Today, BMW Group Malaysia announced the impending arrival of the 4 Series Coupé. The car itself is fairly controversial, from the massive double kidney grille to the standard fitment of fabric seats on a RM400,000 premium two-door; you can read about it all in our separate preview story here.
But I’m here to talk about something else that’s polarising, which is the warranty. This wasn’t listed in the press release, but buried in the price list is a mention of an extended warranty and service package, with which the RM405,680 430i M Sport is RM13,120 more expensive at RM418,800.
At this point, you might be thinking that this extension isn’t really necessary, given that the car already comes with a comprehensive five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty and free maintenance – a standard feature on all BMWs sold in Malaysia since 2015. But it doesn’t – we checked with the company and found that it had actually reverted to a two-year warranty, which we would politely describe as inadequate.
With this move, BMW no longer provides one of the best warranty and service packages out there, but the absolute worst. But it goes further than that – the last time the company had a two-year warranty, it at least offered a three-year BMW Service + Repair Inclusive (BS+RI) package to go with it, inclusive of brake and wiper replacements. Now, you’ll have to fork out the cash for the car’s maintenance yourself.
Going back to the previous status quo will cost you. The five-year warranty is priced at RM5,900, while the five-year/100,000 km maintenance package retails at RM8,800. Add the two together, and you’re looking at a bill of RM14,700, although BMW is currently giving the aforementioned promotional rate of RM13,120. You can also purchase the packages after buying the car, so long as you’re within the initial two-year period.
There are, of course, two ways of looking at it. You might see this as daylight robbery, given that BMW is charging extra for something that should have come standard in the first place. On the other hand, the higher price is probably what the 430i should have cost in the first place, and the lower figure is only for those who don’t need the extra coverage (although we can’t see why anyone wouldn’t, given that this is a premium German car with costly replacement parts).
And to be fair, even at close to RM420,000, the 430i is priced around the ballpark of its main rival, the ageing Mercedes-Benz C 300 AMG Line Coupé (which, by the way, still comes with the usual two-year manufacturer and two-year extended warranty, but without any free servicing). You’ll have to contend with the base LED headlights and fabric seats, but that’s a story for another time.
The two-year warranty has also been rolled out across the rest of the lineup, lowering prices by between RM12,190 (218i Gran Coupé and M135i) and RM44,560 (M8 Coupé and Gran Coupé). More importantly, prices inclusive of the existing five-year coverage remain the same as before, so there’s no gouging here.
Lower prices are always a good thing, but the move to a two-year warranty also removes one of BMW’s biggest advantages over the competition in Malaysia, making it an option instead. Yes, having options does give customers the choice to spend on what they think is worth the money, but an option for warranty coverage is new to us. We’re not talking about buying a TV from Harvey Norman, after all.
Let’s not forget that a shorter warranty will also affect resale values, because an expired warranty would defeat the purpose of buying a nearly-new BMW in the first place. Over to you now – is a cheaper two-year warranty a good idea, and would you still pay extra for five-year coverage and servicing? Sound off in the comments after the jump.
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