2022 BMW M4 Competition Review
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2022 BMW M4 Competition Review

Available in a wide range of different configurations, BMW’s latest M4 has never been so in tune with the needs of automotive enthusiasts.

Key Features:

  • Razor-sharp handling
  • Mind-blowing acceleration
  • Attractive drivetrain options

Direct Competitors:

  • Audi RS 5
  • Lexus RC F

When BMW introduced the current-generation four-series, the only thing the internet wanted to talk about was its hideously massive new grille. Yet, it didn’t prevent BMW from expanding that face onto its other models. The second-generation M4 and its twin-sister, the M3 sedan, are a case in point. They both wear a schnoz only their own mother could love – and according to BMW, the polarizing grille won’t leave the 4 Series anytime soon.

Like it or hate it, there’s no denying how capable BMW’s latest M cars have become. Perhaps, more importantly, is the amount of powertrain flexibility they now offer. Yes, you can really choose your poison with the 2022 M3 and M4, and each of them is epic.

2022 BMW M4 Competition price and competitors

2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive Coupe | Photo: BMW 

The M4 we’re driving is the Competition trim, which sits at the top of the M4 lineup at $93,104 before options. For $2,500 more, consumers can choose to tick off xDrive all-wheel drive, a first in the M4’s history. Base price for a non-Competition M4 stands at $88,354.

There aren’t that many performance coupes left on sale, but the M4 still has some feisty rivals. Its direct competitors include the Audi RS 5 coupe, the Lexus RC F and the Mercedes-AMG C63 S, which is currently on hiatus. That’s about it.

Inside the high-performance M4 coupe

If you find the M4’s styling bold and shocking, wait until you see it inside. While it’s still possible to pick a spartan, understated cabin like the BMWs of yesteryear, you can now spice things up with some feisty color options. There are up to 16 different variants of leather upholstery and six different interior trim combinations to choose from.

The $8,500 M Carbon package upgrade

Our tester was dressed up in the striking Kyalami orange interior with black full Merino leather. It’s a $4,000 option that adds pop to an otherwise business-like cabin. But what we found even more attractive were the optional M carbon bucket seats. They come as part of an $8,500 M Carbon package. 

2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive Coupe | Photo: BMW 

Unfortunately, those seats aren’t exactly comfortable for daily drives. They serve only to you well bolstered if you drive your M4 on a closed circuit. Which they did wonderfully well.

But there’s an awkward carbon fiber bump on the lower seat’s section, right in front of your groin. It’s somewhat unsettling when you try to move around your seat. Ingress and egress are also tremendously difficult. If you don’t plan on tracking your M4, we say skip the fancy seats.

Everything else works nearly flawlessly inside an M4. The always easy to operate iDrive infotainment system is a peach, responding to both touch commands and a center-mounted physical rotary dial. The system itself has a clean, attractive and easy to comprehend interface, and all of the M4’s controls are a breeze to comprehend. 

Redundant controls and buttons

2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive Coupe | Photo: BMW 

All, but one: M4’s configurable drive modes can be a bit of a handful, and somewhat redundant. BMW gives you two red buttons on the steering wheel to preset your ideal settings. They’re great, but the car goes back to default each time you turn it off, forcing you to re-activate your settings each time. 

Add to that another button to adjust your preferred gauges – which are not part of your preselected red buttons – and things suddenly become a little ridiculous. 

M4 Competition horsepower, performance, and driving impressions

Once you’ve figured out your favorite setting and everything is engaged to your liking, the M4 is nothing short of extraordinary. There’s a ton of geeky engineering here that would get any automotive enthusiast’s pulse going.

A 30 horsepower bump, more torque, and standard xDrive all-wheel drive compared to the regular, rear-wheel drive M4

2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive Coupe | Photo: BMW 

For instance, the M4 comes by default with a six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. There isn’t even an automatic option unless you opt for the Competition model. Doing so also bumps the power from 473 to 503 horsepower. Torque also sees a significant upgrade, going from 406 lb-ft in the standard M4, to 479 lb-ft in the M4 Competition. The xDrive all-wheel drive option is only available in the Competition trim. 

It doesn’t end there. The M4 comes with what BMW calls a drift analyzer. Essentially relying on its electronic limited-slip rear differential to adjust the car’s sliding characteristics, the system allows the driver to set the car’s drift threshold on a scale from 1 to 10. It then rewards the driver’ drift performance through a star system displayed in the infotainment system.

A track-ready BMW coupe propelled by a twin-turbocharged 3.0L engine

We didn’t get to drive the M4 Competition on a closed circuit to test this out for ourselves, but we can attest that this car is very much a tail happy machine given the right context. The best word that describes the M4’s driving experience is precision. Throttle inputs respond with utmost urgency, the steering is quick and the entire car changes direction at the blink of an eye. The “point and shoot” expression may be cliché here, but it’s the only one that comes to mind when describing the M4’s dedication to performance.

2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive Coupe | Photo: BMW 

Power from the twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six is never an issue. It’s just a tower of power. And it’s relentless when running at full boil. There’s an eagerness to its personality that’s downright addictive, forcing the driver to continuously repeat the experience. Meanwhile, the ZF-sourced automatic gearbox is probably the best-executed system in the business. It makes most dual-clutch systems look weak. But we’d still prefer a stick.

Verdict: is the 2022 BMW M4 Competition worth it?

You may not agree with BMW’s styling direction for the 2022 M4 Competition, but the moment you drive it, you can’t do otherwise but respect the driving machine the Bavarians have conceived. This new M4 is much more engaging to drive than its predecessor, proving that the sequel can in fact be better than the original. 

Here’s our current inventory of used, 2-door performance coupes – all certified and come with a CARFAX report. 

2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive Coupe | Photo: BMW 

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