It’s been over three years since I took delivery of my 2014 BMW F82 M4 with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT), and I have covered around 16,000km. The M4 is a relatively large two-door coupe that has two usable rear seats and a generous boot, making it a practical daily driver.
Every time it has been parked for a few hours, the M4 will greet you with a loud cold-start procedure. The sound can be described as agricultural, so thankfully this racket only lasts around a minute before the car settles down to a quiet idle. You can make the exhaust note louder by pressing a button on the centre console to put the engine into Sport or Sport Plus mode. This will open up valves in the outer-two exhaust pipes and give you more noise.
In the owner’s manual, BMW advises you not to warm up the car at standstill but to drive away at “moderate engine speeds". Unfortunately, the exhaust note doesn’t sound any better when you do drive away. Even with the valves opened up, the exhaust doesn’t sound any better. In fact, it just makes an unpleasant sound louder.
On the upside, the DCT changes gears noticeably more smoothly than in the predecessor (and many other manufacturers’ cars equipped with dual-clutch transmissions). There are three shift speeds to choose from on the centre console, and I find that the second setting is the quickest and smoothest on the street.
In general, the DCT’s up-shifts are imperceptible, but the DCT is occasionally caught off-guard at low speed and some jerkiness may manifest itself at pedestrian speeds. Unlike many other cars with sporting intentions, the M4 does not do theatrical downshift throttle blips that – together with the unpleasant exhaust note – makes driving the M4 less of an occasion than its M2 sibling. BMW later tried to rectify this by offering a $5000 Competition Pack, which included a change to the engine tuning that created exhaust pops and burbles.
The M4 is packed with lots of high-tech equipment such as: M Servotronic EPS (with three settings for the steering effort), The Adaptive M Suspension (also with three different settings), Active M Differential, Colour Head Up Display, BMW concierge service, and mobile phone connectivity to allow you to use your phone to perform remote functions such as unlocking/locking your vehicle, flashing the headlights, ventilating the cabin air and locating your vehicle on a map.
I was once surprised to receive a call from the dealership notifying me I needed to book my car in again only a few months after an annual service. Apparently, my car had informed BMW in Germany that it needed a microfilter change, so BMW contacted the dealership and they in turn called me to book my car in for a replacement.
With so much tech in modern cars, there are countless things that could go wrong. I intended to keep the M4 past the three-year factory warranty period, so I paid for extended warranty when I collected the car.
So far, my M4 has proven to be reliable. At the time of writing, the only thing that failed was a rubber seal on the passenger side rear-view mirror. The dealer said the seal could not simply be replaced, so a new left rear-view mirror assembly had to be sent from Germany. This took about a month to come in and the mirror was replaced within a day. The new mirror plus labor would likely not have been cheap if the car was already out of warranty.
Overall, I’m happy with the car and would give my M4 an 8.5 out of 10.