Overview: Replacing the much-loved BMW 3-series coupe (the 3-series designation applies now only to the sedan), the 4-series has some big wheels to fill. We are happy to report that it is up to the task. In fact, it’s so good, it made our 10 Best list for 2014. The 4 is livelier than its predecessor, thanks to improved steering, a more responsive suspension, and a lower center of gravity. Fewer doors with more sportiness? We’ll take that trade-off anytime.
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe
BASE PRICE: $46,925
ENGINE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve inline-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 182 cu in, 2979 cc Power: 300 hp @ [...]
Overview: The gold standard of sports sedans, the BMW 3-series has appeared on our 10 Best list 23 years in a row, including for 2014. Now in its sixth generation, it is renowned for an unmatched combination of smooth powertrains, brilliant handling, and comfortable yet driver-focused interiors. However, the new F30’s base turbo four, abrupt stop-start, and electric power steering are causing some discord among the loyalists.
Pros: Almost always silky engine, balanced chassis, no-nonsense interior layout.
Cons: Stop-start rumble highlights the turbo four’s balance issues and is even more noticeable with the auto, steering could use some tactility, costs nearly 50 grand.
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
PRICE AS TESTED: $48,195 (base price: $35,795)
ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection