BMW 3 Series vs 4 Series: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

When you’re trying to decide between the BMW 3 Series and 4 Series, it’s essential to understand the key differences.

The 3 Series is offered as a sports sedan, wagon, and Gran Turismo, while the 4 Series comes in coupe, grand coupe, and convertible models.

Both vehicles provide a luxurious driving experience, but their distinct body styles cater to different preferences.

Consider your lifestyle and driving needs to make an informed decision on which elegant BMW model is the perfect fit for you.

Read a related BMW 3 Series vs 5 Series differences and dimensional, prices comparison between 2 Series vs 3 Series BMWs.

BMW 3 Series vs 4 Series

BMW 3 Series vs. 4 Series: Overview

Coupe, Sedan, and Convertible Models

When comparing the BMW 3 Series and 4 Series, it’s important to understand the differences in their model types.

The 3 Series is primarily available as a sedan, while the 4 Series offers a coupe, convertible, and the Gran Coupe.

You’ll find similar engine options and performance across both the 3 Series and 4 Series, with both models offering a variety of trim levels to suit your preferences.

Both cars showcase impressive handling and a luxurious driving experience.

Gran Coupe and Gran Turismo

Two unique choices within the BMW lineup are the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the 3 Series Gran Turismo.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe combines the styling elegance of a coupe with the practicality of a four-door sedan.

It features a sporty look, a spacious and refined interior, and a versatile hatchback-rear design.

On the other hand, the 3 Series Gran Turismo is a more spacious option with a hatchback design, offering increased passenger comfort and cargo capacity compared to the standard 3 Series sedan.

This model focuses on providing premium amenities and enhanced ride quality for long-distance driving.

Performance Comparison

Engine Options and Horsepower

When comparing the BMW 3 Series and 4 Series, you’ll find that both models offer a similar range of engine options.

Both cars have a standard 2.0-liter turbocharged engine for their base models, producing impressive horsepower and torque.

If you’re looking for an even more powerful engine, consider the M340i for the 3 Series or the M440i for the 4 Series, which come with an enhanced power output for a thrilling driving experience.

Suspension and Handling

As for suspension and handling, both the 3 Series and the 4 Series shine, thanks to their precise steering and well-balanced chassis.

These features contribute to a sporty, responsive, and comfortable ride that will satisfy your driving desires.

Acceleration and Driving Dynamics

In terms of acceleration, both the 3 Series and the 4 Series will not disappoint you. These vehicles live up to the BMW reputation as a sports sedan by boasting quick acceleration and aggressive handling capabilities.

Their driving dynamics provide agile and engaging performance on the road, making each drive an exciting and enjoyable experience.

So whether you choose the 3 Series or the 4 Series, know that you’ll be driving a vehicle that’s capable of delivering the exhilarating performance you seek.

Exterior and Interior Design

Exterior Features

Your BMW 3 Series or 4 Series will sport a striking exterior design.

You’ll get to choose from a variety of standard exterior colors, with optional choices like Dravit Grey Metallic, Tanzanite Blue II Metallic, Arctic Race Blue Metallic, or Aventurin Red Metallic.

Remember that for some of these, you may need Priority 1 Individual or Priority 1 Tanzanite Blue II Metallic selections.

Interior Materials and Features

Inside your luxurious BMW, you’ll find standard interior materials such as black Perforated Sensatec upholstery, available in Canberra Beige, Cognac, or Tacora Red.

If you prefer an upgrade, there are optional interior materials like Vernasca Leather upholstery, offering color choices such as Black w/Blue stitching, Mocha, or Oyster.

So, personalize your BMW to suit your taste and enjoy the ultimate driving experience.

Pricing, Value, and Fuel Economy

MSRP and Price Differences

The BMW 3 Series starts at a lower price than the BMW 4 Series. A 2023 BMW 3 Series 330e Hybrid Plug-in xDrive starts at an MSRP of $46,900, while a 2024 BMW 4 Series 430i Convertible is priced around $57,200.

Hybrid and Diesel Options

Both models offer hybrid options for improved fuel economy. The 2023 BMW 3 Series features a 330e Hybrid Plug-in xDrive.

Diesel options may vary depending on your region and market availability.

Fuel Efficiency

The BMW 3 Series outperforms the 4 Series in fuel efficiency. Keep in mind that fuel economy numbers may vary depending on the specific engine type and driving conditions.

Model Fuel Efficiency
BMW 3 Series Higher
BMW 4 Series Lower

Practicality and Storage Space

Cargo Space and Convenience

When it comes to cargo space, the BMW 3 Series and 4 Series offer different options depending on the body style you choose.

The 3 Series is available in sedan, touring, and gran turismo body styles; whereas, the 4 Series comes in coupe, convertible, and gran coupe versions. Each body style has its unique advantages in terms of storage space and practicality.

Wagon and Hatchback Models

If you’re looking for increased storage space, the 3 Series touring (wagon) and gran turismo (hatchback) models offer more room for your belongings.

The wagon comes with a roomier cargo area, making it the perfect choice for road trips and family outings.

On the other hand, the 4 Series gran coupe, with its sleek design, also provides a balance of storage and style for a sportier feel. Ultimately, your choice will depend on your personal preferences and needs for practicality and cargo space.

Technology and Safety Features

Infotainment and Connectivity

Both BMW 3 Series and 4 Series offer a user-friendly iDrive infotainment system. You can enjoy seamless integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This ensures an enhanced driving experience and easy access to your favorite apps.

Advanced Safety and Driver Assistance

When it comes to safety features, the 2023 BMW 3 Series and 4 Series are quite similar. Both vehicles provide airbags and essential safety systems like traction control and stability control.

Some advanced safety features available include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, active driving assistant, and forward collision warning.

You can benefit from active blind spot detection for a safer driving experience. Remember, some of these features may be optional, so make sure to check the package details while selecting your BMW model.

Transmission and Drivetrain Options

Manual and Automatic Transmissions

Your BMW 3 Series and 4 Series offer various transmission options. The most notable is the 8-speed automatic transmission on both models, providing smooth and responsive gear shifts.

Unfortunately, manual transmission is not commonly available anymore for these models.

Rear-Wheel Drive and All-Wheel Drive Models

Both the 3 Series and 4 Series come standard with rear-wheel drive for sporty handling and a unique driving experience.

However, if you prefer additional traction, both series offer all-wheel drive models to enhance stability and handling, especially in challenging weather conditions.

Combine this with the availability of sport seats for extra support, and your BMW driving experience will be both exciting and comfortable.

Driving Experience and Comfort

Ride Quality and Comfort

The 2021 BMW 3 Series offers you a spacious and comfortable sedan experience, while the 2021 BMW 4 Series focuses more on sportiness.

Both models deliver a smooth ride, but you’ll notice a slight edge in comfort when driving the 3 Series.

Sport Seats

When it comes to interior design, the sport seats in both models provide excellent support and comfort for your driving experience.

Sun/Moon Roof

For an airy, bright feeling inside your car, both the 3 Series and 4 Series offer an optional sun/moon roof to make the drive more enjoyable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main differences in dimensions?

The main difference between the BMW 3 Series and 4 Series is their body style availability. While the 3 Series is a four-door sedan, the 4 Series comes in a two-door coupe or convertible version.

Additionally, the 4 Series tends to be slightly larger, wider, and lower than the 3 Series.

How does the performance compare?

In terms of performance, both models share similar engine options and powertrains. However, the 4 Series may offer slightly better handling due to its sportier design and lower center of gravity.

Remember, your driving experience greatly depends on the specific trim and configuration you choose in either model.

Which model has better fuel efficiency?

Fuel efficiency for both models is fairly similar as they share similar powertrains. Depending on the engine and trim, their MPGs can be quite close. Make sure to check the EPA ratings for the specific model and configuration you are considering.

What are the differences in interior features?

While the interiors of both models feature high-quality materials and cutting-edge technology, they share many of the same amenities. The key difference lies in the available space.

The 3 Series, being a four-door sedan, offers more rear passenger room and easier entry, whereas the 4 Series favors a sportier feel with its two-door configuration.

How do the prices of both models compare?

The BMW 3 Series tends to have a lower starting price compared to the 4 Series. However, as you move up in trim levels and options, prices for both models can increase significantly.

Make sure to compare the prices of specific trims and features to get a better understanding of their differences.

What are the pros and cons of each model?

The 3 Series offers more practicality, with a spacious interior and easier access to the rear seats. It is also generally more affordable than the 4 Series.

On the other hand, if you value a sportier look and driving experience, you might prefer the 4 Series with its coupe or convertible options.

However, the trade-off for this sporty feel is less rear passenger space and a higher starting price. Your choice ultimately depends on your preferences and priorities.


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