November 28, 2021

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BMW M4 Competition (2021 – present) | Expert Rating

Summary


The BMW M4 Competition is a high-performance coupé and convertible model based on the regular 4 Series range. The current coupé model arrived in the UK in early 2021, with the convertible due to join it before the end of the year.

This is the second generation model to carry the M4 name – the first appeared in 2014 after BMW rebranded its 3 Series coupé and convertible models as the 4 Series. However, the M4 can trace its lineage right back to the original M3 coupé of the mid-1980s.

Here in the UK, we only get the top-spec M4 Competition model, which is powered by a 3.0-litre, twin-turbo, six-cylinder petrol engine that produces 510hp. It is also available with all-wheel drive on the coupé version, while the convertible is rear-wheel drive only. 

Reviewers have lavished praise on the M4, though Car magazine dubs it “Munich’s most controversial sports coupe yet,” referring to the styling and particularly the enormous front grilles that dip below the registration plate. Top Gear adds, however, that BMW knows its customers, M4 buyers are “extroverts” and the elongated kidney grilles “don’t actually look too offensive in real life…” 

The power impresses widely, but it is about more than rapid acceleration. “The flexibility of the engine is second-to-none, delivering impressive acceleration even in higher gears,” says Parkers

Equally, testers highlight that the new M4 is not the animal its predecessor was. “The old M4 was a bit feral,” says Auto Express, “but this new version feels more mature and rounded, as if it’s been shipped off to finishing school.”

Evo praises the M4’s rigidity, which means excellent handling; “The precision and response as you turn the wheel is fantastic,” adding that the car builds confidence very quickly.  

There are other, practical, factors, such as rear seats with reasonable space for adults and an adequate boot – but these will feature on the requirements of very few M4 buyers…

As of October 2021, the BMW M4 holds an Expert Rating of 85{ff73e94827869dd2b5714d793ef449233b8f00ed743c91e1b3a181dbbd187443} from 13 reviews.

BMW M4 highlights

  • As distinctive as it is potent
  • Very rapid
  • Less violent to control than previous M cars
  • Practical rear cabin and big enough boot

BMW M4 lowlights

  • Enormous kidney grille is polarising
  • No manual gearbox option
  • Auto gearbox is not that slick
  • Expensive in standard spec
  • Very expensive once you start adding options

Key specifications


Body style: Coupé / convertible
Engines: petrol
Price: From £65,200 on-road

Launched: Spring 2021
Last updated: Summer 2021
Next update due: TBA



Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

Safety rating


Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

Overall rating: 5 stars
Date tested: May 2021

No safety rating

The BMW M4 Competition shares its safety rating with the mainstream BMW 4 Series Coupe range, which was tested by Euro NCAP back in 2019 and awarded a five-star rating.

The test report offered no significant criticisms, highlighting the maximum scores in the side barrier and more severe side pole test, and the maximum points scored in city-driving tests by the autonomous emergency braking system. 

Eco rating


Independent economy and emissions ratings from Green NCAP

No eco rating

The BMW M4 has not been lab tested by Green NCAP. This is a new initiative, launched in 2018 as a sister organisation to Euro NCAP.

As yet, very few new cars have been tested for environmental impact by Green NCAP, and inevitably the testing programme was halted in early 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic before resuming later in the year.

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the BMW M4, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio | Audi RS 5 | BMW M3 | Ford Mustang | Jaguar XE Project 8 | Lexus RC F | Mercedes-AMG C63 | Nissan GT-R

Most buyers will consider a BMW M4 for its performance and so potential alternatives are quite varied. Several testers believe the closest rival is also made by BMW, the similarly priced M3 Competition which, being a saloon, is more practical. The likes of the Audi RS 5, Lexus RC F, Mercedes-AMG C63 and Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio also come into the reckoning. 

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