Beach Wheels: BMW M440i xDrive is a sports coupe that does it all
By Jeff Mitchell
OK, so let’s just cut to the chase. Among the many car reviewers who have test-driven the 2021 BMW M440i, the consensus is that the car’s extra-large twin-kidney-shaped grill is just too big.
I, however, do not share that opinion. In fact, I kind of like this new sport coupe’s distinctive beak.
Yes, it’s big — but it also lends a dynamic and exciting look that works with the car’s overall vibe. And, the new grille wasn’t just a flight of designer fancy — it also provides an engine cooling benefit when its active shutters are open.
My tester for the week came in a resplendent Arctic Race Blue Metallic paint and sat on stylish and lowered 19-inch steel-alloy wheels. BMW’s distinctive “M” badging was found in several places around the car.
The M440i is powered by BMW’s 3.0-liter turbocharged I-6 B58 gasoline engine that produces 382 horsepower and 364 pound-feet of torque. It will do 0-100 mph in a speedy 4.5 seconds. An added (and unusual) 48-volt hybrid system works to largely hide the vehicle’s start-stop system which most drivers typically disable if they are given the option. This was a good move on BMW’s part.
My tester handled confidently and beautifully. I could throw the vehicle around corners like it was on rails. You definitely feel the road surface while in sport or sport-plus mode and that can make you quick hypervigilant of potholes. Put the M440i in comfort mode and those issues just seem to float away.
My tester’s brakes seemed a tad grabby at first but after getting used to them I found they did an overall excellent job of slowing and stopping the vehicle as needed.
The cabin featured soft and supportive leather seating and a contrasting aluminum beltline. The rear seats are comfortable, too, although I found the headroom to be a bit tight for many passengers.
My tester came with BMW;s Executive Package which provides console gesture control which, honestly, I did not like or find very useful. If you want to increase the volume on the audio system it is far easier and more familiar to just grab the knob as opposed to spinning your fingers in circles in front of the unit.
On the positive side, the Executive Package option does provide a great digital gauge cluster and an intuitive 10.3 inch infotainment screen.
In terms of safety equipment, the M440i carries standard emergency braking, lane-departure, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alert. My M440i also carried the $1,700 Driving Assistance Pro package, which adds radar-based adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping. The vehicle provides 12-cubic-feet of cargo capacity.
The M440i competes directly with the Mercedes-AMG C43 and the Audi S5 which are both great vehicles.
I found gas mileage on my tester to be good. I registered 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg out on the highway,
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price on my M440i — as optioned — came to $70,470.
The 2021 BMW M440i xDrive Coupe is a beautiful and capable vehicle that consumers will like. It does a ton of things well plus it is just fun to drive. While I always recommend that consumers do their homework and take the time to do test drives, my guess is that you’ll decide on the BMW in the end. Happy motoring!
Jeff Mitchell is an automotive writer and reviewer. Check him out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/
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