BMW’s 428i coupe is a car that has a split personality—in a good way. It can serve as a smooth, precise luxury ride for daily driving, or it can turn into a powerful beast when the mood strikes. Car and Driver puts it this way: “It’s easy to be a jerk in this car. Even a person of steady temperament, with a 30-year fixed note and a seat on the school board, will race the odd semi to the end of a merge lane, or make a few banzai drives up the right to pick up another three places in the freeway conga line.”

bmw_428i_coupe_02 INSIDE LOOK: The interior of the 428i is much like its series 3 predecessor—all business, but elegant and comfortable.

A replacement for BMW’s series 3 coupe and convertible, the two-door 428i features sleeker, sportier styling. It sits closer to the ground—it has the lowest center of gravity of any current BMW models—and its wheels are pushed outward. That, plus the fact that the car is about 75 pounds lighter than its predecessor, makes it even more nimble. The version I drove for a week included the optional $3,500 M Sport package (18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive suspension, aerodynamic kit, and M sport seats), as well as the $650 sport brakes (larger rotors; blue-painted, multi-piston calipers), and the $1,000 dynamic handling package (variable sport steering). 

Inside, the interior of the 428i is much like its series 3 predecessor—all business, but elegant and comfortable. I liked the spiffy robot arm that hands you your seatbelt. My lanky 16-year-old son and his buddies didn’t have the easiest time climbing into the back seat—to be expected in a coupe—but once inside, rode comfortably.

The 428i may have a jazzier look but, for BMW, it still all comes down to the driving experience. Be assured that, whether you’re looking for sporty luxury or to indulge your hot-rod tendencies, this car will not disappoint.