Updated: Jan 30, 2019
Three days in the countryside with an Estoril Blue beauty
3.0 Litre Turbo Inline Six Cylinder
7 Speed Automatic Transmission
0-62mph 5.0 seconds
A roaring six cylinder symphony, wind ruffling through your hair, hot air blowing on your neck and steering wheel heating! The 440i is truly a blast for a weekend. It turned more heads than I expected, got more screams from the passenger seat and sounded brilliant.
If you're looking for automotive enjoyment and you have £40K+ to spend, the 440i is perfect! The 435d is a brilliant daily driver offering similar performance but with less hilarity.
What's it like?
Well equipped, although the interior feels slightly dated in 2018. This car had the convertible comfort package, which included, a heated steering wheel (loved it), wind deflector and an 'air collar', a device that blows hot air onto your neck.
The off the line speed is a little underwhelming, there didn't seem to be much torque available and 0-40 mph felt reasonably sedate. 40-70 mph was a different story, and the 322bhp engine feels strong between 2000-5500rpm.
Unlike the 435d it does not seem to run out of top end grunt, but it also does not have the torque of the 35d engine off the line. The 40i engine and the 35d engine are polar opposites and each have their pros and cons.
The best bit was the retractable hard top (RHT) which accompanied the turbo 6 cylinder noise rather well! The noise generates smiles and that's part of the fun of this car, it's subtle and naughty all at once!
Friends seemed to enjoy the 440i just as much as I did with the passenger ride attraction being noticeably strong. I believe this was a combination of colour, convertible and clout. The image below illustrates how a small queue begins to form when a trip out is mentioned.
Not The Best Bits
Fuel economy. Despite the dash having an 'efficient dynamics' needle. I struggled to get 400 miles from the 60 litre tank. This equates to 25mpg or 11.3 L/Km.. ouch.
The steering wheel design is brilliant and feels suitably chunky. The problem is, this does not correspond to the light weighting that the driver feels through it.
It's as though the ergonomics department nailed the 'ultimate driving machine' steering wheel but the chassis team never quite met the deadline.
I have read the M cars have improved steering feel, and I am determined to test this in a later review. If this is true, it seems a shame that it is reserved for M only vehicles.