20 January 2021

BMW M440i 2021 Car Review

The kidney-shaped grille on the new BMW 4 Series has divided motoring enthusiasts around the globe ever since it was first launched back in June 2020.

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BMW M440i xDrive 2020
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BMW M440i xDrive 2020
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BMW M440i xDrive 2020
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BMW M440i xDrive 2020
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BMW M440i xDrive 2020
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BMW M440i xDrive 2020

Once the car arrived here in New Zealand, we were given the opportunity to test it for a few days, allowing us to see the controversial front-end in the flesh and, more importantly, find out exactly how good the new two-door coupe is.

So, about that front end

While the new grill may not look traditionally BMW, it’s supposedly inspired by the BMW 328 and 3.0 CSi models, both of which adopted vertical grilles. While they may not have been quite as large as that of the M440i xDrive, we see the resemblance. Just. 

There have been many comments on the large size of the grille but it’s actually no bigger than that of the current RS line of Audis. It’s simply the kidney shape that hasn’t been very well received. BMW Laser Headlights look striking at night and some muscular lines down the bonnet help to emphasise the front end.

Compared to the boldness of the front end, other parts of the car actually feel rather reserved, especially the side panels, which lack much styling. Large wheel arches give the car a slightly more aggressive look and a small spoiler and rear diffuser at the rear round off the car quite nicely.

The car is shared with the 3 Series saloon which means it’s larger in all aspects when compared to the previous 4 Series. The new 4 Series is 128mm longer, 6mm higher and 27mm wider, and also has a 41mm larger wheelbase. It sits on sporty 19-inch M light alloy wheels and run-flat tyres.

A luxurious interior

Once inside, the BMW M440i xDrive feels very much like a BMW – each surface feels premium, and every feature seems to be very well thought out. The tan leather throughout looked great and complimented the sporty seats well, as did the ambient lighting set up, which can be customised with a handful of different colours.

As it’s a coupe, it does feel rather compact, especially for any rear passengers. The legroom isn’t terrible, but if you’re over 185cm tall you might struggle with the headroom.

BMW’s iDrive system remains in the new 4 Series, and is displayed through a large, panoramic 10.25-inch touchscreen. As you would expect, it comes pre-installed with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and has a wireless phone charger pad to help power your device on the move. An even larger 12.3-inch display replaces conventional dials and can display navigation between the digital dials. The premium Harman Kardon sound system comes as standard, and sounds superb. 

BMW Gesture control is a neat but gimmicky feature, which allows you to complete simple commands with some simple hand gestures. Turning up the volume, for example, can be done by turning your finger clockwise above the centre console, while a flick of the hand to the right will reject an incoming phone call. While this feature is pretty cool, it isn’t fool proof and we found ourselves using the conveniently-placed buttons on the steering wheel instead.

Feels like a BMW

Underneath the hood of the BMW M440i xDrive is a turbocharged inline-six engine, which is teamed to an eight-speed sport automatic gearbox. The intelligent xDrive system drives all four wheels, but this can be configured to drive more power to the rear to give the driver a bit more freedom. An M Sport Differential also comes as standard. A fuel consumption rate of 7.1L/100km is quite respectable.

Power-wise, the M440i xDrive is capable of 275kW and 500Nm of torque, and can get from zero to 100 in less than 4.5 seconds. Due to the AWD system, it’s actually quicker off the line than the previous top of the range M4.

Flicking through the various driving modes helps you to experience the different moods of the car. For just driving around the city, the BMW M440i xDrive can be very subdued in ‘Comfort’ mode, but hit a backroad in ‘Sport’ and make use of the shift paddles and the car transforms into a beast.  

A full suite of safety features

BMW’s Driving Assistant Professional - comes as standard across the entire 4 Series range, which includes autonomous emergency braking, rear-cross alert, lane keep assist and active cruise control.


The BMW M440i xDrive is a great little sports coupe, with a vast array of features that make it a great choice if you’re in the market for a two-door sports car.

There aren’t too many cars to compare it to, although the other two luxury German manufacturers offer similar packages in terms of price and technology.

Going back to the grille, it’s definitely a ‘love-it-or-hate-it’ scenario, but BMW seems to be hedging its bets with it – it’s already been confirmed for other cars such as the upcoming BMW iX.

At around $130,000, the BMW M440i xDrive is by no means cheap, but if you have that sort of money, love the looks and you’re a fan of the marque then you’d (probably) consider it good value for money.

At a glance


BMW M440i xDrive Coupe


3.0L turbo charged inline six


From $129,900

ANCAP safety rating

Not rated

Power and Torque

275kW, 500Nm


Eight-speed Sport auto 

Fuel economy


Towing capacity



AWD xDrive

Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload


 Safety systems

  • BMW Head-Up Display
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Front/Rear Collision Warning with brake intervention
  • Rear Crossing Traffic Warning
  • Parking Assistant incl. Lateral Parking Aid
  • Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go Fucntion
  • Lane Keeping Assistant with Side Collision Warning
  • Eight airbags

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