If you’ve been following the used car market these past few years, while also keeping an eye on the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe, then you probably know how resilient the Bavarian four-door fastback has proven to be in retaining its value.
That’s usually how it goes though, especially for more specialized cars or bodystyles that don’t tend to reach as many buyers as their more conventional counterparts, which in this case would be the 3-Series sedan.
So when the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe finally started hitting the used car market, supply was relatively low and prices naturally high. Too high. Until now.
Sedans are out, fastbacks are in
There’s also another factor to consider if you happen to be in the market for a pre-owned sports executive BMW. Sedans are quickly going out of style across the globe, and it’s not just because of crossovers.
Sure, people in general have started to abandon conventional 4-door body styles in favor of more capable and more imposing solutions. This has been happening across the board, in multiple segments. But we should also consider the surge of fastback-like alternatives that offer similar interior room as their four-door siblings, while adding a more practical tailgate design, which many also consider to be stylish.
So it’s not just the 4-Series Gran Coupe that’s in the mix, but also the Audi A5 Sportback, the A7 Sportback, the VW Arteon, Opel Insignia Gran Sport, Kia Stinger, Tesla Model S, Tesla Model 3, Porsche Panamera and quite a few others.
Take it from somebody who’s spent quite some time chewing on this conundrum of sorts: living with a fastback or a 4-door hatchback / coupe, whatever you want to call it, is sometimes easier than with a 4-door sedan. And it’s not just about size. It’s actually more about practicality, as you can load things easier inside the trunk of a 5-door body style car, which can come in handy on any given day.
Ditching the 3-Series, getting the 4-Series GC
With that in mind, let’s look at how much the 4-Series Gran Coupe is now worth on the used car market in the U.S. The 3-Series’ stylish cousin is available as a 2015 or newer model, with prices kicking off from well below $20,000 for the first time in years. According to Autotrader, you can find a used 2015 428i Gran Coupe for as little as $16,000, although most seem to be circling the $18,000-$19,000 mark, which is still tremendous value seen as how they used to cost nearly twice that much some 18 months ago.
You can check out a few examples we found, like this 2016 one with 94,000 miles (151,278 km) on its fuel efficient 4-cylinder engine:
Or this 2015 model with 59,105 miles (95,120 km) on the clock:
Sure, if you search for 2015 and newer 320i or 328i sedan models, you’ll find that most of them are cheaper to purchase, but not by as much so as to render this debate pointless. Besides, there’s still room for the 4-Series Gran Coupe to further depreciate, as it will certainly receive a kick in the rear on the used car market from the all-new generation model, which is no more than a couple of years away.
I know some BMW purists still consider the 3-Series (regardless of which generation) as being the quintessential BMW sports sedan. And it could be that it will never supersede the 3-Series sedan in the eyes of the general public. But if you’re in the market for a used Bimmer from within that segment, would you honestly buy the one that’s less practical – even if it comes at a cost of rear headroom – and arguably less stylish? I wouldn’t, and I have a feeling that sometime in the near future, the industry will eventually rule against body styles that take up unnecessary room, as logic would dictate.