At some point in the near future, most, if not all automobile manufacturers will have made the switch to completely electric vehicles. With that in mind, BMW has put their best foot forward with the 2022 i4 eDrive40 M Sport Gran Coupe.
Taking BMW’s 4 Series platform and removing the engine and transmission combo, and replacing it with a single electric motor and some batteries under the floor, makes this one of the most luxurious electric cars to date.
With the M-Sport package automatically included as standard, it adds sportier M-Sport seats, steering wheel and some other goodies. The motor produces 250kW of power and 430Nm of torque, alongside a claimed driving range of 520km.
Our test car’s exterior came in a beautiful Tanzanite Blue metallic, one of twelve available colours, and right off the bat, you’ll notice BMW’s electric vehicles have a differently styled kidney grille.
With cooling no longer an issue, aerodynamics, which in turn increase range, becomes the obstacle to be overcome. It’s not ugly either, and if anything, it’s actually quite refreshing. It still retains its petrol-powered equivalent’s styling cues.
But when paired with 20-inch BMW Individual aerodynamic wheels, it’s a very pretty thing. The interior was dressed in a lovely cognac Vernasca leather. The first thing you’ll notice when you jump in though is the gigantic 14.9-inch infotainment unit.
A similarly sized instrument cluster is almost seamlessly melded into one entire unit. Our absolute favourite part of the new i4, its hi-res picture quality is clear and unparalleled. These units are powered by BMW’s new Operating System 8.0.
This adds a multitude of apps, voice commands and automated parking over the previous generation, but there’s still some stuff to do. Apple CarPlay is wireless but Android Auto still requires a USB cable and we found using the Bluetooth to play media could be a bit finicky.
There’s also a myriad of optional packages, which add some confusion to the buying experience.
You’ll find yourself considering the Executive package (alarm system, BMW drive recorder, Harman Kardon surround sound system, sun protection glazing, tyre pressure monitoring), and the Comfort package (seat heating and M-Sport front row seats).
The seats are soft, comfortable and hug you nicely, without excessive bolstering. There’s plenty of legroom and headroom in both rows, even allowing taller people in the back seats, despite the sloping roofline. It really is a perfect balance of sportiness and luxury.
On the road, the i4 behaves as well as you’d expect an electric car to. A soft hum on acceleration and nothing but road noise playing in the background as you putt along. The ride is comfortable and accommodating across the range of drive modes.
The suspension and car as a whole hold corners quite well under acceleration and it rolls over bumps without creating any loud thudding. Sport mode does make the electric motor work a tad harder, so don’t expect to do any long range driving in this mode.
It’s a very nice car to drive, with light steering and responsiveness throughout the single gear. BMW also includes a charger for us mere mortals without a charging system in our homes, and there’s an included adaptor to allow you to plug different types of ports.
It will even work with Tesla chargers. You should get around 470km of real range, and charging times vary depending on your power source. While you would never legitimately plug into a single phase wall socket, you’ll need 41 hours to fully charge, if you did.
Phase3 should drop that down to around eight hours, while DC super chargers will range from 71 minutes to as low as 27 minutes, depending on the capability of said equipment, to about 80 per cent charged.
Packed to the brim with features, the i4 is equipped with safety tech to keep you and your loved ones safe. A fantastic 360 surround view, with multiple vantage points is one of the stars of the show.
There’s the usual stuff too, like autonomous emergency braking, lane keep and lane departure assist, blind spot monitoring, front and rear cross-traffic alert, and finally, BMW’s automatic parking assistance system, which is spectacular.
If you option in the drive recorder, the car will remember the last 50 metres you’ve done, including steering inputs, so you can pop the car into reverse and it will automatically reverse via the same path you just drove, super useful for long uphill driveways.
There’s plenty of second row room too for anyone fitting a rear facing infant seat or for smaller children in child seats. ISOFIX points on the outboard seats and three top tethers come standard in the i4 too.
The 2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 is priced at $99,900 without options, and excluding on-road costs. At this price point, it’s direct competition is the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range and the single motor version of the Polestar 2.
Both are easier on the bank balance at $59,900 and $69,900 respectively (plus on-roads), and the BMW has a lesser warranty, at 3-years (it’s battery warranty is shorter too). Neither has the luxury, driveability and looks the German car maker can offer though.
Our 2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 was supplied by BMW Australia. To find out more, contact your local BMW dealer. Pictures courtesy of J_Hui Design / Photography.