The stunning X4 is possibly the sexiest of all BMW’s X models to date with its gorgeous lines and fabulous array of on-board technology. Added to that, the handling is pretty impressive too.
The goodStriking looks and fantastic driving dynamics
The badSloping roof design impacts on interior space
BMW X4 xDrive 20d M Sport
With sales in the SUV sector at an all-time high, it’s a risky time for manufacturers to stand still – instead they need to be upping the stakes at every opportunity to keep buyers interested.
And BMW has done just that with the arrival of its all-new, second generation X4 Sports Activity Vehicle. It’s bigger and better in every way and has even developed a bit of an aggressive streak.
More than 200,000 first generation X4 models were sold since it was launched in 2014. So, the latest car has a lot to live up to and it achieves that thanks to a lower, longer and wider stance, along with a modern interior that’s packed with innovative on-board technology.
Our test car, in powerful M Sport trim, was priced at £44,970 (£57,255 with options). It was driven by a 2.0-litre 190PS diesel engine delivering 400Nm of torque and could reach 62mph from a standing start in 8.0 seconds, topping out at 132mph. According to official figures, it delivers combined fuel economy of 50.4mpg with carbon emissions of 146g/km.
With its imposing road presence, the new X4 is a difficult vehicle to ignore and simply demands a second glance. Stand-out design cues include muscular haunches, BMW’s instantly-recognisable kidney grille along with twin headlight units. There are new horizontal fog lights integrated into the outer air intakes plus L-shaped LED tail lights positioned at the extreme edges of the vehicle to accentuate its width. Twin exhaust pipes and 21-inch alloys complete the look.
Move inside and the interior cannot fail to impress with its ultra-modern, elegant and upmarket feel. It incorporates a perfect blend of the finest leather upholstery, piano black trim and soft-touch surfaces. And there’s a wealth of on-board technology to explore, including full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, a 10.3-inch touchscreen, a harmon kardon sound system and air conditioning.
Our car featured a Technology package which added £1,690 to the total cost but introduced a digital cockpit that alters the instrumentation display according to the driving mode, Bluetooth with wireless charging, a head-up display and gesture control which allows you to adjust functions such as the audio volume by rotating your finger clockwise or anticlockwise near the touchscreen. You can also accept or dismiss phone calls via this feature.
When it comes to driving dynamics and performance, the X4 is a dream to drive. BMW engineers have upgraded the chassis set-up, which increases the comfort levels, but the car can still deliver where it matters – out on the open road. The acceleration through the eight-speed automatic gearbox is rapid with steering wheel-mounted paddles if you fancy taking a little more control. The diesel engine delivers all the grunt and power necessary for short bursts of acceleration and the car is content clocking up the motorway miles or being pushed through the country lanes.
The road-holding is assured and, despite its high-sided design, there is minimal body sway. In addition, the steering is perfectly weighted and the X4 feels balanced and composed while still delivering plenty of adrenalin-rush entertainment.
The driver can flick through driving modes called Eco Pro, Comfort and Sport that alter the throttle, steering and handling of the car, and the instrumentation adjusts accordingly too. In Sport mode, a red glow is introduced to the read-outs along with some extra ‘M’ badging.
The cabin is beautifully refined and is well-insulated against any road surface, engine or wind noise and the highly-efficient suspension system irons out most of the bumps and dips along the way. The interior is comfortable with powered seats to find the ideal driving position and light floods through the two-part panoramic sunroof creating a bright environment for all occupants.
The X4 is based on the X3 but is more dynamically styled and that has a slight impact on passenger and storage space. The boot can accommodate between 525 and 1,430 litres of kit with the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat, but if storage is a priority the X3 can carry up to 1,600 litres. And due to the X4’s sloping roof coupe-like design, taller passengers in the back may find the head room a little limited, but leg space is good.
As one would expect, the X4 is packed with safety systems to protect occupants and pedestrians alike, as well as a number of driver aids to help prevent collisions occurring in the first place. For example, there is Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Collision Mitigation, Cruise Control with braking function and autonomous Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go that will bring the car to a halt and set off again in heavy traffic.
Out car also featured a Driving Assistance Plus pack that added Lane Keeping Assist with Side Collision Protection, Steering and Lane Control, Cross Traffic Warning and Crossroads Warning Systems.
And the X4 has xDrive, which is BMW’s impressive all-wheel drive system that will keep you on track during harsher driving and weather conditions.
All in all, the new X4 picks up on the success story of the first-gen model and moves it forward at quite a click. It looks stunning, delivers superb driving dynamics and offers all the infotainment and creature comforts you could possibly wish for.
BMW X4 xDrive 30d M Sport
BMW’s range seems to be growing by the week with even numbers being introduced to enhance the line-up and spice things up and the all-new X4 is the latest sexy little sports activity coupe to roll off the production line.
Boasting an athletic but muscular stance, the X4 is guaranteed to turn heads as it glides by with the Porsche Macan and Range Rover Evoque firmly fixed in its sights.
And when it comes to the X factor, the car has it in spades. With drop dead gorgeous styling – it’s by far the most eye-catching of the Bavarian company’s X range, boasting a sloping roofline, 20-inch alloys, four large air scoops, twin tailpipes, the instantly-recognisable kidney grille, body-coloured door mirrors and door handles, sweeping light clusters with adaptive headlights and high beam assistant, sun protection glass and an electric glass sunroof.
And once you take your seat behind the multi-function steering wheel, it’s impossible not to be wowed by the quality and richness of on-board technology and creature comforts that greet you. The premium quality leather sports seats with heater and memory settings offer armchair-like comfort and there are techno treats at every turn to be explored.
And despite the vast array of on-board technology at your disposal, it’s all beautifully simple to operate.
The sat nav, for example, can be pogrommed in a matter of seconds and the directions are clear and precise.
Elsewhere there is Bluetooth with voice recognition, a pitch perfect sound system which is compatible with all modern media devices, internet connectivity and a tip top head up display showing speed and navigation instructions.
Although the X4 has a coupe-like design with the roof tapering away at the rear, it is still deceptively spacious inside with ample headroom in the rear where two adults can stretch out in absolute comfort (three at a bit of a squeeze).
And so onto the X4’s performance and once again it lives up to the fanfares and big build-up. The 3.0-litre diesel-driven engine delivers all the power and acceleration you could wish for and there is a constant supply of power on tap.
The eight-speed automatic gearbox is beautifully smooth and responsive and you can also take control of gear changes via the steering wheel-mounted paddles if you wish.
In and around town, the X4 proved nice and agile for its size and sensors along with a reversing camera are an added bonus when squeezing into tight parking spaces. That said; the downside is the rather poor visibility through the narrow sloping rear screen. But that was my only slight gripe after a week behind the wheel clocking up almost 400 miles on the way.
Out on the faster lanes and motorways, the X4 really comes alive and proves what it is made of as it eats up the Tarmac with ease. And the highly effective suspension irons out any bumps, dips and potholes too.
In fairness, the car can sprint to 62mph in just 5.8 seconds and tops out at a whopping 145mph, but the manner in which it achieves such impressive stats seems very controlled and wonderfully safe and sure footed.
There are four different driving modes named Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ so the driver can adjust the X4’s handling and dynamics.
And of course, the X4 priced at £45,453 (plus £9,795 optional extras) boasts a comprehensive range of safety features along with its 4×4 capabilities to keep you motoring during the harsher winter months.