Car Review: New BMW M440i has impressive performance, but new look might turn some off

Luxury coupes and convertibles are still around, and BMW redesigned the 4 Series Coupe and Convertible with a bold new look to stand out.

Before you ask about the performance or new interior, let’s take on the new styling. The nose garners all the attention — good and bad. The front-end styling generated the most comments I have experienced in a car I tested. The supersized twin kidney-shaped grill takes up most of the front end. The grill makes an overall svelte-looking car look larger and chunkier from the front view.

The M440i convertible looks racy otherwise. With 19-inch wheels with M blue calipers peeking out, it hints at its sporty intentions. The lowered stance and dark trim pieces play nicely with the moonlight black soft top. There is no hardtop convertible this time.

Jump behind the wheel and the new nose is forgotten. With a turbo in-line six cylinder, the smooth-running engine with an extra boost from a 48V hybrid system delivers a combined 382hp. This convertible moves very quickly when needed. Alternatively, just cruise with the top down and enjoy a relaxed drive in an efficient ride.

The handling limits are high, and the convertible enjoys tackling curves. The brakes are strong so stopping is never an issue. What surprised me was how well it tackled the usual commute and the bumpy roads without beating up the driver or passengers.

BMW gave the interior an equally big makeover. The Tacora Red Vernasca-colored leather looks warm and inviting. The heated sport seats treat front seat riders to comfort and will keep you planted when you get a bit frisky on the back roads. Back seats are better for kids, but an adult can fit easier with the top down to ease entry and exit.

The BMW M440i has a modern virtual cockpit and the new version of the iDrive 7.0 is easy to use. The new soft-top design is quiet on the highway when it’s closed, but do not expect the best visibility out of the smaller back window. The optional neck warmer is worth the price if you plan to drop the top on cooler days.

Cost:  $64,000; as tested $74,670

MPG: 23 MPG city 31 MPG highway; I managed 27.8 mpg in 273 miles of mixed driving.

Safety: Active cruise control with braking function; dynamic stability control; active driving assistant pro with active blind spot detection; active park distance control & parking assistant plus; head-up display; adaptive full LED lighting & auto high beams; surround view with 3D view; extended traffic jam assistant; drive recorder; front & rear head protection system.

Options: $1,950 Dravit gray metallic; $1,300 dynamic handling package; $1,700 driving assistance package; $3,700 executive package; $150 moonlight black soft top; $700 parking assistance package; $500 neck warmer; $500 wireless charging; $875 Harmon Kardon surround sound; $995 destination charge.

Things to know: The BMW M440i convertible is a good all-around car with improved interior and a very fun-to-drive demeanor. If you can get past the new look, you will be rewarded with the stellar ride.


  • Adaptive M suspension has high handling limits; yet it takes bumps very well
  • Comfortable interior with large touch screen and virtual instruments
  • M440i has power to spare with velvety turbo in-line engine and a mild hybrid


  • New look might turn off some buyers
  • Stellar brakes can be a bit jerky or grabby with a heavy foot
  • Back seat is very tight for adults

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