The 2018 BMW M4 lives up to its heritage as an entertaining performance car, both on the track and your favorite twisty road.
BMW has long sold compact high-performance cars, but in the past it’s called the two-doors part of the 3-Series family.
These days, the coupes and convertibles are 4-Series cars, and the best of all is the 2018 M4, a hugely entertaining performance car that get some mild updates this year.
We’ve rated it a 7.6 out of 10, a score based on its blistering performance, fantastic handling, and luxurious options. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
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The M4 is the coupe and convertible version of the vaunted BMW M3 sedan. While the M3 carries the best name recognition, the M4 models are a little more stylish. For 2018, they’ve been treated to a modest nip and tuck that’s mostly cosmetic but also includes some technology updates inside and out.
The 2018 M4 range includes both the convertible and coupe body styles plus a choice of 7-speed dual-clutch and 6-speed manual transmissions. All models feature a twin-turbo inline-6 rated at either 425 horsepower, or 444 hp if the optional Competition Package is selected. Either model is blisteringly fast, although the extra mass of the droptop’s folding metal roof adds more than 500 pounds, which dulls things ever-so-slightly. Big brakes help control that power and carbon ceramic units are on the optional extras list.
Either version of the 2018 M4 takes corners with aplomb, albeit minus some of the analog sparkle that once made these cars shine. Their thick-rimmed steering wheels deliver accuracy, but little in the way of emotion—at least compared to the M4’s predecessors. Fortunately, BMW still serves up that goodness in the smaller, 2-Series-based BMW M2—although it’s not available as a droptop.
Look beyond the racier styling and the M4 is basically a 4-Series coupe or convertible with a lot more power and a stiffened suspension. Its interior is dressed up a little, although it can feel a bit bourgeois at prices that can top six figures. There’s plenty of room for customization with special paint and upholstery choices and a few option packages that pile on more decadence. If we were doing the shopping, we’d be happy with the “purist special,” an M4 coupe with only Apple CarPlay and maybe an upcharge for fancy paint.