, well-mannered and fast. It is a jewel of an engine for which BMW has won many awards. They deserve another one for keeping it in their cars.

The 435i continues BMW’s more calculated approach in their design. It’s suitably subtle, the only hints of sportiness brought out in the front & rear aprons, the more elongated profile and a wider stance. Where previously, the coupes may have been generalised to the more hooliganistic, younger petrol heads, the 4-series now has an air of maturity to it.

That maturity is carried into the driving experience too. The breadth of capability of this car is incredible. It can play the role of a tourer with a very supple and comfortable ride made even more exceptional by the dynamic driving options on offer courtesy of the adaptive suspension. ECO PRO and COMFORT mode are ideal in their own rights and gracefully dull down the car to suit a more conservative, everyday driving style. But that wouldn’t be all you wanted from a straight six, turbo-charged 2-door BMW. You’d want to completely exploit the 225kW on offer and selecting the SPORT and SPORT+ buttons will provide the less conservative, less mature entertainment. The car is simply staggering when you’ve got your foot down and time to make up. The near 50:50 weight distribution and the direction/feel of that meaty BMW sport steering wheel make for a very confidence inspiring drive. It’s such a forgiving, communicative driving experience.

The car seems very well priced amidst competition such as the Audi S5 but, as with most German manufacturers, you’ll need to select and pay for a good number of options to spec your car to a decent level. Must-have options(seems a paradox) are the M-Sport package and the Adaptive M-suspension(mentioned above). These will set you back an additional R25,000 to the base R718,100 price-tag. But you may also choose simple things like the PDC with SurroundView cameras at an additional R7400; Adaptive Cruise Control at R13,200; Keyless access at R7,200. The figures will add up and there is a lot more from which to choose. For some, that could be a good thing but at the end of the day you could drive off the showroom floor with a car in excess of R820,000.

The 4-series can also be order in either the Sport Line, Modern Line and Luxury Line packages, each of which presents subtle aesthetic differences.
No matter the price and the extensive options list, the BMW 435i is a great way to spend R700k/R800k. The car is the result of what BMW does best. For me, if they made no other car except this one, I’d buy it. And possibly the M4 when that arrives in South Africa in a few months. AM


The Breakdown


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