2022 BMW shows a nose for high style, rapid travel

CASEY WILLIAMS | Auto Reviewer

We all make questionable fashion choices. For me, it’s an old sweater from high school and a certain pair of heels from Only Maker. For the 2022 BMW M440i, it might be its giant schnoz that looks menacing but at the same time suggests it may be sucking a sour tart.

Hopefully a little time will make all of these flourishes seem fashion-forward and not faux paus. Besides, it’s easy to forgive a little fashion foray when the rest of your action is on-point.


2022 BMW M440i Gran Coupe
5-passengers, AWD Coupe
Powertrain: 3.0-L TI6, 8-spd trans
Output: 382hp/368 lb.-ft.
Suspension f/r: Ind/Ind
Wheels f/r: 19-inch/19-inch
Brakes f/r: disc/disc
Must-have features: Performance, Style
Fuel economy: 22/29-MPG city/hwy
Assembly: Dingolfing, Germany
Base/as-tested price: $45,200/$67,520


BMW’s 3- and 4-Series cars encompass three body styles: A proper sedan, two-door coupe and the five-door “Gran Coupe.”

I used to wonder: What’s the point of a five-door coupe? Isn’t that what we used to call a hatchback?

While rear seat head room is compromised with the fastback roofline, it does offer four real doors and plenty of room for luggage beneath the powered hatch. And it does have a certain panache and practicality.

The tall double kidney grille is flanked by quad headlamps over an angry lower facia. Viewing from the side, you see what my co-worker appreciated: A suggestively-sculpted hood and broad shoulders underline the Gran Coupe’s fastback roofline and a take on the window line’s classic Hofmeister kink.

Red brake calipers behind 19-inch alloy wheels and thin rear spoiler add a sense of dignified pace.

I do not know how anybody gets by without heated seats, a heated steering wheel and tri-zone automatic climate control when it is cold outside.

Yeah, I’m spoiled. And while we’re at it, BMW could add power seats.

Elegance was revived by open-pore oak wood trim, thick leather-wrapped M steering wheel and stitched dash coverings.

I used to despise BMW’s iDrive infotainment system with its console joywheel and confusing menus. But the latest version is tolerable. Menus are more intuitive, and the system can be controlled via dash touchscreen — made easier with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. I just connected my phone, cranked up the billowing Harman Kardon audio system and tried to ignore my daughter tap-tapping away in the back.

Finding open road, I stepped firmly into the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine and surged forward on 382 horsepower and 368 lb.-ft. of torque. BMW claims it runs 0-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds on its way to a 130 mph top speed, and I have no doubt. It’s fast.

But even with auto stop-start and a 48v mild hybrid system, fuel economy is rated just 22/29-MPG city/highway.

If you find yourself in freak winter weather, there’s no need to worry since BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system makes the most of the all-season tires. Even when I hit a slick spot exiting the interstate on my drive, the stability control system grabbed it as xDrive shifted torque between wheels.

All of the wheel time gave me a chance to press through the different drive modes that configure the steering heft and throttle response for Eco, Comfort or Sport.

It’s OK to make questionable fashion choices — if you also bring the goods. And, the BMW M440i Gran Coupe does. It’s fast, comfortable, and elegantly crafted.

And, it’s not the first time BMW fitted tall kidneys to a car: It did so way back in the 1930s.

The M440i is plenty stylish but not cheap. Base models start at $45,200 but came to a lofty $67,520 as tested. Competitors include the Audi A5 Sportback, Genesis G70 and Mercedes-Benz CLA.

Storm Forward!

Send comments to Casey at AutoCasey@aol.com; follow him on YouTube @AutoCasey.