Smooth; muscular; powerful; shiny, even. In a word: beefcake – that’s BMW’s 435d xDrive Gran Coupe.
Tom Scanlan drives the big diesel BMW 435d xDrive M Sport Gran Coupe
But if you want super-smooth, then it has to be the 440i at around £2000 cheaper, depending on options attached.
The 3.0 diesel develops 313 PS, while the petrol 3.0 has 326 PS. However, I have always loved big diesel engines, so, poking a metaphorical stick in the government’s eye, I chose to set off in the diesel.
It has a very chunky, solid feel, from the moment you grip the re-designed steering wheel. (A £155 option is a heated wheel.)
Once on the road, the car is quiet with just a well-muted 6-cylinder diesel chug discernible until road noise takes over. The car was wearing standard tyres, with BMWs generally being shod in any of the top-end rubber.
The revised, stiffer, adaptive sport suspension still gives a comfortable ride — the default setting in turning the ignition key is ‘comfort’, with eco, sport and sport plus deployable via a neat switch in front of the auto gear selector. Sport Plus switches off the ESP, with a tell-tale light in the instrument panel reminding you of that fact.
The digital cockpit’s main instruments change according to which setting you have; for example, the eco setting displays the state of charge, amongst other things.
The Sports front seats are standard, but the test car had that very worthwhile lumbar support, optional at £265 and also fitted to the front passenger seat.
If all the available horses are gee’d up, the car will rocket to 62mph in just 4.8 seconds, reaching the third of the eight gears in doing so, with a satisfactory roar from the engine/exhaust. Talk about ‘grunt’ — it’s you that grunts, not just the car! Oh, and there’s the little matter of those 640Nm of torque, so you could probably loaf around all day in eighth gear if you felt like it. With a light foot, you might also achieve something in the direction of the official combined fuel consumption figure of 49.6 mpg. On my drive, the car’s computer showed 39.2 mpg.
The left-hand paddle gives manual instant down changes and flicking the right-hand paddle changes, ‘though not quite instantaneously, up. This car is so good 70 mph feels like no more than 50, meaning that motorway travel will seem almost painfully slow.
The brakes have a lot of car, even the middle-sized 4-series, to stop. These brakes survived several full-on simulated emergency stops in a row, no problem…powerful and progressive.
Both front-seat occupants sit in almost opulent comfort. The car is of course in touch with the outside world.
The Coupe is, in fact, a four-door car, with space enough in the back for two adults, despite the bulky transmission tunnel. There is a pull-down central armrest with two cupholders, separate air vents, reading lights and coat-hooks. Of course…you get that in every car in this class and way down the pecking order, as well, in cars a third of the price of this BMW…just thought I’d mention it.
In fact, a whole host of subtle interior changes welcome any new owner, but, for all these, it’s the agile way the car performs that keeps cars like this 435 as one of the hot favourites in the driving-for-pleasure stakes.
Car reviewed: BMW 435d xDrive M Sport Gran Coupe – Base Price On the road £47,280 0-62mph 4.8 secs Top speed 155mph limited Fuel Economy combined 9.6mpg CO2 emissions 150g/km Engine 2993cc 6-cylinder diesel Max Power 313PS@4400rpm Torque 630Nm@1500rpm Transmission 8-speed auto with manual mode, four wheel drive
Big, loveable diesel engine
Sporty, but comfortable ride
One of the best, highly impressive
None to think of
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