The BMW 420d: What a beast.

Ok damn here we go, the first official Revved review. I have to be honest, its been a while since I did a written review, but hey its about time I get back to the keyboard.

So Muscat’s Motors were kind enough to give me the keys to the brand new BMW 420 d coupe. Now since I first saw the official unveil a couple of years ago, I was kinda taken aback by that hideous grille which I honestly felt was too over-imposing. However when I went to pick up that damn car, I was left speechless at how better it looks in real life. I mean the chrome one still looks bad in my opinion, but the black finish grille just goes so well with the sporty look. Inevitably I got accustomed to it a think it really does go well with the sheer size of this coupe.

The Look

Well since we talked about the grille lets start off with the looks. This genuinely looks aggressive as hell. The contours and design lines are sleek and the sheer size of this car really gives it an imposing and bold presence were ever it sits. The overall finish of the exterior is fantastic to be honest and the subtle design cues are inspired by exotic GTs, which give this car an aggressive stance.

The interior design is simply put, amazing. There is a striking balance between luxury, comfort, and sportiness which, to this day, is something of a unique aspect of BMW as a brand. When you take a seat in those beautiful and outstanding semi-buckets, you are simply cocooned in this marvelous pod filled with toys and the experience is enriched by that luxurious finish.

The drive

Well what can I say, I put the car in sport mode put my foot down and felt 18 again. Even though I was in the 420d, the overall drive was amazing. The sound suppression made it nearly impossible to tell that I was driving a diesel. Compared to the petrol, this car is actually quicker, partially thanks to the mild hybrid system. In basic terms the car comes equipped with an 11 hp electric motor, which is triggered when you put your foot down to give you that extra oomph and save on consumption. I was a bit skeptic about this, but boy was I wrong. It is genuinely quick and the torque feels overwhelming at times. The engine is a straight 4 twin power turbo diesel squeezing out 190 bhp and 400 Nm of torque.

0-100 in 7.1 seconds which means it is 0.4 of a second quicker than the 420i. You would imagine that with this list of specs it would guzzle diesel, however consumption lays out at 4 ltrs per 100km. The ZF gearbox is a match made in heaven for this engine and platform. Its quick, reactive, and performed exactly the way I wanted it to, both in sport and in comfort mode. The latter was used by myself for the drive back, and I was surprised at how balanced it was. The suspensions were less stiff and the overall driving experience was fantastic. I can imagine driving long distances without getting exhausted as quickly as I would in other cars. It would make a great tourer thanks to this aspect and the intelligent dynamic cruise control.

The steering is very dynamic and gives feedback perfectly well, the lane discipline system is also extremely well made. You don’t get hazardous nudges to the steering but rather soft nods which push you back on your lane. The driving position is spot-on and the overall feel of everything is astounding. Cornering in sport mode is remarkable, the dynamic suspensions really work overtime in trying to balance the car to decrease body roll, match this with the active differential and steering and you get road holding like no other.

The Toys

I did mention the grille didn’t I? Well its not just a standard grille as such, its adaptive dynamic. it basically opens and closes depending on the environment around it and the way you are driving it, since it works both to cool the engine bay as well as to improve the engine’s intake.

The multimedia system is fantastic. The instrument cluster and center screen are both extremely customizable. You get a lot of amazing features to toy around with, matched with amazing sound. You get a wireless charging station which have become a standard in these types of cars and also a head-up display which is ridiculously clear compared to what I’m used to.

There are a myriad of safety systems which are synonymous with the BMW line. Pedestrian detection, collision warning, brake assist and steering assist are to name but a few. And all these are a cut above the competitor’s offerings. They are more refined, quicker in terms of reaction time, and far superior when it comes to sensing its surroundings. There is also a cool system called the BMW eye whereby small cameras continuously record what is happening. Even when parked and someone hits your car or tries to break in, you always have footage of what happened and when it happened. In the case of an accident you even get a warning on your phone with the exact location were the damage was done even if its outside the field of view of the cameras.

Conclusion

Well you can sense from the tone of my voice that I loved this car. In fact I believe its one of the best cars I have driven this year. BMW has really come a long way with their coupes and this relatively new line of theirs really cements their position as a German powerhouse in the sports and luxury division.

I really tried to find fault with this car but I couldn’t. I cannot complain about something I truly enjoyed. It’s competitors, the Mercedes C class and the Audi A5 both don’t stand a chance next to this, they both lack in finesse, finish, sportiness, technology and overall driveability. So I officially started my venture into car reviews on a spectacularly high note.

Matthew’s Overall rating 9/10

Matthew’s Choice: I would go for the 440 X-drive which can do 0-100 in 4.3 seconds if its a Sunday car and stick to the 420d if it’s an every day car. I would stay away from the 420i since it under-performs compared to this.

N.B. This car will be featured in the upcoming season of Revved.