2018 BMW 430i Review – BMW 430i Interior

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2018 BMW 430i Review. This is the BMW 4 Series refreshed for 2018 with a new front, new back, and a few updates on the inside. This is the 430I. It’s the base model with a 2 liter turbocharged four cylinder, puts out 248 horsepower. My colleagues, however, think that this car shouldn’t even exist with this engine. That it should have more power and more performance. I think they’re wrong and here’s why.

According to the track numbers we got, acceleration-wise, why is this 430I isn’t really all that fast. When I heard that a V6 Camry would outdrag it, I was a little surprised. SPEAKER 2: It is a nice feeling drive train, a nice feeling engine. Even if it might get outrun by a V6 Camry these days maybe.

2018 BMW 430i Interior
2018 BMW 430i Interior

That’s primarily because this feels a lot more sporty than those numbers suggest. A lot of them might have to do with this manual transmission. I mean, there’s a directness about it. There you go.  I’m sorry, but that’s plenty fast. The 2018 BMW 430i, this car, has the base engine for the 4 Series. So you can’t expect truly impressive acceleration and power and performance overall. But that’s not to say it’s a slug either.

I mean, she gets up speed just fine. In everyday driving, this 2018 BMW 430i, it drives great. It fulfills everything that you want out of a luxury sport coupe. Right now, I’m in sport plus mode, which is the stiffer suspension setting and livens up the response. And I’m not on the smoothest road in LA right here, and I’m not being jolted and tossed around. It’s still very comfortable. Move to comfort mode, smooths out even more.

One feature that I absolutely like in most of the new modern manual transmissions is road matching. I’m in third gear now. I don’t have to blip the throttle in-between for a nice smooth downshift. I like it. But part of me, the purist in me that part of my brain that still loves manual transmissions, I still want to do that myself. I want to blip the throttle myself. And the only way to do that with this car is to disable traction and stability control completely, which for most people, maybe not such a great idea.

For the vast majority of BMW4 Series shoppers, this base engine is going to be more than enough. And if they want more power and performance, step up to the 440I. Has 326 horsepower and also sets you back another $6,000. The key thing here though is, and this is important to me, is handling. Both cars are going to handle exceptionally well. They’re really entertaining to drive on a winding mountain road. Or if you’re lucky enough, on a closed race track.

2018 BMW 430i Review
2018 BMW 430i Review

This is a rare treat for me on a number of levels. I don’t get to spend quite as much time as I’d like on our wonderful handling course here. And ever rarer when it’s a manual transmission. That said though, I’ve never really been that big a fan of the manual transmissions in BMWs. The clutch, well, the take-up can be a little bit far off the floor for me. The shifter itself is a little rubbery. I like it a little more positive, a little more mechanical. But it’s something you can get over very quickly.

One thing I’m noticing right off the bat though is, this brake pedal is really kind of mushy. Mushier than you’d expect for a car that purports to be the ultimate driving machine. And because it’s mushy, it’s a little hard to modulate and trail in accurately as you head into a turn.

Now this is the 248 horsepower 2 liter turbo. And I’m having a pretty good time with it. Obviously, if you’re going to be doing some track stuff like this, the 2018 BMW 430i is your choice, because it’s got 326 horsepower. Ah, here’s something I just realized. Actually it’s something Carlos told me just before I got in the car too is, if you’re going from fourth to second in a downshift, it will not rev match for you.

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You have to go sequentially four, three, two, which is usually what I do. I just, whoo. Oh, I just got a little bit in the moment there. It is taking a lot for me to actually not try and rev match it myself. To rev match yourself, you have to take traction control completely off. And I don’t see the point with this car right now. Whoa. There we go. Yeah, and there’s no limited slip in here either. But as I just demonstrated in that last turn, she’ll hang the tail out if you give it a little goose. 

I do like the rev matching in this. It’s quick enough, but you can’t just kind of aggressively just slam it and then dump the clutch. Yeah, and even right there when I really just floored it coming out of that turn, it did back the throttle back. And that’s good. I mean, if you wanted to turn stability control all way off, drift to your heart’s content if you can. Ooh, you can definitely have fun with what we would consider the entry level BMW 4 series.

2018 BMW 430i on road
2018 BMW 430i on road

Once you’ve been in one BMW, it’s sort of like you’ve been in all BMWs. There’s a familiarity throughout their entire lineup that’s not just refreshing and comforting, but it’s just play nice and luxurious. Everything falls to hand just as it should. New for this year is an updated infotainment system, the new iDrive. It has Apple CarPlay as an option, but it’s a $300 option, which sort of bothers me, because a lot of other car companies are putting in there for free and standard throughout their entire lineup. BMW, come on, let’s get with it. Under this arm rest here is a new wireless charging pad for $500. That’s a bit excessive.

Especially when you consider you can buy one for your home for $30 on Amazon. Once you close the door of the 2018 BMW 430i, you’re presented with the seat belt right over your shoulder. And that’s really nice, because otherwise, it’s an awkward crane backwards to grab it. As it is, with this $53,000-ish price, it does actually feel like a $53,000 car. In this class, this BMW 4 Series represents more of a driver’s car versus the Mercedes Benz C Class that is more classical luxury, while the Audi A5 sort of splits the difference and adds a whole lot of technology.

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The differences between all three of these are so slight, it’s going to come down to personal preference. I get the performance argument, but for my money, and there there’s a lot of money on the line here, I’d go with the BMW M2, because that thing is an absolute riot to drive. And if you think I’m wrong, let me know.

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