Best & Worst BMW 4 Series Years

We've analyzed every BMW 4 Series model from 2014 until %%currentyear%% and categorized the best & worst BMW 4-Series models here.

In this guide, we’re zooming in on the BMW 4 Series, breaking down the best years to buy and the worst years to avoid since its launch.

Leveraging detailed analyses and reviews from reputable sources such as NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and Kelley Blue Book, we use real owner experiences, reliability ratings, and expert reviews to ensure you receive well-rounded and trustworthy information.

You’ll explore the specifics of the various BMW 4 Series models, highlighting their features, reliability, safety, common owner-reported problems, recalls, and average resale values.

Let’s dive right in!

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Table of ContentsShow

BMW 4 Series Generations

The BMW 4 Series, introduced in 2014, quickly set a new benchmark for luxury sports coupes. With its first model, the 4 Series offered an enticing blend of performance, style, and sophistication.

Features like a powerful engine lineup, sharp handling, and a plush interior made it an instant favorite among driving enthusiasts.

All BMW 4 Series Generations from 2014 to Present

GenerationYears
1st generation (F32/F33/F36)2014-2020
2nd generation (G22/G23/G26)2021-Present

Notably, the transition between various BMW 4 Series generations brought significant updates and changes, which could be key in deciding which model year to opt for.

BMW 4 Series Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

In determining the BMW 4 Series’ best, neutral, and worst years, our analysis dives into a multitude of factors, including:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • Cars.com owner ratings

Here’s a brief look at a graph combining ratings from the mentioned sources, offering insight into the BMW 4 Series performance over the years.

BMW 4 Series Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

Next, a table categorizes all BMW 4 Series model years into best, neutral, and worst, providing a clear guide for potential buyers.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
1st generation (F32/F33/F36)2016
2017
2018
2020
2014
2019
2015
2nd generation (G22/G23/G26)2022
2023
2024
N/A2021

Neutral Years are those that don’t distinctly shine for excellence or suffer from significant drawbacks, offering a balanced, albeit unspectacular, ownership experience.

Negative factors like NHTSA recalls directly impact our categorization. A high frequency of complaints and recalls can significantly reduce a vehicle’s reliability score.

Now, let’s explore the best, neutral, and worst years in more detail.

Best & Worst Years for BMW 4 Series 1st Generation (2014-2020)

BMW 4 Series 1st generation 2014 model
The 2014 BMW 4 Series

Launched in 2014, the first generation of the BMW 4 Series was celebrated for its sleek design, dynamic driving experience, and advanced technology. 2014 and 2019 are the first-generation BMW 4 Series to avoid, while 2016-2018 and 2020 are the best years.

The Best Years: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020

The years 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2020 are heralded as the best years for the 1st generation BMW 4 Series for several compelling reasons.

Engine options varied from the base 428i’s efficient 2.0L turbocharged I4 engine, delivering 240 hp, to the more potent 435i’s 3.0L turbocharged I6, offering 300 hp.

The introduction of the 440i in 2016 elevated the lineup with a 320 hp engine.

These models boasted an 8-speed automatic transmission or an optional 6-speed manual for driving purists, alongside an all-wheel-drive option for enhanced traction.

Fuel efficiency was notable, with the 428i Gran Coupe achieving up to 23 city/34 highway MPG.

These years also saw advancements in BMW’s iDrive infotainment system, including a more intuitive interface and enhanced connectivity features.

Safety and comfort were not overlooked, with available driver assistance packages adding adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and more.

The Neutral Years: 2014, 2019

For the neutral years of 2014 and 2019, the BMW 4 Series still offered a commendable luxury coupe experience but with a few caveats.

The 2014 model, despite its pioneering role, faced recalls concerning the fuel pump and brake assist system, which slightly tarnished its debut.

However, it still offered a range of engines from the efficient 240 hp 2.0L turbo-four to the robust 300 hp 3.0L turbo-six.

The 2019 model year was a period of consolidation, with subtle enhancements in trim and feature offerings but without any groundbreaking updates.

These years represented a solid, if not spectacular, choice for buyers seeking the prestige and performance of the 4 Series without the latest bells and whistles.

The Worst Years: 2015

The 2015 model year stands out as the least desirable year for the first-generation BMW 4 Series to avoid, primarily due to its reliability issues.

This year was particularly affected by recalls for safety concerns, including stalling risks due to fuel pump defects and potential problems with airbag deployment.

These significant issues detracted from the model’s overall appeal and could lead to concerns over long-term ownership and safety.

Despite these setbacks, the 2015 BMW 4 Series continued to offer a range of engines and the high-quality interior finish expected from BMW, but the potential for such critical failures makes it a year to approach with caution.

See NHTSA 2015 BMW 428i recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for BMW 4 Series 2nd Generation (2021-Present)

BMW 4 Series 2nd generation 2021 model
The 2021 BMW 4 Series

With the introduction of the second generation of BMW 4 Series in 2021, it embarked on a bold new direction, marked by a distinctive design overhaul and technological advancements.

The best years for the second-generation BMW 4 Series span from 2022 onwards, while the year to avoid is 2021.

The Best Years: 2022, 2023, 2024

The 2022, 2023, and 2024 model years stand out as the best for the second-generation BMW 4 Series, thanks to their refined engineering and technological evolution.

These years introduced more potent and efficient powertrains, including a turbocharged 2.0L I4 engine producing 255 hp in the 430i models and a turbocharged 3.0L I6 with 382 hp available in the M440i.

Both engines are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, offering a satisfying balance between performance and fuel efficiency. The 430i achieves up to 25 city/34 highway mpg, and the M440i is slightly lower due to its increased power output.

Advanced safety features became standard, including frontal collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning, ensuring a secure driving environment.

Technological enhancements were notable, with a fully digital instrument cluster, a larger central touchscreen, and improved connectivity features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

The introduction of advanced driver assistance systems, including semi-autonomous driving capabilities, marked a significant leap forward in making the 4 Series not just more enjoyable to drive but also safer.

The Worst Years: 2021

The launch year of 2021 for the second-generation BMW 4 Series was somewhat tarnished by issues related to its rearview camera, which led to recalls.

While still a capable and luxurious vehicle, the 2021 model’s early hiccup serves as a reminder of the growing pains often associated with the debut year of a new generation.

See NHTSA 2021 BMW 4 Series recalls and complaints.

BMW 4 Series Resale Values

See the graph below to learn how the BMW 4 Series holds its value over time.

BMW 4 Series Average List Price

Conclusion

As we conclude our journey through the BMW 4 Series lifecycle, it’s clear that the years 2016-2018, 2020, and 2022-2024 are the best model years, combining reliability, advanced features, and robust performance.

At the same time, potential buyers might want to avoid the 2015 and 2021 models due to the issues we mentioned.

What year of the BMW 4 Series do you think offers the best value for potential buyers?

Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.