2018 BMW 430i xDrive Gran Coupe Review
- Engine: 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder
- Horsepower: 248
- Torque (lb-ft.): 258
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- 0-to-60 Time (secs): 5.6
- Top Speed (mph): 130 (up to 155 with options)
- City/Hwy/Combined MPG: 23/33/28
- Wheelbase (in): 110.6
- Total Length (in): 182.5
- Width (in): 71.9
- Base Price (USD): $45,100
- Price as Tested (USD): $53,885
2018 BMW 430i Gran Coupe
You might think I’m trying to pull a fast one over on you if you look at this review. I did, in fact, review a very similar car late last year when my review of the BMW440i ran right here on 95Octane. But, the good folks at BMW lent me another 4-series coupe, albeit one that is a little slower and little less expensive. So, with that out of the way, let’s take a look at the 2018 BMW 430i.
First, let’s look at how the 430 is different from the 440. The differences are certainly subtle but noticeable in the engine. The 430 only has a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and makes far fewer horsepower than the 320 hp, turbocharged six-cylinder of the 440. Dimensionally, both coupes are comparable, with each having smallish back seats. As a coupe, getting to the back seat can be more of a challenge, but overall the coupe styling suits this car so well. Of course, with fewer horsepower and a smaller engine, the fuel economy is better on the 430. Additionally, so is the MSRP.
So, consider the 430 a great opportunity to get into a BMW, without having to go “all in”. The plus side is, that the 430 still is enjoyable to drive. As I reminisce about the 440, I remember how punchy and fun it was to drive. But, the 430 wasn’t a slug by any stretch, so while there is a performance difference, the 430 certainly outperforms its on-paper specs, with an impressive 0-to-60 time of just 5.6 seconds.
On looks, the 430 is very close to the 440. You can’t really see much of a difference at all. That’s not a bad thing as the styling is crisp, modern and sporty. The iconic kidney grille is small and not aggressive, like some of its European competitors (Audi). The downplayed styling works in the favor of this car, which aims to be refined and luxurious. Adaptive LED headlights are a new addition for this model year. The back is my favorite side of this coupe. The simple styling works well with the diminutive nature of the 430. The dual exhaust is paired together and off to the driver’s side of the car. The rear taillights have a gorgeous design element that really adds distinction to the car at night.
As mentioned, the 430 has the least powerful engine of the three BMW 4-series vehicles. The turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine makes 248 horsepower. There is no noticeable turbo lag and it’s surprisingly peppy. This coupe gives it everything it has, and quality German engineering is on full display. Those who have driven a Bimmer before will appreciate the 430’s performance. Steering is responsive. The 8-speed automatic transmission handles itself well with quality shifts. You can change to manual or sport shifting with paddle shifters to add to the enthusiasm of driving this car.
The 430 does have slightly better fuel economy than the 440. With all-wheel drive, the 430 has an EPA rating of 23 mpg/city and 33 mpg/highway. In a week’s worth of driving, mostly in the suburbs, I averaged about 28 mpg which was comparable to what I averaged in the more powerful 440.
Unlike my 440 tester, the 430 is categorized as a five-passenger vehicle. That’s what you get with the Gran Coupe classification. It makes the back seat technically big enough for a third passenger. Although, for optimal comfort and certainly optimal shoulder room, the 430 is best used as a four-passenger vehicle. The interior features fantastic, high-quality materials. My tester had a bold interior color called cognac (who’s thirsty for a sniff of cognac now?). This light brownish interior screamed luxury. The front seats are nicely angled, and offer a great view of the road. A quilted, stitched door panel matches the seats and further drives home the premium feel of the cabin. The color and quality are continued on the dashboard, although there are some harder materials used on the dash. It does not, however, affect the road noise. This coupe is quiet, luxurious and comfortable.
My gripe about the infotainment system from the 440 holds true for the 430 as well. The system feels over-engineered and overly complicated. Why can’t luxury brand makers keep infotainment systems simple while offering great technology? Lexus, Audi, Mercedes and BMW are all guilty of this. The 6.5-inch touchscreen is responsive, but interacting with the touchpad and joystick is cumbersome. I appreciate the knobs over too many touch commands, but the controller lacks isn’t particularly intuitive, and getting between various screens takes too much effort and requires eyes to be taken off the road.
On the other hand, the multi-dimensional parking camera is one of the best in the industry. It’s helpful as well as cutting edge. This is a great use of available technology. The Harmon-Kardon sound system is one of the best I’ve heard too, cranking out solid sound with no unwanted vibration or distortion.
In my 440 review I called the $48,000 price point “reasonable.” Well, the 430 is even more reasonable with a starting price of $45,100. Like all German carmakers, BMW offers numerous options and packages that will add to the price. My tester came with the Luxury package which has that awesome sound system, the Essentials package which includes park assistance and the aforementioned upgraded camera, and the Executive package which adds adaptive headlights, automatic high beams, a side-view camera, and heads-up display. All totaled, my tester had a price tag of $53,885 which is only $3,000 less than the more powerful 440.
Close in price, and almost identical in size and comfort, the 430 is basically the slower twin brother of the 440. The entire 4-series is a great option to those who have always wanted to get into a BMW, and is a great introduction to the brand. In today’s era of unrefined, stale driving, there’s still nothing quite like a BMW, even as a 4-cylinder.