Does the 2021 BMW M440i’s Speed and Power Make up For Its Ugly Looks?

Whether you like the way it looks or not, the 2021 BMW M440i is a powerful and sleek-looking coupe that carve through canyons with the best of them. It’s potent turbocharged engine matches with its balanced chassis and upgraded tech features, however, it’s really hard to get over that new front grille. But does the BMW M440i’s power and agility make up that ugly front end?

The 2021 BMW M440i packs a big punch

Speaking of the BMW M440i’s power, there’s a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine under its hood that produces 382 hp and 364 lb-ft of torque. Do those stats and figures sound familiar? If so, then you’ll know that the same engine can be found between the front fenders of the BMW Z4 and the latest Toyota Supra. Although, finding its home in the M440i means that it has more weight to lug around.

In fact, the new M440i tips the scales at 3,986, which is 600 pounds more than the Toyota Supra and around 100 pounds heavier than the BMW M340i sedan, which also has the same engine. Surprisingly, though, the BMW M440i is able to get up to 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.3 seconds (according to BMW), but Car and Driver was able to get that down to 3.8 seconds in their testing.

An image of the BMW 440i xDrive on the road.
BMW 440i xDrive | BMW

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It’s not all go, though

Performance and power numbers aside, the BMW M440i’s shining star isn’t just it’s a powerful engine as we can’t forget about the supporting cast that makes it shine. Connected to the turbo six-cylinder engine is the ubiquitous ZF eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels via the brand’s xDrive setup. And to make the whole operation a little smoother, BMW tacked on a 48-volt motor-generator that adds an additional 11 hp and makes the start/stop function smoother and more seamless than ever before.

An image of the BMW 440i xDrive on the road.
BMW 440i xDrive | BMW

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It drives as good as it looks

Although the BMW M440i has the power and the drivetrain to handle almost any curvy road or motorsport track that you can drive this thing on, it’s still lacking in the driving dynamics department. Car and Driver noted that the car’s steering feels “artificial” and that although it’s adaptive dampers provide a compliant ride, it’s still more of a touring car than a canyon carver as “the (driving) experience isn’t as satisfying as it used to be.”

The reviewers at Throttle House shared the same sentiments, as they praised the BMW M440i for its quickness, style, and relative agility, but they also bemoaned the car’s heavier weight in the corners and, of course, its looks.

Does the power to the wheels make up for the front grille?

From what it sounds like, no. If anything, the 2021 BMW M440i is more of a grand touring car, so if you’re looking for something with razor-sharp driving characteristics then you’ll be better off with a smaller car from BMW, like the M340i or something from the 2 Series line.

And as far as that grille goes, you do have the option for it to be completely painted black, which we think is a must. However, it does increase the car’s cooling efficiency, according to BMW, so maybe you can forgive it a little and just focus on the driving aspect.