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The latest BMW 4 Series is selling like hotcakes, but it isn’t without its faults. Looks aside, BMW’s popular sports coupe has several quirks that make it unique. Unfortunately, not all of those quirks are good, but they aren’t exactly dealbreakers either. Either way, let’s take a look at some of the more unique features of the new BMW 4 Series

A BMW M4 CSL on a racetrack

Cool BMW 4 Series feature: Split HVAC switch

Every now and then an automaker does something subtle that is actually a massive bonus. In the case of the BMW 4 Series (and most BMWs for the past eight years), its a little dial at the top of the center stack.

This slider indicates blue to red, as if to adjust the temperature. But it actually operates separately from the main climate control system below. Instead, it allows you to adjust the temperature of just the upper vents. On a cool day, it’s perfect for those moments when you want your feet to be warm without hot air blowing on your face.

And it’s especially helpful in between seasons, when there are vast temperature differences between the sun and shade. Overall, it’s a small feature, but it’s the type of luxury touch that keeps me coming back for more.

BMW 4 Series center display controls are annoying

A BMW 4 Series convertible
2023 BMW 4 Series | BMW

The BMW 4 Series is packed with tech, but the new iDrive 8 infotainment system is Just. So. Busy. With so many tiny icons on one screen, it’s difficult to know what you’re pressing while on the road. Furthermore, at a glance, it’s tough to tell these icons apart. That doubles the difficulty in selecting the right option, so you’d better hope you have a passenger with you at all times.

Once you get to know the system it does get a bit easier. And with voice commands and a customizable home screen you can take steps to simplify the system. Still, it’s an annoying thing to have to deal with when you first get the 4 Series on the road.

Cool feature: Customizable instrument cluster

The dual-display in the new BMW 4 Series is an impressive layout, but it’s what you can do with it that makes it a cool feature. The digital instrument cluster offers three main views, but the Efficiency View is my favorite. This option offers a widescreen view of the navigation map while simplifying the speedometer and gauges.

I love this feature for two reasons: safety and versatility.

It’s a small change, but having the map directly ahead of the driver’s seat makes it easier to see on the fly than when it’s on the center display. As such, your eyes leave the road for a shorter amount of time. That means more focus on the road ahead, so you can stay focused on driving safely.

Furthermore, it leaves the center display open for media, MY BMW, and other applications. That allows you to put the most important things on the screen at once, so you can avoid the annoyance of the busy, icon-filled app screen.

One last annoying feature: Digital HVAC controls

Yes, yes, I know. You can use voice activation to adjust the overall HVAC temperature. But there was nothing wrong with buttons and dials. For the sake of safety, the less reasons we have to look away from the road, the better.

Switching these analog controls to digital buttons on a screen makes them harder to use. In that sense, this feels like tech for tech’s sake and it just doesn’t need to exist.

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