You could call the BMW X4 a niche vehicle, or you could see it as an individual’s ideal car. BMW’s appeal is based on its driver-oriented, premium brand heritage but today’s crowded roads and busy lives often demand more than a 2+2 coupé. Hence the X4, a model based upon the highly successful X3 compact SUV but with a sleeker, sportier profile.
The all-new interior features a standard 6.5in or optional 10.3in free-standing touchscreen display. It is linked to a rotary controller between the seats, while voice control and gesture control systems are available as options. BMW ConnectedDrive, in combination with the BMW Connected+ app, is claimed to learn your mobility routines, read your calendar and reminds you when you need to leave to reach your destination on time, which sounds a bit like Big Brother but is designed integrate the X4 in its owner’s everyday life. Other new features include BMW's display key, which shows the car's fuel level, remaining range and service information on a small 2.2in display, as well as an air purification system.
This is the second generation X4 and the new model is more handsome than its predecessor as well as being both longer and wider, with more space in-between its front and rear axles. The coupé design and the roof spoiler give the BMW X4 a sweeping roofline that drops down to the tailgate, yet inside there’s room for most families.
Through-loading comes as standard for longer items like skis and the rear seats also fold down, with the cargo function enabling them to be folded individually 40/20/40 ratio. Capacity with seats up is 525 litres, while with all rear seats folded it’s 1430 litres.
The X4 comes as standard with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. Optional systems include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane assistance blind spot monitoring. The Driving Assistant Plus package allows the X4 to accelerate, brake, steer and change lanes autonomously at speeds of up to 130mph.
BMW offers two 2.0 litre petrol units, the 184bhp xDrive20i and 252bhp xDrive30i. The xDrive30i has a 0-62mph time of 6.3sec and a top speed of 150mph. Alternatively there are two 2.0-litre diesel engines, the 190bhp xDrive 20d which achieves a combined 52.3mpg with CO2 emissions of 142g/km, and the more powerful 231bhp xDrive 25d.
There are also two flagship M Performance models, the M40i petrol and the M40d diesel, both powered by in-line six-cylinder engines of 3.0 litres capacity. The 360bhp M40i covers the 0-62mph sprint in 4.8 seconds and has a governed top speed of 155mph, while its diesel counterpart is just a tenth of a second slower to 62mph with a time of 4.9 seconds. Its fuel economy is an impressive 44.1mpg.
All models feature an automatic transmission and BMW’s rear-biased xDrive all-wheel drive system. Performance Control helps enhance handling agility by varying the amount of drive sent to each rear wheel. Driving Experience Control software gives a choice of three modes; Sport, Comfort and Eco-Pro.
The X4 is as much about what you want as what you need. Its closest rival is its stablemate X3, a highly capable compact SUV with BMW driving characteristics and premium quality. What the X4 brings to the party is a touch of extra distinction; it’s a less common sight on the roads and cleverly combines a sleek coupé profile with 90% of the X3’s interior practicality.
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