If you find yourself among those who don’t require an extra set of doors but you still want a premium badge to go with your somewhat compact sports coupe, then your choices are limited exclusively to offerings from BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Lexus and Infiniti.
In turn, this means that BMW’s brand new G22 4-Series Coupe only needs to worry about four other cars. Fortunately for customers, they’re all pretty good.
We’re going to start this “debate” with the Bimmer, since it’s the newest model here and arguably the most controversial, given its edgy appearance.
BMW 4-Series Coupe ($46,595)
The new 4-Series Coupe can be described as a shrunken 8-Series with a really overgrown grille. The 8-Series comparison is by no means a negative, given how stylish the former looks. However, we’re not sure the new 4 Coupe is really making the best of BMW’s latest design language, at least not to the extent of the 8 Coupe.
Still, it’s new, it’s stylish and it’s going to make people talk, for better or worse.
Now, if you want it in your driveway, it will cost you north of $46,595, which will land you the entry-level, rear-wheel drive 430i. The 430i xDrive starts from $48,595, while the flagship M440i xDrive has a $59,495 price tag. In the 430i, power comes from a 2.0-liter turbo-four unit, good for 255 HP (258 PS) and 294 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque.
If you can, you might want to go for the M440i xDrive, which is the first M Performance 4-Series model ever. It’s powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six producing 369 HP (374 PS) and 364 lb-ft (493 Nm) of torque. This is a really quick car, capable of hitting 60 mph (96 km/h) in just 4.3 seconds – only 0.2 seconds slower than the F32 M4 Coupe.
Mercedes C-Class Coupe ($45,950)
If you want stylish, it’s hard to argue against the C-Class Coupe and its voluptuous design. Pricing in the U.S. kicks off from $45,950 for the C 300 Coupe, while the 4MATIC variant is $47,950.
Since the all-new BMW M4 isn’t ready to play yet, we won’t talk about the flagship Mercedes-AMG C 63 and C 63 S Coupe models, yet the Mercedes-AMG C 43 Coupe is fair game, especially since it’s a direct rival to the M440i.
Powering the C300 Coupe is a 2.0-liter inline-four turbo, with 255 HP (258 PS), but the real treat here is the C 43 with its so-called “AMG-enhanced” 3.0-liter V6 biturbo unit. It produces 385 HP (390 PS) with 383 lb-ft (520 Nm) of torque, and it’ll get you to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.5 seconds with the aid of a 9-speed automatic gearbox.
It’s about as quick as the BMW (do you really care about 0.2 second differences in non-supercars?) and it’s priced from $58,500, so it’s a bit cheaper too.
Audi A5 Coupe ($42,900)
The entry-level Audi A5 Coupe 45 TFSI will set you back $43k and comes with a 248 HP / 273 lb-ft turbocharged 2.0-liter TFSI engine, a 7-speed dual clutch automatic and quattro all-wheel drive as standard, which you might call an advantage over its more expensive rivals that only come with rear-wheel drive in base spec.
As an alternative to the M440i xDrive and the C 43, you can have the S5 Coupe with its 3.0-liter TFSI V6. It produces 349 HP (354 PS) and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque, and needs just 4.4 seconds to hit 60 mph (96 km/h), aided by an 8-speed auto (same as the BMW).
The price? No more than $51,900, which means it’s almost $10,000 cheaper than the 2021 M440i. Let that sink in for a second.
Lexus RC ($41,295)
Don’t want a German car? No problem, because Lexus would love to see you get behind the wheel of an RC, which costs $41,295 in RC 300 RWD spec. Power comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four unit with 241 HP (244 PS) and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) of torque.
The RC 350 AWD model is a $43,985 car, with a 3.5-liter V6 putting down 260 HP (263 PS) and 236 lb-ft (320 Nm) of torque. You get the same engine in the RC 350 (either RWD or AWD), but with 311 HP (315 PS) and 280 lb-ft (380 Nm), for north of $44,225 – it does 0-60 in 6 seconds flat.
You can also purchase F Sport variants of all of these models, but if you want to go faster, you’ll need the 472 HP (478 PS) RC F variant, which we really shouldn’t bring into this conversation given its $64,900 price tag. Then again, it’s only $5,000 more than the M440i xDrive.
Infiniti Q60 ($41,350)
This base price is for the 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo Q60 3.0t Pure model, which also comes with a 7-speed automatic gearbox, plus 300 HP (304 PS) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque. If you want it with AWD, that’ll cost you at an extra $2,000, but if you really want your Q60 to compete with the M440i, C 43 and the S5, go for the Red Sport 400 model, available in both RWD and AWD.
The former costs $57,150, while the all-wheel drive version is $59,150. In the Red Sport 400, Infiniti’s twin turbo 3.0-liter V6 puts down 400 HP (405 PS) and 350 lb-ft (474 Nm) of torque, for a 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds, so it’s in the same league as the C 43.
What you might find lacking in the Infiniti is the latest in on-board tech for this segment, which is what you get if you opt for the all-new 4-Series Coupe.
These are all good cars, but that’s not to say you can’t go wrong by opting for a bland spec or making some kind of compromise when it comes to convenience features or performance.
We’d definitely suggest test driving all of them if you’re in the market for a premium sports coupe, and making the most informed decision you can.
So, if it was your money, which of those five would you choose and why?