2023 BMW M4 Review, Pricing, and Specs

Overview

As the two-door version of the M3 sedan, the M4 has high levels of comfort, luxury, and daily usability—and a reasonably roomy rear seat should you need them. Power and grip are two areas where the BMW M4 shines. The standard M4 comes with rear-wheel drive, a six-speed manual transmission, and a fiery 473-hp twin-turbo inline-six engine; M4 Competition models have 503 horsepower. Both models can be had with an optional eight-speed automatic, the only transmission sold with the optional xDrive all-wheel-drive system. There’s even a new track-attack version, the 543-hp M4 CSL that deletes the rear seat for weight savings. An overwhelming number of driving modes that control powertrain-and-chassis configurability complicate finding a setup you’re happy with. That complaint aside, the M4 is one special automobile. Lots of power, tons of torque, and an available manual transmission remind us of what made M cars so damn good a long time ago.

What’s New for 2023?

BMW adds the CSL limited-edition track-focused model to the Bavarian company’s M4 lineup. The M4 CSL gains 40 horses over the M4 Competition—for a whopping 543 horsepower—and loses a claimed 240 pounds compared to the Comp version. Part of that mass-reduction effort sacrifices the coupe’s rear seats. Other weight savings come from a titanium exhaust system; carbon fiber roof, hood, and trunk; lightweight carbon fiber seats; and carbon ceramic brakes. Many of the suspension bits have been replaced with stiffer pieces, including the engine-and-transmission mounts, and the lighter 19- and 20-inch staggered wheels are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R track tires.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

$73,495 (est)

Competition Coupe

$76,195 (est)

Competition Convertible

$87,795 (est)

CSL

$140,895

There are a number of good reasons to spend the extra coin on the M4 Competition, including the extra horsepower and torque as well as the availability of all-wheel drive. However, we’d choose the regular M4 for one really good reason–it’s the only one that offers a satisfying manual transmission. We’d also opt for the lightweight and extra-supportive M Carbon bucket seats as well as the M Drive Professional package (onboard drift analyzer and lap timer) and the M Driver’s package, which unlocks a higher top speed and includes a one-day class for high-performance driving.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The M4 is motivated by a brilliant twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six that comes in three potencies. The standard version makes 473 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. It pairs with rear-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission. In our testing, this setup shot to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and cleared the quarter-mile in 12.0 ticks at 121 mph. With 503 horses and 479 pound-feet, the Competition model is even quicker, but the lone transmission choice is an eight-speed automatic. To offset the lack of a stick-shift option, only the M4 Comp can be equipped with a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system. Finally, the M4 CSL, which is limited to just 1000 units, makes 543 horsepower and uses the eight-speed automatic with rear-wheel drive. Every M4 comes with adaptive dampers, adjustable brake-pedal feel, and an electronically controlled exhaust system that gets louder in Sport and Sport Plus drive modes. The loudness can also be turned down at any time by pushing the M Sound button. BMW also provides an excessive amount of adjustable drive-mode settings that we think can dilute the driving experience that BMW’s engineers envisioned. Thankfully, our time behind the thick-rimmed wheel of the M4 Competition showcased its tenacious acceleration, incredible cornering grip, and resolute stability. We’re also happy to report that BMW has improved the coupe’s steering feel, though don’t expect it to offer the feedback of any two-door Porsche. The regular M4 rides on 18-inch front wheels and 19-inchers in the back while the M4 Competition and CSL models roll on a staggered set of 19s in front and 20s in back. The M4 feature a carbon-fiber roof that reduces its center of gravity, and it can be equipped with a set of fade-resistant carbon-ceramic brakes.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The M4 is rated at up to 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. During our 75-mph fuel-economy route the six-speed manual rear-wheel-drive M4 achieved 21 mpg, slightly under its EPA estimate. For more information about the M4’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

Although the M4 has the same interior layout and passenger space as the regular 4-series, it boasts a variety of unique materials and some race-inspired options. Its thick-rimmed steering wheel features a pair of red buttons for customizable M drive modes. The cabin can also be enhanced with liberal amounts of carbon-fiber trim pieces and lengthy paddle shifters mounted on the steering column. The standard M sport seats are substantially bolstered and have an illuminated logo, an integrated headrest, and can be had with ventilation for the first time on an M4. The optional carbon-fiber front seats not only look super cool, but they’re also lighter than the standard seats and can be lowered even more. While the back seat obviously isn’t as roomy as in the M3 sedan, thankfully the space isn’t a torture chamber, with an extra inch of legroom than its predecessor. Opting for the convertible body style unlocks unlimited headroom; simply lower the retractable fabric top. The limited-edition M4 CSL is a two-seater only but is a track-focused model that uses dramatic weight reduction techniques.

Infotainment and Connectivity

Every M4 is outfitted with a slick-looking infotainment system that features a large 12.3-inch touchscreen. It has myriad control options that allow the user to adjust settings and navigate menus via voice commands, buttons on the steering wheel, and a large rotary controller and buttons on the center console. The M4’s system comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Harman/Kardon audio system. Those who want even fancier features can choose from popular options such as gesture controls, a subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot, and a wireless charging pad.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Despite driver engagement being its primary mission, the M4 has a roster of standard and optional driver-assistance technology.

For more information about the M4’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

  • Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
  • Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
  • Available adaptive cruise control

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

BMW provides a competitive limited and powertrain warranty that is identical to alternatives from Audi and Mercedes-AMG. It also has better complimentary scheduled maintenance than both brands, but it’s not quite as good as what Jaguar provides.

  • Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
  • Complimentary maintenance is covered for three years or 36,000 miles

Specifications

Specifications

2021 BMW M4

VEHICLE TYPE

front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe

PRICE AS TESTED

$97,645 (base price: $72,795)

ENGINE TYPE

twin-turbocharged and intercooled inline-6, aluminum block and head

Displacement

183 in3, 2993 cm3

Power

473 hp @ 6250 rpm

Torque

406 lb-ft @ 2650 rpm

TRANSMISSION

6-speed manual

CHASSIS

Suspension (F/R): multilink/multilink

Brakes (F/R): 15.7-in vented, cross-drilled carbon-ceramic disc/15.0-in vented, cross-drilled carbon-ceramic disc

Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, F: 275/35ZR-19 (100Y) ★ R: 285/30ZR-20 (99Y) ★

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 112.5 in

Length: 189.1 in

Width: 74.3 in

Height: 54.8 in

Passenger volume: 91 ft3

Trunk volume: 12 ft3

Curb weight: 3709 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS

60 mph: 3.8 sec

100 mph: 8.3 sec

160 mph: 24.6 sec

1/4 mile: 12.0 sec @ 121 mph

Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.

Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 4.7 sec

Top gear, 30–50 mph: 7.6 sec

Top gear, 50–70 mph: 6.4 sec

Top speed (mfr’s claim): 180 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 146 ft

Braking, 100–0 mph: 291 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 1.03 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY

Observed: 17 mpg

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

Combined/city/highway: 19/16/23 mpg

C/D TESTING EXPLAINED

More Features and Specs