2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe: Up Close


The 4 Series Gran Coupe is emblematic of BMW's expanding product line. Even though the automaker sells the 3 Series sedan, wagon and GT, and now the 4 Series coupe, the luxury brand thinks there's room for something more. Enter the 4 Series Gran Coupe, a four-door car with sleeker, coupelike lines.

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There's some tradeoff in interior roominess in the name of style, but more cargo versatility than you might expect.

By Mike Hanley | April 18, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 BMW X4 Photo Gallery (26 Photos)


Has it been a bit tough to keep up with all of BMW's new models and body styles lately? Don't worry, it's not just you. The many proliferations of the luxury automaker's vehicles seem to multiply faster than a colony of rabbits in spring. One of the latest additions to its lineup is the 2015 X4 "sports activity coupe," a smaller version of the X6 crossover.

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The X4 is built off the same platform as the 3 Series and X3, and resembles those models from the front with large air intake openings and a similar headlight design. From the side, it follows the X6's silhouette, with a sleek and sloping roofline.

Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 16, 2014 | Comments (2)

2015 BMW M4 Convertible Photo Gallery (25 Photos)


The curtain dropped on the droptop version of the 2015 BMW M4 this morning at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, and Cars.com was there to share airspace with the luxury sports car. We first saw the 2015 M4 – the M3 sedan's two-door sibling – back in January at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and knew then that a convertible could not be far behind.

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Like the coupe, the convertible uses a 425-horsepower, 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6; it scoots from zero to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 155 mph. Also like the coupe, the spoiler-less convertible has a reworked bumper with larger air intakes and frontal air curtains to redirect airflow. Meanwhile, interior cues include M badging, sport seats and steering wheel, and carbon-fiber trim.

Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears

By Matt Schmitz | April 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 BMW M4 Convertible: More Photos


The convertible counterpart to the BMW M3 sedan — the M4 — is back for 2015 and hitting showrooms this summer just in time for droptop weather. We'll be warming up to the M4 later this week at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, but what we already know is that the luxury two-door is substantially lighter thanks to extensive use of aluminum and carbon-fiber materials, and more powerful thanks to horsepower and torque increases for its twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6, despite shedding a couple of cylinders from the previous model.

2015 M4 Convertible Joins BMW Lineup

BMW says the power hardtop retracts in just 20 seconds, and with the automatic transmission the M4 gets to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, so buyers won’t have to wait long to feel some wind in their hair come summer. Until then, check out the gallery below.

By Matt Schmitz | April 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

BMW Model Onslaught Shows No Sign of Slowing


It is not just the folks that meticulously run Cars.com's various research tools that mutter about BMW adding models left and right. Car enthusiasts and car shoppers alike have been caught wondering why there are so many. BMW sales are performing well, but the brand's U.S. sales were only 5 percent higher in 2013 than in 2007.

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BMW will show the X4 crossover at this week's 2014 New York International Auto Show, and it previously announced plans to build an X7 SUV in the U.S. Our graphic (below) shows the difference in today's lineup (sans the X4 and X7) against the 2007 lineup, the year before the X6 was introduced. The X6 is the model many feel started this Gremlin-esque growth trend.

Let us know where you stand on the issue in our comment section below. Are we at a BMW saturation point, or is the variety ultimately better for car shoppers?

By David Thomas | April 15, 2014 | Comments (8)

Best Hybrids for the Money 2014


Gas prices remain historically high and volatile, and one of the most successful ways automakers and American motorists have adapted is by embracing hybrid technology. Though a few full-size hybrid trucks from GM have been discontinued, 2014 sees as many models as ever. No matter why you may want a hybrid, you might want to know how well it meets its mission.

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To determine if a hybrid's added expense is worth the cash, we devised an efficiency-cost rating. It's simply the EPA's combined mpg rating divided by the base price (meaning MSRP plus destination charge). We then multiply that result by 1,000. This formula can be applied to any type of vehicle, hybrid or not. A high mpg rating and low price provide a high efficiency-cost rating. A higher score is the better score.

We don't account for equipment levels, quality judgments, cost of ownership or any variances from EPA mileage estimates. The goal here is to pay the least for the most mileage, barring all other considerations.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | April 14, 2014 | Comments (10)

2015 M4 Convertible Joins BMW Lineup


When BMW unveiled its updated M3 sedan and M4 coupe we knew it'd only be a matter of time before a droptop version joined the lineup. Today, BMW announced details of the 2015 M4 convertible, which will go on sale alongside the sedan and coupe this summer.

2015 BMW M3, M4: First Look

BMW says the M4 convertible is around 90 pounds lighter than its predecessor, the M3 convertible, thanks to heavy use of lightweight aluminum in the front fenders, hood and chassis. Lightweight carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic components also help keep the weight down.

As in the M3 sedan and M4 coupe (the M4 replaced the prior-gen M3 coupe), the convertible uses a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine that BMW says is good for 425 horsepower and 406 pounds-feet of torque; that's more powerful than the outgoing V-8. Two transmissions are available: a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual. The M4 convertible's top speed is 155 mph, and BMW pegs its zero to 60 time at 4.4 seconds with the manual and 4.2 seconds with the automatic.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 4, 2014 | Comments (2)

Is the BMW 3 Series Wagon the Ultimate Car for Dads?


There's a common refrain among automotive writers as well as enthusiasts I run into who also — like me — happen to be fathers. They love station wagons. I'm not talking dads who remember Woodstock, but those who can recall when Lollapalooza toured the country and don't mind the anti-SUV body style.

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For that group I present the 2014 BMW 328d xDrive Sports Wagon. I spent an entire day off with the kids in this white beauty, which not only had the wagon part down, but also all-wheel drive and a turbocharged diesel engine with 280 pounds-feet of torque.

Could it live up to my high expectations plus deliver the family-friendly goods?

By David Thomas | April 2, 2014 | Comments (3)

BMW Announces New X7 SUV


By Kelsey Mays, Cars.com

BMW announced Friday it will build the recently unveiled X4 plus an all-new X7 (and eventually the X5 plug-in hybrid) at its Spartanburg, S.C., assembly plant. The German automaker currently builds the X3, X5 and X6 SUVs there.

2015 BMW X3: First Look

The flurry of SUV announcements came with few other details, particularly on the new X7, which BMW called "another all-new, larger X model." The automaker said it plans to build all X7s in Spartanburg, and will export them from there for sales overseas. Autoweek reports the SUV will seat up to seven occupants in three rows; BMW will build it off an extended-wheelbase version of the recently redesigned X5 platform, which will underpin the next X6 as well. The X7 will compete with the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Infiniti QX80 and Cadillac Escalade. Autoweek says it will offer inline-six and V-8 engines. It should also have a plug-in hybrid drivetrain similar to the one in the forthcoming X5 plug-in, which BMW previewed in the X5 Concept eDrive at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.

As part of a $1 billion investment over the next two years, the automaker says it will expand capacity at the 20-year-old plant by 50 percent, to 450,000 total cars from the current 300,000 a year. BMW shoppers here shouldn't expect to get all of those, though: The automaker says it exports around 70 percent of its Spartanburg production each year.

Cars.com photo

By David Thomas | March 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

Study Ranks Owners' Ability to Afford Their Cars by City


Can you afford your car? Obviously, the answer to that question is more complicated than "yes" or "no." But far more often than you might imagine, it's the latter, according to a study of the nation's 25 largest metropolitan areas by Interest.com. Now you can gauge your own financial solvency as it relates to your household vehicles — or just use the info to justify your condescending smirk/head-shake combo as your neighbor drives by in his new luxury sedan.

2013 Year-End Sales Preview

"Too many families are spending way too much on new cars and trucks," Interest.com Managing Editor Mike Sante said in a statement. "Just because you can manage the monthly payment doesn't mean you should let a $30,000 or $40,000 ride gobble up such a huge share of your paycheck. You can get a great car for much less and use the savings to invest in yourself."

The study calculated how much a household can afford to spend on a car or light-duty truck using the so-called 20/4/10 rule: a down payment of at least 20 percent; a financing term of no more than 48 months; and principal, interest and insurance not exceeding 10 percent of a household's gross income. Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Boston led the charge in ability to afford vehicles, while Miami and Tampa, Fla., car owners were at the bottom of the list. The nation's three largest cities were clustered toward the middle of the list of 25, with New York at No. 10, Chicago at No. 12 and Los Angeles at No. 14.

By Matt Schmitz | March 14, 2014 | Comments (3)

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