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2022 BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe blurs the line between luxury and performance – Car Planet
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    2022 BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe blurs the line between luxury and performance


    It used to be simple. While all BMWs were sporty, M represented the pinnacle of performance: M3 for blistering compact, M4 for compact coupe or drop-top fun, X5 M for the crossover set, etc. Now M can stand for marketing or muddled, with the proliferation of M Sport trim packages and lesser M models. 

    The M440i xDrive Gran Coupe I recently drove is a lesser M model without all the track capability, but it has all the performance the vast majority of luxury-sport buyers need. After spending a week with it, here’s where it hit and where it missed.

    2022 BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe

    2022 BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe

    Hit: M engine

    The 440i’s engine is related to the powerplant from the M2. It’s a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 that makes 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, and it pushes the 440i xDrive from 0-60 mph in a scant 4.3 seconds. The engine lets out a slow growl upon startup that remains a constant companion. The engine note is a sign of the car’s performance potential, but it’s a bit gruff and it could annoy buyers looking for a pure luxury experience. The power comes on early, thanks to max torque arriving at just 1,800 rpm. It’s a strong engine worthy of a pure M car, and it’s teamed with a quick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. Sadly, no manual is offered.

    2022 BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe

    2022 BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe

    2022 BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe

    2022 BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe

    2022 BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe

    2022 BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe

    Hit: Hatchback body style

    If you didn’t know any better, you’d think the M440 Gran Coupe is a sedan. However, the rear window opens with the trunk, so it’s a hatchback. The body style gives the car a healthy 16.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat and that expands to a small SUV-like 45.6 cubes with the rear seat folded down. It also has a decent 34.9 inches of rear leg room—enough for 6-footers but not much more—and head room isn’t compromised as much as it would be with a sleeker fastback rear end. I prefer the utility of a hatchback over a sedan, even if it doesn’t look like one.

    2022 BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe

    2022 BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe

    Hit: Choice

    In the old days, BMW used to determine how a car was tuned. Everything from the throttle response, to the shift points, to the steering weight, to the suspension stiffness, to the traction and stability control settings was chosen by BMW engineers, who tended to know best. The M440i lets drivers choose settings for all those parameters to suit the type of driving they’re doing. It comes with base Comfort, Sport, Eco Pro, and Adaptive settings, and the Sport setting can be set to regular or Sport+ modes. Digging deeper into the menus lets drivers personalize their modes. You may want a comfort setting for the dampers and steering with a sporty engine response or vice versa depending on if you’re sitting in traffic or attacking canyon roads. You can have it your way in the M440i.

    2022 BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe

    2022 BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe

    Hit and miss: Good but not great performance

    Don’t get the M tag confused. This isn’t a pure M model. It lacks the brakes of an M, the wide and wider tires of an M, and the cooling of an M. It still has some sporty elements, though. The steering ratio is a quick 13.6:1, and it has M Sport brakes (though not as big as pure M brakes) and an M Sport differential. My car also had the optional $2,400 Cooling and High Performance package with expanded cooling for the brakes and drivetrain, and 19-inch wheels on staggered 235/40 front and 245/40 rear tires (considerably skinnier than the M4’s standard 275/40R18 front and 285/35R19 rear tires). Those assets should give the M440i some track capability, but I wouldn’t trust it for a full-on track day like I would the M4. The tradeoff is the M440i is tuned to be more comfortable on the street than the M4, making it easier to drive on a daily basis. Sub-freezing temperatures in Wisconsin and snow tires on my tester meant I couldn’t test performance near the limit, but I like the idea of a daily driver with some track capability.

    2022 BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe

    2022 BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe

    Miss: Price

    Despite the lack of the true M performance equipment, the M440i xDrive starts at $59,195, which is about as much as a last-generation M3. Given the recent rise in car prices and pandemic-induced inflation, that’s not entirely out of line, but what percentage of people have seen their salaries rise commensurate to inflation? Besides, I’m cheap and I always reserve the right to complain about prices.

    My test car cost $67,520, including $550 for its sweet San Remo Metallic paint, and the aforementioned Cooling and High Performance package. Additional upgrades included  $1,700 for the Driving Assistance Professional package with active lane control, emergency steering assist, a feature that pulls the car over in case of a medical emergency, and a system that can handle the controls in traffic jam situations up to 40 mph; $1,750 for the Premium package that adds a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with navigation; and $875 for a Harman Kardon sound system. That’s not too extravagant for those options, but the total price is what I’d want to pay for a pure M model.

    The BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe hits the sweet spot in several ways. It has track capability but not the stiff tuning that usually goes with it. It’s powerful but not high strung. The body style gives it useful space, and even the price, while high, isn’t out of line in today’s market. Unless you’re really going to use your car as a track toy, the M440i is a wiser buy than a pure M4.

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    2022 BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe

    Base price: $59,195, including destination

    Price as tested: $67,520

    Powertrain: 3.0-liter turbo-6, all-wheel drive

    EPA fuel economy: 23 mpg city, 32 highway, 26 combined

    The hits: Powerful, spacious, capable handling, some track prowess

    The misses: Not a full M car, pricey, no manual transmission

    https://images.hgmsites.net/hug/bmw-4-series_100794794_h.jpg



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