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By Mark Jones

Road Test Editor

BMW M440i Gran Coupe not just a pretty face

Four-door 4 Series makes a statement a comparatively priced SUV won't be able to replicate.

Life is all about choices. Good ones leave you feeling better, and bad ones, not so much.

If you have the right kind of money, then you don’t need to drive a sedan or a convertible, or even a coupe. You can choose to drive a Gran Coupe.

That’s right. With a starting bid of R1.3-million, you can buy a BMW M440i Gran Coupe, which is not like any of the other models available in the range. This is BMW’s very niche four-door coupe.

Seeing is believing

The M440i Gran Coupe ticks all the boxes when it comes to coupe-type must-haves.

Long and low, frameless windows, flush-fitting handles and a roofline flowing down into an aggressive M Performance Parts lip on the tailgate.

The BMW M440i Gran Coupe features frameless windows and flush-fitting door handles.

The all-important light setup consists of darkened full-LED units at the rear, and at the front, the slim full-LED headlights come with U-shaped fibre-optic light guides for the daytime driving lights.

Not to be outdone by the polarising snout of the Gran Coupe, our test car had the optional Adaptive LED Headlights with BMW Laserlight, including BMW Selective Beam non-dazzling high beam assistant.

ALSO READ: BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe keen to prove cynics wrong

Inside it is the usual BMW 3 and 4 Series comfort and luxury we have become accustomed to, and the Gran Coupe offers five full-size seats.

But as per usual, no average adult is going to enjoy an extended journey in the back of this car.

My guess though is that this is going to be perfectly fine with the average owner who will buy a car like this for its social clout more than its transport abilities.

Talking of which, the ironic thing is that the large tailgate hides an enormous luggage configuration of 470-litres of boot space, and when you drop the seats, this expanded to a maximum of 1 290-litres thanks to the standard 40:20:40 split.

Being an M Sport model means that you get a host of M Sport goodies as standard and M Performance Parts as part of the Genuine BMW Accessory range. And this Gran Coupe has the bite to back up its bark.

The cabin offers typical BMW 3 and 4 Series comfort.

The go-to 3.0-litre straight-six powerplant ensures 285 kW of power and 500 Nm of torque make their way down through an eight-speed sports Steptronic transmission to all four wheels, courtesy of BMW’s xDrive.

Combine this with almost 50:50 weight distribution and a low centre of gravity, and you have an executive machine that is a blast to drive too; fast without ever getting yourself into trouble due to a lack of talent.

And as any businessperson will tell you, there is no such thing as a free lunch. This dynamism comes at the expense of a wafty ride.

The dampers are particularly firm and even more so with the optional M Sport suspension fitted. But at least you can dial down the racy part a bit when you have had enough due to the various comfort settings on offer.

Nineteen-inch M light-alloy wheels and an M Sport differential with electronically-controlled fully variable locking function in the rear differential and M Sport brakes complete the package.

For more information on the BMW M440i Gran Coupe, click here.

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