The SUV market is probably the most crowded at the moment – with almost any and every niche being filled by multiple vehicles. One that developed a few years ago was the coupe-like SUVs, with BMW being the brand that started it all with the X4 back in 2014.
Since then, the German manufacturer introduced the larger X6 with similar styling – but it has now revealed the updated version of the X4.
But can this unorthodox SUV option be as good as other ones currently available? We take a look…
Under the bonnet of our test car was the entry level 20d option, which offers a turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel engine that develops 187bhp and 400Nm of torque. Paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and xDrive all-wheel drive means that the X4 can get from 0-60mph in 7.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 132mph.
The M40i is the top-level performance option and the only petrol unit available. That takes a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged, six-cylinder engine and can get from 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds. It can reach a top speed of 155mph – but offers much worse fuel returns of 31.4mpg at best. The rest of the line-up is made up of the 30d and M40d – both of which are turbocharged diesel units.See Available X4 Deals
Ride & Handling
With BMW renowned for giving its vehicles a sporty setup, the X4 is a continuation of that thanks to well-weighted steering and a well-balanced chassis. Most SUVs can’t offer that, so the X4 is already ahead of many rivals in that aspect. BMW has also given the model surprisingly supple suspension – despite the dynamic driving feel – which means it soaks up most bumps and rides really well.
You might expect a grumble from the diesel engine to make its way into the cabin, but BMW has fitted a lot of noise insulation so that doesn’t happen and the cabin is quiet while on the go. The smooth-shifting gearbox is excellent to allow for a relaxing driving experience, while the all-wheel drive gives you assuredness on most surfaces.
Interior & Equipment
The X4’s cabin takes inspiration from that of the 5 and 7 Series, so all the equipment is laid out is an intuitive fashion. All the important controls are easy to reach for the driver and there are plenty of spaces for phones, wallets and other items within arm’s length of the driver’s seat.
Passenger space is also good, with plenty of legroom in the back – but headroom is impeded on by the sloping roofline, meaning people over six-foot may struggle with sitting on the rear seats for too long. There’s a decent amount of boot space with 525 litres on offer and that can be increased to 1,430 litres by folding down the split rear seats.
Standard equipment on the X4 includes 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights with daytime running lights, front and rear parking sensors, an automatic tailgate, Bluetooth, infotainment screen with iDrive control, satellite navigation, reversing camera, cruise control with automatic braking and automatic climate control.
The M Sport trim we tried adds further equipment, such as a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen, 19-inch alloy wheels, M Sport styling kit, sports seats, a partially digital instrument panel and an M multi-function steering wheel.
The X4 range starts from £42,900, and considering the amount of equipment you get as standard, that’s not too bad at all. We tried the M Sport version that came with many extras, which took the price up to £56,775 and although the options added to the experience, none were totally necessary.
With the 20d engine fitted, the X4 can return 52.3mpg and 142g/km CO2 – not too shabby for a mid-sized SUV.
Although it may not be the best-looking SUV around, the X4 certainly has its merits and offers customers another option in a different niche. The driving setup is surprisingly both sporty and comfortable, while the diesel engine is well-engineered to offer good performance and impressive fuel returns. The cabin is also well-built and there is a lot of equipment from the base spec – but it can be an expensive option if you add too many extras. Overall, it should be an SUV that you consider – just be careful not to add too much to it.