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2017 BMW M4 COMPETITION owner review

About the BMW M4

The Night Slasher purchased this BMW M4 new with additional options for $162,000 (including all on-road costs). The Night Slasher wouldn’t buy this car again because: “Perhaps a maybe, but definitely not in a manual. As a daily driver, they are simply not feasible for that kind of use now. The rest of the car was good overall. Climate control is the best in the business, but perhaps a little dated in tech. Mine was the LCI version”

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How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

Only thing that went wrong with it was the glovebox latch breaking and wasn’t able to be closed. Everything else on the car had no reliability issues in the three years I owned it.

BMW was also quick to rectify anything that I had issues with anyway, as minor as they were.

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What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

This is a real bittersweet one for me.

First, there’s that damn manual gearbox. Reverse gear is not toggle gated, and positioned next to first. A number of times I had put it into reverse instead of first at the lights and luckily never reversed into anyone. There’s also rev matching, which day to day I find is seriously annoying and cannot be switched off unless driving in sport plus mode.

Then you have the jerky throttle which behaves like an on/off switch, just to make you feel like you’ve been kicked by a zoo animal on the loose. I also made the mistake of putting wheels on that weren’t forged and lowering it slightly without tuning the suspension. This resulted in more sore backs, bums and necks than I care to count.

Next up, I had a woman at a servo open her door on a windy day and let it slam right into my passenger side door.

The final blow was hitting black ice on a frosty morning, traction control just switched off and careened me right into a tree, spinning the car 360 twice and stopping to a halt on a drain cover that was sticking out of the mound. Airbags whacked me like I was slapped with a frozen salmon to the side of the head, but I would be the first to say those safety features definitely helped keep me free from injury, or worse.

But the things I loved… Carbon ceramic brakes, heated steering wheel, the best climate control you can get in a vehicle, ever! In the Austin Gold colour, it looked simply stunning from all angles. I generally loved the car, but not so much the experience with it. Had I been able to go back in time, I’d have got the auto and pretty much nearly all of the above cons are gone.

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How has the purchase and aftercare experience been with your car?

The purchasing process was nothing but awful. Courtesy of a salesperson at the dealership who just plain and simple, didn’t care. This was not reflective of the staff at BMW, but merely one person.

Aftercare wise was great. Nothing was a job too big for the team at my local BMW, ever.

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Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

Price wise, yeah it was expensive compared to other M4 models, but this was top of the line spec and no option left unchecked.

You get what you pay for in this case. Had I not been happy with the price I would not have bought it. Feature wise, it had some amazing bits that you simply can’t get in any other car that I miss today.

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What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

Economy was about right for a car of its type, due to its high level of performance. Not always useable power and there was a nuance to getting what you want from it, but overall the performance was really good and handling very responsive.

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What do you think of the technology in your car?

Tech wise, coming out of a Lotus Exige… lolz this was a godsend! But when I look back at it, the tech was good, not amazing overall.

The M4 at the time I got it was starting to get dated, though. The voice control was really accurate, and still puts many voice recognition systems today to shame.

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What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

Handling, can’t fault it! Brilliant all the way.

Ride comfort was utter crap. Jerky throttle, jerky gearbox, rough suspension and extremely volatile if you pushed it the tiniest bit hard. Like I said, the accelerator was like an on/off switch. The Exige, oddly, drove smoother. But the M4 at least you don’t look like a knob getting in and out.

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Do you have any additional comments about your car?

It might seem I am rather jaded by my ownership of this car, but it’s certainly not the case. If anything, the majority of my above gripes with it really were by my own doing in a way. Hindsight, sadly, isn’t a functioning time machine – oh well…

Since the accident in March 2020, the car has been purchased from Manheim auctions and was sent to the Gold Coast.

It was repaired fully and painted Hockenheim silver, which I’m not really a fan of, but to each their own. Hopefully the new owner has better luck than I did and can enjoy the three-pedal action to the fullest.

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