Verdict on BMW 420d XDrive
The BMW 420d XDrive could be the perfect Coupe all-rounder, it looks great, has enough room for four and is still an impressive drive.
For the business user, with the Efficient Dynamics tweaks, it’s impressively cost-effective to run – even with XDrive all-wheel drive, it has 125g/km emissions and is in the 27% tax band.
So how does it compare to one of its key rivals – the Audi A5? Closest model to the 420d Sport XDrive, is the A5 2.0 TDI Ultra Sport S Tronic. The BMW is looking good from the start as it’s cheaper by over £700.
Although for an SME company car user, the emissions and tax band are going to be key and this is where the Audi is stronger, with 105g/km versus 125g/km for the BMW, which also means the 420d has a higher 27% tax band for 2017/18 compared to the Audi’s 23%.
- P11D Value/BIK rate: £36,340 / 27%
- 2-door coupe
- 188bhp 2.0 litre, 4cyl petrol/ eight-speed auto
- Economy (comb)/ CO2: 60.1mpg / 125g/km
- Performance: 7.2sec/146mph
What is it?
Believe it or not, this BMW 420d XDrive is the face-lifted version of BMW’s A5-coupe rivalling 4-Series.
We say believe it or not, because apart from some new lights, revised interior trim and under the skin some chassis tweaks, it looks exactly like the outgoing one.
Which is no bad thing as BMW has delivered nearly 400,000 of these to customers across the world.
On sale now, Business Car Manager was lucky enough to get a go in the best-seller – the 420d, this time with XDrive all-wheel drive.
- That potent, refined 2.0-litre diesel feels fast enough with 188bhp, but if that’s not enough, the 400Nm of torque means you don’t have to work it too hard to get it to perform. Even when mated to the eight-speed automatic, it feels quick off the mark, 60mph comes up in an impressive 7.6 seconds, with a licence-losing 146mph top speed. Yet, BMW’s clever Efficient Dynamics technology means emissions are just 125g/kg while consumption is 60.1mpg.
- The 420d’s exterior and interior styling might not have changed much, but BMW claim to have enhanced the driving experience, with stiffer suspension and revised steering. To be honest, despite these changes, I found it hard to tell the difference between this and the pre-face-lifted car. The steering doesn’t feel as quite as sharp as I remember, probably the result of the XDrive all-wheel drive, but it is still precise and agile. The handling is as you’d expect, equally sharp, the extra grip from the XDrive system proving welcome in faster corners meaning you can get the power down earlier. Even in Sport trim, the ride remained impressively refined and composed on the 18-inch alloys.
- This 4-Series might be a coupe, but the rear seats are useable and there’s enough room as long as you don’t go for drives longer than a couple of hours! The 4-Series coupe also has a practically-shaped, decent-sized boot.
- You’ll spot the face-lifted 4-Series by the new front and rear lights design. BMW have rightly not messed around with the overall design, as this BMW Coupe looks sharp and is more than a match for the newer Audi A5 coupe. Design highlights have to be the short overhangs and the blistered arches. Then there’s the charismatic Hofmeister Kink in the rear roof pillars and the way the curve of the bootline makes a subtle rear spoiler.
- Our 420d was in mid-range Sport trim, this includes dual-zone air-conditioning, Bluetooth, keyless go and rear parking sensors.
- Safety equipment is comprehensive and includes the expected ABS plus driver, passenger and side airbags.
- There’s no doubt the 4-Series has a quality interior, but on closer inspection, there’s a real mix and match of soft and sometimes hard plastics which isn’t so nice – but this wouldn’t put me off.
- The interior of the 4-Series feels solidly built, but it is disappointingly similar to the current four-door 3-Series saloon. You can make it feel more special with the choice of new colours and trims but this adds to the cost considerably.